Working with Children

Working with Children Checks in a bowls club setting

FAQ: If we have juniors/juveniles who are under 18 years old in our team/division, do any of the adults need a Working with Children check?

Sometimes the U18s play at our club and sometimes it is at another club. Sometimes we have a Team Manager and other times its someone else in the team that looks after the U18s.  Who would require a WWC check? 

Background information

The three main organisational responsibilities under the Working with Children (Criminal Record Checking) Act 2004, the Act, are:

  1. Anyone who requires a WWC card must have one (unless exempt)
  2. Anyone prohibited from child related work must be removed from any position that involves working with children (under 18yo)
  3. Keep records

The following resource has been designed for sport and recreation organisations to help understand the requirements of the Act:

 Working with Children Checks – Information for the WA Sport and Recreation industry

  • The process flow (page 8) helps determine who is in scope for a WWC card using three specific questions
  • All positions at a sport clubs or organisation (incorporated or not) can be tested using the three questions, with the outcomes recorded on a record keeping sheet like the sample here 
  • Record the outcomes for each position in scope for WWC, even if exempt, stating which exemptions applies
  • Notes on the three questions (page 8):
Categories 4, 5, 12, 15 and 16 are the most relevant to sport (all listed on page 9)
Category 4: a coaching or private tuition service of any kind, but not including an informal arrangement entered into for private or domestic purposes;
Category 5: An arrangement for the accommodation or care of children, whether in a residential facility or private residence, but not including an informal arrangement made by a parent of the child concerned or accommodation or care provided by a relative of the child;
Category 12: a club association or movement (including of a cultural, recreational or sporting nature and whether incorporated or not) with a significant membership or involvement of children, but not including an informal arrangement entered into for private or domestic purposes;
Category 15: an overnight camp, regardless of the type of accommodation or how many children are involved;
Category 16: a transport service specifically for children
  • In a sport club setting, the agreement(written or unwritten) by a person with another person or organisation, to engage in child-related work for payment or on a voluntary basis – can be an elected or appointed position or simply a volunteer agreeing to take on a particular role
    • Q2, contact is defined in the Act as (i) Any form of physical contact, or (ii) Any form of oral communication, whether face-to-face, by telephone or otherwise, or (iii) any form of electronic communication
    • Q3, common exemptions in sport are noted on page 10.  Being exempt means, you cannot apply for a WWC card as you are considered not in child related work
  • The remainder of the booklet advises on key parts to consider:
    • Applying for a WWC check (page 13);
    • What to do if a person already has a current WWC card(page 15); and
    • Actioning an interim negative notice or negative notice, in other words, what to do when a person is prohibited from working with children (page 18).

ANSWER TO THE FAQ:

Firstly, players in the team who are only playing, would not be considered as being in child related work, regardless of age.

Child related work –  is defined in the Act as happening when a person does certain paid or unpaid work with children

Simply taking part in the activity alongside children also ‘playing bowls’ is not child related work.

In order to identify whether someone in a particular role or position, and who is a member of your organisation, is doing work by agreement and requires a WWC assessment you could consider the following.

In each case, start with the position (questions 1 and 2), end with the person (question 3, exemptions):

  1. Identify the positions of authority within the team i.e. is anyone considered to be in charge?
  2. Identify any positions of authority at your own club when playing there – who are the people in positions of authority – this can be those in charge at the club and or upholders of the rules (match officials) and or those trusted adults doing work with children (can be someone coaching or managing a team, for example)?
  3. In each case, ask the three questions of those ‘positions’ for example, take the position of a ‘TEAM MANAGER’
    • TEAM MANAGER position: to start with, think of this role in principle i.e. not any person doing the role,at this point – this goes to the intention of the role itself i.e. to manage a team, where children are involved. The ‘person’ will come at question 3 when you consider exemptions
      • Question 1: Is the TEAM MANAGER position one put in place by agreement, that is paid or unpaid and the work is connected to any of the categories of child related work (see page 9 of the booklet)
        • ANSWERS: yes,the position of Team Manager would be done by agreement, likely a decision by the club committee/ board, the work is voluntary so unpaid and the work it self is connected to the following categories:
          • category 12: a club association or movement (including of a cultural, recreational or sporting nature and whether incorporated or not) with a significant membership or involvement of children, but not including an informal arrangement entered into for private or domestic purposes. Other categories that could also apply include:
          • category 16: a transport service specifically for children, if the TEAM MANAGER position is also responsible for driving the juveniles to the other club at any point in the season.
      • Question 2:Do the usual duties of the work done by the TEAM MANAGER position involve or are they likely to involve contact with a child?
        • ANSWERS: yes, the Team Manager would be very likely be expected as part of their usual duties to have at least one of the forms of contact as defined in the act: (i) Any form of physical contact, or (ii) Any form of oral communication, whether face-to-face, by telephone or otherwise, or (iii) any form of electronic communication
      • Question 3:Now think of the person – does an exemption apply (to that person)? See the common exemptions (page 10)
        • ANSWERS:The answer to this depends on both category of child related work and the person in each case – refer to factsheet 2 that helps with exemptions applying to each category:
          • If the TEAM MANAGER is unpaid, a volunteer, and the person in the position is the parent of one of the juveniles then the Parent Volunteer Exemption (PVE) would apply to the work connected to both categories 12 and 16.  The Parent Volunteer Exemption is described as: work carried out on a voluntary basis by a parent of a child who is involved, or is ordinarily involved in some, or all, of the activities of the club, association or movement
          • If the answer is NO, an exemption doesn’t apply then the person requires a WWC check.
  4. Having applied the three questions to the TEAM MANAGER position in general you now know that it is likely to be in scope for WWC.  Then, so long as all the conditions are met as in the above example, you can then apply the third question to each person taking on the position in order to check if they are exempt or not. 
  5. If the answer to question three is YES – AN EXEMPTION applies, they are not required to apply for a WWC card. 
  6. You would record this outcome on the spreadsheet and move on to the next person who has agreed to be a TEAM MANAGER for the club, if there is more than one person agreeing to be in that position.
  7. Repeat the above for each of the identified positions/roles from points 1. And 2. above.
  8. If traveling to another club, that other club/organisation would have the same responsibilities under the Act if undertaking events involving children.

Other resources available

Working with Children more information

Factsheet18 – information for sport and recreation sector (Working with Children Screening Unit)

Support and Advice Safe Clubs for Kids