Working With Children Check
The Working with Children Check is a Government enforced requirement that applies to anyone who works or volunteers with children (under the age of 18). The WWCC reviews the background of any person who works or volunteers with children in sport clubs, schools, child care centres, community groups, Churches and other organisations.
Once you pass a WWCC, you are issued with a WWC Number that proves you are cleared to work with children. This number must then be verified by your Club and/or Zone.
Only certain volunteers and workers are required to have a WWC Number, however PCA NSW recommends that ALL pony club members 18 years and above should sign the PCA NSW WWCC Member Protection Declaration form each year to remind them the we are a Child Safe Organisation.
Please see the Office of Children’s Guardian website for full details on the process, resources, online tutorials and workshops in your area. Visit www.kidsguardian.nsw.gov.au
For those that reside in the ACT, you will need to hold a current verified Working with Vulnerable People registration (WWVP), more information can be found here.
CHANGES TO THE WORKING WITH CHILDREN CHECK
Recently, the NSW Government introduced a number of reforms to strengthen the protection of children, particularly in situations where they are not being cared for by their parents or families.
One of the reforms aims to ensure that anyone in NSW who carries out child-related work is properly verified online.
Key changes that affect child-related employers:
- Employers must verify a person’s Working With Children Check application or clearance online before engaging that person to work in child-related employment. Sighting the WWC number is not sufficient verification.
- Employers must ensure that the WWC clearance status of existing child-related workers who have already been phased-in (if not already done so) are verified online within three months of the law taking effect on 2 November 2015.
- Verification online can be done through the Working with Children Check Employment Register at www.kidsguardian.nsw.gov.au/check.
You can find out more about all the changes to child protection laws on the Office of the Children’s Guardian website www.kidsguardian.nsw.gov.au/changesnovember2015
INFORMATION FOR INSTRUCTORS AND VOLUNTEERS
HOW CAN YOU APPLY FOR A WORKING WITH CHILDREN CHECK AND OBTAIN A WWC NUMBER?
If you are 18 years and above and volunteering or working with children (u18) in Pony Club 2015, you will be asked to provide a WWC Number to your club.
If you already have a WWC Number, you must provide it to your club.
If you do not have a WWC Number, you will need to apply online for a WWC Check to obtain your WWC Number.
All members 18 years and above should sign the PCA NSW WWCC Member Protection Declaration form each year whether they have registered and been verified by a Working with Children Check or not.
Check the exemptions document in the downloads list below for a list of curcumstances where exemptions are acceptable.
To apply for your WWC Check click Here and follow the instructions. Once you apply you need to visit a Motor Registry to show proof of ID and complete the process.
The following are examples of some of the roles exempt from the WWC Check and do not need a WWC Number:
- Persons under 18 years of age
- Judges or Scorers
- Volunteer parent who only instructs or manages their own child’s group
- Volunteer who only instructs or manages a close relative’s team (see definition below)
- Canteen workers and caterers
Clubs and Zones must complete a risk assessment for each person requesting an exemption and provide clear guidance to all members on the Club/Zone Child Safe Policies and Procedures.
“Close Relative” – a spouse or de facto partner of the person; or a child, step-child, sibling, step-sibling, parent, step-parent, grandparent, step-grandparent, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew of the person.
What do Exempt persons sign?
An exempt person must complete a PCA NSW WWCC Member Protection Declaration form and provide to their club.
INFORMATION FOR CLUBS AND ZONES
All Pony Clubs must ensure that members 18 years and above should sign the PCA NSW WWCC Member Protection Declaration form each year whether they require a Working with Children Check or not as a reminder the Pony Club is a Child Safe Organisation.
Clubs must advise any person (18 years and over) in a paid or volunteer role working with children (u18) that they must apply for a Working with Children Check and obtain a WWC Number to be able to continue to work or volunteer with children (u18) in line with their Club/Zone Child Safe Policies.
There are some persons exempt from the WWC Check and these are listed in the section above.
A person working or volunteering with children must provide their WWC Number to their club unless exempt. The WWC Number should be provided at the commencemet of their role. If a person is unable to provide their WWC Number within a reasonable time or refuses to obtain a WWC Number then that person is not permitted to work or volunteer with children. Clubs must verfiy all WWCC registration numbers and keep a register of when these checks expire to issue reminders to members.
YOUR OGANISATION MUST REGISTER AS AN EMPLOYER ON THE WWC SYSTEM
Even if your Club only has volunteers, you still have to register as a WWC Check employer to be able to verify WWC Numbers online.
When completing the Employer Registration, select the Child Related sector called ‘clubs and other bodies providing services for children’. You will also need to choose a Username and Password for your organisation. Ensure it is easy to remember and keep iton record.
The first contact person registered could be your Pony Club President or Secretary. The second contact person should be the Member Protection Information Officer or any other responsible person at your club. Please ensure that all ’employer’ log ons and details are passed on when committee members change. It is recommended that clubs/zones have a dedicaed email address for the Office of Children’s Guardian to contact you regarding your ’employees’. To finalise the process Club/Zone contact persons must verify the WWCC registration numbers supplied to them by members via their log in and keep a register noting expiry dates so that reminders may be sent to members who are due to renew.
To register your club as a WWC Check employer, click Here and follow the instructions to Employer Register
Clubs operating in the ACT are bound by the Working with Vulnerable People (Background Checking) Act 2011, rather than NSW Working with Children legislation.
The requirements for clubs are not the same as for clubs in NSW. The requirements for individuals are similar.
Information can be found at: www.accesscanberra.act.gov.au or by entering Working with Vulnerable People cards into a search engine.
If you would like to know more about the Working with Children Check, there are free Child Safe Sport workshops, Working with Children Check information sessions and Online tutorials available. Please visit http://www.kidsguardian.nsw.gov.au/news-and-events
Below you can download our policies that relate to working face-to-face contact with children under 18 in a child related sector or role.
- The exemptions fact sheet relates to the list of exemptions for the new Working with Children Check, however all members of pony club 18 years and over need to complete the NSW Volunteer Declaration and that all volunteers should be aware of any changes to their exemption status i.e. only working in canteen during pony club rally days (exempt) supervising children at a pony club camp (not exempt).
- As Volunteer organisations are being phased in on the new Working With Children Checks all Pony Club members 18 years and over must complete the volunteer declaration form each year for retention by Clubs. Once the new changes come into force in 2015 any member 18 years and over who does not require the new Working with Children Check should still complete this form yearly.