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Child Safe Environment Procedures

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Section 1 - Purpose and scope

(1) These procedures are intended to be read in conjunction with, and enable the implementation of the University's Child Safe Environment Policy.

(2) These procedures apply to all University staff, students and volunteers in NSW or Qld.

(3) Staff, students and volunteers outside of NSW and Qld should refer to the University's webpage: Working with Children Checks —National Obligations; and, contact HR Services in order to ensure that working with children requirements specific to your State or Territory have been met.

(4) If a staff member, student or volunteer is engaged in Child-Related Work in both Qld and NSW, both a Working with Children Clearance and a Blue Card will be required, unless a state based exemption applies.

Section 2 - Who needs to apply for a Working with Children Clearance or Blue Card?

NSW

(5) The University requires all NSW based University staff, students and volunteers who have face-to-face contact with children or who work within a Designated Child-Related Sector in the course of their employment or studies, to hold a current Working with Children Clearance.

(6) Staff, students and volunteers working in a Designated Child-Related Sector within NSW are automatically considered to be working with children, whether they have contact with children or not.

(7) Designated Child-Related Sectors that may be relevant include, but are not limited to:

  1. child development and welfare services, including mentoring and counselling services;
  2. children's health services, including health education services, allied health and alternative health care services;
  3. clubs or other bodies providing services for children;
  4. disability services;
  5. early education and childcare;
  6. education;
  7. entertainment for children; and
  8. youth workers.

(8) A complete list of Child-Related Sectors can be found in the Act.

(9) Researchers, and other workers who have access to children's confidential information of a sensitive nature require a Working with Children Clearance, even if they do not have face-to-face contact with children.

(10) Limited exemptions apply (see Section 3 for further information).

Qld

(11) The University requires all Qld based University staff, students and volunteers to obtain a Blue Card if they work, or are likely to work, in Regulated Employment for at least:

  1. eight consecutive days; or
  2. once a week, each week, over four weeks;
  3. once a fortnight, each fortnight, over eight weeks; or
  4. once a month, each month, over six months.

(12) Categories of Regulated Employment that may be relevant, include but are not limited to:

  1. education, care services and similar employment;
  2. clubs and associations involving children;
  3. health, counselling and support services;
  4. private teaching, coaching or tutoring;
  5. education programs conducted out of schools; and
  6. sport and active recreation.

(13) A complete list of categories of Regulated Employment can be found in the Act.

(14) Limited exemptions apply (see Section 3 for further information).

Section 3 - Exemptions

NSW

(15) In NSW the following are exempted under the Act, from being required to apply for a Working with Children Check :

  1. children;
  2. administrative, clerical, maintenance or ancillary workers not ordinarily involved with children for extended periods;
  3. a worker undertaking very short term work, for a period of not more than a total of 5 working days in a calendar year, providing the work involves minimal direct contact with children or is supervised when children are present;
  4. a worker undertaking very short term work as a visiting speaker, adjudicator, performer, assessor or other similar visitor for a one-off occasion, in the presence of one or more other adults;
  5. co-workers and supervisors where a child works;
  6. interstate visitors working or volunteering in any Child-Related Work for up to 30 days per year, if the person holds an interstate Working with Children Clearance or is exempt from the requirement to hold such a clearance in their home jurisdiction;
  7. health practitioners working in NSW from outside of the State for up to 5 days in any three month period; and
  8. health practitioners who do not ordinarily treat children without other adults present.
Qld

(16) In Qld the following are exempted under the Act, from being required to apply for a Blue Card:

  1. teachers that are registered with the Qld College of Teachers and Police Officers are not required to hold a Blue Card. They must however, apply for an Exemption Card from Blue Card Services;
  2. Registered Health Practitioners if the work they are doing relates to their function as a Registered Health Practitioner; and
  3. Australian lawyers working in legal practice under the Legal Profession Act 2007.

(17) There are other exemptions that are category specific and some people who are exempt under one category may require a Blue Card under another category. Further information about exemptions is available from the Blue Card Services website.

