Changes to laws for child-related organisations

A message from the Office of the Children’s Guardian …

We regulate and oversee organisations in NSW because children and young people have the right to be safe.

New access to national information
Recent changes to laws mean that the NSW Working with Children Check can access information held on a national database of people barred from working with children.
This database, known as the National Reference System, has been established by the Australian Government and is operated by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC).
This new measure means that the Office of the Children’s Guardian will be alerted if an applicant, or holder of a NSW clearance, has been barred from working with children in other states and territories.
We may also share information, including workplace misconduct information, with other states and territories when a person is barred from working with children in NSW.
There is more information on our website about these changes.

New requirement for heads of organisations
Changes also mean that heads of organisations under the Child Safe Scheme must now have a Working with Children Check clearance. This is because leaders should model the actions expected of their staff. Apply for a WWCC now.
Animal cruelty offences now WWCC barring offences
Additional changes have come into effect that will further strengthen the NSW Working with Children Check scheme by ensuring that NSW applicants or clearance holders will be automatically barred from working with children for a range of serious animal cruelty offences.
We have established a Memorandum of Understanding with RSPCA NSW and the Animal Welfare League for sharing animal cruelty information to support this change.
Reminder to verify new and renewed Checks
An expired Working with Children Check is not valid and must be renewed for the worker to remain in child-related work.
Applicants do the first step of applying for a new Check or renewing an existing one online at They then need to take their application number and identity documents to a Service NSW centre.
Employers can be penalised if they fail to verify that their workers or volunteers who work with children have a valid Working with Children Check or have applied for one. Find out more about penalties and compliance.
Make sure you keep your registration details up to date so we can contact you if a clearance is cancelled.

Child Safe – resources and training
There is much more to keeping children safe in your organisation than just the Working with Children Check. The Office of the Children’s Guardian provides online resources and tools to help you. Find out more at We also provide online training. Go to our Child Safe eLearning.

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