Safety Checking of Children’s Workers under the Vulnerable Children Act 2014

The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 requires safety checking of people employed or engaged in work that involves working with vulnerable children as part of a specified organisation providing regulated services in order to reduce the risk of harm to children in support of the Government priorities for improving the wellbeing of vulnerable children.

A children’s worker or core children’s worker as defined under the Vulnerable Children’s Act 2014 must undergo specific safety checks prior to employment.  A children’s worker is one providing a regulated service in a specified organisation. Massey University per se is not a specified organisation except in situations where it is explicitly state funded to provide a regulated service.

A children’s worker is one:

  • Whose work may or does involve regular or overnight contact with a child or children; and
  • This takes place without a parent or guardian of the child, or of each child, being present.

A Core Children’s worker is one whose work allows them to be the only children worker present or the worker with primacy responsibility for the child in providing a regulated service.  A childrens worker position should not in any circumstances be offered to an applicant until all the requirements of the safety check have been met.

Positions that have been identified as requiring the safety check in accordance with the Act, will requirement hiring managers to include this in the job description and recruitment process and complete a full safety check in addition to the standard 8 Massey pre-employment checks during the selection process.    The requirements of the safety check include:

  • Identity verification
  • New Zealand Police Vetting
  • Reference Check
  • Interview
  • Work history
  • A risk assessment

All childrens workers must undergo a safety check prior to being employed at Massey and a childrens worker position should not in any circumstances be offered to an applicant until all the requirements of the safety check have been met. Once appointed, the safety check will need to be repeated ever three years. This periodic check must require the person to confirm whether since the last safety check whether their name has changed or is different from any original documentation supplied, a police vet unless they are registered by a professional organisation that regularly carries out police vetting every 3 years, check with the professional organisation their current registration or licence and any information that may be relevant to an assessment of the person, a risk assessment of the person.

Managers undertaking safety checks of childrens workers must retain the information pertaining to the employee. 

Detailed information for hiring managers on the process required to complete the safety check is included below:

Should you have any questions regarding the information provided above or need assistance in undertaking safety checks or understanding your compliance with the Vulnerable Children Act 2014 then please contact your relevant HR Advisor or the Employment Relations Manager.

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