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 and provide evidence of this.
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 therefore 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|
|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. The University must remain listed on your MyCheck account for the duration of your studies.
Submitting your WWCC
Before being eligible to undertake placement in most health care environments, you must provide evidence that you:
- Hold a valid Victorian Working with Children Check card; and
- Have correctly recorded the University as an organisation in your MyCheck account.
In Sonia, navigate to the 'Checks' tab and upload two documents to the Working with Children Check section:
- A scan or photograph of your Working with Children Check card or assessment notice that shows your name and card number; and
- A single screenshot or a print-out of your MyCheck account that shows your name, card number and organisation details for the University of Melbourne.
Then press "submit" and a staff member will review your documents.
Frequently asked questions
I think I might be exempt from needing a Working with Children Check
Students do not need a Victorian Working with Children Check if they are:
- Under 18 years of age; or
- Registered under section 11 of the Victorian Institute of Teaching Act 2001 as a teacher; or
- A member of the force within the meaning of the Police Regulation Act 1958 and who has taken and subscribed the oath referred to in section 13(1) of that Act (and who is not suspended from duty under that Act); or
- An interstate student working with children in Victoria for 30 days or less and hold a valid working with children clearance in another Australian state or territory during that period;
If you are entitled to an exemption under one of the categories above, you should submit evidence of your entitlement in place of the Working with Children Check documentation via Sonia.
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.
What if my documentation is under an alternative/previous name?
If your documents are under an alternative or previous name different to the one registered with the University, please upload a ‘Change of Name Certificate’ to the Alternative/Previous Name Notice available under your Checks tab on Sonia.
Our Student Support team will refer back to your Alternative/Previous Name Notice every time they come across one of your documents under a different name, so there is no need to provide a ‘Change of Name Certificate’ elsewhere on Sonia.
You may also update your Alternative/Previous Name Notice if you have any further changes to your name.