Legislation

Working with Children (Criminal Record Checking) Act 2004

Working with Children (Criminal Record Checking) Regulations 2005 

Amendments

The Working with Children (Criminal Record Checking) Amendment Bill 2022 (the Bill) was passed by both Houses of the  Western Australian Parliament on 30 November 2022, and on 7 December 2022 it received Royal Assent to become the Working with Children (Criminal Record Checking) Amendment Act 2022 (Amendment Act).

The new provisions are currently expected to commence operation on 1 July 2023.

The Working with Children Check is a critical strategy implemented by Government and supported by the community to increase child safety and contribute to the range of safety strategies required to create child safe organisations in WA. Protecting children from harm from those who work with them is a key element of child safety.

The Amendment Act amends the Working with Children (Criminal Record Checking) Act 2004 to significantly strengthen protections for children through addressing critical recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the statutory review of the Working With Children (Criminal Record Checking) Act 2004, and concerns raised by the Western Australian Auditor General.

Important changes to transitional provisions

The transitional provisions proposed in the Bill for existing Working with Children (WWC) Cardholders were changed significantly during debate in the Legislative Council.

The transitional provisions in the Amendment Act mean that when it commences, a Working with Children (WWC) Cardholder will remain subject to the old offence categorisations for the duration of their WWC Card, but only if that Card was current on commencement day, or issued after commencement day in response to:

  • an application for a Card, or a reassessment, which was pending on commencement day;
  • an application to cancel a negative notice, which was pending on commencement day; or
  • a review or appeal proceeding on foot on commencement day, or commenced after commencement day if the person is otherwise covered by the transitional arrangements.

Once that Card ceases to have effect, or an application for a further Card is made, the person will be subject to the new offence provisions.  If an assessment is commenced after commencement day for any reason, be it a new application or a re-assessment due to some other trigger, the new offence provisions will apply to the person for the purposes of that assessment. 

For further information about the Amendment Act, including the amended transitional provisions, see:

Page last updated02 February 2023