Schools students may need to undergo relevant history screening for a placement related to their studies, eg for a work experience placement where they will be working with children or vulnerable adults.

For example, TAFE or high school students on work experience, where they will be working with children, may be required undergo child-related employment screening. This is mandatory pursuant to the Children's Protection Regulations (2010).

For more information about screening requirements for school students, please go to the Department of Education and Child Development web page.


University and TAFE students

When is screening required?

Students who will be taking work placements as part of their studies may be required to undergo screening for some types of placement, before your placement, to ensure both your safety and the safety of the general public are maintained during your placement.  Whether or not screening is required is related to the requirements of the duties or functions to be carried out in the placement.

If you do not meet pre-placement requirements, you will be unable to attend your placement, which may prevent or delay you from completing your topic, and possibly your degree.

Students need to be aware that a criminal record may result in placements not being offered. This will depend on the nature of the criminal history and the type of agencies offering placement.

Examples of where screening may be required are:

  • a placement providing education and children's services requiring the student to have a child-related employment screening clearance;
  • courses in medicine providing compulsory clinical experiences;
  • students who will be working in health care, aged care and disability services should obtain appropriate employment screening at the start of their studies, so as to facilitate placements and eligibility to work after graduation;
  • organisations under SA Health and other aged care and private health sector organisations may require employment screening to be conducted through the DCSI Screening Unit.

In addition, students who work in universities must obtain appropriate employment screening. For example, child-related employment screening may be required for:

  • a student working in health services provided to the public e.g a university clinic or gym; and/or
  • a students who attends external venues to supervise/facilitate students where there may be children or vulnerable adults present;
  • a student working as a tutor to university students (university students who are not yet eighteen years of age are considered legal minors i.e. 'children').

Other key points:

  • Different placement providers require different criminal history / working with vulnerable persons checks, so you may need to apply for more than one type of screening clearance;
  • For interstate placements, refer to the relevant legislation in that State;
  • Screening clearances from the DCSI Screening Unit are valid for three years.  If you already have a current clearance you should not normally have to be re-screened.

Applying for screening

The relevant university can act as the Requesting Organisation for the purposes of submitting a screening application for a student in relation to their placement.  The university does not have to be the workplace (e.g. school/hospital) where the placement actually takes place.

How long will screening take?

Screening time frames:  It should be noted that screening can take up to 8 weeks or longer before an outcome is determined.  To prevent delays, it is recommended that university and TAFE students submit their screening applications as early as possible. This will help avoid any disruption to any placements while awaiting a screening assessment.

A marked increase of screening applications occurs every year in February and March when tertiary students are required to provide a clearance before they can participate in student placements as part of their tuition.

For more information

University of South Australia:

The University of SA has a devolved human resources (HR) structure which means many of their HR staff situated at different campus/locations are involved at the recruitment stage, and may be required to assist with providing information to the DCSI Screening Unit as the Requesting Officer on behalf of the University.

The University of SA's Clinical Placement Unit website provides information about screening for students studying for work in the health care sector.

University of Adelaide:

Students who are required to undertake child-related work as part of a project or professional placement should contact their course convenor for information as to whether they are required to obtain an assessment and letter of clearance from the DCSI Screening Unit.

Pre-employment screening may require a police check from the South Australian Police (SAPOL) or child-related screening by the DCSI Screening Unit for those who have contact with children through their employment, i.e. if their role is a prescribed position as defined under the Children's Protection Act 1993 (SA).  You may wish to refer to the University of Adelaide's website for more information about their pre-employment screening requirements:

Flinders University

For information about screening requirements for students in preparation for placements, please refer to the Flinders University website: