Working with children clearance

Every staff member working in a school must hold a current working with children clearance, also called an Ochre Card, or have a current exemption in place.

Staff members that need a clearance include:

  • relief teachers, in addition to being registered through the Teacher Recruitment System (TRS) - managers must verify the currency of an Ochre Card and TRS registration before engaging a relief teacher
  • any worker who may, during the ordinary course of their work or duties, have access to student information or student records, whether in electronic form or hard copy - this includes any worker providing information technology services, at a departmental site or otherwise.

Other workers

If it is not readily apparent whether a worker may perform child-related work, and the worker does not fall within one of the above categories, the manager must determine the need for an Ochre Card taking into account the following:

  • if the worker will have any form of physical contact with children
  • if the worker will have any form of verbal contact with children, either face to face or by other means
  • if the worker will have any form of written communication with children.

Situations must be assessed on a case-by-case basis, always ensuring the wellbeing of children is the paramount consideration.

Application fees

The Department of Education will pay the application fee for the issue or renewal of an Ochre Card for workers directly employed by the department in schools.

School representative bodies

School representative bodies are expected to adopt the same standards and requirements for the engagement of their own employees and contractors, as set out in the working with children clearance policy.

Principal requirements

Principals need to ensure the school’s Ochre Card register is up to date, and every staff member holds a current Ochre Card or has a current exemption in place.

Read more about the working with children clearance policy.

Last updated: 12 October 2017