Since the implementation of Victorian Working With Children legislation, one of the groups of people who are exempt from the requirement to hold a Working With Children Check (WWCC) in Victoria in order to work with children are teachers registered with the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT).
For many churches, this has caused considerable frustration and admin burden: the church is obliged to checking that the VIT registration is still valid, but would not get notified if there were any suspensions or cancellations, or if the teacher was under investigation for misconduct. (It is even more complicated to screen a member of the police force, but there are far fewer of them than teachers!)
To address the issue of how to adequately screen people with exemptions under the WWC Act, many organisations implemented a local policy whereby those exempt from needing a WWCC were asked to get one anyway, a practice that was allowed for in the legislation. The blanket approach streamlined admin and gave churches additional reassurance that everyone working with children as part of their programs was legally allowed to do so.
In September 2019 the Victorian Government and the VIT introduced a new requirement whereby people holding VIT registration must also link their VIT registration number to organisations outside of their employment where they work with children, eg. churches and youth groups.
If a teacher’s registration is suspended or cancelled, WWCCV will notify the organisations where the teacher does child-related work (other than their teaching) that the teacher is no longer exempt from holding a WWCC.
This means that churches may wish to review their policies. If you decide to keep it as a blanket approach and still require all teachers, police, and those with exemptions to have a WWCC, you are welcome to do so.
See the information at the links below for further detail and in order to action this. Any questions about this may be directed to the Safe Places Coordinator.
Victorian Institute of Teaching Information