Section 4 - Applying for a Working with Children Clearance or Blue Card

NSW

(18) Staff, students and volunteers in NSW are required to submit an online application form. Once the application has been submitted they will be issued with an application number (APP number), which they need to take along with proof of identity to a NSW Motor Registry, RMS Agency, or Service NSW office.

(19) Most people are emailed their result within four weeks. The email will contain a Working with Children Clearance number (WWCC number). Staff and students are required to advise the University of their WWCC number (see Section 6 of these procedures). Volunteers are required to advise their direct supervisor of their WWCC number.

Qld

(20) Staff, students and volunteers undertaking Child-Related Work in Qld are required to complete a Blue Card application form which is available as a PDF document on the Blue Card Services website.

(21) Staff in Qld must submit their completed form, in person, to a staff member at the Student Hub on the Gold Coast Campus. The staff member must verify the applicant's identification by sighting a valid combination of identification documents as specified on the application form. The University will lodge the staff member's completed Blue Card application form with Blue Card Services.

(22) Students in Qld must submit their completed form, in person, to their School. A staff member from the School must verify the applicant's identification by sighting a valid combination of identification documents as specified on the application form. The form will be lodged by the School.

(23) Volunteers are required to submit their completed form to their direct supervisor. Their direct supervisor, or a member of staff from the work unit to which the volunteer is reporting, must verify the applicant's identification by sighting a valid combination of identification documents as specified on the application form. The form will be lodged on the volunteer's behalf by the relevant work unit.

Section 5 - Timeframe for applying

(24) New staff that are taking up a position requiring a Working with Children Clearance/Blue Card, or existing staff transferring into a position requiring a Working with Children Clearance/Blue Card, must hold a current Working with Children Clearance/Blue Card or their Working with Children Check /Blue Card application must be in progress before they start working in the relevant position.

(25) Existing staff who work with children, work within a Designated Child-Related Sector, in a Designated Child-Related Role, or in a Category of Regulated Employment, are required to apply for a Working with Children Check when advised to do so by the University.

(26) Existing staff undertaking new research which requires a Working with Children Clearance must hold a current Working with Children Clearance before commencing the research.

(27) All students undertaking new practical or professional placements or research that necessitates a Working with Children Clearance, will be required to apply for a Working with Children Check and obtain a Working with Children Clearance prior to the commencement of the professional placement or research.

(28) All students undertaking new practical or professional placements or research that necessitates working with children or in a child-related sector, will be required to apply for a Working with Children Check when advised by the University.

Section 6 - Verification and recordkeeping

NSW - Staff

(29) HR Services will be responsible for the verification of Working with Children Clearances for staff. The verification is made online through the Office of the Children's Guardian website, by entering the relevant Working with Children Check number, date of birth and surname of the applicant.

(30) The University will record for audit purposes:

  1. full name of the applicant (including first, middle and last name);
  2. date of birth;
  3. working with children number;
  4. verification date;
  5. outcome of the verification (clearance, barred, interim barred, not found);
  6. expiry date; and
  7. status (worker or volunteer).

(31) These records will be held by HR Services in a centralised and confidential database.

(32) Staff members may not verify their own clearance.

NSW — Students and volunteers

(33) The relevant School Placement Co-ordinator or other relevant delegate will be responsible for the verification of Working with Children Clearances for students undertaking professional placements necessitating Child-Related Work, and volunteers. The verification is made online through the Office of the Children's Guardian website, by entering the relevant Working with Children Check number, date of birth and surname of the applicant.

(34) The School Placement Co-ordinator (for students) or other relevant delegate ( for volunteers) will record will record for audit purposes:

  1. full name of the applicant (including first, middle and last name);
  2. date of birth;
  3. working with children number;
  4. verification date;
  5. outcome of the verification (clearance, barred, interim barred, not found); and
  6. expiry date.

(35) These records will be kept on a centralised confidential database within the School.

(36) Students and volunteers may not verify their own Working with Children Clearance.

Qld - Staff

(37) HR Services will be responsible for the verification of Blue Cards for staff. The verification is made by sighting the applicant or card holder's photo identification and completing an online check of the card.

