Policy

Working with Children - Policy

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1.0    Purpose and Scope

1.1    Purpose

The University of Queensland (UQ) is committed to the safety, wellbeing, and protection of children from harm. This policy outlines UQ’s approach to working with children and should be read in conjunction with UQs wider strategies that support staff, students, and volunteers engaged in work with children. The purpose of this policy is to:

  1. maintain a safe environment within UQ for Working With Children (WWC);

  2. support a child safe culture within UQ that is aligned with the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations, and UQ’s strategies that support inclusivity, and the health, safety and wellbeing of all members of the UQ Community;

  3. ensure UQ maintains a framework for supporting and enhancing capacity to meet compliance obligations and stakeholder needs through respectful, supportive and collaborative engagement with children;

  4. ensure UQ has reasonable safeguards in place for children and members of the UQ Community to the extent that it may be reasonable to do so; and

  5. maintain oversight of UQ regulated activities and support WWC through an integrated risk management approach.

1.2    Scope

This policy applies to UQ and its controlled entities, including all members of the UQ Community involved in regulated activities that involve WWC under the control of UQ that may be regulated by the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000 (Qld); and associated regulations.

This policy should be read in conjunction with related UQ policies under the UQ policy framework (refer to section 6.2 of this policy).

This policy should be applied with regard to the Commonwealth and State legislation and statutes for WWC (refer to section 6.3 of this policy).

1.2.1    Regulated Business

UQ has risk management strategies for regulated business and ensures screening of people employed, or undertaking particular business with regard to work with children under UQ’s responsibility. This includes engagement of staff, students and volunteers in regulated business.

UQ manages activities related to non-compulsory learning and teaching activities, and research initiatives involving children and young people that may be considered regulated business and/or regulated employment (‘regulated activities’) under the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000 (Qld). These activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Health services (e.g. Therapy clinics and health programs);

  • Support services (e.g. Counselling services);

  • Support and welfare services to under 18 international students;

  • Provision of accommodation services to students who are children;

  • Private teaching, coaching or tutoring activities outside of core teaching and learning activities (e.g. Student placement within UQ);

  • Funded disability services provided by UQ;

  • Student Placement activities controlled by UQ;

  • Religious services (e.g. UQ Multi-faith centre activities); and

  • Events and activities involving children and young people that are considered high risk.

As a registered higher education institution under the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (Cth) UQ’s core learning and teaching activity falls under exemption provisions with regard to Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000 (Qld) and these core activities are not considered regulated business.  

Any members of Senate and the UQ Community that are engaged in activities which may be regulated under the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000 (Qld) are required to maintain a current Positive Notice (Blue Card) or approved exemption.

1.2.2    Other Activity Working With Children

There are other activities (including commonwealth funded projects) that UQ manages and supports that require particular regard to the engagement with children and young people. This may include, but is not limited to, activities, programs, and research for:

  • Workplace, diversity, and inclusion activities;

  • Younger overseas student support (as outlined in provisions under the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018); 

  • Student placement(s) and Work Integrated Learning opportunities undertaken in partnership with other institutions/providers;

  • Commonwealth funded research activities and projects (e.g. ARC/NIAA/NHMRC funded activities that involve WWC);

  • Australian Government aid programs (including DFAT partner programs);

  • Outreach events and activities; and

  • Special events and recreational activities, including those offered through a controlled entity.

1.2.3    Students and Student Placements

UQ seeks to enrich student learning experiences through a range of student placement arrangements that enable students to practice the skills of the profession in a real-life and safe setting. Where these types of opportunities involve students engaged in regulated activities working with children in Queensland, they may need a Blue Card.

There are stipulated study pathways at UQ that may require students to hold a Blue Card for the duration of their studies. This requirement will normally be outlined in the program requirements. Students that are enrolled in a UQ course which includes a practical placement that involves WWC may need a Blue Card.  

See the Work Integrated Learning and Work Experience Policy and Procedures for further information in relation to student placement requirements.

1.2.4    Yellow Card

Activities may also involve work with children with disability which may include programs funded through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Queensland (State) based disability funding, or other disability service providers.  These activities may require criminal history screening prescribed notice (i.e. Yellow card or exemption) in addition to a Blue Card.

2.0    Principles and Key Requirements

2.1    Principles for Safeguarding Children

The following principles underpin UQ’s approach to WWC:

  1. UQ has zero tolerance for child abuse.

  2. UQ recognises the rights of the child and acts in their best interests to protect them.

  3. UQ has regard to the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations founded on:

    1. respect for the individual, ensuring they feel welcome, listened to, and included;

    2. providing accessible information about both physical and online safety, health and wellbeing, with signposting to avenues for support;

    3. providing opportunities for children to have a voice and be involved in the review and enhancement of UQ provisions involving children;

    4. listening and being responsive to individual concerns and needs to achieve their goals;

    5. establishing an environment of mutual trust where the individual feels safe and supported; and

    6. providing a safe environment with safeguards to protect children from harm.

2.2    Key Requirements for Working With Children

UQ will take reasonable steps to meet its obligations by:

  1. Supporting a culture that values the rights and safety of children under the UQ Governance and Management Framework;

  2. Implementing UQ policy and procedures that support WWC, including procedures for recruitment and/or selection of staff, students, and volunteers;

  3. Maintaining and communicating strategies for WWC;

  4. Undertaking risk assessments (normally on an annual basis) of UQ regulated activities that involve WWC, and maintain risk management plans for high risk activities and special events;  

  5. Conducting systematic review of UQ strategies and controls for managing risks associated with WWC;

  6. Ensuring there are multiple channels for children and members of the UQ community to raise concerns or make disclosures of harm; 

  7. Maintaining a supportive process for handling and processing complaints, disclosures, and suspicion of harm;

  8. Maintaining a process that ensures effective management and oversight of screening and linking current positive notice (blue card) status and new Blue Card applications for members of the UQ Community involved in regulated activities across UQ; and

  9. Maintaining a training framework to create awareness and support the training needs of members of the UQ Community for WWC.

3.0    Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

3.1    Vice-Chancellor and President

The Vice-Chancellor is the University's Chief Executive Officer and responsible to the Senate for the overall direction of strategic planning and matters in relation to working with children.  

3.2    The UQ Institutional Champion

The Deputy Provost is nominated as the UQ champion for WWC to support the enhancement of an institutional wide culture that values, respects, and protects the rights of children.

3.3    Chief Human Resources Officer

The Chief Human Resources Officer is responsible for the oversight of UQ's compliance obligations for WWC that involves staff.  This will be achieved by:

  • Implementing and communicating the requirements of this policy and associated procedures for staff;

  • Oversight, and monitoring of Organisation Portal Accounts, and UQ systems/registers of current notices (positives notices / negative notices / criminal history checks) and related approvals for staff involved in WWC and/or regulated activities;

  • Management and Administration of central Organisation Portal Accounts for senior staff, and associated UQ registers, in liaison with central entities; and

  • Developing staff training and awareness-raising material for staff who work with children.

3.4    Director, Academic Services Division and Director, Student Affairs Division

The Director, Academic Services Division, and the Director, Student Affairs Division are responsible for oversight of UQ’s compliance obligations for WWC that involves students and relevant volunteers. This will be achieved by:

  • Implementing and communicating the requirements of this policy and associated procedures for students and relevant volunteers within their portfolio;

  • Oversight, and monitoring of Organisation Portal Accounts, and UQ systems/registers of current notices (positives notices / negative notices / criminal history checks) and related approvals for people involved in WWC and/or regulated activities;

  • Management and Administration of relevant central Organisation Portal Accounts and associated UQ registers, in liaison with central entities; and

  • Developing training and awareness-raising material for people that work or undertake placements involving work with children.

3.5    Organisational Units and Controlled Entities

The head of each UQ organisational entity (including Faculties, Schools, Institutes, Centres, and Divisions), and UQ controlled entity conducting regulated employment and activities involving WWC are responsible for:

  • Oversight of business activities involving WWC and identify compliance obligations and responsibilities with regard to those activities, including regulated activities and any restrictions or exemptions that may need to be considered;

  • Persons undertaking WWC are informed, in writing, of their regulatory obligations before undertaking WWC;

  • Oversight and compliance with the WWC policy and procedures for relevant staff, students, and volunteers;

  • Ensuring the No Card No Start policy is strictly enforced for all regulated activities involving WWC;

  • Management and Administration of Organisation Portal Accounts under their remit, and associated UQ registers, and liaison with, and reporting to central divisions;

  • Undertaking risk assessments (at least annually) of regulated activities involving WWC, ensuring current notices (positives notices / negative notices / criminal history checks) and related approvals are obtained for staff, students, and volunteers involved in WWC and/or regulated activities; and

  • Implementing systems to ensure staff, all volunteers and students engaged in working with children are aware of this policy and have completed the necessary training and support.

3.6    Members of the UQ Community and Controlled Entities

Before engaging in activities with children and regulated activities or employment with children, members of the UQ Community and controlled entities are responsible for ensuring that they:

  • Assess activities and events involving WWC and identify compliance obligations and responsibilities with regard to regulated activities and any restrictions or exemptions that may need to be considered;

  • Hold a current Blue Card (positive notice or valid exemption) that is linked to the relevant UQ entity, in line with the No Card No Start Policy in Queensland;

  • Are not a Restricted Person undertaking Restricted Employment;

  • Have received the prerequisite management approval to undertake the activity or project, and an appropriate risk management plan has been established to safeguard the needs of children; and

  • Read relevant policy and procedures, and undertaken any relevant training as directed.

