Procedures for UniSA staff applying for a criminal history clearance

Human Resources Unit, September 2006
amended 2 September 2008
updated March 2012
updated November 2014


Pursuant to the Children’s Protection Act 1993 (SA) and the Aged Care Act 1997, individuals who have direct contact with children, vulnerable adults or aged care services are required to obtain a criminal history clearance before undertaking work at the organisation. The purpose of the clearance is to minimise the risk of harm to children and vulnerable adults.

The following procedure applies to UniSA staff who have direct contact with children or vulnerable adults, particularly at education venues and healthcare venues. The procedure reflects current requirements and will be amended as changes to these requirements are forthcoming.

Employment Screening Options

Employment screening is conducted by the Department of Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI). The screening process undertaken by the DCSI uses a risk assessment protocol based on the relevant legislation pursuant to which screening is required.

The types of screening currently conducted by DCSI include:

  •  Child-Related Employment Screening (This will be the most common category of screening required by the University, as per the University’s Children’s Protection Policy C-29);
  •  Disability Services Employment Screening;
  •  Vulnerable Person-Related Employment Screening; and
  •  Employment Probity Checks.

The Healthcare Sector, including Aged Care and Disability Services

Organisations under SA Health and other aged care and private health sector organisation may prefer or require employment screening to be conducted through the DCSI. To facilitate placements and eligibility to work after graduations, students who will be working in this sector should obtain appropriate employment screening at the start of their studies.

Staff and students who work in UniSA in health services provided to the public, for example in UniSA clinics and gyms, and/or who attend external venues to supervise/facilitate students where there may be children or vulnerable adults present, must obtain appropriate employment screening through DCSI.

The Education Sector

Organisations providing education and children’s services also require employment screening through the DCSI. It is recommended that staff whose position may involve, either generally or in a particular circumstance, working with children in organisations providing education and children’s services wholly or partly for children obtain Child-Related Employment Screening to assess suitability to work with children. Staff with a current teacher registration do not need to undertake this screening, is it is obtained as part of the registration process.

The University is also deemed to be within the Education Sector and students who are not yet eighteen are legal minors (‘children’). Accordingly, some staff may require employment-related screening if they work with children in the course of performing their duties for the University. For more information about this requirement, refer to the Children’s Protection Policy C-29 and the At a Glance Guide to Identifying a Prescribed Position.

Process to obtain a National Police Certificate (NPC)

In some cases, employment screening is not required and an NPC is sufficient. The process for obtaining a NPC is as follows:

  1.  Obtain an application form from a local police station or online at the SA Police website.
  2.  Fill in the application form online or in hard copy and return to a local police station with 100 points of ID, original and photocopy (point values are listed on the form) of the application form.
  3.  Pay the relevant fee.
  4.  Have the NPC posted to your home address – allow two to three weeks for it to arrive.

The information on the NPC may be assessed by the relevant healthcare organisation or education sector organisation.

Process to obtain Employment Screening

The process for obtaining Employment Screening is as follows:

  1. Complete the appropriate Informed Consent Form available on the DCSI website.
  2.  All applicants are required to have their identification verified by the production of documentary evidence to the minimum standard of the 100 Point Check. The applicant’s identification must be verified prior to lodgement. Australia Post staff are not authorised to verify identification. Identification can be verified by responsible person in the applicant’s requesting organisation, a Justice of the Peace or Commissioner for taking Affidavits (Solicitor, Barrister or Proclaimed Police Officer).
  3.  The cost of lodging an application is notified on the DCSI website and is the responsibility of the staff member. Australia Post will collect and lodge your application with DCSI.
  4.  Once processed, you will be sent a clearance outcome letter from the DSCI. An email notification of clearance will also be forwarded to the requesting officer, as listed on the application.

It is important that staff retain the original document for their records. The University is only able to keep minimal information about criminal history clearances for a restricted period of time.

Process in the event of non clearance

The information provided to the University by the DSCI will include the applicant’s name and notice of "clearance", “specific clearance”, or “clearance refused”. Where clearance is granted, the Requesting Officer (in general, the local human resource staff representative) will be notified.

If the DCSI find that a staff member has not been cleared, or can only be specifically cleared, they will notify an Authorised Officer of the University. That Officer will make an immediate appointment with the staff member. At that appointment the staff member will be advised of options available to them. Those options include providing further information to demonstrate there is no risk, or agreeing to work under restricted conditions.

Questions or Concerns

Should any staff member feel that they are unreasonably disadvantaged by the requirement to undertake a criminal history clearance, or by any part of the process or outcome, please put your concerns in writing to:

The Executive Director: People, Talent and Culture
University of South Australia
GPO Box 2471
Adelaide SA 5001

Associated Policy
Children’s Protection Policy C-29