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Who needs a Working with Children Check?

Do I need a Working with Children Check?

You must not work with children unless you have had a Working with Children Check within the last 5 years.

It is an offence to work with children without a Working with Children Check.

Do an organisation’s paid employees or volunteers require a Working with Children Check?

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

An employer can only employ, or continue to employ, a person in a prescribed position if:

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

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

What is a prescribed position?

A prescribed position includes:

  • a position in which a person works with children
  • a position in which, during the ordinary course of their duties, it is reasonably foreseeable that a person will work with children
  • a position set out in the Prohibited Persons Regulations (PDF 120 KB).

A person who works in a prescribed position must have a Working with Children Check.

What does it mean to 'work with children'?

A person will work with children if they are:

Adults who reside in certain care facilities or with an approved carer

An adult residing in:

  • a licensed children's residential facility
  • a residential facility for children
  • residential premises in which an approved carer provides care to a child or young person

is someone who works with children and requires a Working with Children Check.

An employer whose staff works with children

A person who

  • carries on a business, and
  • employs someone who works with children

is someone who works with children and requires a Working with Children Check.

A person who does child-related work

A person who, in the course of their employment:

  • provides a service that is child-related work, or
  • undertakes an activity that is child-related work

works with children and requires a Working with Children Check.

The following services and activities are child-related work.

Accommodation and residential services for children

Accommodation and residential services for children include:

  • Licenced residential facilities
  • Residential facility for children
  • Licensed foster care agencies
  • Services provided by an approved carer
  • Services consisting of care provided to a child overnight and involving sleeping arrangements (whether such care is provided on a short term or ongoing basis, and including such services provided in the course of an excursion or camp).

Child protection services

Child protection services include:

  • services provided by child protection workers
  • the care of a child by an approved carer in whose care, guardianship or custody the child is placed under the Children and Young People (Safety) Act
  • services provided by a licensed foster care agency.

Childcare or child-minding services

Childcare or child-minding services include:

  • Out-of-school-hours care
  • Centre-based long day care
  • Occasional care
  • Family day care
  • In-home care
  • Babysitting or child-minding, arranged through an agency.

Clubs and associations involving children

Clubs and associations that provide services or activities and have:

  • a significant membership of children, or
  • a significant involvement by children

are doing child-related work.

Clubs and associations include a reference to a body (whether or not incorporated and however described) providing services or undertaking activities of a sporting, recreational, cultural or artistic nature.

Coaching or tuition services for children

Coaching or tuition services for children means services provided to children consisting of instruction in one or more of the following areas:

  • education
  • sports
  • recreational activities
  • cultural awareness or cultural activities
  • arts and crafts

and includes coaching or tuition services provided in the course of any other service or activity that is defined as child-related work under the Prohibited Persons Act.

Commercial services provided directly to children

Commercial services provided directly to children include:

  • the sale or supply of goods or services in the course of which physical contact with children would reasonably be expected to occur
  • recreational services in the course of which contact with children would reasonably be expected to occur. Example – a play gym.
  • entertainment services provided at, or in relation to, children's parties or events (however described). Example – face painting or the hire of bouncing castles.
  • entertainment services consisting of a person appearing or performing as a costumed character intended or likely to appeal to children. Example – a mascot of a sporting team or Santa Claus in a shopping centre.
  • photography of children
  • competitions held primarily for children, or in which there is a category for entrants who are children. Example – beauty pageants and talent shows.

For the purposes of commercial services provided directly to children only – person will be taken to have contact with a child if:

  • the person has physical contact with the child; or
  • is in close physical proximity to the child; or
  • communicates with the child (whether orally or by written, electronic or other means).

Disability services for children

  • Medical professionals
  • Allied health services
  • Transport services
  • Respite carers
  • Recreation providers

Education services for children

Education services include preschool, primary and secondary education, but not tertiary education.

If you are a registered teacher, you must have a working with children before you can renew your teacher registration. If you have a current, valid DCSI/DHS child-related screening, you can use it until expires. You then need to get a Working with Children Check.

The South Australian Department for Education also has requirements for people who work at:

  • government schools
  • preschools
  • childcare centres, and
  • other non-corporate entities under the department.

Find out more at Department for Education ‘About working with children checks’ web page

Emergency services

Emergency services incudes the provision of services by:

  • SA Metropolitan Fire Service workers and volunteers
  • SA Country Fire Service workers and volunteers
  • SA State Emergency Service workers and volunteers

that involves regular contact with children

For the purposes of provision of services by members of SAMFS, SACFS and SASES only, a person will be taken to have contact with a child if:

  • the person has physical contact with the child; or
  • is in close physical proximity to the child; or
  • communicates with the child (whether orally or by written, electronic or other means).