4.0   Monitoring, Review and Assurance

  • The Chief Human Resources Officer is responsible for monitoring, reviewing, and providing assurance on the effectiveness of this policy for staff.

  • The Director Academic Services Division and Director Student Affairs are responsible for monitoring, reviewing, and providing assurance on the effectiveness of this policy for students and relevant volunteers.

  • Members of the University Senior Leadership Group (USLG) are responsible for monitoring, reviewing, and providing assurance on portfolio performance, the effectiveness of controls and demonstrate compliance with this policy.

5.0    Recording and Reporting

The Chief Human Resources Officer (Human Resources and Workplace Relations); Director (Academic Services Division); and Director (Student Affairs Division) will report annually to the Institutional Champion, and the Vice-Chancellor’s Risk and Compliance Committee on the effectiveness of this policy.

6.0    Appendix

6.1    Definitions, Terms, and Acronyms

Blue Card – The Blue Card is evidence that a positive notice has been issued to the cardholder following criminal history screening to determine their eligibility to work with children.

Child – Being a person under the age of 18.

Controlled entity – A controlled entity under the Controlled Entities Policy.

Disclosure of Harm – A disclosure of harm occurs when someone, including a child, tells someone about harm that has happened, is happening, or is likely to happen.

Harm – Any detrimental effect of a significant nature on a person’s physical, psychological or emotional wellbeing. Harm can be caused by physical, psychological, or emotional abuse; economic hardship, neglect, or sexual abuse or exploitation.

Negative Notice – A letter issued to a person who application is refused, prohibiting them from carrying on a business or working with children.

Positive Notice – A letter issued to a person whose application is approved and issued with a Blue Card or Yellow Card.

Regulated Activity – Is a reference to activities undertaken by staff, students, or volunteers that are classified as regulated business or regulated employment under the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000 (Qld) and Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Regulation 2020.

Restricted Employment - Restricted employment refers to the situations or exemptions that allow a person to work with children without a blue card, such as if they are:

  • a volunteer parent;

  • a volunteer who is under 18;

  • paid or unpaid staff who work in regulated child-related employment for not more than 7 days in a calendar year; or

  • a consumer at a child-related service outlet where they also carry out work at the outlet.

Restricted Person - A restricted person is a person who either:

  • has been issued a negative notice;

  • has a suspended Blue Card;

  • is a disqualified person; or

  • has been charged with a disqualifying offence that has not been finalised.

Staff - Continuing, fixed-term, research (contingent funding) and casual staff members.

Suspicion of Harm – A suspicion of harm is when someone has a reasonable suspicion that a child has suffered, is suffering, or is at an unacceptable risk of suffering, significant harm.

UQ Community - Current UQ students, staff (whether or not those staff are covered by the Enterprise Agreement), volunteers, affiliates, associates and anyone else contractually bound to comply with the policy.

Volunteers/volunteering - People who donate their services in a voluntary capacity to UQ without expectation of remuneration. Volunteers may include those undertaking work on fundraising and community-oriented projects, tertiary students wishing to gain exposure to particular UQ functions, among others. Volunteering is time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain.

WWC – Working with Children, refers to activity that involves work/working with children and young people, being people under the age of 18.

Yellow Card – The Yellow Card is evidence that a positive notice has been issued to that person following criminal history screening to determine their eligibility to work with people with a disability.

6.2    Related Policy Areas

This policy should be read in conjunction with the UQ:

  • 1.50 Ethical Conduct in the Workplace policies

  • 1.60 Administrative Accountability policies

  • 1.70 Equity and Diversity policies

  • 1.80 Risk, Compliance and Internal Audit policies

  • 2.10.03 Health, Safety and Wellness Policy

  • 3.10.04 Work Integrated Learning and Work Experience Policy and Procedures

  • 3.50.08 Alternative Academic Arrangements for Students with a Disability Policy

  • 3.50.09 Arrangements for Reasonable Adjustments in Examinations for Students with a Disability Policy

  • 3.60 Student Rights and Responsibilities Policies

  • 4.10.01 Administration of Research Funding: Applications, Grants and Contract Research Policy

  • 4.20.01 Responsible Conduct of Research Policy

  • 4.20.07 Human Research Ethics – Procedure

  • 5.30 Pre-Employment and Orientation Policies

  • 5.70 Performance Management and Grievance Procedures Policies

  • 6.20 Acceptable Use of ICT Resources Policies

6.3    Key Legislation and Standards

  • Legislation in Queensland;

    • Child Protection Act 1999 (Qld)

    • Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000 (Qld)

    • Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Regulation 2011 (Qld)

    • Civil Liability Act 2003 (Qld)

    • Criminal Code (Child Sexual Offences Reform) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2020 (Cth)

    • Disability Services Act 2006 (Qld)

    • Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld)

    • Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld)

    • Education (Work Experience) Act 1996 (Qld)

Custodians
Academic Registrar Mr Mark Erickson
Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury
Director, Student Affairs Mr Andrew Lee

Procedures

Screening and Blue Card Management - Procedures

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1.0    Purpose and Scope

1.1    Purpose

This procedure outlines how The University of Queensland (UQ) fulfils its obligations for the screening and management of prescribed notices (Blue Card / Exemption Card) for staff, students, and volunteers who are engaged in regulated business or regulated employment (‘regulated activities’) under the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000 (the Act).

This procedure should be read in conjunction with the UQ Risk Management Strategy for Working with Children, Working with Children Policy, Volunteers Policy, and other relevant UQ policies and procedures.

1.2    Scope

This procedure supports staff with responsibilities for regulated activities that require effective risk management and screening of staff, students, and volunteers (UQ Person) who will be involved in regulated activities as outlined under the Act. This may include:

  • activities controlled by UQ that involve UQ persons working with children, other than those activities that are part of UQ’s core learning and teaching that are exempt under the Act; and 

  • activities facilitated by UQ Organisational Units for UQ students undertaking Work Integrated Learning (WIL) or Work Experience (WE) placement that may involve working with children.

As a registered higher education institution under the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (Cth) UQ’s core learning and teaching activity falls under exemption provisions with regard to Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000 (Qld). These core activities of UQ are not considered regulated business, and are outside the scope of this procedure.

2.0    Process and Key Controls

UQ will take reasonable steps to ensure that the process for screening and Blue Card management meets compliance obligations under the Act. Key controls include:

  1. Upholding the Queensland Government’s ‘No Card No Start’ policy.

  2. Identifying and undertaking risk assessment of regulated activities that are being undertaken under the auspices of UQ and managing those activities in accordance with the Risk Management Strategy.

  3. Screening and undertaking identity (ID) checks of staff, students, and volunteers involved in regulated activities and maintaining records in approved Institutional and Blue Card Registers.

  4. Effectively managing and administering prescribed notices and notifications from Blue Card Services (BCS) through implementation of BCS Organisation Portal accounts.

  5. A requirement for all UQ Persons to immediately notify their Manager or Supervisor of any material change in their circumstances that may impact their eligibility to engage in regulated activities, which may include negative notices (Blue Card / Exemption Card), or other material change in circumstances. UQ Persons should immediately refrain from engagement in regulated activities until the matter has been resolved and they have been granted express permission to re-commence engagement in regulated activities by their Manager or Supervisor.

The screening and risk management process will ensure that:

  • There is central oversight and support for UQ staff using BCS Organisation Portal Accounts, with UQ Named Contacts, and nominated Portal Administrator / Portal Users in place to effectively support organisational units to manage and process Blue Cards (including linking / delinking of UQ persons engaged in regulated activities).

  • UQ will take immediate steps to prevent or remove a UQ Person from regulated activities, where there are changes in their circumstances that legally restrict or disqualify them from such engagement, or where there are reasonable substantiated grounds or concerns that may require UQ to take such action to protect a child from harm.

  • Information, guidance, and training is made available to UQ staff, students, and volunteers in relation to their regulatory obligations and UQ requirements when engaged in regulated activities involving work with children.

  • Annual monitoring, review and enhancement of screening and Blue Card management processes and checking of Institutional Registers to ensure processes and systems are effective, and records are up to date.  

3.0    Key Requirements

3.1    No Card No Start

The No Card No Start laws:

  1. mean staff, students or volunteers must have a Blue Card before they can work with children (from 31 August 2020, a pending application is no longer sufficient); and

  2. require organisations to take reasonable steps to ensure the Blue Card belongs to the card holder and link them to their organisation before engaging them in regulated activities involving working with children.

It is an offence under the Act for:

  • a disqualified person to apply for a Blue Card; or

  • a restricted person to start or continue working or volunteering in restricted employment.

3.2    Regulated Activities

The Head of Organisational Units that are undertaking regulated activities must ensure compliance with the obligations under the Act and the UQ Risk Management Strategy for Working with Children.

Staff responsible for planning and implementing regulated activities at UQ (including events, projects, ongoing business processes and services) involving work with children will normally be required to hold a Blue Card (or valid exemption).

A record of regulated activities must be maintained and stored securely. The details of all UQ persons involved in regulated activities are recorded in the Institutional Register, and Blue Card / Exemption Card holders are linked/delinked to the relevant Organisation Portal account (Blue Card Register).

