If you want to work in Australia, you need to know that some jobs will require you to have a certificate. If you want to work with children, you will need to obtain a specific cert called the Blue Card. The Australian Government is concerned with the protection of minors and has put in place background checks for people working with children, which differ from state to state. Here is all you need to know if you intend to work in child-related employment in Queensland and other Australian states.
What is the Blue Card?
In Queensland the Blue Card system is in place to ensure that people who are working with children are responsible and have no criminal record. Other states in Australia have similar systems in place. The purpose of the blue card is to create a safe environment for young people when they are in the care of a third party, such as in education or during sports coaching.
The Blue Card is required for people working or volunteering in roles related to education, healthcare or any other field involving children. Common jobs that require a Blue Card include babysitters, teachers, athletic trainers, social workers, psychologists, and doctors. If you need a Blue Card for your job, you’ll have to get it before you start working.
For more detailed information, see the Queensland Government Website.
How to get a Blue Card
The application process for the Blue Card takes several days, or could even take weeks. If you intend to find a job in this field, you should prepare in advance.
The process for obtaining a Blue Card in Australia varies by territory. Typically, you will need to complete an online application, provide identification documents, and pass a criminal background check. In some cases, you will also need to provide references from people who can attest to your character and experience with children.
The process of applying for a Blue Card in Queensland comprises three steps, which are as follows:
- First you need a customer reference number (CRN) from the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) in Queensland. If you don’t have one you will have to get a CRN from a TMR service centre.
- Once you have your CRN you can register for an online account to apply for your Blue Card on the Queensland Government website.
- You can pay for your blue card using a credit card or EFTPOS card. The price is $93.95. Some people, such as volunteers, don’t have to pay this fee.
According to the Queensland Government website, it can take up to five business days to receive your Blue Card after you have submitted your application.
Alternatively, you can request your Blue Card via post, using a paper form which you will find online. All the necessary information can be found on the Queensland Government website. It will take longer to receive your Blue Card using the paper form compared to the online application form. Either way, it is recommended to apply for your Blue Card several weeks before the start of your employment.
After getting your Blue Card
Your Blue Card is valid for two years and you need to renew each card before it expires. The Blue Card renewal process works similarly to the initial application process and should be done several weeks before the card’s expiry date. You will have to pay the application fee again if you are not exempt.
If your Blue Card has been lost or stolen, you will need to apply for a replacement with a replacement blue/exemption card form. You must apply within 14 days of the loss or theft.
Does the Blue Card exists in other states ?
Other states in Australia have similar background checks to the Blue Card system in Queensland. However, these checks are not recognised in Queensland. This means that if you are looking to work with children in Queensland you will need a Blue Card, even if you previously held a similar role in another Australian state.
To check if your Blue Card is valid in another Australian state, see the regulations for the respective state or territory.
It is important to note that the Blue Card is not a 100% guarantee that the holder has never engaged in misbehaviour towards children. However, it is way for employers and parents to know that the person working with their children has passed a criminal background check.