Work and Development Permit Scheme

The Work and Development Permit Scheme is a partnership between the Department of Justice, Legal Aid WA and the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia.

Work and Development Permit Scheme

The Work and Development Permit (WDP) Scheme is a new initiative to help people who are experiencing difficulty paying court fines due to hardship. Under a WDP, eligible people can apply to complete approved activities under the supervision of a sponsor, in place of paying the amount owed.

Activities include:

  • unpaid work
  • medical or mental health treatment
  • educational, vocational or personal development course
  • treatment for an alcohol or drug use problem
  • mentoring (for under 25s).

The Scheme relies on sponsors to support clients in addressing their fines.

WDP sponsors can be an individual or organisation, including government agencies, health practitioners, sole-traders and not-for-profit agencies.

Information for sponsors

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Sponsors are key to the success of the WDP Scheme, supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged people to address their unpaid court fines.

By engaging in approved activities, your clients can address their outstanding fine debt and also address their underlying issues.

WDP sponsors can be an individual or organisation, including government agencies, health practitioners, sole-traders and not-for-profit agencies.

Sponsors need to meet certain criteria. Refer to the Sponsor Application Fact Sheet for information and the documentation you require to complete an application.

Role of a sponsor

By becoming a sponsor you can provide additional support to your existing clients, as well as helping new clients.

Working with your client, you will:

  • assess their suitability
  • identify appropriate activities to complete
  • submit the application on their behalf
  • supervise and report as they complete approved activities.

For example, a health practitioner providing drug and alcohol treatment would apply for a WDP. Once approved the practitioner would record the client’s attendance on the user friendly eCourts portal.

For further information about the WDP Scheme, becoming a sponsor or for assistance, contact:

Activity types, qualifications and experience

This information outlines the different activity types and the relevant qualifications and/or experience needed in order for an approved sponsor to support a particular activity type.

Activity Summary Qualifications/
Experience requirements
Drug or alcohol treatment Interventions aimed at assisting clients overcome dependencies on drugs or alcohol. Can include detoxification, medication, pharmacotherapy, counselling, behavioural therapy, group therapy, 12-step programs. Nurses, doctors, psychologists; Alcohol and other drug caseworkers.
Voluntary unpaid work Various activities undertaken with or on behalf of an approved organisation, including gardening, cooking, cleaning, property maintenance, assisting the elderly, administration, etc. Sufficient experience in management, social work or other relevant fields.
Medical/ mental health treatment Undertaken in accordance with a health practitioner’s treatment plan and can include pharmacotherapy, sessions with psychiatrists or psychologists etc. Doctors, psychologists, nurses or other medical practitioners registered with AHPRA.
Educational/ vocational or life skills courses Courses undertaken in educational institutions, and/or assisting clients in entering the workforce and/or that foster personal, social or practical skills that assist clients to function more independently in society. This may include counselling, financial counselling or any other counselling aimed at improving a client’s financial situation and/or mental health and/or resolving emotional/behavioural issues. Tertiary qualifications or experience in education, casework, social work, counselling or other relevant fields. Counselling may include therapy, psychology and financial planning/advice.
Mentoring for persons under 25 Semi-formal, structured relationship between a more experienced and less experienced person under the age of 25 which has a clear vision and goals. Mentoring can target a broad range of things, from emotional growth and development to job seeking and educational improvement. Mentors should be readily accessible to their mentees, and willing to share their life experiences. Previous experience and/or training in mentoring.

Publication

 
Work and Development Permit eCourts Portal Sponsor User Guide

Apply to become a sponsor online

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Some documents are required to be uploaded as part of your application. Refer to the Sponsor Application Fact Sheet.

Visit eCourtsPortal and register for a new account at the Log in section (top right of the page).

Once registered you will receive a confirmation email that your account has been created. You can then Log in (using your username and password) via the eCourtsPortal to apply to become an approved sponsor.

If you require assistance with your application to be a sponsor, contact the Work and Development Team at the Fines Enforcement Registry on 61 8 9235 0235.

Once your application has been received and reviewed, you will receive an email confirmation.

Frequently Asked Questions for sponsors

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Are all fines/infringements eligible?

Only court fines are eligible for the scheme. A client may have other outstanding unpaid fines or infringements which are not eligible to be included in a WDP application. Only eligible court fines are shown on the eCourts portal when applying for a WDP on behalf of a client. They are encouraged to contact FER to make suitable arrangements for all other outstanding matters.

Can I amend and update my details?

Yes. You can request to amend any details of your sponsorship including updating your insurance details by email to ferwdp@justice.wa.gov.au.

Can I stop being a sponsor?

Yes. If you are unable or no longer wish to supervise WDPs, you can notify the Fines Enforcement Registry by email to ferwdp@justice.wa.gov.au. Any WDPs that you currently supervise will be cancelled and your clients will be notified. Any hours worked off by a client prior to the WDP being cancelled will still be counted.

Can a WDP be approved retrospectively?