The Institutional Register will be stored with associated risk assessment of the regulated activity, where required, that have been signed off by the Head of the relevant Organisational Unit.

3.3    Screening

The screening process for UQ persons engaged in regulated activities is undertaken to ensure that there is oversight of the individuals involved and their capacity to follow UQ policies, procedures and other controls, including those established through the UQ Risk Management Strategy for Working with Children, and other Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) that may apply.

Managers and supervisors with responsibility for a regulated activity must:

  1. ensure that all UQ Persons involved in regulated activities are screened prior to their commencement in the activity. This includes:

    1. undertaking identity checks and ensuring Blue Card (or valid exemption) requirements are identified and actioned in accordance with the No Card No Start policy and the UQ Risk Management Strategy for Working with Children.

    2. checking that the individuals have the requisite capacity and knowledge of the relevant UQ policies and procedures, the UQ Risk Management Strategy for Working with Children, and other related SOP.   

  2. liaise with the relevant UQ Organisation Portal Administrator (PA), Portal Users (PU), and/or the UQ Named Contact (NC) to ensure that current Blue Card holders and Blue Card applicants are linked (and delinked) to UQ Blue Card Register(s) in the relevant Organisation Portal Account, prior to their engagement in regulated activities.

3.4    Frequency Test

Under the Frequency Test, if a person is not engaged in the regulated activity for more than 7 days in a calendar year, they may not need to hold a Blue Card. Refer to the current guidance on the BCS website when applying the Frequency Test. 

The Frequency Test cannot be used for:

  • a restricted person; or

  • a business operator.

Where a determination is made that a UQ Person does not need to hold a Blue Card by applying the Frequency Test, this must be recorded in the relevant Institutional Register.

There are particular regulated activities that will require a UQ person to hold a Blue Card, where the Frequency Test cannot be applied. This will be informed by guidance and advice from BCS, and may for example occur where UQ Persons are engaged in regulated activities where third-party policy, or an agreement with UQ, requires a UQ person to hold a Blue Card.

3.5    Identity Checks

Managers and Supervisors with responsibility for a regulated activity are required to take reasonable steps to check the identity of all UQ persons engaged in regulated activities.

Portal Administrators and Portal Users will normally use two reference points to confirm a person’s identity prior to linking them to an Organisation Portal Account, this may include:

  1. sighting of the person’s original driver’s license, passport, Blue Card, or other Transport and Main Roads (TMR) approved evidence of ID; and

  2. confirmation of ID through single sign on access (authenticated by UQ), such as requests submitted through verified UQ email accounts, UQ smart form requests, or requests submitted through authenticated UQ systems (e.g.SI-Net, InPlace, or HCMS); or

  3. checking of personal information (Name and DOB) held in UQ’s staff or student systems with information held by BCS (Blue Card Reference / Blue Card Account Number).

ID checks are undertaken when linking a Blue Card holder or applicant to the relevant UQ Portal Account, prior to commencement in regulated activities, and at any other time where UQ may have reasonable grounds to conduct an ID check to ensure the safety of children and other UQ stakeholders.

3.6    UQ Organisation Portal

UQ uses online Organisation Portal Accounts provided by BCS to manage Blue Card / Exemption Card holders and applicants engaged in regulated activities under the auspices of UQ.

UQ adopts a distributed approach to the management and administration of these Organisation Portal Accounts with centralised monitoring, support and assurance to ensure that operational and regulatory requirements are satisfied. A number of approved Organisation Portal Accounts are held to support UQ’s needs, including accounts allocated to:

  1. UQ Schools, Centres, Institutes, and Central Organisational Units to manage student Blue Cards (including student placements); and

  2. UQ Faculties, Divisions, Institutes, Centres, and Central Divisions to manage staff and volunteer Blue Cards.

Organisation Portal Account Login

Each Organisation Portal Account has:

  • a Named Contact that may receive direct queries and disclosures from BCS, including notifications of negative notices and other sensitive disclosures in relation to linked records or applicants;

  • a nominated Portal Administrator (PA) that is responsible for day-to-day management of the account including maintaining the Blue Card Register and the Institutional Register, and processing of Blue Cards; and

  • a number of Portal Users (PU) that support the Portal Administrator in the effective administration/processing of Blue Cards and the Blue Card and Institutional Register.

Positive notices from BCS will normally be sent to a common or nominated (Portal Administrator) email account and distributed to stakeholders as needed (linking/delinking of Blue Card and applicants).

BCS issue Portal Account access to individual UQ staff. These account details are confidential and should be stored securely by the individual and not be shared anyone, including login credentials to the BCS Portal Account. 

All information accessed through the Portal Account must be managed in accordance with the Privacy Management Policy and Procedures.

