Monash University requires that staff undergo pre-employment checks for positions involving financial responsibilities, access to sensitive data or regular contact with minors. For the purposes of this procedure, pre-employment checks include Police Records Checks and Working with Children Checks.
These pre-employment checks are conducted in recognition of the University's duty of care to its students, staff, clients and resources. Police Records Checks help minimise the risk of inappropriate use of University finances and data and Working with Children Checks help ensure that a safe environment is provided for minors who attend the University.
This procedure is designed to complement the University's recruitment, selection, supervision and training practices.
This procedure applies to all staff at Monash University Australia including volunteer, honorary, consultant and contractor positions. Students who are required to undertake child-related work as part of their placement should contact their course convenor or professional placements office for information as to whether they are required to undertake a Working with Children Check.
Chair: the Chair of the Selection Committee convened as part of the University's selection process. The chair may delegate duties as appropriate. If a Selection Committee is not involved in an appointment, the appointing manager will adopt the responsibilities of the Chair.
Child: means a person who is under the age of 18 years.
Dean or Executive Director: means the dean of the faculty or executive director or his or her nominee in any case where the dean or director has formally nominated a person to act as his or her nominee for the purpose.
Hiring Manager: is the manager responsible for filling a staff vacancy, usually the supervisor of the position.
HR Business Partner: is a key member of the Monash HR Business Partnering community and provides strategic advice, guidance and solutions that underpin key client goals, HR strategy and organisational vision to a particular client group.
Interim Negative Notice: is a document that is provided by the Department of Justice to advise a candidate that a final decision has not yet been made for a Working with Children Check.
National Police Certificate: lists the results of a Police Records Check. The certificate will only be issued to the applicant.
Negative Notice: is a document that is provided by the Department of Justice to advise a candidate that they should not be given a Working with Children Check Card and should not engage in child-related work.
Payroll Services: is the Centre of Expertise in Monash HR which manages the payroll and related services.
Police Records Check: a Police Records Check identifies and releases information about a person's past criminal record and is only valid at the time of issue.
Rex: is Recruitment Express, the University's online recruitment system. Rex is used to manage the end-to-end recruitment and appointment process for all Monash employees and visitors. Rex is also used to manage the on-line application process for other University programs and initiatives.
Working with Children Check (WWC check): The Working with Children Act 2005 requires that people who work or volunteer in certain child-related work apply for, and pass, a WWC check. A WWC check considers certain offences and makes an assessment of the level of risk an individual poses to children's safety. A WWC Check is valid for five years (unless revoked).
Working with Children Check Card (also referred to as an Assessment Notice): is a document provided by the Department of Justice that advises that a candidate has been successful in a WWC check and may undertake child-related work.
Pre-employment Check: Police Records
The following is a step-by-step procedure for obtaining a Police Records Check.
Step 1: The HR Business Partner and the hiring manager determine when a Police Check is required
A Police Records Check is a mandatory requirement for all specified positions (existing or prospective) which requires a person as an inherent part of their employment to:
- have a financial delegation of more than $100,000; or
- deal regularly with significant amounts of cash and the Dean/Executive Director (or nominee) determines that this position requires the consideration of any police record before approving the appointment; or
- have access to personal information as determined under the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic).
A Police Records Check must be conducted prior to any offer of employment, promotion or internal transfer to a specified position being made.
Step 2: The HR Operations Centre ensures the requirement to undergo a Police Records Check is included in the position description
The HR Recruitment Team in the HR Operations Centre will:
- ensure that the requirement to undergo a Police Records Check is included in the final position description and associated documentation; and
- ensure that the following statement is included in the advertisement: "Making an appointment to this position is subject to a satisfactory Police Records Check".
Step 3: The Chair of the Selection Committee ensures the candidate understands the requirement to undergo a Police Records Check
The Chair of the Selection Committee must inform the candidates that they may be required to undergo a Police Records Check. The candidate can be referred to the Victoria Police website for further information.
It is normal practice to request a Police Records Check from the preferred candidate only. However, the Chair has the discretion to request more than one candidate undergo a check as required.
