When you want to work Down Under you need to know that some jobs will require you to have a certificate. Indeed if you want to work with children, you will need to obtain a specific one, the Blue Card. The Australian Government is concerned with the protection of minors and has established respective 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 states of Australia.
What is the Blue Card and why do I need it?
In Queensland the blue card system is in use to monitor people who are working with children. 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 receiving services such as education or sports coaching.
If you consider volunteering or working with children in Queensland you may have to obtain a blue card. This can be the case in the education or health care sector while children are present for example. And if you do need one then you need to get it before you start employment.
For more detailed information please have a look at the Government Website of Queensland.
What about other states in Australia?
Other states in Australia have similar background checks to the blue card system in Queensland. However, these working with children checks are not recognised in Queensland. This means that you will have to apply for a blue card in case you are looking for employment in Queensland that requires you to have one. Even if you held a similar position in another state.
To check if you can use the blue card in another Australian state you will have to check the regulations for the respective state or territory.
Applying for a Blue Card
The application process for the blue card takes several days or even weeks. If you intend to find a job n this field, you should prepare in advance. You need to apply on the Government website. The Blue Card application process consists of three major steps which look 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 and some people like volunteers don’t have to pay the application fee.
According to the Queensland Government website it takes up to five business days to receive your blue card after you have submitted your application.
Alternatively, you can request it via mail 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 than using the online application form. Either way, it is recommended to apply for your blue card several weeks before the start of your employment.
Blue Card replacement
If your card is about to expire
Your blue card is valid for two years. You need to renew it before your current one expires. This works similarly to the initial application process and should be done several weeks before the card’s expiry date. You will also have to pay the application fee again if you are not exempt. If your Blue Card has expired, you will need to renew it.
If you card is lost / stolen
If your 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 happening.
If your application for a Blue Card was approved but you never received it in the post, you can apply for a replacement using the same form. You will need to pay the prescribed fee.
To obtain the Blue Card is only the first step in an ongoing process to ensure that children are receiving services in a safe environment. This process also involves the monitoring of all blue card holders and applicants and intervention in case of concerning offences.