Volunteer Checks

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

Purpose of this policy

To ensure volunteers approved to work with children meet legal requirements.

Policy

School must establish and implement policies to assess and verify the suitability of volunteers who will work with children including requiring all volunteers to provide evidence of their suitability. This evidence is generally a working with children check (WWC Check); however if a volunteer's occupation exempts them from the requirement to also have a WWC check e.g. police officers, teachers, they must provide evidence to support their claim to an exemption.

In addition to a WWC Check a school may also consider it necessary that a criminal record check is conducted through the Department.  This may occur when possible offences are relevant to the duties of the volunteer, for example dishonesty offences, which are not part of the WWC Check.  The school covers the cost of the criminal record check.

Definition

A volunteer school worker is a person who without payment or reward voluntarily:

  • engages in:
    • school council functions
    • activities for the welfare of the school at the request of the principal or school council
    • school work
  • attends state or regional meetings.

Commencing volunteering

A volunteer can commence work in a school when they provide a receipt as proof they have applied for a WWC Check with the Department of Justice. 

Working with Children Check

The WWC Check is a minimum checking standard set by the Working with Children Act2005 for those who work with children, either on a paid or voluntary basis.

To be a volunteer at a school a Working with Children Card provided by the Department of Justice is required. This card is:

  • valid for 5 years
  • transferable between volunteer organisations
  • free of charge for volunteers, but cannot be used for paid employment.

Note: WWC Checks for paid employment can be used to show suitability for volunteer work.

Related policies

Related legislation

  • Working with Children Act 2005