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min read

What are Working With Children Checks?



Vulnerable groups in society require extra protection and children are one such group. Not everyone is viewed as legally qualified to work with children which is why, in Australia, a Working With Children check exists. If you’re hiring for a role that requires interaction with children, then candidates will require a Working with Children Check. As an employer, it’s your responsibility to ensure candidates conduct and pass this test before hiring them to work with children in any capacity. 

What is a Working with Children Check? 

A Working with Children Check is an Australian background check on people who want to engage in child-related work including volunteer activities. It involves a screening process that looks at criminal history, child protection information and more. 

A Working with Children Check is mandatory in many scenarios and the outcome determines whether a candidate can be hired or not. Depending on the state or territory, A Working with Children Check can have different names. In Queensland it's called a Blue Card and in the Northern Territory, a Working with Children Clearance.  

Why are Working with Children checks important? 

A Working with Children check protects children by screening people who are going to engage in child-related work. The check aims to prevent people who are deemed an unacceptable risk from working with children. This includes people with certain types of criminal records. 

How to conduct a Working with Children Check?

The state or territory you live in will have a system that conducts working with children checks. You can require candidates to obtain their own Working with Children Check (this is more likely with volunteer-work) or conduct it on their behalf. In order to conduct a check you must have access to government or third party portals that are connected to Working with Children check systems. Reference checking software like Xref integrates with Working with Children check systems so employers can conduct all reference and verification checks in one place. This makes it easier to ensure every candidate is properly screened with all the requirements needed to fill a position. It also saves recruiters time and resources

How is a Working with Children check different to a criminal record check? 

A Working with Children Check assesses criminal history as part of its screening process. But it also looks at other information like child protection information. Someone with a criminal record may still be deemed eligible to work with children depending on the offence. A criminal record check works to identify a person’s criminal record, it is not designed to assess whether or not an individual is suitable to work with children specifically. Some roles will require employers to conduct both Working with Children and criminal record checks. 

Do I need to ask for candidate permission before conducting a Working with Children check?

Consent and privacy laws change between countries and states. Plus, every country has different laws in terms of compulsory checks depending on the profession or role. Check which laws apply to you and be sure to follow them. In many cases, candidate consent is required. 

What other verification checks should I conduct? 

Along with an employment verification check you may choose, or be required by law to conduct:

  • Employment verification checks 
  • Criminal record checks
  • Credit financial checks
  • Education verification
  • Police checks
  • Professional membership checks
  • Traffic and License checks
  • Social media checks
  • Work rights or Visa checks
  • Watchlist checks
  • Workers compensation checks

Where can I learn more about Working with Children Checks? 

Get in touch with our team to learn more about how you can conduct a Working with Children check in an easy and compliant way. 

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