In the UK I’ve done volunteer roles, working with children, and have had Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks before being able to fulfil these roles. This meant that when enrolling my own children in childcare and other activities, I took comfort in knowing something about the checks my children’s carers had been through.

Upon arrival in Australia, I was naturally curious about how things work…

In Australia, the checks required have different names in different states \ territories. I’m quickly realising that things like this are never the same country-wide.

In all locations, individuals who register themselves in certain professions i.e. with the Institute of Teachers, have to complete police checks.

In addition to the police checks, some states \ territories have additional regulations for those working with children. This link from the Australian Institute of Family Studies provides a good explanation of the requirements, and differences between states.

As the document explains, in some states (NSW and SA) it is the employers’ responsibility to complete the checks. Checks carried out by employers are a one off thing, they take place each time a person enters a new job – in NSW the checks are called Working with Children Checks.

In other locations, individuals are required to hold certification to prove they are eligible to work in certain roles. The certificates are valid from two to five years depending on the state. In Northern Territory the check is called a Clearance Notice and is valid for two years. In Queensland the checks are also valid for two years and individuals hold a Blue Card that entitles them to work with children.

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