Working with children
The Department of Sport and Recreation (DSR) supports initiatives that aim to minimise the risk of children being harmed within the sport and recreation industry.
The Working with Children (WWC) check is a comprehensive criminal record check for certain people working with children in Western Australia. The Working with Children check aims to increase the safety of children in our community by helping to prevent people who have a criminal history that indicates they may harm children from working with children.
Who needs a Working with Children Check?
Download the Working with Children legislation factsheet
Are you an employer, volunteer coordinator?
How do I apply for a check?
Are you living in regional or remote Western Australia?
If you live in a regional or remote area and you are unable to access a post office please contact the screening unit: Telephone: (08) 6217 8100 Freecall: 1800 883 979.
Are you a short-term visitor to Western Australia?
An example of a Working with Children Check card
Visit the Working with Children website
Who is in child-related work?
Work is 'child-related work' if the usual duties of the work involve, or are likely to involve contact with a child. 'Child-related work' can be carried out by volunteers, unpaid people, paid employees and self-employed people.
Contact includes any form of the following:
- Physical contact
- Verbal communication, whether face to face, telephone or in another form
- Electronic communication
Some examples of positions in the sport and recreation industry which may be considered 'child-related work' include but are not limited to:
- First Aid or Medical Staff
- Canteen staff
- Billetting families
- Supervisors on overnight sports tournaments/competitions
The Working with Children (Criminal Record Checking) Act 2004 gives an exemption for parent volunteers in most categories of child-related work – except for overnight camps – as long as their own child under 18 years of age is involved in the same setting or activity.
This means that many parents who provide voluntary work for organisations in which their child also participates are exempt from having a Working with Children (WWC) Check.
For more information, download the Parent Volunteer Exemption information brochure.
Certain people are exempt from having a WWC Check. In some cases volunteer parents, volunteers under the age of 18 years and short-term visitors to WA may be exempt from having a WWC Check. It is important to check the full information about exemptions which is available in Factsheet 5 - 'Child-related work and exemptions' on the Working with Children Check website.
If clubs or associations are concerned about employees or volunteers not undergoing criminal history checking due to the exemptions outlined in the WWC Act, there are several other options available, including:
- Introduce policies into the organisation that requests employees or volunteers obtain a National Police Check or Volunteers National Police Check
- Request that all employees or volunteers sign a Prohibited Persons Declaration Form
WWC checks and national police checks – what is the difference?
There are several differences between the WWC checks and National Police Checks, such as:
- The WWC checks assess a person's criminal history specifically relevant to identifying risk of harm to children. The National Police Clearances assess all types of criminal history information, including that relating to theft, fraud or traffic infringements.
- The WWC checks assess adult disclosable convictions, pending charges, juvenile records, spent and unspent convictions, non conviction charges and any other information that the WWC Screening Unit deems relevent. The National Police Clearances only assess adult disclosable convictions and pending charges.
- The WWC checks are compulsory for anyone in child-related work. The National Police checks are only complusory for certain industries, although many other industries have insisted that employees/volunteers also undergo the screening as good practice.
In addition to the WWC checks, organisations may require their employees/volunteers to get a National Police Check or a Volunteers National Police Check. This would only really be appropriate for positions where the person is in child-related work and also performing other duties such as dealing with money, e.g., treasurer, canteen staff. If a volunteer has a WWC check already, they can obtain a Volunteers National Police check for free.
Working with children resources
The department's position
No documents found.
Contact details for Working with children
WA Sports Federation
Telephone (08) 9492 9736 or (08) 9387 8100
Mobile 0414 153 564
The Department for Sport and Recreation takes no responsibility or liability for any loss or damage you may incur as a result of the reliance on the information within this website or linked sites. The website of the Department for Sport and Recreation is available to enable you to access general information in relation to the Working with Children legislation in Western Australia, as interpreted by the Department and is not designed to offer specific legal or other advice of any kind. Information provided is a summary and guide only. If you need any information for a specific or legal matter, you should obtain appropriate professional/legal advice that takes into account your particular set of circumstances.