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Screening Unit

DHS Screening Unit services continue to operate as usual during COVID-19 response.

Screening Unit

Frequently asked questions

Submitting your own application for a check

I haven’t received the email to change my password

The email will be sent to the email address you entered in the application details page. The email is sent from “Account Security” and is called “Setup your account at forms.sa.gov.au”.

Please check your junk mail folder.

If you still can’t see the email, you will need to start a new application.

I can’t change my password after I clicked on the link in the email called “Setup your account at forms.sa.gov.au”

If you are seeing this error message, the link has expired.

"Error Message: Please enter your new password. An error occurred while validating password change token.

You will need to start a new application.

I just changed my password, but the sa.gov.au dashboard summary says I have already submitted an application

This is okay, you just need to click on the application ID link to complete your application.

The dashboard will be blank once you have submitted the application to the Screening Unit.

The sa.gov.au dashboard summary is not showing on my application

One of these has happened:

  • You have just changed your iApply password and you need to wait a few seconds for your application to display on the dashboard summary, or
  • You have already submitted your application, or
  • You may not have logged into your application within 28 days. Your application was deleted. Please start a fresh application.

I can’t see my changes after I logged out of the application and logged back in

To keep your changes, you must save the application before you log out.

My birth certificate is not validating

Australian birth certificates vary a lot and it’s not always possible to verify your birth certificate online.

Errors can happen when:

  • The name on your certificate does not match exactly to a name included in your application. Please make sure that you have declared the name on your birth certificate in your application form.
  • A single name is recorded on your birth certificate. For example, “Cher”.
  • The certificate is not the latest issued certificate. If you have had more than one birth certificate issued to you, and the details in your application do not match your most recent birth certificate, the system will show an error.

If you cannot verify your birth certificate online, you can:

  • use a different document to verify your identity, or
  • verify your identity offline by using the ‘print and seek’ option. That is, by showing your original identity documents to an independent permitted verifier.

See also: Validating birth certificates from South Australia

Validating birth certificates from South Australia

Birth Certificates issued after 1 November 1999

For birth certificates issued after 1 November 1999, including extracts of originals, please use the certificate number provided on your birth certificate.

The certificate number is normally found at the bottom of the birth certificate under the “Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages” stamp. It is made up of numbers only.

Use this certificate number, and the date your certificate was issued, to verify your document.

Birth Certificates issued between 1944 and 1 November 1999

For birth certificates issued between 1944 and 1 November 1999, please use the registration number provided on your birth certificate.

The location of the registration number on a birth certificate varies. The registration number can be a combination of letters and numbers, and be up to 10 characters long.

  • Example 1 — A printed alphanumeric entry on your birth certificate in the following format: 123B/0123
  • Example 2 — A separate printed number on your birth certificate that also correlates to the number after the / in example 1, being: 0123.

Use this registration number to verify your document.

Birth Certificates printed before 1944

Birth certificates issued in SA before 1944 cannot be verified online.

You can either:

Birth Certificates issued by a SA District Office

Birth certificates issued by a SA District Office cannot be verified online. This includes:

  • Adelaide
  • Angaston
  • Burra
  • Clare
  • Daly Encounter Bay
  • Flinders
  • Frome
  • Gawler
  • Gilbert
  • Grey
  • Hindmarsh
  • Kapunda
  • Mount Barker
  • Murray
  • Norwood
  • Pinnaroo
  • Pirie
  • Port Adelaide
  • Robe
  • Talunga
  • Willunga.

If your certificate was issued by one of these districts, you can either:

See also: My birth certificate is not validating

Working with Children Checks – the changes

Why make a different check for working or volunteering with children?

The Working with Children Check was introduced to help keep children safe in our communities. The change is part of the Government of South Australia’s response to recommendations from the Commonwealth Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and the South Australian Child Protection Systems Royal Commission (also known as the Nyland Report).

Is a Working with Children Check different from a police check?

Yes. A police check is a point-in-time summary of your Australian criminal history and includes national convictions and certain types of spent convictions. A Working with Children Check is more detailed. It includes:
  • national convictions – withdrawn, spent, non-convictions
  • national charges – pending, withdrawn, dismissed, acquitted
  • information from South Australian government agencies related to care concerns and investigations.

