Thinking of working or volunteering with children or young people? Great! You may need to get a Working With Children Check (WWCC) before you can start.
What is a Working With Children Check?
A WWCC is an assessment of your character and your background. They’re there to make sure that you are a responsible, good person. They’re designed to protect children and vulnerable people from getting into harm’s way.
If you’d like to work or volunteer in these roles:
- a nanny, carer, teacher, tutor or any other child-related field
- volunteer in schools, cafeterias, or classrooms
- volunteering/working in any organisation that has direct or indirect contact with children e.g. youth work, community services, health care, training, sports, education etc
Then the chances are, especially once you hit 18, you’ll need to apply for a WWCC in your state.
Note: A WWCC is not the same as a Police Check.
Get a WWCC in your state or territory
The application process can vary in each state or territory in Australia, so it’s best to make sure you know what the eligibility requirements are and what proof of identity you’ll need before you submit any applications.
Basically though, you’ll need to:
- Apply through an authorised government screening unit
- Fill and complete an application form or complete an application process
- Provide proof of identity, such as
- Photo ID (passport, driver’s license, ImmiCard from Australian government)
- Other government-issued ID (Medicare Card, Australian Birth certificate, Health care card, Pensioner concession card, Australian citizenship certificate)
In some cases, in-person verification may be necessary; you will need to take along ID such a primary document showing your full name, date of birth and photo – check what you’ll need to take along before you go to any appointments.
Here’s where to get WWCC application information in your state:
- QLD – in Queensland the WWCC is called a Blue Card. If you’ll be working or volunteering with disabled people, you may also need to apply through Disability Worker Screening
- TAS – Registration to work with vulnerable people is the term used in Tasmania
- NT – In the NT working with children clearance is called an Ochre Card
- SA – but for Disability Worker Checks you’ll need to head here
- ACT – it’s called Working with Vulnerable People (WWVP) registration
You’ll need to be reassessed
Unlike Police Checks WWCC’s are not a one-off, they’re generally only valid for a certain period. Once your WWCC expires you’ll need to re-apply, because your employer cannot legally allow you to keep working without a valid one.
If you move to another state or territory other than the one where you were issued your WWCC, you’ll need to reapply in your new location as they not transferable or accepted interstate.
If your personal details change e.g. change of address (even within the same state), or you have any dealings with the police, you’ll need to contact your WWCC providers so that they can update their register and check that you’re still eligible to hold a WWCC.
Careers where you might need a WWCC
Working with children and other vulnerable people can be really rewarding.
If you are patient, empathetic and creative there are lots of careers you could consider where you’d get to put your skills to great use and help others.
Think you’ve got what it takes? Here are a few careers you could think about (there are plenty more to consider as well):