WWC and other Checks
The WWC Check is one type of screening. There are other checks available in Western Australia, each with different purposes, target groups and features.
- the Volunteer National Police Certificate;
- the National Police Certificate; and
- the State Traffic Certificate
What is the difference between a WWC Check and a National Police Certificate?
There are a number of differences between a WWC Check and a National Police Certificate, including:
- A WWC Check includes a National Police History Check, but differs from a National Police Certificate because it involves ongoing collection and assessment of information that is relevant to whether a child may be exposed to a risk of harm should the person engage in child-related work. This means a WWC Check is regularly updated during the three years a person holds a WWC Card and if they have a change in their criminal record, it can be re-assessed and their eligibility to continue to hold a WWC Card reviewed.
- A WWC Check is valid for three years unless cancelled sooner, during which time it can be used to work in any category of child-related work and type of employment including paid and unpaid or voluntary work. Unlike the National Police Certificate, which is only current on the day it is issued.
- A WWC Check accesses more criminal record information than a National Police Certificate, including juvenile records, spent convictions and charges that did not result in conviction. In certain circumstances, police history information relating to charges and/or convictions for overseas offences may also be obtained. A National Police Certificate discloses a person’s convictions and any pending charges.
- A WWC Check is compulsory for people in child-related work. It has set obligations and penalties for non-compliance.
What check/s should employers and organisations require?
Employers and organisations should consider all the work a person will be doing and ensure they screen individuals to a high standard.
Where a person is engaged in child-related work they must obtain a WWC Check. There are however many instances where a person will require more than one check. For example, where a person works with money as well as children, they may require two checks – a WWC Check and a National Police Certificate as their employer or organisation will want to know if they have any convictions for theft or fraud, and only the National Police Certificate will provide this information.
Also there are many roles involving contact with children that do not meet the definition of ‘child-related work’. Employers and organisations should consider obtaining a National Police Certificate or Volunteer National Police Certificate where a person is not in child-related work or is exempt to assess any potential risks.
If a person is from overseas what check/s are available?
The WWC Check primarily considers offences in Australia. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection provides information on how to obtain overseas police certificates from many countries click here for more information.
If you are an employer or organisation and are aware of any overseas offences of concern, you can notify the WWC Screening Unit who can consider the information.
What else can employers and organisations do to safeguard children?
Screening is only one of the measures that responsible employers and organisations put in place to ensure their employees, volunteers and students are suitable to work with children, vulnerable adults and the general community.
For more information about safeguarding children please click here. If you would more information about other strategies to safeguard children please read our Safer Organisations Safer Children booklet.