Working with Children Check

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 Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check.

The WWC Check applications are received and assessed by the Department of Communities Working With Children Screening Unit. 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 us, until their current WWC card expires.

The WWC Check is usually valid for 3 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.

Many roles require a WWC Check, however all prospective employees must have undertaken a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check and be issued with a Screening Clearance Number (SCN), before starting employment with us at a school or other worksite.

Who needs a Working with Children Check?

Many people working or volunteering with the Department of Education will need a Working with Children Check.

Needs a WWC Check Does not need a WWC Check

All school-based staff.

This includes cleaners, gardeners and school support staff.

Staff who never have contact with children as part of their job (for example, payroll or finance officers based in our East Perth office).

Staff who need to have contact with children to do their job (for example, VET officers, attendance officers, school psychologists, investigators, visiting teachers).

Staff who visit schools but who do not have contact with children (for example, staff from central services 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. Refer to 'Exempt volunteer requirements'.
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 (for example, people picking up children after school).

Volunteers participating in billeting programs.

Volunteers under the age of 18 years. Refer to 'Exempt volunteer requirements'.

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. Refer to 'Exempt volunteer requirements'.

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 Western Australia (WA) – only for 2 weeks after their arrival in WA, and for no more than 2 weeks in a 12-month period.
International visitors who want 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 (for example, a specialist sports coach, dance group or science presenter).

Employees at excursion venues who are not working specifically with children (for example, a 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 (for example, 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 Working with Children Check, you can email our Working with Children Consultant at

From 1 July 2023, a parent or child volunteer will not be able to access the WWC Check parent volunteer exemption or child volunteer exemption if they have a current Negative Notice or Interim Negative notice.

To confirm their eligibility to access the exemption all parent volunteers and child volunteers will be required to complete the Parent and child volunteer declaration form.

When the volunteer role is not exempt from requiring a WWC Check, for example, when billeting students or volunteering on an overnight camp, you will be asked to complete the Parent and child volunteer declaration form and register your WWC Check details on the form.

This requirement has been introduced in response to amendments to the WWC legislation to help ensure that public schools are safe places for children.

The school will ask parent and child volunteers to complete the form before they can commence any volunteering activities. To understand when you need to complete the form, read the:

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 representative. Depending on your role, this will be the principal of the school or the manager of the worksite 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. If you don’t have sufficient identification you 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.

If your WWC card has not yet expired, you can renew it online through the WWC Screening Unit online services webpage.

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