Screening of people working in the health care sector is important, as many people working in this sector work with vulnerable people such as children, people with a disability, or people in aged care. The type of screening required in each case is based on the nature of position/role the employee or volunteer will be performing, and not the location in which they are working.
SA Health is one of the DCSI Screening Unit's largest clients, providing many important services to the community, including public hospitals and metropolitan and country health service delivery, to protect and improve the health of South Australians.
The agency has a duty of care to ensure that the risk of harm to clients, patients, employees, other workers and the organisation is minimised through, amongst other things, sound recruitment, selection and management practices.
Relevant history screening is important in ensuring that SA Health complies with its legal requirements and ensure that risks to clients (including vulnerable clients), patients, employees, other workers and the organisation are minimized.
It should be noted that under some circumstances more than one type of criminal or relevant history screening may be appropriate and required for a position. For more information about SA Health's requirements in relation to screening, contact SA Health direct (website: www.sahealth.sa.gov.au).
Legislative requirements and policies
Child-related employment screening is required if the role is a 'prescribed position' under the Children's Protection Act 1993 (SA) and associated Regulations. Only DCSI Screening Unit criminal and relevant history screening assessments are accepted for working in prescribed positions in SA Health covered by the Children's Protection Act.
Where child-related employment screening is not required, it is SA Health's policy that it is sufficient to obtain a National Police Certificate from SA Police, which is a summary of a person's offender history in Australia.
Employees at SA Health sites which provide aged-care services funded by the Commonwealth Government are required to obtain a National Police Certificate and show that they meet clearance requirements as per the Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth) and the Aged Care Accountability Principles (2014) (which provide specific details about what is required or permitted under the Act).
SA Health has specific policies in relation to screening requirements, which help to ensure that screening requirements are met in a fair and consistent manner across SA Health. In accordance with its policies, no person, whether or not currently working in SA Health, will be eligible for appointment to a position in SA Health unless they have undergone an appropriate criminal and relevant history screening assessment.
Further information is contained in the Criminal and Relevant History Screening Policy Directive which applies to all employees or prospective employees of SA Health.
For more information about SA Health's requirements in relation to screening, it is recommended that you contact SA Health direct.
- Website: www.sahealth.sa.gov.au
In January of each year there is an influx of new interns into SA Health seeking employment, including employment roles with hospitals. As they are required to obtain a screening clearance prior to their work engagement, the DCSI Screening Unit receives a high volume of applications from SA Health at that time.
It is therefore recommended that screening applications be submitted as early as possible, so that employees will not experience delays in commencing or retaining their employment while awaiting their screening clearance/s.
DCSI Screening clearances remain valid for three years. Where a DCSI child-related screening clearance is still valid (i.e. issued less than three years before); this screen has to be accepted by the relevant authorities in SA Health unless there is clear justification why the screening should be renewed.
To facilitate renewals, SA Health has introduced a policy that it will notify its employees 6 months prior the expiry date of their current clearance that their employment screening clearance requires renewal.