Step 4: The candidate applies for a Police Records Check
Once the preferred candidate has been selected, the Chair will provide the HR Recruitment Team, via email, the name of the successful candidate and advice that the candidate must undertake a Police Records Check.
The HR Recruitment Team must then advise the candidate to complete an application by following the instructions on the Victoria Police website. If accessibility is an issue the candidate can seek assistance from the HR Recruitment Team.
The candidate must complete a request for a Police Record Check online.
Candidates who are required to undergo a Police Records Check are able to receive reimbursement for the cost from their faculty or division. Current prices can be found on the Victoria Police website.
Victoria Police does not conduct police checks for candidates residing overseas or interstate. International candidates must apply to the Australian Federal Police for a National Police Certificate.
Step 5: The hiring manager or the HR Recruitment Teamsights the National Police Certificate
To ensure the protection of privacy, the National Police Certificate will only be forwarded to the candidate at their nominated postal address on the application form. The candidate must then provide the National Police Certificate to the hiring manager or HR Recruitment Team.
The hiring manger or HR Recruitment Team will:
- sight the original National Police Certificate;
- return the original National Certificate to the candidate; and
- where sighted by the hiring manager, email a copy of the National Police Certificate to the HR Recruitment Team to assess the outcome of the certificate.
For security purposes, only selected staff within the HR Recruitment Team will have access to copies of the certificate and will ensure they be kept confidential, securely stored and disposed of appropriately. Refer to the Privacy Procedure for further information.
Step 6: The HR Operations Centre assesses the National Police Certificate
The HR Recruitment Team will assess the outcome of the National Police Certificate to determine whether the candidate is suitable for the required position. The HR Recruitment Team may consult as appropriate with the relevant HR Business partner and/or Workplace Relations.
Step 7: Outcome of a Police Records Check
The HR Recruitment Team record the Police Records Checks in the SAP system.
The HR Recruitment Team must confirm that the candidate has received a satisfactory Police Records Check (no findings of guilt, outstanding charge or other matters) before the candidate commences in the specified position.
Delay in process
Victoria Police aims to process the National Police Certificate within 10 working days of the receipt of the application. The processing time may be delayed as information may be required from other jurisdictions. If this is the case, there are two options available - the staff member's start date may be deferred until the Police Records Check is returned or alternative options maybe be explored with Workplace Relations.
When a National Police Certificate lists a finding of guilt, outstanding charge or other matters, the HR Recruitment Team in conjunction with the HR Business Partner will manage the assessment process to determine the candidate's suitability for the position. A recommended candidate is not automatically precluded from a position on the basis of having a police record.
The HR Recruitment Team will assess the record of the candidate based on the following criteria:
- the relevance of the criminal offence in relation to the position;
- the nature of the offence and the relationship of the offence to the particular position for which the person is being considered;
- the length of time since the offence took place;
- whether the person was convicted or found guilty and placed on a bond;
- whether there is evidence of an extended police record;
- the number of offences committed which may establish a pattern of behaviour which renders the applicant unsuitable;
- whether the offence was committed as an adult or a juvenile;
- the severity of punishment imposed;
- whether the offence is still a crime, that is, has the offence now been decriminalised;
- whether there are other factors that may be relevant for consideration. For example, cultural factors or mitigating or extenuating circumstances; ie. provocation, peer group pressure at time of the offence and the circumstances in which the offence was committed or the effect of alcohol; and/or
- the person's general character since the offence was committed.
Any decision made for or against an appointment on the basis of a Police Records Check or statutory declaration (if applicable) must be supported by reasons and fully documented
Step 8: Decision not to appoint due to the outcome of a Police Records Check
Where there is a decision not to appoint due to the outcome of a Police Records Check the following actions will be undertaken:
- the HR Recruitment Team will communicate this outcome to the Chair and the HR Business Partner;
- the Chair must inform the candidate of the decision and its rationale; and
The Chair may provide an opportunity for the candidate to discuss the results.
Pre-employment check: WWC check
The following is a step-by-step procedure for obtaining a WWC check.
Step 1: The HR Business Partner and the hiring manager identify when a WWC is required.
The HR Business Partner will discuss with the hiring manager when a WCC check is required.
A WWC check is required for positions that meet all of the following criteria:
- the position involves contact with children in connection with one of the listed child-related occupational fields;
- the contact is unsupervised;
- involves direct contact with children under 18 years of age and is part of a person's duties; and
- the position does not qualify for an exemption.
The Department of Justice can provide further clarification on which positions require the check. Contact the Working with Children Check information line on 1300 652 879.
Step 2: The HR Operations Centre ensures the requirement for a WWC check is included in the position description
The HR Recruitment Team will:
- ensure that the requirement to undergo a WWC check is included in the final position description and associated documentation; and
- ensure that the following statement is included in the advertisement: "Making an appointment to this position is subject to a satisfactory Working with Children's Check".
Step 3: The Chair of the Selection Committee ensures the candidate understands the requirement to undergo a WWC check
The Chair of the Selection Committee must inform the candidates that they may be required to undergo a WWC check. The candidate can be referred to the Department of Justice for more information.
Step 4: The candidate applies for a WWC check
Once the preferred candidate has been selected, the Chair must provide the HR Recruitment Team, via email, the name of the successful candidate and advice that the candidate must undertake a WWC check.
The WWC check is administered by the Victorian Department of Justice.
The candidate must do as follows.
- complete a WWC check application form. A candidate can access a form on the Department of Justice - How to Apply website or they are available at Australia Post outlets in Victoria;
- provide details of their relevant organisational area and faculty or division under the section marked 'Details of Organisation';
- take the completed application form proof of identify documentation and a passport size photo to an Australia Post outlet in Victoria and
- pay the appropriate fee (free for volunteers).
Candidates who are required to undergo a WWC check may receive reimbursement for the cost from their faculty or division.
If the candidate passes the check, he or she will be sent a WWC Check Card 2 to 3 weeks later. The candidate must then provide a copy of the WWC Check Card to the HR Recruitment Team prior to commencement to assess the outcome of the check (refer to step 6 for a delay in process).
Step 5: The HR Operations Centre assesses the WWC Check Card
The HR Recruitment Team will check the card's validity on the Department of Justice - Check Status website; and ensure that Payroll Services has recorded the card number and expiry date in SAP.
Step 6: Outcome of a WWC check
Positive Assessment Notice
The HR Recruitment Team must ensure that the candidate has passed the WWC check prior to commencement.
Delay in process
Where the WWC check has not been completed prior to the commencement of employment, the HR Recruitment Team must notify the hiring manager (who may consult with the HR Business Partner) to confirm:
- whether approval is given for the employment to commence prior to the outcome of the WWC check; or
- whether the commencement of employment be delayed until the WWC check is confirmed and evidence of confirmation is provided to the University.
Where approval is given for the prospective staff member to commence employment prior to the outcome of the WWC check, the staff member and the supervisor must complete a Statutory Declaration and the following must occur:
- the hiring manager will monitor the duties/activities of the staff member until such time as the outcome of the WWC check is known; and
- the staff member must submit an application for a WWC check and receive a unique Application Receipt Number.
The staff member must not at any time been given a "Negative Notice" under the Working with Children Act 2005 and not been the subject of reporting/and or supervisor arrangements under the relevant sex offenders legislation.
The Working with Children Check Declaration will then be submitted to the HR Recruitment Team at email@example.com or Monash HR, Monash University VIC 3800.
The HR Recruitment Team must confirm that the prospective staff member has applied for the WWC Check Card by sighting the unique Application Receipt Number and require that the WWC Check Card be sighted as soon as possible.
In addition to this, the supervisor of the position must monitor the activities of the staff member until the check is completed.
Interim Negative Notice or Negative Notice for prospective candidates and existing staff
If the candidate does not pass the check they will be given an Interim Negative Notice. The Department of Justice will send a copy of the Interim Negative Notice to the University. However, the letter enclosing a copy of the Interim Negative Notice will not include information about the candidate's criminal history or about disciplinary findings. The applicant can then make a submission to the Department of Justice to explain why they believe they should pass. If this submission is not successful the applicant will be issued with a Negative Notice. This means they have failed the WWC check and are not permitted to undertake child-related work.
