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The Working with Vulnerable People (Background Checking) Bill 2010 passed in the Legislative Assembly.
The ACT Government is committed to the support and protection of children and vulnerable adults.
On Tuesday, 25 October 2011 the Working with Vulnerable People (Background Checking) Bill 2010 was passed in the ACT Legislative Assembly. The Act introduces a requirement for people who have contact with vulnerable people in the course of engaging in certain regulated activities or services to be registered with a Statutory Screening Unit (Background Screening Unit) to be established in the Office of Regulatory Services, Justice and Community Safety Directorate.
The Act will commence no later than 12 months after being notified on the Legislation Register.
Throughout the development of the Working with Vulnerable People (Background Checking) Bill 2010 and the Bill’s supporting legislation, the ACT Government has continued to consult with stakeholders. Comments received have been invaluable in assisting to shaping the Act. The Consultation Report is available below for your information.
An Information Book is also available. This book provides answers to all the questions raised by stakeholders to date.
The Office of Regulatory Services has established transitional provisions about the introduction of the scheme. It is expected that in the first year of operation all employees and volunteers who provide regulated services to children will be checked in the first year of operation. All employees and volunteers providing regulated services to children and adults will be subject to checking from years two to six of the schemes operation.
A comprehensive review of the Act will occur in year four of the implementation phase. No new background checks will occur during this year.
FACT Sheets, call for nominations to the Working with Vulnerable People Implementation Advisory Group, and other information is available on ORS website Working_with_Vulnerable_People
The ACT Government is committed to the support and protection of vulnerable people.
On 26 August 2010, the Minister for Community Services Directorate, Ms Joy Burch MLA, tabled the Working with Vulnerable People (Background Checking) Bill 2010 in the ACT Legislative Assembly.
The purpose of the Bill is to reduce the risk of harm to vulnerable people by establishing a mandatory background checking and risk assessment system for people working with vulnerable people in the ACT.
Throughout the development of the Bill and supporting legislation, the ACT Government has continued to consult with stakeholders. Comments received have been invaluable as they have informed further development and shaping of the documents.
On 19 August 2009, the ACT Government sought community comment in response to a discussion paper on a proposed background checking system for people working with vulnerable people in the ACT. Stakeholder submissions were posted online and a consultation report was released in February 2010.
Stakeholder comments received in response to the discussion paper were carefully considered in the development of a Working with Vulnerable People Checks Policy Position. The Working with Vulnerable People (Background Checking) Bill 2010 is based on the policy position.
On 29 September 2010 the Minister for Community Services Directorate, Ms Joy Burch MLA, hosted a community roundtable which included community representatives and statutory office holders. Comment was sought from participants to ensure that risk assessments underpinning the proposed background checking system are undertaken with robust consistency.
Consultation on the supporting documents continued throughout 2011, with the most recent round concluding on 9 September 2011.
Documentation relating to the consultation process such as the Discussion Paper, Policy Position, Summary Record of the Community Roundtable, stakeholder submissions, and Information Book are available via the links below. The Information Book provides responses to the questions raised by stakeholders to date.
If you would like more information on this topic, please contact Mr Keith Ward, Manager, on 6207 1921 or via email Working with Vulnerable People
Are you able to assist people applying for a Working with Vulnerable People Background Checking
The Bill was passed by the ACT Legislative Assembly in October 2011. With the commencement of the checking scheme on 8 November 2012, certain employees and volunteers who work, or seek to work, with children or vulnerable adults will be required to undergo a criminal record check and other background checks.
Recent consultations have indicated that the community wants an easily accessible list of agencies, organisations, and individual ‘champions’ who will be available to support an applicant through the application process including, where necessary, advocating on behalf of, or alongside, the applicant.
Summary Record of the community Roundtable: A Working with Vulnerable People Background Checking System for the ACT [PDF 119KB] [RTF 2MB]
Policy Position: A Working with Vulnerable People Checking System for the ACT [PDF 229KB] [RTF 734KB]
Factsheet: Working with Vulnerable People [PDF 34KB] [RTF 415KB]
Discussion Paper: A Working with Vulnerable People Checking System for the ACT [PDF 505KB] [Word 393KB]
Consultation Report: A Working with Vulnerable People Checking System for the ACT [PDF 154KB] [RTF 435KB]
Stakeholder Submissions in Reponse to Discussion Paper
There were 38 submissions received during the consultation period. A further 20 informal comments were received via telephone, email or web forum.
Formal written stakeholder submissions received in response to the discussion paper are posted below unless otherwise requested by the author.
ACT Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing [PDF 111KB] [RTF 815KB]
ACT Chamber of Commerce and Industry [PDF 135KB] [RTF 17KB]
ACT Children and Youth Services Council [PDF 15KB] [RTF 10KB]
ACT Human Rights Commission - Children [PDF 226KB] [RTF 433KB]
ACT Human Rights Commission - Disability [PDF 119KB] [RTF 393KB]
ACT Human Rights Commission - Discrimination [PDF 170KB] [RTF 406KB]
ACT Playgroup Association [PDF 31KB] [RTF 22KB]
ACT Scouts [PDF 48KB] [RTF 154KB]
ACT Council of Social Services [PDF 143KB]
Australian Business and Community Network [PDF 249KB]
Australian Education Union [PDF 40KB] [RTF 128KB]
Australian Psychological Society Limited [PDF 323KB]
Australian Red Cross [PDF 581KB]
Australian Sports Commission (Commonwealth) [PDF 329KB]
Canberra Refugee Support Inc [PDF 77KB] [RTF 128KB]
Carers ACT [PDF 209KB] [RTF 273KB]
Communities at Work [PDF 72KB]
FaHCSIA [PDF 86KB]
Headspace - University of Canberra [PDF 15KB] [RTF 9KB]
Helen Child [PDF 15KB] [RTF 9KB]
Individual Anonymous [PDF 82KB] [RTF 22KB]
Jennifer Manson [PDF 15KB] [RTF 8KB]
Karl Schaffarczyk [PDF 16KB] [RTF 9KB]
Mental Illness Education ACT [PDF 97KB] [RTF 23KB]
National Disability Services ACT [PDF 120KB] [RTF 609KB]
Northside Community Service [PDF 30KB] [RTF 30KB]
NSW Department of Human Services: Ageing, Disability and Home Care [PDF 122KB]
Office of the Privacy Commissioner (Commonwealth) [PDF 79KB] [RTF 290KB]
Refugee Resettlement Committee [PDF 184KB]
Returned and Services League of Australia - ACT Branch [PDF 179KB]
Safe Church Network [PDF 38KB] [RTF 53KB]
Salvation Army ACT [PDF 422KB]
Vision Australia [PDF 437KB] [RTF 114KB]
YMCA Canberra [PDF 106KB] [RTF 161KB]
Youth Coalition of the ACT [PDF 321KB]