Are your club volunteers or staff required by law to have a Working with Children Check (WWCC) card? Have you made sure that your club coach has applied?
The WWCC is designed to help keep children safe. The Check was introduced in Victoria in 2006 and aims to prevent people who may pose a risk to the safety of children from working with them. Bodies who do not comply with the legislation could be subject to significant financial penalties. This means ensuring all volunteers (and staff) who require the check (ie. undertake regular, direct, unsupervised contact with children) have gone through the process.
The checks are free for volunteers and application forms are available at Australia Post Offices.
Since the Working with Children (WWC) Check initiative began in 2006, more than 643,000 Victorians have passed the Check but many people are unaware of the specific responsibilities cardholders and employers have and their legal obligations under the Working with Children Act 2005 (the Act).
Failure to comply with the Act can lead to financial penalties for cardholders and employers so make sure you know what your responsibilities are.
The WWC Check is a mandatory screening requirement for any Victorian who undertakes child-related work as described in the Working with Children Act 2005. It is an offence to begin or continue to perform ‘child-related’ work without holding a current WWC Check card or application receipt.
As a cardholder you can ensure you comply with the Act at all times by informing the Department of Justice of -
You can be confident of being informed of the renewal process and any changes to the status of your WWC Check by -
Cardholders and applicants can update their details online by visiting https://online.justice.vic.gov.au/wwccu.
As an employer of staff or volunteers who work with children, you also have specific legal obligations. Of critical importance is the need to ensure all staff and volunteers who undertake child-related work described in the Working with Children Act 2005, have a valid WWC Check, and that any person who is given a Negative Notice does not work with children, even if they are directly supervised.
Self-employed people who work with children are not exempt from the WWC Check. Parents and guardians should ask to see the WWC Check card of anyone who is caring for their child without supervision. This includes babysitters, nannies and private tutors.
All employers, volunteer organisations and parents are encouraged to check the validity of a person’s WWC card online by using the ‘Check Status’ function found at https://online.justice.vic.gov.au/wwccu. All you need to do is enter the person’s surname and card or application number. The status and validity of the person’s application or WWC Check card will be displayed but no personal information is disclosed.
For more information visit about the Working with Children Check visit www.justice.vic.gov.au/workingwithchildren or contact the Information Line on 1300 652 879.
Tennis Victoria has developed a tennis specific policy for clubs to use as a best practice guide in implementing the WWCC.
In addition, a record keeping template has also been developed to assist in ensuring the relevant personnel have been checked.
Both documents can be found below.