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    Memorandum of Understanding for a National Exchange of Criminal History Information for People Working with Children

    In November 2008, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed that, within 12 months, governments would take whatever legislative and administrative action necessary to expand the range the criminal history information they provide each other for child-related employment screening, to better protect children.

    The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a National Exchange of Criminal History Information for People Working with Children was signed by COAG Senior Officials on 26 November 2009. It sets out the arrangements for the exchange.

    Summary

    Prior to the MoU, Australian screening units generally only had access to convictions information held by other state and territory police services when considering the backgrounds of people applying to work with children.

    Under the MoU, participating screening units now routinely access from interstate other information about applicants, including:

    • spent convictions (convictions which, after a rehabilitation period, are otherwise no longer part of the person's criminal history and which the person need not otherwise disclose);
    • current charges not yet heard by a court;
    • (except from Victoria) prior charges, for example, charges withdrawn before being heard by a court; and
    • further police information about the circumstances of convictions or charges, for example, whether a child was the victim of, or involved in, an alleged offence.

    Screening units participating in the exchange include the Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian, which undertakes Queensland's working with children 'blue card' checks, and the Queensland College of Teachers.

    The Memorandum of Understanding is available publicly (.doc, 125) and was prepared by a COAG national working party led by Queensland's Department of the Premier and Cabinet.

    Read the Memorandum of Understanding. (.doc, 125)

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    Last updated:
    18 May, 2016
    Last reviewed:
    26 March, 2013