Working with Children clearances extended in NSW during COVID-19 pandemic

Working with Children clearances extended in NSW during COVID-19 pandemic

by Freya Lucas

March 31, 2020

The Office of the Children’s Guardian, the New South Wales authority charged with monitoring working with children clearances in the state, have been in touch with thousands of educators, and others who have roles requiring clearance, to extend the date of expiration on their clearance for an additional six months. 


Those with clearances which are soon due to expire have been contacted in relation to the extension, which was part of a suite of changes passed in NSW Parliament last week in response to circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. 


The Children’s Guardian has extended all clearances that were due to expire from 26 March 2020 to 26 September 2020. The six-month extension applies from the date of the person’s current expiry date. 


Further extensions may be applied should they be needed, with the measure designed to ‘ease the burden’ for people who need a Working With Children Check clearance, NSW Children’s Guardian Janet Schorer said. 


“About 100,000 clearances are coming up for renewal in the next six months. This includes teachers and medical staff who require a clearance. This step will help prevent any disruption to services because of COVID-19,” Ms Schorer explained. 


The NSW Working with Children Check is valid for five years, at which point it needs to be renewed. While the extensions have been granted, the Office was quick to point out that the system is “underpinned by ongoing, continuous checking” and that the Children’s Guardian will continue to monitor the extended clearances and advise employers should anyone become barred through the continuous monitoring process. 


More information about Working with Children Checks in NSW is available here