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Thousands have their working with children clearances extended

31 March 2020

The Office of the Children’s Guardian has been in touch with thousands of people whose Working With Children Check clearance are soon due to expire, letting them know that they have been given an additional six months before they need to renew.

This measure was part of a suite of changes passed in NSW Parliament last week in response to circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Children’s Guardian has extended all clearances that were due to expire from 26 March 2020 to 26 September 2020.

The six-month extension applies from the date of the person’s current expiry date. Further extensions may be applied should they be needed.

This important step will ease the burden for people who need a Working With Children Check clearance, NSW Children’s Guardian, Janet Schorer, said.

“About 100,000 clearances are coming up for renewal in the next six months. This includes teachers and medical staff who require a clearance. This step will help prevent any disruption to services because of COVID-19,” Ms Schorer said.

A NSW Working With Children Check lasts for 5 years and then needs to be renewed.

One of the strengths of the NSW system is that it is underpinned by ongoing, continuous checking.

The Children’s Guardian will continue to monitor the extended clearances and advise employers should anyone become barred through this continuous monitoring.

Anyone applying for a clearance for the first time will still need to apply through the normal processes, which include attending a Service NSW Centre to verify their identity.