Existing staff who receive an Interim Negative Notice must inform the HR Recruitment Team in writing within seven working days. They will not be permitted to engage in child-related work while their application is being decided. Staff who receive a Negative Notice will not be permitted to engage in child-related work. The HR Recruitment Team must advise the Director Workplace Relations in either case. The staff member's employment may be subject to review in accordance with the relevant Enterprise Agreement.
Step 7: Changes to circumstances
The staff member has a responsibility to inform their manager and Monash HR if there have been any relevant changes in circumstances, for example if he or she has been charged or found guilty of a new relevant offence. The staff member must also apply for a new WWC check within three months of their card expiring.
Monitoring and Reporting
The Manager, Academic and Professional Recruitment in conjunction with Payroll Services will ensure monitoring processes are in place to check that relevant staff members hold a valid WWC Check Card at all times.
Director Workplace Relations
The Director Workplace Relations is responsible for:
- reviewing the staff member's employment subject to receiving an Interim Negative Notice or Negative Notice;
- ensuring compliance with this procedure and the WWC check legislation; and
- maintaining this procedure.
HR Recruitment Team, HR Operations Centre
The HR Recruitment Team in the HR Operations Centre is responsible for:
- ensuring the requirement for a Police Records Check or a WWC check is included in the position description and advertisement text;
- assessing the National Police Certificate and, checking the validity of the WWC Check Card;
- confirming the candidate has received a satisfactory Police Records Check and WWC check outcome before the candidate commences in the specified position;
- notifying the Chair of the selection committee of the outcome;
- ensuring monitoring processes are in place (in consultation with Payroll Services) to check that relevant staff members hold a valid WWC Check Card at all times;
- advising the Director Workplace Relations of staff who receive either an Interim Negative Notice or Negative Notice for WWC checks; and
- discussing options with Workplace Relations if there is a delay in the outcome of a Police Records Check and facilitating discussions with relevant parties.
HR Business Partner
The HR Business Partner is responsible for:
- establishing together with the hiring manager when a Police Check and/or WWC is required; and
- assisting the hiring manager with the administration of the Police Records Check process and/or WWC process as required.
Payroll Services, Monash HR is responsible for:
- recording the WWC Check card number and expiry date in SAP; and
- ensuring that monitoring processes are in place (in consultation with the HR Recruitment Team) to check that all relevant staff hold a valid WWC Check Card at all times
The hiring manger is responsible for:
- establishing, together with the HR Business Partner, when a Police Records Check and/or a WWC check is required;
- sighting the original National Police Certificate or WWC Check Card and emailing copies to the HR Recruitment Team for assessment; and
- assisting with the reimbursement process for the cost of a Police Records check and/or WWC.
The Chair is responsible for:
- informing the candidate in the interview that they may be required to undergo a Police Records Check or a WWC check;
- notifying the HR Recruitment Team that the candidate must undergo a Police Records Check and/or a WWC check; and
- informing a candidate of the decision not to appoint due to an unsuccessful Police Records Check or a WWC check.
The candidate is responsible for:
- applying for a Police Records Check or WWC check;
- providing the original National Police Certificate or WWC Check Card to the HR Recruitment Team;
- notifying the HR Recruitment Team in writing within seven working days if an Interim Negative Notice or Negative Notice is received (existing staff); and
- applying for a new WWC check within three months of their card expiring.
Related Enterprise Agreement Clause
- Conduct and Compliance Procedure - Privacy
- Fraud and Corruption: Reporting Procedures
- Fraud and Corruption: Control Procedures
- Recruitment Selection and Appointment Procedure - Recruitment of fixed-term and continuing staff
- Fraud and Corruption Policy
- Recruitment and Selection: policy and related procedures
- Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Victoria)
- Victoria Police website
- Working with Children Act 2005
- Victoria State Government Working With Children Check website
- Monash Univesrity Privacy Compliance Manual
|Effective date:||14 November 2016|
|Procedure author:||Director, Workplace Relations|
|Procedure owner:||Executive Director (Monash HR)|