Five years is a long time to be 'not prohibited' from working with children. What if someone gets a check then does something wrong?

Although Working with Children Checks are valid for five years, the DHS Screening Unit continuously monitors them. If new information about a person means they pose a risk to children's safety, that person’s check will be re-assessed and, if necessary, they will be prohibited from working with children. The DHS Screening Unit will inform both the person affected and any organisations they're linked to about the change in status.

What is a prescribed position?

People who work in a prescribed position require a Working with Children Check. Prescribed positions include both:
  • a number of positions that are set out in the Prohibited Persons Regulations
  • positions in which a person works, or in the ordinary course of his or her duties, it is reasonably foreseeable that a person in that position will work, with children.
Learn more about who needs a Working with Children Check.

How long does it take to get a check?

Most screening applications are finalised within three weeks. It can take longer if there is a lot of background information to assess or the information is complex. The DHS Screening Unit recommends allowing at least six weeks to process an application. Find out more about the check process.

Who needs a Working with Children check?

If you already have a current check, do you have to get a new one?

It depends on the sort of check you have.

You can use your current, valid DHS/DCSI child-related employment screening until it expires. When it is time to renew, you must apply for a Working with Children Check (up to six months before your current screening expires).

As at 1 July 2020, you can no longer use a National Police Certificate assessed by your organisation to work or volunteer with children. You must get a Working with Children Check to continue in that role.

Emergency services workers (such as SAMFS, SASES, SACFS and SAAS) have until 1 July 2022 to get a Working with Children Check.

Do you need a Working with Children Check to work with children?

According to the law, from 1 July 2019 it is an offence:

  • for a person to work or volunteer with children without a Working with Children Check
  • for a person to work or volunteer with children if you are 'prohibited from working with children'
  • to employ a person or a volunteer to work with children if they don't have a valid Working with Children Check or are 'prohibited from working with children'.

Offences carry fines of up to $120,000 and/or prison sentences.

Do you need a Working with Children Check to take care of your own children?

No. The check does not apply to parents or guardians caring for their own children. It only applies to people who want to work or volunteer with children.

From what age do you need a check?

The Working with Children Check applies to people aged 14 and over.

If you manage or work in a business that employs children, does everyone working there need a Working with Children Check?

If you are working alongside, or supervising, a child in a workplace where the work is not child-related, you may not need a Working with Children Check.

If an adult works alongside or supervises a child (for example, a 16-year-old) at a local fast food outlet or supermarket, the adult will not require a Working with Children Check, because working at a fast food outlet or a supermarket is not child-related work.

If an adult works alongside or supervises a child (for example, a 16-year-old) at a local childcare centre or a crèche at a local gym, the adult will require a Working with Children Check, because working at a childcare centre or crèche is child-related work.

Can parents or guardians volunteer at their child's school without a Working with Children Check?

You will not need a Working with Children Check if:

  • you are a parent or guardian volunteering with your own child (for example, at school) and
  • you do not have close personal contact with other children or take part in an organised overnight event (such as a school camp).

However, your school may still require that parents or guardians obtain a Working with Children Check. Check with your school.

Do people doing work experience need a Working with Children Check?

If the job involves child-related work, and the person doing work experience is over the age of 14 or is working with children for more than seven days in a calendar year, they will need a Working with Children Check.

Secondary students doing work experience as part of their study can apply for a free Working with Children Check, as used by volunteers.

Tertiary students may be eligible for a discounted rate – see fees and payments for more information.

I represent an organisation; do my paid employees or volunteers require a Working with Children Check?

Your organisations paid employees or volunteers may require a Working with Children Check if they work in a prescribed position.

An employer must no employ, or continue to employ, a person to a prescribed position unless both:

  • they have verified that the person has had a Working with Children Check conducted in the preceding 5 years
  • that the person is not prohibited from working with children.

Employers who do not comply with these requirements are guilty of an offence.

How do I know if I work with children more than seven days in a calendar year?

A day of work is any shift, no matter how long, that starts on a calendar day. For example, a shift from 3.00 pm to 6.00 pm is one day of work.

If a single shift crosses midnight, it will be treated as only one day. For example, a shift from 6.00 pm to 6.00 am the following morning is one day of work.

State Government of South Australia © Copyright DHS .

Last updated:[02 Mar 2020 3:12pm]