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Working with Children Check

The Working with Children (WWC) Check is a compulsory criminal check for many people who work with children in Western Australia. The WWC Check is often required in addition to the National Police History Check.

The WWC Check applications are received and assessed by the Working with Children Screening Unit at the Department of Communities.  They consider a person’s criminal record to see if they have any previous charges or convictions that indicate they may be a risk of harm to a child. 

The WWC Check is transferable across all work, whether paid or unpaid.  This means if a person already has a WWC Check through volunteer work, they will not have to reapply for a new check when they start working for the Department of Education until their current WWC card expires.

The WWC Check is usually valid for three years.  It is a live check, so it can be cancelled if a person has a relevant change in their criminal history before the card expires.

Who needs a Working with Children Check?

Many people working for, or volunteering with, the Department of Education will need a WWC Check.

Needs a WWC Check Does not need a WWC Check

All school based employees - This includes cleaners, gardeners and school support staff.

 

Employees who never have contact with children as part of their job.
eg. payroll or finance officer based in central office.

Employees who need to have contact with children to do their job. eg. VET officer, attendance officer, school psychologist, investigator, visiting teachers. Employees who visit schools but who do not have contact with children. eg. an employee from central office presenting a workshop to teachers at a school.

 

Needs a WWC Check Does not need a WWC Check

Parents volunteering on overnight camps.

Parents volunteering at a school where their child is enrolled. 
Parents participating in student billeting programs.  

 

Needs a WWC Check Does not need a WWC Check

People volunteering on overnight camps.

Visitors to schools that are not working
eg. people picking up children after school.

Volunteers participating in billeting programs.

Volunteers under the age of 18 years.

Volunteers whose duties of work involve, or are likely to involve, contact with a child.

Students on unpaid placement who are under the age of 18 years.

Grandparents volunteering in schools - unless they, at law, have responsibility for the long term care, welfare and development, or the day-to-day care, welfare and development of the child.

Short-term visitors to WA – only for two weeks after their arrival in WA, and for no more than two weeks in a 12 month period.
International visitors who wish to volunteer at a school to work with children.  

 

Needs a WWC Check Does not need a WWC Check

External providers providing a service to children on school premises eg. a specialist sports coach, dance group, science presentations.

Employees at excursion venues who are not working specifically with children eg. cafe or gift shop attendant.

Contractors attending a particular school regularly who become known to the children and are considered to be part of the fabric of school.

Contractors working on school sites but do not require contact with children to do their job eg. plumbers or electricians.

  Employers of children, and people who work alongside children as fellow employees, unless otherwise doing child-related work.

 

If you are not sure if you require a WWC Check, please contact the Department of Education’s Working with Children Officer on wwcc.query@education.wa.edu.au.

How do I get a Working with Children Check?

A hard copy application must be made the first time you apply for a WWC check, or if you are renewing an expired card.  WWC Check hardcopy application forms are available from authorised Australia Post outlets.  Applicants living remotely who do not have access to an authorised Australia Post outlet should contact the Assistant Senior Screening Officer at the WWC Screening Unit to discuss alternative methods of applying.

  1. The application form must be signed by a Department of Education representative. Depending on your role, this will be the principal of the school or the manager of the non-school site where you will be working or volunteering.
  2. Forms must be lodged at an authorised Australia Post outlet.  You will need to provide 100 points of identification and pay the application fee.  Applicants who do not have sufficient identification should contact the WWC Screening Unit to discuss alternative methods of applying.
  3. Australia Post will give you a receipt when you lodge your application.  This receipt is proof of your application and allows you to start working with children while your application is processed. 
  4. The WWC Screening Unit will then assess your application by reviewing your criminal history, and making a decision on whether to issue you with a WWC Card or not.  You will be contacted via mail with the outcome of their assessment – either a WWC Card or a Negative Notice.
Renewing

If your WWC Card has not yet expired, you can renew it online through the WWC Screening Unit website.

If you want to renew a WWC Card that has expired, you will need to complete a new application.