Working With Children Checks
The University of Adelaide is required to ensure that staff working in prescribed positions have the appropriate clearances from the Department of Human Services.
Compliance steps have been built into our recruitment processes, however there is a still a requirement for the hiring area to ensure that anyone working in a prescribed position has the correct clearance.
What is a prescribed position?
Staff or volunteers who are in a prescribed position are defined as a person who works, or is likely to work, with children. The legislation which governs these positions is the Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Act 2016.
Which positions are likely to be prescribed at the University of Adelaide?
Positions which are primarily intended to work with children or vulnerable people are prescribed under the legislation. In addition, positions where we reasonably expect that the staff member might come into a contact with a child for more than 7 days a year in total. This would include staff going into schools as part of their key responsibilities or being in contact with prospective students who are under 18 by email, phone or in person. Staff who only come into contact with children incidentally due to their roles having contact with the public or the student population generally do not require a Working with Children Check.
Are academic positions prescribed?
Academic staff generally do not require a working with children check, the legislation states that the provision of services toward the fulfilment of a tertiary education program is not considered child-related work. Teaching is primarily aimed at over 18s even though some students may be under 18 at the time they commence their studies and therefore academic roles are generally not prescribed.
An exception to this would be where regular one to one teaching occurs with under 18s, for example music teaching in the Elder Conservatorium.
Who makes the decision about whether a position is prescribed or not?
The supervisor of the position would generally be in the best position to understand the main duties of the role and to make the decision as to whether it is prescribed. A decision flow chart has been developed to support this decision. If you are still not sure whether the position is prescribed or not, please seek advice from Human Resources on 8313 1111.
What checks are valid for employment in a prescribed position?
DCSI checks and TRB checks which were still valid on 30 June 2019 are acceptable. As long as the expiry date is no more than three years from the date of issue we can still accept these checks. Anyone who requires a new check post 1 July 2019 a new Working with Children Check is required.
I have a check for my voluntary role at my child’s school, can I use it?
Only checks which have been paid for are valid for paid employment. If you have a volunteer check which you did not pay for it can only be used for volunteer roles.
Who will pay for the check if I require a new one?
If you require a Working with Children Check as part of your employment, the University will normally reimburse you for the cost of your check upon commencement of employment. How this will be administered depends on the area you are working in.
How do I get a new check?
Please visit the screening unit website at https://screening.sa.gov.au/ to request a WWCC. Please note you will need to provide identification.
What information is held on the HR system relating to my clearance to work with children?
All prescribed positions we are aware of are identified within the PeopleSoft HR system. If you are in a prescribed position at the University of Adelaide we will also record the type of clearance you have, the issue date and the expiry date against your employment record.
When you commence work in a prescribed position we will register our interest in you with the Department of Human Services Screening Unit via their portal and they will let us know if your status changes at any time. If you leave the prescribed position we will de-register our interest upon termination of your employment.
How long is my check valid for?
DCSI/TRB checks are valid for three years, Working with Children Checks are now valid for five years. However if you are joining the University of Adelaide in a prescribed position using an existing DCSI check it must have been issued within the last three months. Otherwise you will need to undertake a new WWCC.
Can I get a list of prescribed positions in my area?
We can provide a list of positions already identified as prescribed to a designated contact in your area. Regular reports will be available for positions which are prescribed which will provide the current status of the staff members occupying those positions, this will enable us to easily identify when checks need to be renewed.
Can a staff member commence work in a prescribed position while they are waiting for their clearance?
Staff in a prescribed position must not commence work until they have a valid check. There is a fine of up to $20k per individual or $50k per organisation if someone works in a prescribed position without the correct clearance. Where a position is identified as prescribed and the prospective staff member requires a Working with Children Check, the correct clearance must be sighted and checked by the Human Resources branch prior to a contract being issued. The staff member may be prompted to complete information about their check in Staff Services Online prior to accepting a contract or completing on-boarding. Please see the WWCC matrix which explains what steps need to be taken depending on the contract type.
- Screening Unit Website
- Legal and Risk Blog on Working With Children Checks
- Child-safe environments policy (under review)
- Prescribed position description flow chart (in development)
- Pre-employment screening procedure(under review)