3.7    Blue Card Register and Employee Register

UQ is required to hold Institutional Register(s) (referred to as ‘Employee Register’ under the Act) that contain information of all UQ persons engaged in regulated activities undertaken under the auspices of UQ.

The nominated Portal Administrators are responsible for ensuring that an Institutional Register is maintained, in the approved format, for each Organisation Portal account under their remit. The Institutional Registers will include;

  • information imported from the Blue Card Register(s) in the Organisation Portal Accounts; and

  • additional information, collected from Managers and Supervisors responsible for regulated activities, with details of all others (non-blue card /exemption holders) that are engaged in regulated activities.

The Institutional Registers will be submitted to the Academic Registrar, Director Student Affairs, and Chief Human Resources Officer for monitoring and review twice per year, or upon request as may be required from time to time.

3.8    Negative Notices and Disqualifications

BCS will normally inform both the individual (applicant) and the UQ Named Contact(s) for the relevant Organisation Portal Account(s) if the outcome of their Blue Card / Exemption Card application is negative. BCS will contact the individual where a change in circumstances leads to disqualification of the individual from working with children.

A UQ Person who receives a negative notice or is disqualified cannot undertake regulated activities working with children. A UQ Person that is disqualified must inform UQ immediately and remove themselves from all engagement in regulated activities.

3.8.1    Staff

The Named Contact and/or staff member that has received disclosure of a negative notice or disqualification must inform the Chief Human Resources Officer. The Chief Human Resources Officer will consider the staff member’s suitability in their current role and advise the staff member how this will affect their ongoing employment.

3.8.2    Students

The Named Contact and/or student that has received disclosure of a negative notice or disqualification must inform the relevant UQ Head of School. The Head of School, in consultation with the relevant Faculty, will discuss if there are any alternative study options or alternate pathways with the student that may enable them to complete their studies.

3.8.3    Volunteers

The Named Contact and/or volunteer that has received disclosure of a negative notice or disqualification must inform the Head of the relevant Organisational Unit. The Head of the Organisational Unit will advise the volunteer how this will affect their volunteering activities and opportunities with UQ.

3.9    Blue Card Holders/Applicants

3.9.1    Responsibility

Each individual Blue Card holder/applicant is personally responsible for ensuring that their Blue Card application/renewal is completed to avoid any unnecessary delays to their commencement in regulated activities. This includes timely renewal of Blue Cards and submission of new applications (allowing for a minimum six-week processing timeframe) to avoid a breach of the No Card No Start law.

There are circumstances that may prevent a person from applying and receiving a Blue Card. UQ persons are encouraged to speak with their Manager, Supervisor, or Placement Coordinator at the earliest opportunity, and prior to lodging an application, if there are any concerns about eligibility or status with regard to restricted employment or other possible disqualifying offences.

3.9.2    Applying for a Blue Card and Blue Card Payments

Individuals must submit their Blue Card/Exemption Card application to BCS through the online applicant portal. For further information refer to the BCS Applicant Portal:

https://my.bluecard.qld.gov.au/login

Students and Volunteers

When the applicant has a registered Blue Card account (applicant portal), the account number must be submitted to the nominated UQ receiving officer with a request to be linked to the relevant Organisation Portal Account. UQ will undertake the relevant checks and link the student or volunteer Blue Card applicant so that they can complete their Blue Card application.

There is no fee for Blue Card applications for students and volunteers.

Staff

The applicant can send a request to the nominated UQ receiving officer to be linked to the relevant UQ Portal Account when they have a registered Blue Card account number, or after they have received their positive notice (Blue Card or Exemption Card) and reference number.

UQ will undertake the relevant identity checks and link the staff member to the relevant Organisation Portal account.

Where UQ is making the payment on behalf of a staff member, the staff member must have set up and verify their online Blue Card account and be linked to the relevant Organisation Portal account before UQ can process the payment through the Organisation Portal account.

See summary of the application process in Schedule 1.

4.0    Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

Role/Area Responsible

Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

Head of Organisational Unit

  • Approval of regulated activities under the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000 (the Act) undertaken within their organisational unit, including signing off Risk Assessments.

  • Implementation of the UQ Risk Management Strategy for Working with Children.

  • Maintain oversight of the Blue Card management of volunteers who engaged in regulated activities with children.

  • Reporting to Compliance Owners.

Managers, Supervisors, and Coordinators

  • Assess and record regulated activities.

  • Complete Risk Assessments of High Risk regulated activities. 

  • Ensure screening and identity checks is undertaken of all UQ Persons involved in regulated activities.

  • Identify and resolve training and support needs for UQ persons engaged in related activities.

UQ Named Contacts

  • Point of Contact for BCS to receive queries or concerns in relation to linked blue card holder’s or applicant’s status.

