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Applying for an Authority to employ children in NSW

Who needs an Authority?

You are required to hold an Authority if you are:

  • an organisation or individual who directs a child to perform tasks for payment
  • an industry student who, as part of your studies, directs a child to perform tasks. This is required when directing children in paid or unpaid activities


  • you employ children under 15 years of age for work in exhibition or entertainment, still photography or door-to-door sales or
  • you employ children under 16 years of age for modelling work.

Types of Authority

  • Entertainment and exhibition
  • Still photography
  • Door-to-door sales
  • Student

Employment activities that need an Authority

The types of activities include (but are not limited to):

  • film and video performance
  • television commercials
  • television series
  • recordings for digital media
  • live performances
  • theatre
  • still photography
  • performance activities including modelling, promotional work, performance art, public speaking and public performance
  • recordings for DVDs and the internet
  • radio performances
  • sound recordings and voiceovers
  • catwalk modelling
  • door-to-door sales.

These preparatory activities are also included:

  • rehearsals
  • wardrobe fittings
  • sound recordings (both pre and post production)
  • publicity activities.

The Office of the Children’s Guardian can also determine whether an activity is employment in situations where a child is not receiving payment or material benefit.

How to apply

Once approved, you will be issued with an Authority certificate by email. The process takes approximately three working days.
We will contact you if there are issues with payment processing or compliance.


Duration of AuthorityEntertainment and exhibition  Still photography and door-to-door salesStudents
1 week$200$100Nil fees
3 months$1,830$806Nil fees
6 months$2,040$914Nil fees
12 months$2,400$1,075Nil fees

(GST included)


You may be exempt from holding an employer’s Authority in certain circumstances. Exempt employers need to apply to us and comply with the Code of Practice.

Find out more about exemptions.



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