No. A WDP only comes into force once it is approved and only hours completed after this approval are eligible to count towards the WDP. Any hours completed prior to the approval are not to be credited by the sponsor, for example initial meetings.

What if my client fails to complete activities?

You are only required to report when your client completes activities.

If the Fines Enforcement Registry does not receive any expected reported activity they may contact you to discuss the circumstances of that permit. You may also cancel a WDP if your client repeatedly fails to attend. This can be done through the eCourts portal or by emailing ferwdp@justice.wa.gov.au.

What if I identify a conflict of interest?

Any potential, perceived or actual conflicts of interest need to be reported through to the Fines Enforcement Registry by emailing ferwdp@justice.wa.gov.au.

For further information, refer to the Conflict of Interest – Declaration and Management for Work and Development Permit Scheme Sponsors.

How do I know what fines a client has that are eligible for a Work and Development Permit?

All eligible fines will be shown in the eCourts portal when you search a client while applying for a WDP on their behalf.

Is there much paperwork or administration involved in being a WDP sponsor?

All administration of WDP is done through the eCourts portal. The process has been designed to be as simple and intuitive as possible. While there is some administration required, it is not onerous and sponsors report that managing a WDP through the eCourts portal is simple.

Information for clients

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A Work and Development Permit (WDP) allows eligible clients to reduce or even clear their outstanding court fine(s) by completing approved activities in place of paying. A WDP may be issued by the Fines Enforcement Registry (FER) once a Notice of Intention to Enforce (Court Fine) has been issued.

Eligibility

You may be eligible for a WDP if you:

  • are experiencing financial hardship
  • have been or might be subjected or exposed to family violence
  • have a mental illness
  • have a disability
  • are homeless
  • are experiencing alcohol or drug use problems
  • are experiencing another type of hardship.

If you believe you are eligible, contact a sponsor from the register of approved sponsors on this page who can assess your eligibility. The sponsor may then be able to apply to FER to issue a WDP for you in place of you having to pay the amount owed on a court fine(s).

Approved sponsor’s can include charities, Community Resource Centres, Aboriginal corporations, educational institutions and registered training organisations. Applications for a WDP must be supported and submitted by an approved sponsor on your behalf.

Approved activities and fine conversion rates

Different activities have different fine conversion rates. The activities that you can complete under a WDP include:

Activity Summary Conversation Rate
Drug or alcohol treatment Interventions aimed at assisting you to overcome dependencies on drugs or alcohol. These can include detoxification, medication, pharmacotherapy, counselling, behavioural therapy, group therapy and 12-step programs. $70 per hour completed.*
Voluntary unpaid work You can take part in various activities with or on behalf of an approved organisation, including gardening, cooking, cleaning, property maintenance, assisting the elderly and administration. $50 per hour completed.*
Medical or mental health treatment You can receive treatment in accordance with an approved health practitioner’s treatment plan, including pharmacotherapy and sessions with psychiatrists or psychologists. $70 per hour completed.*
Educational, vocational or life skills courses You can study courses in educational institutions which assist you in entering the workforce or that foster your personal, social or practical skills to assist you to function more independently in society. This may include counselling aimed at improving your financial situation, mental health or resolving your emotional or behavioural issues. $70 per hour completed.*
Mentoring for persons under 25 If you are under the age of 25, you can take part in a semi-formal, structured program with an experienced mentor which has a clear vision and goals. Mentoring can target a broad range of things, from emotional growth and development to job seeking and educational improvement. $70 per hour completed.*
Other activity prescribed by the regulations Other activities prescribed by the regulations may also be completed under a WDP.** Applicable rate as per the regulations.**

* Note that breaks are not to be included in the completed hours.
** Applicable activities and rates are detailed in the Fines, Penalties and Infringement Notices Enforcement Regulations 1994.

To apply

Applications for WDP’s must be supported and submitted by a sponsor on your behalf. To find a sponsor see the register of approved sponsors on this page.

For further information about the WDP scheme or for assistance, contact:

Applications Forms, Factsheets and Publications

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Application Forms

Downloading and submitting application forms

If you do not have the required software to view the documents available on this site, download Adobe PDF Reader for free to view the documents:

For Apple Mac users, after completing a PDF form in Preview, choose Print from the File menu and then use the dialog box’s PDF option to save it to a PDF. Send this PDF version to Fines Enforcement Registry at ferttp@justice.wa.gov.au

 
FER010 - Application to Cancel a Work and Development Permit

Factsheets

 
Checklist for Work and Development Permit Scheme applications
 
Conflict of Interest – Declaration and Management for Work and Development Permit Scheme Sponsors
 
Sponsor Application Fact Sheet
 
COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions for Clients
 
COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions for Sponsors

Publications

 
Information Sharing Procedures
 
Work and Development Permit Guidelines 2020
 
Work and Development Permit eCourts Portal Sponsor User Guide

Announcements

Page reviewed 19 April 2022