Working with children checks
If you volunteer with children under 18 you may need to have a working with children (WWC) check.
In Victoria, the WWC check is a mandatory minimum checking standard to protect children from people who may put them at risk. The WWC applies to both volunteers and employees.
The volunteering organisation should tell you if you need a WWC check when you apply for a volunteering position, as part of the application process or during an interview or information session. If you haven't been told, or you are not sure, ask the volunteering organisation.
What does it involve?
Volunteers must apply for their own WWC check. The check reviews their criminal record for any specific criminal offences that pose a risk to the safety of children.
If you pass the check you are issued with an Assessment Notice and a WWC check card that you can supply to organisations where you volunteer.
There is no application fee for volunteers and the WWC check card for volunteers only applies to volunteering roles. You will need to have a separate WWC check if you are in a paid position where you work with children.
The card is valid for five years and is an easy way for volunteer organisations and agencies to verify your WWC status.
Who needs to apply?
Usually your volunteer organisation will tell you if you need to have a WWC check and the cut-off date for when you need to apply. You can also see if you meet the WWC check criteria on the Department of Justice's Who needs a Check web page or call the WWC Check Information Line on 1300 652 879.
If you need to have a WWC check you must do this before you start your volunteering role.
What's the application process?
To apply for the WWC check you need to complete a WWC Check Application Form.
Your volunteer organisation can usually provide you with the form. Or you can get a form from a participating Australia Post office.
You can submit your application, along with identification and a passport photo at a participating Australia Post office. Instructions for completing the application are on the Department of Justice How to apply web page.
Tools and resources
Department of Justice – Working with Children Check
Find details about the working with children check, who must apply, cut-off dates, how to apply, maintaining your check and obligations for volunteers and volunteer organisations
Volunteering Australia – Background checks and volunteers
General information about police and working with children checks including requirements for volunteers working interstate and for national volunteer organisations, volunteers working overseas and international volunteers who come to Australia.