In most cases the application process is as simple as your employee, volunteer or student completing and lodging a WWC Check application form, which you also sign, when they are about to start child-related work or if they are re-applying. If they do not have a criminal record they will receive a WWC Card a few weeks later and you will then receive a copy of this notice. In cases where information is received by the WWC Screening Unit that your employee, volunteer or student has a relevant charge or conviction in their criminal record that indicates a risk to children, the process of checking and assessing their application may take longer, and in many cases, involves obtaining further information.
Click here to see a diagram that shows the application process. The diagram is a summary and does not include all circumstances or variations of the process.
Please be aware that if your employee, volunteer or student has a current Negative Notice they cannot engage in child-related work and must not apply for a WWC Check. For more information about Negative Notices please visit our Actioning an Interim Negative Notice or Negative Notice page.
How is an application for a WWC Check assessed?
Once an applicant’s WWC Check form is received and verified by the WWC Screening Unit, their national police history is requested from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission. In certain circumstances, police history information for overseas offences may also be obtained.
Where they have a relevant criminal record and this information is received by the WWC Screening Unit, it triggers an assessment in relation to their potential risk to children. A criminal record in itself does not necessarily exclude a person from engaging in child-related work.
The WWC Screening Unit assesses information that is relevant to whether a child may be exposed to a risk of harm should a person engage in child-related work. The paramount consideration when assessing an application is the best interests of children.
Once an assessment of the application is triggered, all relevant information, which can include information that is not related to a person’s criminal record, may be considered and assessed. This may include requesting and considering information from sources such as other government departments or professional organisations.
If an application is successful the person 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.
Where the WWC Screening Unit identifies a risk of harm to a child when assessing a person’s criminal history they will be issued with a Negative Notice, which prohibits them 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 the person is given an opportunity to provide a submission. The WWC Screening Unit will send a letter inviting a submission by a specific date. If a submission is provided 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 WWC Screening Unit.
Generally, a person is permitted to commence or continue child-related work while their application is being assessed. However, if they have a conviction for a Class 1 offence committed when an adult they must not start or continue in child-related work. What is a Class 1 offence? Click here for a list of Class 1 and Class 2 offences.
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 a person 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.