Students are legally required to obtain a Victorian Working with Children Check and ensure it remains valid for the entire duration of their studies in a clinical or community environment. Interstate placement providers may also require students to receive an equivalent clearance from that state or territory.
Unlike Australian police checks, which are valid for a singular purpose only, Working with Children Checks (WWCC) can be used for any child-related work in Victoria. If you already hold a valid employee or volunteer Victorian WWCC, you must submit a scan or photo of your WWCC card or assessment notice to the University. You must also update your MyCheck account to reflect the University as an organisation that engages you in child-related work.
If your check has expired or you have never had a WWCC, you need to apply for one online.
Applying for a new WWCC
Applications for Victorian WWCCs are made online directly to the Victorian Government. Students undertaking placement do not receive any payment and are therefor eligible to apply for a "volunteer" WWCC, which is free of charge.
When you reach the section titled 'Organisation details' you need to enter the following information:
Do you know which specific organisation(s) you will be doing paid and/or volunteer child-related work for? Yes Organisation name The University of Melbourne Postal address Postal number and street Level 1, Brownless Biomedical Library Postal address line 2 MDHS Health Hub Postal suburb The University of Melbourne Postal state VIC Postcode 3010 Phone 0383445890 Occupational field 38 Out-of-home care services under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 40 Counselling or other support services for children 58 Paediatric wards of public, private or denominational hospitals as defined in the Health Services Act 1998
Entering these details will satisfy your legal obligations and replaces the need for you to list every placement provider individually (unless you are specifically instructed otherwise by one of your placement hosts).
Updating an existing WWCC
If you already hold a current Victorian WWCC, for either volunteer or employment child-related work, you do not need to apply for a new one.
You must, however, go to MyCheck and add the University of Melbourne as an organisation that engages you in child-related work (see 'Applying for a new WWCC' for organisation details) before commencing placement.
Submitting your WWCC
You must provide evidence of your WWCC result to the University before you will be permitted to undertake placement.
What documents are accepted as evidence?
- WWCC card
- Assessment notice
- Interim negative notice
- Negative notice
Sonia is coming!
Over the next couple of months, all minimum pre-placement requirements will be moving to Sonia. This will make it easier for your to keep track of your compliance status and manage any changes through a secure online portal. Keep an eye on this website and your student email for updates.
Frequently asked questions
I'm a registered teacher. Do I still need to get a Working with Children Check?
If you are currently registered with the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT), you are exempt from the Working with Children Check. This is because registered teachers in Victoria are subject to extensive criminal history screening and weekly monitoring similar to the WWCC.
Instead of a WWCC, you must submit a scan or photograph of your current VIT card as evidence of your registration. Note that if your VIT registration is suspended or cancelled, the exemption no longer applies and you must apply for a WWCC before continuing with placement.
I've applied for my WWCC but I haven't got a result yet. What can I do?
Working with Children Check applications can take up to five to seven weeks to be processed by the Department of Justice during peak times. Standard processing time is around three weeks, and it could take up to 12 weeks in some situations.
Most people can commence placement while their application is processed. Provide the University a copy of your WWCC application confirmation email (view sample) and you will be permitted to undertake placement for up to three months while your application is processed. You must provide the University with evidence of the WWCC result immediately after you receive it.
Warning: By law you must not work with children if you:
- Have been charged with, convicted, or found guilty of a sexual, violent or drug offence listed in clause 2 of Schedule 3 of the Act
- Have been given a Negative Notice in the past
- Intend to supervise a child under the age of 15 in employment under the Child Employment Act 2003
- Intend to work in a service regulated by the Children's Service Act 1996 or in an education and care service under the Education and Care Services National Law (Victoria) Act 2010
- Are subject to order or reporting obligations under the:
- Sex Offenders Registration Act 2004
- Serious Sex Offenders Monitoring Act 2005
- Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009.
If any of the above apply, you should contact the Health Hub or speak with your course coordinator.
My WWCC is expiring soon. How do I renew it?
Working with Children Checks are valid for five years and can be renewed online up to six months before the expiry date. The Department of Justice and Regulation will send you a reminder 28 days before your card expires.
Warning: It is illegal to do child-related work after your card expires.
When renewing your check, ensure the University is appropriately recorded as an organisation engaging you in child-related work. You must also provide us with evidence of your renewed check.