This information is intended as a general guide only. It is not intended to be given as legal advice and should not be relied on as such. It is recommended that you obtain legal advice relevant to your particular circumstances.
The Victorian Working with Children (WWC) Check helps to protect children (under the age of 18) from sexual or physical harm by ensuring that people who work with, or care for, them have their suitability to do so checked by a government body. Broadly, applications for a WWC Check are checked for serious sexual, serious violent and serious drug offences. The Check also considers relevant findings from professional disciplinary bodies.
Under the Act, a person is considered to be engaged in 'child-related work' if they:
- work or volunteer in connection with one of the 20 services, bodies, places or activities listed in the Act; and
- have, or are likely to have, regular direct contact with children, and
- that contact is not directly supervised
unless and exemption applies.
Canoeing clubs, associations or movements
The checking system is being phased-in over a five year period. Canoeing clubs, associations or movements that:
- provide services or conduct activities for, or directed at children or
- whose membership is mainly comprised of children
are currently being phased-in with people involved in 'child-related work' in connection with canoeing having to apply for a WWC Check by 30 June 2010.
Any staff or volunteers holding overnight camps (e.g. an overnight training camp) involving children, and needing a WWC Check, must have already applied for a Check prior to their involvement, as this activity has already been phased-in.
If people are required to apply for a WWC Check but failed to do so, it will be an offence to engage in 'child-related work' and penalties including a significant fine or imprisonment may apply to them and the organisation they work or volunteer for.
Coaches & Instructors
Coaches and Instructors who are part of a canoe club, association or movement, refer to the "Canoeing clubs, associations and movements" section above.
Coaches and Instructors who are not part of a club, association or movement, but are involved in 'child-related work' in connecction with coaching or tuition services of any kind for children must also apply by 30 June 2010.
For More Information contact:
Working with Children Unit
Information Line: 1300 652 879, 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday
Department of Justice Working with Children Check Website