Working with children checks

June | 2020

What is a working with children check?

If you work or volunteer with children in South Australia you must, by law, have a working with children check.

This check is an assessment of whether a person poses an unacceptable risk to children. As part of the process, the Department for Human Services will look at criminal history, child protection information and other information.

Visit the Department for Human Services ‘Working with children check’ section to apply or get more details.

Are other types of checks valid?

A valid DHS/DCSI child-related employment check is recognised as a working with children check until it expires. Then, you must apply for a new working with children check.

From 1 July 2020, organisations will no longer be able to assess a National Police Certificate to allow people to work or volunteer with children in South Australia. If you are currently using a National Police Certificate, you need to apply for a working with children check by 1 July 2020 or earlier.

Expired or absent checks

Approved providers/employers are required by the Education and Early Childhood Services (Registration and Standards) Act 2011 (SA) to keep records of relevant history assessments for educators. These records should be kept at the education and care service where the educator is employed or registered.

When our authorised officers visit a service and find educators working without a WWCC, they may take compliance action. This will depend on the extent of the risks posed to children in the circumstance.

For example: 

  • We may issue a prohibition notice to the educator to reduce the risk to children’s safety. This may be appropriate where an educator has never had a relevant history assessment, as this poses an increased risk.
  • We may direct an approved provider, nominated supervisor or employer to exclude an inappropriate person (e.g. an educator without a relevant history assessment) who may pose a risk to children, in accordance with section 171 of Education and Early Childhood Services (Registration and Standards) Act 2011 (SA). 

What about teachers?

Teachers working in South Australia are required by law to have a working with children check. For more information about these checks and teacher registration, see ‘Working with children check’ on the Teachers Registration Board website.  

Keeping checks current

We strongly recommend that approved providers, nominated supervisors and employers develop a tracking and scheduling system for staff members’ working with children checks. This is a consideration in the assessment and rating of services.

It is important to apply for these checks well in advance to avoid delays, which can occur during periods of high demand.

Contact details

Education Standards Board
Phone: (08) 8226 0077 or 1800 882 413
Email: educationstandardsboard [at] 

This fact sheet provides guidance for approved providers of education and care services to help them operate in line with the National Quality Framework. We also recommend referring directly to the legislation: