What happens when I am assessed?
Once your application form is received and verified by the WWC Screening Unit, your national police history is requested from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission. In certain circumstances, police history information relating to charges and/or convictions for overseas offences may also be obtained.
Where you have a relevant criminal record and this information is received by the WWC Screening Unit, it triggers an assessment in relation to your potential risk to children. A criminal record in itself does not necessarily exclude you from engaging in child-related work.
Once an assessment of the application is triggered, all relevant information, which can include information that is not related to your criminal record, may be considered and assessed. This may include requesting and considering information from sources such as other government departments or professional organisations.
The WWC Screening Unit assesses information that is relevant to whether a child may be exposed to a risk of harm should you engage in child-related work. The paramount consideration when assessing an application is the best interests of children.
If your application is successful you will be issued with an Assessment Notice in the form of a WWC Card and may engage in child-related work. Please click here for more information about an Assessment Notice (WWC Card).
Where the WWC Screening Unit identifies a risk of harm to a child when assessing your criminal history you will be issued with a Negative Notice, which prohibits you from engaging in any child-related work and remains current unless cancelled under the WWC Act. Click here to find out more about a Negative Notice.
If an assessment indicates a Negative Notice should be issued, this will not happen until you are given an opportunity to provide a submission. The WWC Screening Unit will send you a letter inviting you to make a submission by a specific date. If you provide a submission by that date the WWC Screening Unit must consider that prior to making a final decision. If a submission is not provided to the WWC Screening Unit by the due date, a final decision must be made on the information that is available to the Unit.
Generally, you are permitted to commence or continue child-related work while your application is being assessed. However, if you have a conviction for a Class 1 offence committed when an adult you must not start or continue your child-related work. What is a Class 1 offence? Click here.
In certain circumstances an Interim Negative Notice may be issued when the WWC Screening Unit receives information relevant to the immediate safety of children (e.g. a charge or conviction for a relevant offence). This prohibits you from engaging in child-related work during the assessment or re-assessment until a final decision is made. For more information about an Interim Negative Notice please click here.
What factors are considered when assessing my application for a WWC Check?
The paramount consideration when the WWC Screening Unit is assessing any application for a WWC Check is the best interests of children. By law, the WWC Screening Unit must consider the following factors when assessing any application:
- when the offence was committed or alleged to have been committed;
- the age of the applicant when the offence was committed or alleged to have been committed;
- the nature of the offence and any relevance it has to child-related work;
- the effect of future conduct by the applicant in relation to a child;
- any information given by the applicant in, or in relation to, the application; and
- anything else that is reasonably considered relevant to the decision.