  • Ensure timely follow up and actioning where any risks have been identified internally or by BCS in relation to a linked Blue Card holder or applicant in liaison with relevant UQ stakeholders.

  • Liaise with the Portal Administrator to ensure compliant use of Portal Accounts. 

Note: where appropriate, the Named Contact and Portal Administrator responsibilities may be fulfilled by one person.

Portal Administrators

  • Day-to-day management of the account and overseeing processing (ID Checking and linking/delinking/payment) of Blue Cards as needed.  

  • Oversight and management of Portal Users and the assigned Organisation Portal account(s).   

  • Ensure that Institutional Registers and Blue Card Registers (Organisation Portal) are monitored and kept up to date.

Portal Users

  • Support the Portal Administrator in the day-to-day processing (ID Checking and linking/delinking/payment) of Blue Cards as needed.

  • Support the Portal Administrator to ensure that Institutional Registers and Blue Card Registers (Organisation Portal) are maintained and kept up to date.

Academic Registrar

  • Provide assurance and reporting on the implementation and effectiveness of the Screening and Blue Card Management Procedure.

  • Maintain oversight of the Blue Card management of students on placement who engage in regulated activities with children.

  • Approve material changes to Organisation Portal Accounts.

Director, Student Affairs

  • Provide assurance and reporting on the implementation and effectiveness of the Screening and Blue Card Management Procedure

  • Maintain oversight of the Blue Card management of students who engage in regulated activities with children.

Chief Human Resources Officer

  • Provide assurance and reporting on the implementation and effectiveness of the Screening and Blue Card Management Procedure

  • Maintain oversight of the Blue Card management of staff who engage in regulated activities with children.

  • Approve material changes to Organisation Portal Accounts.

Staff, students and volunteers

  • Hold and maintain a current Blue Card / Exemption Card (positive notice) for engagement in regulated activities

  • Abide by:

    • UQ Risk Management Strategy for Working With Children

    • UQ Code of Conduct Policy

    • Related UQ procedures and SOP for Working With Children

    • UQ Student Charter (students)

    • UQ’s Program Rules and Requirements (students).

5.0    Monitoring, Review and Assurance

The Academic Registrar, Director of Student Affairs, and Chief Human Resources Officer have central responsibility for oversight, monitoring, reporting, and assurance of regulated activities conducted under the auspices of UQ, including support, guidance, and training to ensure capacity and compliance with relevant obligations.

The Named Contacts and Portal Administrators are responsible for monitoring, reviewing and providing assurance on the effectiveness of this procedure under the direction of the Chief Human Resources Officer, Director of Student Affairs, and Academic Registrar.

6.0    Recording and Reporting

The Chief Human Resources Officer, Academic Registrar and Director (Student Affairs Division) will report annually to the Institutional Champion, and the Vice-Chancellor’s Risk and Compliance Committee on the effectiveness of this procedure.

7.0    Appendix

7.1    Definitions

Act  Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000.

Blue Card – evidence that a positive notice has been issued by Blue Card Services to the cardholder following criminal history screening to determine their eligibility to work with children.

Blue Card Register – centrally held Blue Card Register containing details regarding Portal Administrators and Portal Users, as well as details relating to students on placement that require a Blue Card. This is an internal UQ register not linked to the BCS Organisational Portal.

Child – a person under the age of 18.

Institutional Champion – the Deputy Provost is nominated as the UQ champion for working with children to support the enhancement of an institutional wide culture that values, respects, and protects the rights of children.

Institutional Register – register or registers maintained by UQ with details of all UQ persons (staff, students, volunteers) that are engaged in regulated activities, working with children. The Act refers to the register as an Employee Register.  

No Card No Start – Queensland Government requirement that a No Card No Start policy be maintained in the organisation for all persons engaged in regulated activities. This means a person cannot commence regulated activities until they hold a current Blue Card/Exemption Card (Positive Notice). 

Organisation Portal Account – an account accessible by the organisation on the Blue Card Services Organisation Portal which is an online system that allows organisations to manage their Blue Card obligations and records.

Portal Account – refers to a Blue Card Services Organisation Account (https://orgportal.bluecard.qld.gov.au/Login ) allocated to a UQ Organisational Unit.  For details of UQ Portal Accounts Contact UQ Enterprise Compliance [compliance@uq.edu.au].

Portal Administrator – the primary person within the relevant Organisational Unit (e.g. Faculty/School) who has access to, and responsibility for managing, the Organisation Portal Account. This person can view all information and undertake all tasks within the Organisation Portal, including providing access to other users as needed.

Regulated Activity – activities undertaken by staff, students or volunteers that are classified as regulated business or regulated employment under the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000 (Qld, ‘the Act’) and Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Regulation 2020 (Qld).