Emergency services incudes the provision of services by:

  • an emergency ambulance service provided, or purportedly provided, by a member of the SA Ambulance Service in accordance with the Health Care Act 2008
  • an emergency or non-emergency ambulance service provided, or purportedly provided, in accordance with the Health Care Act 2008.

Health services for children

Health services for children include

  • allied health services for children
  • medical professionals
  • counselling and support services
  • paediatric wards in any kind of hospital or hospice.

Justice and detention services for children

The Prohibited Persons Regulations define justice and detention services for children to mean the exercise of a power or function under the:

  • Correctional Services Act 1982; or
  • Young Offenders Act 1993; or
  • Youth Court Act 1993; or
  • Youth Justice Administration Act 2016.

Training centre means a facility for the reception, detention, correction and training of youths who offend against the criminal law established under the Family and Community Services Act 1972 or the Youth Justice Administration Act 2016.

Transport services for children and traffic control services

Transport services for children mean a ‘prescribed passenger transport service’. This is a service in which:

  • passengers are carried for a fare or other consideration (including under a hire or charter arrangement or for consideration provided by a third party) by means of a vehicle; and
  • the passengers are, or may include, children.

This includes:

  • School bus
  • Taxi services
  • Any publicly funded or commercial transport services specifically for children.

Traffic control services means the provision of traffic control at, or other supervision of, school pedestrian crossings.

Services or activities provided by religious organisations

Services or activities provided by religious organisations means services or activities provided by or on behalf of a religious organisation in the course of which an employee of the religious organisation has, or would reasonably be expected to have, contact with a child.

A reference to a religious organisation includes a reference to an organisation of, or providing services of, a spiritual or pastoral nature (however described).

For the purposes of services or activities provided by religious organisations only.

A person will be taken to have contact with a child if:

  • the person has physical contact with the child; or
  • is in close physical proximity to the child; or
  • communicates with the child (whether orally or by written, electronic or other means).

Any person providing, for example a child-care service or health service for children, where in the ordinary course of their duties it is reasonably foreseeable that they will work with children will require a Working with Children Check.


You do not need a Working with Children Check if the work you are doing is for a personal or domestic service.

Working alongside or supervising a child does not make the work child-related.

Personal or domestic services

If any of the child-related services or activities described on this page are provided for a personal or domestic service, you do not need a Working with Children Check.

For example: If a grandparent, aunt or uncle listens to their grandchild, niece or nephew read, or provides care to that child while their parent is at work or on an evening out, they do not need a Working with Children Check.

When this does not apply

‘Personal or domestic services’ do not cover the following circumstances where a relative, including a grandparent, aunt or uncle:

  • Is an approved carer within the meaning of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017, and
  • Resides in the residential premises in which an approved carer provides care to a child or young person placed in their care.

For example: If an eight-year-old were placed formally in the care of her aunt, the aunt would require a Working with Children Check. In this situation, the aunt is the child’s approved carer. Even though the aunt is closely related to her niece, and the care she provides is personal and domestic, she must still get a Working with Children Check because she is an approved carer. Similarly, the aunt’s partner must have a Working with Children Check because they live with the aunt, who is an approved carer.

Working alongside or supervising a child

A service or activity does not become child-related work just because:

  • you employ a child in the course of the service or activity; or
  • you undertake the service or activity in the same capacity as a child to whom the service or activity relates.

A person who works in the same position as, or employs or supervises, a child in the workplace, where the work is not child-related work does not require a Working with Children Check.

  • If you work in a position in the same capacity as a child, you do not need a Working with Children Check (unless the work is child-related work).
  • If you employ, or supervise, a child in a workplace, you do not need a Working with Children Check (unless the work is child-related work).

Example: If an adult works alongside or supervises a child at a local fast food outlet or supermarket, they will not need 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 at a local childcare centre or a crèche at a local gym, they will need a Working with Children Check, because working at a childcare centre or crèche is child-related work.

More information

State Government of South Australia © Copyright DHS [sm v5.4.7.1] .

Last updated:[06 Jun 2019 7:58am]

Provided by:
SA Department for Human Services
URL:
https://screening.sa.gov.au/types-of-check/new-working-with-children-checks/who-needs-a-check
Last Updated:
05 Jul 2018
Printed on:
15 Oct 2019
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