We operate the HELPA applications as a place where care workers can offer home care services to customers. We have made a commitment to protect vulnerable people and make sure that they are not placed at unreasonable risk by using our service.
This policy sets out what we need, where to get it what we’ll do with the information for the protection of our care workers and customers. It applies to all care workers providing or offering to provide services to customers via our application and all HELPA employees who interact with vulnerable people.
What we need
As a result of our commitment to providing a safe environment for all Care Workers and Customers, we require all care workers using the HELPA application to:
- Provide a valid police check prior to their profile being made available on the Application.
- Update these police checks every 3 years.
- Notify us immediately if they are charged with, or are convicted of any criminal offence by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
All Criminal History records provided must be from an accredited Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (formerly CrimTrac) agency or broker approved to access the National Police Checking Service or from State or Federal police:
- New South Wales
- Northern Territory
- South Australia
- Western Australia
Working with Children Check
Working with Children checks are State based and required for all care workers offering services to children
NSW – Contact Office of Children’s Guardian. Checks are valid for 5 years. Care workers with valid check will be issued with a letter containing a unique number. This number can be used to verify the checks currency.
QLD – A Blue Card is issued on application to Blue Card System, QLD Government and covers working with children under the age of 18 and all young people with a disability. It is valid for three years and can be verified online.
VIC – A Working with Children Card containing worker’s photo is issued by the Victorian government and is required for all care workers working with children 18 years and under. It is valid for 5 years and can be verified on the application once the card holder’s name and number have been supplied.
SA – The Department for Communities and Social Inclusion conduct screening for care workers working with Children, People with Disabilities, Vulnerable person –related employment screening. The care worker will be given a letter of clearance which can be verified online. The screening assessment is valid for 3 years.
WA – WA Government Working with Children Check issue care workers with a card and is required for all workers working with children 18 yrs. or under. The card is valid for 3 years. The validity of the card can be checked on the Government’s application
NT – Working with Children Check NT Government issue the Ochre card and is required for all care workers working with children 18 yrs. and under. It is valid for 2 years and can be verified on the Governments application
Tasmania – The Department of Justice registers care workers who work with children 18 yrs. and under. This is new legislation which is currently being phased in. This process is to be completed by 2017. Care workers need to contact the Department to confirm if their work with children requires registration
ACT – The Australian Capital Territory registers care workers who are working with children and vulnerable people. It is valid for 3 years and can be verified on the Government’s application.
A Working with Children Check cannot be accepted as an alternative to a police check.
All HELPA authorised personnel:
- Are responsible for the management and protection of police history information at all times.
- Must not retain or reproduce police history information.
- Assess what information needs to be disclosed on a case by case basis against the inherent and / or essential requirements of the position.
- Act as the point of contact for the care workers and HELPA employees for matters relating to police checks, this policy and associated procedures and guidelines.
We will keep a copy of the police check supplied by a care worker for three years.
Care worker responsibilities
All new or existing care workers (and HELPA employees covered by the scope of this policy), are to supply a valid police check prior to offering services on the application. The police check certificate provided by the care workers must be less than three years old, from the date of issue recorded on the police check certificate.
What we will do with the information
In reviewing a police check, we will always comply with:
- All relevant legislation of the Commonwealth, or any state and territory or local authority, legislation which prevents discrimination on the basis of criminal records
- The Commonwealth Spent Convictions Scheme
We can only use the information in a police check to screen, probity check and security vet care workers who are offering or want to offer their services via our application or employees of HELPA that have access to vulnerable people.
The following items will need to be assessed as “disclosable outcomes”:
- Record of court convictions
- Findings of guilt
- Spent convictions
If requested, we may provide a copy of your Police Check and/or Working with Children Check to any clients or providers who engage you on HELPA.
Confidentiality and discrimination
We must not discriminate on the grounds of a criminal record when deciding. It is not an act of discrimination to find a care worker unsuitable if a criminal record means that person is unsuitable to perform the inherent or essential requirements of providing home care services to vulnerable people.
We will always maintain complete confidentiality and protect care workers’ identities and ensure the information about any criminal record is always used solely for the purposes in which it is intended.
Care workers should carry a copy of their police check and if requested, show it to the customer.
How we assess the information
Having a disclosable outcome does not automatically exclude you from offering services on the HELPA application or being part of the HELPA Team. When assessing the relevance of your police history information, we will consider:
- the relevance of the police history information to the inherent requirements of the work they will be required to do
- the seriousness of the conviction or offence
- the severity of any penalty imposed
- whether the offence has been decriminalised or removed from the statutes
- whether in relation to the offence there was a finding or guilt but without conviction, which may generally indicate a less serious view of the offence by the courts
- the age of the applicant when the offence occurred
- the period that has elapsed since the offence took place
- whether the applicant had a pattern of offences
- the circumstances in which the offence took place – for example, domestic situation
- whether the applicant’s circumstances have changed since the offence was committed, for example, previous drug use
- the attitude of the applicant to their previous offending behaviour
Things on your police history which would exclude you from being a care worker
Care workers will however be excluded from providing home care services via the HELPA application if their disclosable court outcomes include a finding of guilt or conviction for any of the following offences:
- murder or sexual assault
- any other form of assault
- any offence involving harm or exploitation of vulnerable people
- any serious alcohol or drug related offences that indicate a pattern of dependence
- drug trafficking
- any offence involving serious dishonesty, or multiple offences involving dishonesty
We may also exclude any care worker who has been found guilty or convicted of more than one offence, after consideration of the nature of the offence and other information.
Care workers who have recently been found guilty of multiple minor traffic offences, a serious traffic offence, or driving under the influence of alcohol will not be able to list transport as a service on their profile.
Care workers who have been found guilty of a serious traffic offense, including high range driving under the influence of alcohol, may be excluded after consideration of the nature of the offence and other information, including the period of time that has elapsed since the offence took place.
‘Authorised Personnel (AP)’
Designated Human Resources staff of HELPA who are authorised to handle Police History Information (PHI) and other data relevant to care workers.
‘Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission Agency’
An Australian government executive agency, established by agreement between the Commonwealth, states and territories in July 2000. Formerly referred to as CrimTrac.
’Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission Broker’
An accredited Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission broker approved to access the National Police Checking Service.
Record of court convictions and findings of guilt, to which provisions of relevant spent convictions / non-disclosable legislation and / or information release policies have been applied.
‘National Police History check (NPHC) ‘
Otherwise known as a ‘police check’. An NPHC can only be obtained after an informed consent form has been completed by the applicant whose name will be checked and their identity has been established using the Austrac 100-point check methodology.
‘Police History Information (PHI)’
Information relating to disclosable court outcomes or other Information regarding the name provided to Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and included within a police check.
PHI is only released subject to relevant spent convictions / non-disclosure legislation and / or information release policies.
Refers to both the Commonwealth Spent Convictions Scheme and various state and territories spent conviction legislation.
The spent conviction legislation is in place to prevent discrimination based on certain previous convictions. The legislation limits the use and disclosure of older, less serious convictions and finding of guilt. Each state and territory of Australia have their own spent conviction legislation and will apply the relevant spent conviction legislation/ release policy prior to disclosure.
For more information
- Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)
- Commonwealth Spent Convictions Scheme
- Crimes Act 1914 (Cth)
- Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth)
- Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission – ‘On the Record – Guidelines for the prevention of discrimination in employment based on a criminal record’
These policies will be updated throughout the year as required.
Your thoughts, comments and suggestions are welcome. Please direct any feedback to email@example.com