Restricted Employment – situations or exemptions that allow a person to work with children without a Blue Card. Examples include if the person is: a volunteer parent; a volunteer who is under 18; paid or unpaid staff who work in regulated child-related employment for not more than 7 days in a calendar year; or a consumer at a child-related service outlet where they also carry out work at the outlet.

Restricted Person – A restricted person is a person who either; has, a) been issued a negative notice, b)  has a suspended Blue Card, c)  is a disqualified person; or d) has been charged with a disqualifying offence that has not been finalised.

Student – currently enrolled student undertaking study at UQ.

Supervisor/Coordinator – the person who is accountable for the supervision and arrangements of the staff, student or volunteer who is required to hold a current Blue Card. In most cases this will be the manager or student coordinator.  

UQ Person(s) – staff, students and volunteers that are engaged in regulated activities undertaken under the auspices of UQ that triggered obligations under the Act.

Volunteer – a person who donates their services in a voluntary capacity to UQ without expectation of remuneration. Volunteers may include those undertaking work on fundraising and community-oriented projects, tertiary students wishing to gain exposure to particular UQ functions, among others. Volunteering is time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain.

Work Experience (WE) – an arrangement undertaken by a student under which an organisation will provide experience to the student as part of the student's education, but not as a mandatory or assessable part of a student's course, shorter form credential or program. Work Experience is regulated under the Education (Work Experience) Act 1996 (Qld) and is subject to specific restrictions and conditions. The University of Queensland expects that the work-based learning opportunities will provide greater educational benefit for the student than operational benefit for the Host Organisation. The University of Queensland should authorise the arrangement in advance.

Work Integrated Learning (WIL) – learning experiences that explicitly integrate theory with practice within a purposefully designed curriculum to foreground employability. WIL must be either assessable by The University of Queensland (for credit) or otherwise a requirement of an academic course, shorter form credential or program.

For Higher Degree Research (HDR) students, WIL opportunities must be unrelated to the HDR project thesis and authorised as a requirement of the program by the Dean, Graduate School.

Work with Children (WWC) – activity that involves work/working with children and young people, being people under the age of 18.

Schedule 1: Summary of the Blue Card Application Process

Register an online Blue Card Account (BCS Applicant Portal):

  • Using QGov account and your Customer Reference Number (CRN) issued by Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) to verify your identity.

  • Volunteers and Students do not need to pay for their Blue Card.

  • Staff have to apply for a paid Blue Card.

  • Blue Card Holders have to be linked to UQ (Portal Account) before they can commence working with children (WWC) – No Card No Start Policy in Queensland.

Notice to Applicants:

It is an offence for a ‘disqualified person’ to sign and lodge a Blue Card application or a renewal application.

A Restricted Person must not Engage in Restricted Employment.

For Staff:

  1. Register Blue Card Account (BCS Applicant Portal).

  2. *[Applicant makes payment and submits application]*

  3. Send Blue Card Account No. (or Blue Card Reference No.) to UQ Portal Administrator or Portal User.

  4. Portal Administrator/User conducts ID check and links person to UQ Portal Account
    (using BC Account/Reference No. and DOB).

  5. *[UQ make payment through UQ Portal Account and Applicant submits application]*

  6. BCS review application (normally processed within 5 working days) –

    1. Positive Notice (Blue Card or Exemption Card) – commence engagement WWC 

    2. Negative Notice – No Card No Start.

  7. When person completes engagement WWC UQ Portal Administrator/User delinks them from UQ Portal Account(s).

For Students and Volunteers:

  1. Register Blue Card Account (BCS Applicant Portal).

  2. Send Blue Card Account No. to UQ Placement Coordinator/Administrator, Portal Administrator, or Portal User.

  3. Portal Administrator/User conducts - ID check and links person to UQ Portal Account (using BC Account No and DOB).

  4. Applicant completes and submits the application.

  5. BCS review application (normally 5 working days).
    - Positive Notice (Blue Card or Exemption Card) - commence engagement WWC
    - Negative Notice – No Card No Start.

  6. When person completes engagement WWC UQ Portal Administrator/User delinks them from UQ Portal Account(s).

Custodians
Academic Registrar Mr Mark Erickson
Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury
Director, Student Affairs Mr Andrew Lee

Forms

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Children Event Risk Assessment - Form

Children Event Risk Assessment - Form

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Body
Description: 

Event Risk Assessment Tool to be used when planning UQ events which may involve children.

Custodians
Academic Registrar Mr Mark Erickson
Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury
Director, Student Affairs Mr Andrew Lee
Custodians
Academic Registrar Mr Mark Erickson
Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury
Director, Student Affairs Mr Andrew Lee
Custodians
Academic Registrar Mr Mark Erickson
Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury
Director, Student Affairs Mr Andrew Lee