vic_logo
education.vic.gov.au

Human resources

Suitability for Employment Checks

School locations

Employees in the principal, teacher and paraprofessional classes

Employees in the principal class, teacher class and paraprofessional class are employed pursuant to the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 and are required to have valid and current registration with the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) as a condition of employment.

A prospective employee who is registered with the VIT is exempt from the Act and does not require a Working with Children (WWC) Check.

Principals are required to sight a prospective employee’s VIT registration card to determine whether a criminal record check has been conducted by the VIT. The letters CRC will appear on their registration card. They will not be required to undergo a criminal record check conducted by the Department.

Employees in the education support class

Education support class employees must demonstrate their suitability for employment by providing evidence of a WWC Check and Assessment Notice.

Principals and managers are requested to sight and retain a record of the employee’s WWC Check unique number. This number is recorded on eduPay.

It is an offence under the Act to engage in ‘child-related work’ without a current WWC Check. Penalties will apply to both the employer and employee.

Clause 3.2.3 of Ministerial Order 1038 provides that any position that usually involves, or is likely to involve work in a school, other than if the position requires the incumbent to undertake the duties of a teacher, is subject to the person providing evidence that the person has had a WWC Check and holds a valid Assessment Notice under the Act.

The delegate is responsible for determining disputes as to whether a position requires the incumbent to undertake the duties of a teacher or whether the position involves work in a school. Advice should be obtained from the Employee Conduct Branch in determining whether an Assessment Notice is required, including instances where the employee has current registration with the VIT, but is not undertaking the duties of a teacher.

Employment may be terminated if an employee fails to provide the delegate with an Assessment Notice when required. Termination must not occur fewer than 14 days after the delegate has notified the employee, to provide the Assessment Notice.

Clause 3.2.9 provides that if an employee surrenders an Assessment Notice or is issued with a Negative Notice under the Act their employment ceases. The delegate must notify the employee of this in writing.

If the employee appeals the issuing of the Negative Notice to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal and is issued with an Assessment Notice the cessation of their employment is deemed to have no effect. The person must then be reinstated. This involves entitlements regarding back-pay, recognition of continuous service and has implications for the filling of the position prior to the outcome of the appeal being known.

The Employee Conduct Branch should be contacted for advice and assistance in relation to the procedures to be undertaken when Assessment Notices are not provided when required or when employees are issued with an Interim Negative Notice or Negative Notice under the Act.

Casual relief teachers

Casual relief teachers are required to be registered with the Victorian Institute of Teaching. Accordingly they qualify for an exemption from the Act and do not require a WWC Check.

Other casual employees

Casual employees in schools, other than casual relief teachers, are required to demonstrate their suitability for employment by undergoing a WWC Check and, or a criminal record check conducted by the Department.

Not all casual employees in schools will be required by the Act to undergo a WWC Check, it will depend on whether their duties meet the definition of ‘child-related work’ as defined in the Act.

Principals and managers should contact the Employee Conduct Branch on  03 7022 0005 for advice on whether the duties to be performed by a casual employee meet the definition of ‘child-related work’. Additional advice can be obtained from the Working with Children Check Victoria within the Department of Justice and Community Safety, telephone 1300 652 879.

As the Executive Officer of a school council, a principal retains the authority to require a casual employee to undergo a criminal record check conducted by the Department and should do so if it is considered relevant to the duties being undertaken.

Registered Training Organisations

Schools that enter into an agreement with a Registered Training Organisation in which the Organisation provides a teacher or instructor to the school must be satisfied that the teacher or instructor is suitable for employment.

Principals must sight either a criminal record check conducted by the Department, a WWC Check or provisional registration as evidence that a teacher or instructor is suitable for employment.

Where the Registered Training Organisation’s teacher or instructor is not registered with Victorian Institute of Teaching, they will be required to have a current WWC Check.

Volunteers

Each school council is responsible for establishing their own policy concerning which volunteers they require to undergo a criminal record check. Schools must establish and implement policies to assess and verify the suitability of volunteers who will work with children including requiring all volunteers to provide evidence of their suitability. This evidence is generally a WWC Check however, in addition to a WWC Check a school may also consider it necessary that a criminal record check is conducted through the Department. This may occur when possible offences are relevant to the duties of the volunteer, for example dishonesty offences, which are not part of the WWC Check. The school covers the cost of the criminal record check.

As the Executive Officer of a school council, a principal retains the authority to require a potential volunteer to undergo a criminal record check irrespective if the volunteer is exempt from the Act. For instance a parent attending an overnight camp with their child may be exempt from requiring a WWC Check, however a school council may determine that any person attending an excursion or camp must have either a WWC Check or have undergone a criminal record check conducted by the Department. School councils should ensure their criminal record check policy reflects this authority.

Although the Act exempts a parent whose child ordinarily participates in the activity this does not preclude schools from adopting a blanket policy requiring all volunteers to have a WWC check.

School councils need to ensure their policies regarding suitability checks account for the legislative obligations created by the Act. Advice on developing or amending School Council WWC Check and criminal record check policies can be obtained from the Employee Conduct Branch, telephone 03 7022 0005.

Homestay families

The Act requires homestay providers, including each adult member resident in the home to have a current WWC Check prior to hosting a visiting student unless an exemption under the Act applies.

Further information on the WWC Check in relation to homestay providers can be obtained from Working With Children Check Victoria website within the Department of Justice and Community Safety or by telephone 1300 652 879

Student teachers and student internships

Student teachers or interns must have a WWC Check prior to commencing a practicum in a Victorian government school. As student teachers or interns do not receive payment for undertaking a practicum, a volunteer WWC Check may be accepted.

Contractors

Principals and managers should assess the duties to be performed by contractors to determine whether they constitute ‘child-related work’ and will therefore require a WWC Check based on the requirements of the Act.

However they also need to be satisfied that people present in Department workplaces are not a risk to the safety of children irrespective of whether the Act requires them to have a WWC Check or not.

Even though they may not be performing ‘child related work’ contractors such as IT Technicians, gardeners, maintenance staff and cleaners should have a current WWC Check as they are frequently in schools during normal school hours.

A school council is not precluded from adopting a policy that all persons working on the school premises are required to have a WWC Check irrespective of the duties they perform and the frequency and extent of their contact with children.

Principals and managers should contact the Employee Conduct Branch on 03 7022 0005 for advice in relation to the requirements on contractors both generally and on a case by case basis where any uncertainty exists.

School locations for Suitability for Employment Checks

Reviewed 19 May 2020

Was this page helpful?