Who needs a Check

Last update: 06 February 2024

Decide if you, your workers or volunteers need a Check. Employers and organisations need to decide who engages in child-related work and requires a Working with Children Check, or if any roles fall under an exemption. 

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    Remember

    The Check lasts for 5 years even if someone moves jobs – a new employee or volunteer who already has a Check does not need a new Check.

    The Working with Children Check is required for people in NSW who work with children. It is different from the Police Check.

    Child-related work

    Child-related work (including voluntary work) is:

    • providing services for children and young people under 18
    • where the work normally involves being face to face with children
    • where contact with children is more than incidental to the work.

     The legislation lists sectors and services that are child-related work.

    Under our legislation, a person can start working with children once they have an application number (APP). However, some employers require workers to hold a WWCC clearance, for example if you are employed by NSW Health, if you are working in early childhood education and care, or if you are working as a teacher requiring NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) accreditation.

    Other roles that require a Check

    The following roles also require a Working with Children Check:

    • an adult who resides or stays regularly (several nights a week) on the property of an authorised carer (foster carer or other authorised carer of children in statutory or supported out-of-home-care)
    • a home-based education and care service provider
    • a family daycare service provider (where care is provided at home)
    • potential adoptive parents
    • heads of organisations captured by the Child Safe Scheme.

    The head of a child safe organisation is defined in the Children’s Guardian Act 2019 and generally means the most senior person in your organisation, such as a chief executive officer.

    If you have workers whose roles require them to have access to confidential records or information about children, but they aren't considered child-related work, then you can apply for those roles to be deemed child-related work.

    To apply, write to the Children's Guardian using the application form below and state your case, being clear on why you deem the role to be child-related. 

    Apply to have work deemed child-related

    Check exemptions

    People who do not work or deliver services to children in NSW do not need a NSW Working with Children Check. If someone occasionally enters NSW to deliver services to children, it is the organisation’s responsibility to decide if a NSW Working with Children Check is required, or if an exemption applies.

    The Regulations include exemptions to requiring a Working with Children Check. Employers should check the legislation for any exemptions that apply to their situation.

    Exemptions include:

    • under 18s
    • workers visiting NSW for a short time
    • parents and close relatives volunteering at their children’s usual school and extra-curricular activities. There are 3 specific instances when close relatives do need a Check when they are volunteering at school or activities: 
    1. providing personal care for a child with disability
    2. participating in a formal mentoring program
    3. at an overnight camp for children. 

    Role examples

    Situations that do and don't require a Working with Children Check. This list is not exhaustive and should only be used as a general guide. 

    WWCC requiredNo WWCC required
    You work with children. This includes music teachers, extracurricular coaches, instructors, dance teachers, tutors, nannies, faith leaders and children's entertainers.You are not the head of a child safe organisation or member of a governing body of a designated agency and you work in an organisation that delivers services for children but you do not have more than incidental contact with the children.
    You work with or help children with disability and you are not supervised by other adults.

    Note: If you work with children with disability, you may also need an NDIS Worker Check.

    You are a student, over 18, on a clinical placement in a hospital or other health service.
    Your work would not usually require you to hold a Check, but it involves accessing confidential records or information about children. (Note that your employer can only require you to hold a Check if it has the approval of the Children's Guardian to do so).Your work occasionally includes helping out with children as an incidental part of your role, but your work with children is very short term - a visitor to a school as a guest speaker.
    You provide transport for children (including to their work in the entertainment industry).You are under 18
    You volunteer to work with children who are not close relatives.You are a co-worker or supervisor of a worker who is under 18.
    You are working or volunteering at an overnight camp for children.You work as a referee, umpire or linesperson or other sporting official where the work does not involve contact with children for extended periods without other adults being present.
    You provide babysitting through an agency.You are a private practice health practitioner who treats children with another adult present.
    You are joining a formal mentoring program.You babysit by private arrangement, or do informal domestic work at a home where there are children.
    You chaperone or supervise children working in the entertainment industry.You are visiting from interstate and working with children for fewer than 30 days.
    You are the head of a child safe organisation. A tradesperson who may incidentally come into contact with children but is not working with the children. 
    You are a member of a governing body of a designated agency, adoption service provider or an entity providing specialised substitute residential care.
    You provide cleaning services to a school.
    You provide counselling, mentoring or distance education using any form of communication such as online or phone.
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    You can now renew your WWCC by using digital proof of identity – no need to visit a Service NSW Centre.
    How to renew using digital proof of identity (POI)

    You will need:

    • A MyServiceNSW account with the WWCC service added
    • 3 current identity documents including a NSW driver licence or photo card
    • a device with a working front camera for face verification.

    If you're renewing a paid WWCC, you will also need and a credit card, debit card, PayPal or PayID account.

    If you have changed your name on your identity documents since the last time you renewed your WWCC, you can't renew using digital proof of identity.

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