Obligations of the Organisation
Organisations (such as sporting clubs) must screen persons who are filling roles providing child related services through the Queensland Government’s Blue Card system (different regulations apply for organisations based in other states) under the jurisdiction of the Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian (CCYPCG). There is an exception to this, where a parent is involved (as a coach, team manager, scorer or general assistant) in the team that has a child of theirs in the team. If they are performing any roles in any other teams (or throughout the organisation) other than the one / ones that have their child / children in them, they will need to apply for a Blue Card. As well as the listed exception, there are also persons who are exempt from requiring a Blue Card, however, they are required to apply for an Exemption Card. These persons are registered Police Officers, Teachers & Health Practitioners (for Registered Health Practitioners please click here). A print out explaining the Blue Card system can be found here.
A flow chart of who is required to hold a Blue Card can be viewed here. Committee members are required to hold valid Blue Cards.
Please do not be misunderstood, persons who apply for Volunteer Blue Cards (including Trainee Students) cannot commence child related services with the organisation until both the Positive Notice letter & Blue Card have been issued. This is not the case with persons applying for Paid Employment Blue Cards or for Exemption Cards.
It is the organisation’s responsibility to identify persons seeking to apply for a Blue Card to work with their organisation. This is done through the Identification Check, where photocopies of the identification provided by the applicant must be attached to the Blue Card application. It is advisable to keep a copy of all correspondence from CCYPCG, Blue Card application & confirmation forms, as well as photocopied identification documentation in a secure area that is only accessible by authorised persons within the organisation.
If a person already possesses a Blue Card or Exemption Card obtained externally to the organisation, they are still required to be
identified using the Identification Check & undergo a screening check to ensure that the card they hold is valid. An initial online check can be performed, it is very important that the person’s identification matches the card’s details exactly, the signature is the same & that the card is still valid. On the provision that this is all satisfactory, the person & organisation must complete & lodge the Authorisation to confirm a valid card / application form.
It is critical that the Authorisation to confirm a valid card / application form is lodged from the organisation’s perspective, as it then connects the Cardholder with the organisation in the event that any change in the Cardholder’s status arises. There is also a form (Notification – no longer in child-related employment) that is required to be lodged when Cardholders cease having an involvement with the organisation to separate the organisation from the Cardholder from the perspective of the CCYPCG.
Cardholders must hold the correct Blue Card for their involvement at an organisation. For example, a person who holds a Volunteer Blue Card (this is indicated by the ‘V’ on the right hand side of the card) cannot perform child related duties for which they are paid. The person & organisation must complete & lodge a Volunteer to Paid Employment Transfer application form (there is an application fee payable, check the latest application forms for the fee). Persons who hold Paid Employment Blue Cards are eligible to perform in voluntary roles, subject to the confirmation of the validity of their Blue Card via the appropriate form (Authorisation to confirm a valid card / application). More information about this process can be found here.
A Cardholder is obliged to inform the club if there has been a change in their police information (the Cardholder is not obliged to go into any further detail). At this point, the organisation must cease all involvement with the Cardholder until the Notification - change in police information form has been lodged. The CCYPCG will then reassess the Cardholder’s suitability. At this point in time, the organisation’s risk management policy & processes may determine that the management of the Cardholder’s involvement with the organisation may alter until such time as the CCYPCG finalise their assessment.
Every organisation must have policies & processes relating to child protection within their overall risk management policy.
Failing to properly adhere to the legislation can expose organisations (including committee members) to an unacceptable level of risk.
To aid organisations in meeting their obligations regarding risk management & child protection, a toolkit has been provided that contains items such as codes of conduct, incident forms, job descriptions, training materials, scenarios, risk matrixes, strategies to combat risk, requirements for compliance with the relevant Act & links to other resources.
As part of meeting an organisation’s requirements to child protection, it is strongly recommended that all clubs keep an up to date Blue Card register, with details of the Cardholder, the type of Blue Card & its expiry date (Exemption Cards do not contain an expiry date, they cease if the Cardholder is no longer eligible for exemption, e.g. if they are no longer employed as a Police Officer). It is also important that the register is reviewed regularly, so that items that need to be acted upon (e.g. checking if a Volunteer Blue Cardholder has renewed their Blue Card) are followed through to ensure successful completion.
When someone is attempting to obtain a Blue Card by completing an application form, they must be told explicitly / warned that it is an offence for a disqualified person to sign a Blue Card application. If they are not told / warned that it is an offence, then the
organisation is committing an offence. For the complete list of offences & penalties related to non-compliance of the Blue Card system, please click here.
When advertising for a child related position, all candidates should be aware from the outset that they will be required to apply for a Blue Card (or Exemption Card), if they do not currently hold one, or if they do, that it will be subject to verification. This is in addition to any other checks the organisation may deem appropriate (e.g. reference checks, identification verification, police check) when screening candidates.
Should you require any further clarification on these matters or have a question not answered by the information above, please contact CCYPCG.
Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian
Blue card application form
Authorisation to confirm a valid card / application
Notification - change in police information
Exemption card application form
Notification - no longer in child-related employment
Volunteer to paid employment transfer form