Vulnerable person related screening
Vulnerable person-related employment screening involves an assessment of a person's criminal conviction history to assess any potential risk of harm an applicant might pose to the safety or wellbeing of vulnerable people, while either working or volunteering with vulnerable people.
When is it required?
There are no legislative or regulatory requirements for people to undergo this type of screening before they commence working with vulnerable people. However, an organisation may require this screening as part of its organisational policies or as a condition of employment. Whether this type of screening may be required depends on the inherent requirements of the role.
Some government departments and non-government organisations may require people working with vulnerable people to undergo this form of screening as a condition of employment or contractual responsibility.
Vulnerable person-related screening may be relevant for:
- information and communication technology (ICT) workers e.g. technicians who may have access to files regarding vulnerable individuals;
- people volunteering in aged care facilities that do not fall under the federal Aged Care Act 1997;
- health professional roles, ie nurses, radiographers, specialists.
If there is a current clearance for any of the other types of screening, eg aged care screening, for the individual concerned, there is no need to have a vulnerable-person related clearance as well.
What does it involve?
The DCSI Screening Unit provides a 'point in time' assessment of risk, based on the information disclosed to it at the time of screening. This information may be shared with the employing organisation.
If the DCSI Screening Unit assesses information about an applicant that indicates they may pose a risk of harm if engaged to work or volunteer with vulnerable people, the DCSI Screening Unit will contact the applicant to discuss the matter before finalising the assessment. Applicants have access to a review process in relation to their screening outcome.
The final decision-making responsibility about engagement rests with the employing organisation. Screening should be considered to be just one component of the overall recruitment process for employers, volunteers and anyone being engaged by the organisation, as part of the organisation's risk management. Screening can assist the organisation make informed decisions about recruitment of its employees and volunteers.
Who can conduct this type of screening?
Employer organisations can conduct their own vulnerable person-related screening. The organisation can require that their employees provide a National Police Certificate, which can be used by the organisation to conduct their own assessment in line with organisational requirements.
Refer to our Fact Sheet: Vulnerable Person-related Employment Screening (PDF 146.8 KB)