The Bishop in Council of the Diocese has not yet determined the commencement date of Part 4.2 of the Act dealing with clearance for service of lay people. In the meantime, screening is being conducted by the Diocese in accordance with its lay authorisations policy.
When the provisions of Part 4.2of the Act commence operation, the following will apply.
Who needs a clearance?
The Bishop in Council of the Diocese will resolve that certain prescribed roles offices and positions for lay people for service in the Church (other than for authorised lay ministry), require a clearance for service.
They are likely to include a member of the Bishop in Council, the Chapter of the Cathedral and Parish Council member, a Director of Music and people engaged in child related work.
Your Rector or Priest in Charge may in their discretion request a person (not already required by Bishop in Council) to apply for a clearance of service in connection with a particular role office or position: s60(3).
Table of prescribed roles
Application for a clearance for service
A Church worker may apply on the prescribed form to the Kooyoora Office of Professional Standards for a clearance for service.
In the coming months from a date to be announced, you will be able to apply online for the clearance.
The Office of Professional Standards relies on the accuracy of your answers in deciding whether to issue a clearance. Please take great care in completing this application as wilfully providing a false answer to a question may bear on the question of your fitness for service.
If you do not already have one, you may need to apply to CrimCheck for a police check. Follow these instructions.
You may also need to apply for a Working with Children Card. Follow these instructions.
It is a condition of eligibility for a clearance for service that you are fit to hold the proposed role office or position in the Church whether unconditionally or subject to any condition or restriction (s62 of the Act). An assessment is made on the basis of the information supplied in the application, the below checks and the information held by the Kooyoora Office of Professional Standards.
CrimCheck Online Application Form – Police Check
This is a check of all offences that are disclosed from a person’s National criminal records.
If you have previously obtained a favourable Police Check during the 3 years previous to the date of your application for a clearance, please supply a certified copy of that check to Kooyoora Ltd with your Clearance for Service Application form. The Office of Professional Standards will treat that Check as a Police Check for the purposes of your application.
See the Fact sheet on Police checks
Working with Children Card
Under Victorian law, as a minister of religion, you are required to hold a current Working with Children Card (WWCC).
The grant of the Card involves a check whether certain offences relevant to the safety of children are recorded against the applicant for the Card.
The card is valid for 5 years unless the Department of Justice suspends or revokes it in the meantime. If you move from voluntary to paid work, you must apply for an ‘Employee’ Card.
See the Fact sheet on Working with Children Cards
National Register check
This involves a check of the National Register maintained by the Office of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Australia.
The clearance process
Broadly the process where, as a lay person, you have been offered or appointed or elected to a role, subject to clearance, is as follows:
The Director of Professional Standards
He or she is authorised to make a determination that a clearance for ministry be issued to you if satisfied that you are unconditionally fit for the proposed role office or position (s63 of the Act).
If not so satisfied, the Director will let you know and the application will be referred to the Professional Standards Committee (PSC) for further consideration. You will have the opportunity to direct any submissions to the PSC, as provided in the Clearance for Service Protocol.
If the PSC is not satisfied of your fitness, the application is referred to the Professional Standards Board for determination. You will be informed of this referral and given the opportunity to respond. These steps are to ensure that procedural fairness is observed.
The Board may direct that the Office of Professional Standards refuse the application or grant the clearance for such period and subject to such condition or restriction as it may determine (s81).
Duration of the clearance
A clearance is valid for the earlier of the period specified in the clearance (not more than 5 years) and the resignation or retirement of the person from the role office or position unless the clearance is revoked or cancelled in the meantime by the Office of Professional Standards at the direction of the Professional Standards Board.
The standard certificate of clearance states that it remains in force, subject to the provisions of the Act, from the date specified in the certificate until the earlier of—
(a) the fifth anniversary of that date;
(b) the revocation or surrender or the expiry without renewal of the Working with Children Card given to the holder pursuant to the Working with Children Act 2005 (Vic);
(c) the occurrence of a conviction event in relation to that person; and
(d) the resignation or retirement of the person from each role office or position
unless it is sooner suspended or cancelled by the Office of Professional Standards pursuant to a direction of the Professional Standards Board or the Professional Standards Review Board.