Working with Children Check - About the WWC Screening Unit

The Working with Children (WWC) Screening Unit's role as the regulator is to educate the community, engage with stakeholders and enforce the legislation.
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The Working with Children (WWC) Screening Unit, within the Department of Communities, is responsible for administering the WWC Check in Western Australia (WA) and the Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) Islands in accordance with the Working with Children (Screening) Act 2004.

In administering the legislation, the WWC Screening Unit seeks to Educate, Engage and Enforce.


The WWC Screening Unit provides 'individuals' and 'organisations' with information about the WWC Check to help them understand their obligations. We do this through free online and face to face information sessions and workshops and by raising awareness in the general community and across sectors.


The WWC Screening Unit works proactively with organisations, industry, and the community to increase awareness and understanding of what is required by law and how to comply. Initiatives include regular engagement with the community and relevant organisations, providing Ready, Check, Chat! one on one consultation sessions for organisations to discuss their specific queries, and representing and promoting the WWC Screening Unit at various sector and industry events.


The WWC Screening Unit is the regulator for WWC Checks in WA and is responsible for enforcing the legislation in both proactive and reactive ways. This is done by detecting breaches, bringing them to the attention of the alleged offender, taking action (corrective or preventative), applying penalties by prosecution, and providing deterrence.

We recognise that most people want to help keep children and young people safe, however, as compliance lessens our regulatory response must increase.

Compliance checks

Compliance checks are conducted to assess an organisation’s compliance with its obligations under the WWC Act. A sample of typical compliance check questions is provided in Resource COM02: WWC Check, Sample compliance check questions.

Proactive Compliance Program

The Proactive Compliance Program involves identifying high-risk areas within larger industry or sector groups and targeting our activities to improve understanding, increase compliance and identify potential non-compliance.  

Previous Proactive Compliance Programs have focused on:

  • tutors
  • babysitting and childminding services
  • sport and recreation sector.


Prosecutions are an important part of enforcement and are necessary to ensure that there is a credible consequence for wilfully non-compliant persons or organisations that pose significant risks to children.

Media statements on WWC Check prosecutions can be found on the Department of Communities announcements page


Working with Children (Screening) Act 2004

Working with Children (Screening) Regulations 2005

Legislative amendments

Amendments to the WWC legislation came into effect on 1 July 2023, significantly strengthening protections for children by addressing critical recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the statutory review of the Act, and concerns raised by the WA Auditor General.

The main changes include: 

  • increasing the number of Class 1 and Class 2 offences that may stop a person getting a WWC Card.
  • ensuring people who have been denied a WWC Card cannot access exemptions for parent and child volunteers. More information can be found in Factsheet CRW04: Exemptions, Narrowing of access.
  • better sharing of information between government agencies
  • the WWC Screening Unit receiving conduct review findings or outcomes from the Teacher Registration Board of WA and the Ombudsman WA, which may trigger a reassessment of someone’s WWC Card 
  • increasing compliance powers for the WWC Screening Unit, including the ability to apply for and execute entry warrants, inspect, search, and remove anything from the premises, and to direct a person to provide information or documents, and
  • requiring WWC card holders and applicants to notify the WWC Screening Unit of a change in name, residential address, contact details and child-related work status (starting or ceasing). Details can be updated online through the card holders  WWC Account  or in writing by using Form APP04: Update details, Contact details and child-related work on our Resources page.
    The WWC Screening Unit are offering free online information sessions on the amendments to help individuals and organisations understand the changes and what they mean for them. Register for a session through our Eventbrite page.

Policies and frameworks

Child safety

A WWC Check is only one strategy to help keep children safe. The Department of Communities’ Child Safe Organisations website provides employers and organisations who work with children information and resources on the many ways they can create a friendly, child-safe environment. 

This information is in line with the ten National Principles for Child Safe Organisations to help organisations develop cultures that create and promote child safety and wellbeing and reflect the child safe standards recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.