Assessment process and outcomes
After receiving an application or renewal for a WWC Check, the WWC Screening Unit will confirm the application details are correct, and may contact the person or their employer, volunteer organisation or 'education provider' to confirm:
- the person’s identity
- the role is 'child-related work'
- information about the organisation.
Once the information has been confirmed, the WWC Screening Unit will request the person’s Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.
If information requested by the WWC Screening Unit is not received, the application may be 'deemed withdrawn' and a written notice of the withdrawal will be sent to the employer, volunteer organisation or education provider. Once a person’s application is withdrawn, they can no longer engage in child-related work and penalties may apply.
If a person has no relevant criminal history or disciplinary outcomes, an 'Assessment Notice' will be issued. If the person does have relevant criminal history or disciplinary outcomes, the WWC Screening Unit will assess the available information to determine if the person poses an unacceptable risk of harm to children.
Once an assessment or reassessment is triggered, all relevant information may be considered and assessed. This can include:
- relevant criminal history information, including 'spent convictions', juvenile convictions, 'non-convictions', and 'pending charges'.
- conduct outcomes or findings reported through the reportable conduct scheme.
- information from other government departments or professional organisations
- information relating to charges and/or convictions for overseas offences in certain circumstances.
The WWC Screening Unit must consider the following legislated risk considerations when conducting an assessment or reassessment of a person’s relevant criminal history or conduct findings:
- when the offence was committed or alleged to have been committed
- the age of the applicant when the offence was committed or alleged to have been committed
- the nature of the offence and the relevance it has to 'child-related work'
- the effect of future conduct by the applicant in relation to a 'child'
- any information given by the applicant in, or in relation to, the application
- anything else that is reasonably considered relevant to the decision.
The best interests of children is the paramount consideration during an assessment or reassessment.
If the WWC Screening Unit identifies that a person poses an unacceptable risk of harm to children, the person will be issued with a 'Negative Notice'. In certain circumstances, an 'Interim Negative Notice' may be issued.
Trigger for reassessment
If the WWC Screening Unit receives new information about a person during the period where they hold a WWC Card that is relevant to the immediate safety of children, the person’s eligibility to hold a WWC Card may be re-assessed.
Once triggered, the WWC Screening Unit will conduct a reassessment of all relevant information to determine whether the person poses an unacceptable risk of harm to children.
Please note: if a person has a pending charge or conviction for a 'Class 1 offence', they will automatically be issued with a 'Negative Notice'.
Assessment Notice (WWC Card)
An 'Assessment Notice' comes in the form of a WWC Card. It allows a person to carry out 'child-related work' in Western Australia (WA) and the Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) Islands for three years across all 'categories of child-related work' from date of issue until its expiry, unless cancelled sooner under the Working with Children (Screening) Act 2004.
When a WWC Card is issued, the person will receive an email with their WWC Card information and the physical WWC Card will be sent to their nominated postal address. While waiting for the WWC Card to arrive, the person may provide the WWC Card number to their 'organisation' to enable them to confirm the WWC Card’s validity online.
Transferable within WA
A WWC Check is transferable across all categories of 'child-related work' and all forms of employment within WA. This means that once a person has a WWC Check, they can use it for all the child-related work' they do, whether 'paid', 'unpaid' or 'volunteer' and across all categories of child-related work while their WWC Card is valid.
If a 'volunteer', 'student', or 'unpaid' person with a valid WWC Card starts in paid child-related work they can show their employer, volunteer organisation or 'education provider' their current WWC Card. When this WWC Card expires, they should renew their WWC Card as a paid employee through their employer.
A WA WWC Card is only valid in WA and the Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) Islands. If a person is engaging in child-related work in another state or territory, they will need to check the requirements for a WWC Check, or equivalent screening strategy, in the relevant jurisdiction and apply as necessary.
Cancel a WWC Card
A person can request to cancel their current WWC Card if:
- they no longer engage in 'child-related work'
- they wish to withdraw their ongoing consent and will no longer engage in any child-related-work.
If a person’s eligibility to hold a current WWC Card is being re-assessed, they cannot apply to cancel their current WWC Card.
If a person intends to engage in child-related work in the future, they may need to apply for a WWC Check before starting work.
Please note: It is an offence to engage in child-related work without a pending or current WWC Card and penalties may apply.
To request that a WWC Card be cancelled email the WWC Screening Unit with the following information:
- full name
- date of birth
- phone number
- WWC Card number
- confirmation/declaration that you are no longer engaging in any child-related work
- include the title ‘Cancel a WWC Card’ in the subject line
Alternatively send your request by post to:
Manager Screening and Assessment, WWC Screening Unit, PO Box 8553, PERTH BC WA 6849.
The WWC Screening Unit will contact the person once a request has been received to discuss their circumstances. Written confirmation of a cancellation will be sent to the person and notification of the cancellation may be sent to the person’s employer, volunteer organisation or 'education provider'.
Negative Notice and Interim Negative Notice
A 'Negative Notice' is issued when a person is assessed to pose an unacceptable risk of harm to children. It immediately prohibits a person from engaging in any 'child-related work' and remains current until cancelled under the Working with Children (Screening) Act 2004. Notification of a Negative Notice will be provided to the person and their nominated employer, volunteer organisation or 'education provider' who must take steps to meet their various obligations.
The penalty for engaging in child-related work when issued with a 'Negative Notice' is a fine of $60,000 and five years’ imprisonment.
An Interim Negative Notice may be issued in cases when the WWC Screening Unit receives information relevant to the immediate safety of children and prohibits a person from engaging in child-related work until a final decision is made.
If the person is a 'paid' employee, 'volunteer' or 'student' a copy of the Interim Negative Notice is given to their employer, volunteer organisation or education provider. The employer, volunteer organisation or education provider must ensure the person is removed from child-related work until a final decision is made.
The penalty for engaging in child-related work when issued with an 'Interim Negative Notice' is a fine of $60,000 and five years’ imprisonment.
Respond to a proposed Negative Notice
If an assessment indicates a person should be issued with a 'Negative Notice', the WWC Screening Unit will send the person a written notice of the proposal and provide them the opportunity to make a submission within 28 days. Any submission received will be considered before making a final decision. If a submission is not provided by the due date, a final decision must be made on the information available to the WWC Screening Unit.
For information on how to make a submission and what to include, see Factsheet NEG02: Making a submission.
A pending charge or conviction of a 'Class 1 offence' committed as an adult will result in an automatic Negative Notice. In this instance, a submission will only be considered if the individual believes the Class 1 offence conviction is not on their criminal record.
Appeal a Negative Notice
A person issued with a 'Negative Notice' can apply to have the decision reviewed by the State Administrative Tribunal within 28 days of receiving the Negative Notice.
Please note: If the person did not provide a submission to the WWC Screening Unit when the Negative Notice was proposed, they must first ask the State Administrative Tribunal for permission to apply for a review before they can lodge an appeal against a Negative Notice.
Cancel a Negative Notice
A person may apply directly to the WWC Screening Unit to cancel their 'Negative Notice' three years after the date it was issued.
A person may apply to cancel a Negative Notice earlier if:
- they had a pending 'Class 1'or 'Class 2' charge when their Negative Notice was issued and were later not convicted of the offence
- the Negative Notice was issued on the basis of a notification by an employer or the Commissioner of Police of a pending 'Class 3' charge under section 16(1) or 17(1) of the Working with Children (Screening) Act 2004, and they were later not convicted of that offence
- a Negative Notice was issued on the basis of 'conduct review authority' information under Section 17A(4) of the Working with Children (Screening) Act 2004 and the conduct review finding or 'outcome' to which the Negative Notice relates is subsequently quashed, set aside, withdrawn, or found to be unsubstantiated or incorrect
- a conviction was quashed or set aside on appeal after the Negative Notice was issued
- they had a conviction for a Class 1 offence which has now been pardoned.
- the Negative Notice was issued under section 18 of the Act.
- the Negative Notice was issued based on wrong or incomplete information.
When a person applies to cancel their Negative Notice they are consenting to the collection, use and disclosure of information about themselves, including criminal records, for the assessment of their application to cancel the Negative Notice. This consent is ongoing while the application to cancel a Negative Notice is being processed and for the duration or purpose of any legal proceedings following a decision to refuse to cancel the Negative Notice.