(38) If the staff member already holds a Blue Card or their application is in progress, the University will complete an Authorisation to Confirm a Valid Card/Application Form, which is available as PDF document on the Blue Card Services website (and lodge the same with Blue Card Services).

(39) If the staff member leaves a position for which they have held a Blue Card, the University will complete a No Longer with Organisation Form, which is available as a PDF document on the Blue Card Services website (and lodge the same with Blue Card Services).

(40) The University will record for audit purposes:

  1. full name of the applicant (including first, middle and last name);
  2. date of birth;
  3. Blue Card number;
  4. verification date;
  5. outcome of the verification (granted, application lodged, not found);
  6. confirmation that the card holder's photo identification has been sighted and signature and photograph match the Blue Card;
  7. expiry date;
  8. date the Blue Card renewal form is to be submitted (4 months from expiry);
  9. status (worker or volunteer); and
  10. confirmation that Authorisation to Confirm Valid Card/Application Form has been lodged with Blue Card Services.

(41) These records will be held by HR Services in a centralised and confidential database.

(42) Staff members may not verify their own Blue Card.

Qld — Students and volunteers

(43) The relevant School Placement Co-ordinator or other Relevant Delegate will be responsible for the verification of Blue Cards for students undertaking professional placements necessitating Child-Related Work and volunteers. The verification is made by completing an online check of the Blue Card number.

(44) If the student or volunteer already holds a Blue Card or their application is in progress, the University will complete an Authorisation to Confirm a Valid Card/Application Form which is available as PDF document on the Blue Card Services website (and lodge the same with Blue Card Services).

(45) When the student completes their professional placements the University will complete a No Longer with Organisation Form, which is available as a PDF document on the Blue Card Services website (and lodge the same with Blue Card Services).

(46) The School Placement Co-ordinator (for Students) or other Relevant Delegate ( for volunteers) will record will record for audit purposes:

  1. full name of the applicant (including first, middle and last name);
  2. date of birth;
  3. Blue Card number;
  4. verification date;
  5. outcome of the verification (clearance, barred, interim barred, not found);
  6. confirmation that the card holder's photo identification has been sighted and signature and photograph match the Blue Card;
  7. expiry date;
  8. date the Blue Card renewal form is to be submitted (4 months from expiry); and
  9. confirmation that Authorisation to Confirm Valid Card/Application Form has been lodged with Blue Card Services.

(47) These records will be held by the relevant School in a centralised and confidential database.

(48) Students and volunteers may not verify their own Blue Card.

Section 7 - Recruiting staff

(49) The relevant hiring manager, in consultation with HR Services, will determine if a position requires a Working with Children Clearance.

(50) If a position requires a Working with Children Clearance, it will be identified as such in the position description.

(51) All advertisements for positions which require a Working with Children Clearance will include the requirement for the successful applicant to apply for and obtain a Working with Children Clearance.

(52) An individual may only commence in a position which involves Child-Related Work if they hold a current Working with Children Clearance or their Working with Children Check application is in progress.

Section 8 - Placement of students

(53) Students who undertake a practical or professional placement which requires a Working with Children Clearance must obtain a Working with Children Clearance prior to attending placement.

(54) Working with Children Checks are managed by the relevant School, by the School Placement Co-ordinator where applicable or other relevant delegate.

Section 9 - Working with Children Agreements

(55) Every student who attends a professional placement requiring them to undertake Child-Related Work are, before commencing any child-related work, required to read and sign a Working with Children Agreement.

(56) Every member of staff or volunteer who is required to have face-to-face contact with children or who are otherwise required to hold a Working with Children Clearance and/or Blue Card are, before commencing any child-related work, required to read and sign a Working with Children Agreement.

(57) The completion of Working with Children Agreements is to be managed by the relevant School, and signed Working with Children Agreements are to be kept by the relevant School in a centralised location for audit purposes.

Section 10 - Guidelines

(58) For further information regarding working with Children in NSW, see the Office of the Children's Guardian website.

(59) For further information regarding working with Children in Qld, see the Qld Government Blue Card Services website.

(60) For further information about working with Children requirements outside NSW and Qld, see the following University information webpage: Working with Children Checks - National Obligations.