1 in 6 WWCC (Working With Children Card) also known as Blue Card holders have a criminal record!
How does that headline make you feel? Surprised, shocked? Should this have your executives worried?
If you knew that 1 in 6 of your child-workers had criminal convictions, do you think the parents would feel that your organisation has adequate background screening processes and safeguards in place?
1 in 6: it’s true – here is the Government audit:
The reality of the WWCC (Blue Cards)
The WWCC only checks for convictions for a specific category of crimes. In particular, crimes against children and convictions for violent crimes such as murder or manslaughter. Anyone with an extensive criminal record for offences like fraud, stealing or maybe a string of DUIs, drug possession etc would not be considered an issue and therefore the WWCC would be granted.
It’s a false sense of security that the government gives our community and it’s a false level of trust in a Candidate who has been granted a WWCC.
Does that sound acceptable to you?
If you knew the Candidate had a background of questionable character (given your organisation’s employment policies and standards), you would have a valid reason not to hire them – in order to protect the children and your reputation.
Unfortunately, the WWCC is not designed to assess a person’s honesty, trustworthiness, or resilience. But surely, this is what most people EXPECT a government background screening check does.
There lies a clear and present danger and the risk is real. In 2015, a 27-year-old Albury woman was charged with fraudulently claiming $3 million through her family day care business. Later that year, a ring of six people in Melbourne were charged with making false attendance on behalf of childcare centres to defraud the system of more than $15 million.
Not an Isolated Event. Deficient vetting exists in other government agencies.
Other government screening programs do not make you as safe as you are led to believe. For example, 1 in 5 airport staff have had serious criminal convictions: “Airport ground staff pose greatest risk to passenger safety“. There was a Senate Committee investigation into this recently and the outcome was:
Recommendation: 3.75 “screening bodies [ASIC card issuers] [must] have appropriate employment standards.”
Not much has changed: Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission figures show 277 people who hold an aviation or maritime security card either have links to outlaw motor cycle gangs or are on the National Criminal Target List.
Which leads to the question: do you do have appropriate employment standards, more than a check itself?
Good news: not all government background screening checks are as narrow or as basic as the ASIC or WWCC.
Take for example, national security clearances. These checks (which range from Baseline, NV1, NV2 and TSPV) can take months and sometimes years to obtain. They have been described as intrusive process because the government needs assurances that certain people in certain roles have the character required to keep Australia safe.
As a leader in delivering national security clearances to the Commonwealth, we can provide you a comprehensive background screening regime that can enhance your organisation’s existing security standards in order to meet community expectations without altering the WWCC process. It’s called Cleard.life.
Cleard.life is a risk mitigation solution that vets your candidates and has the effect of exceeding the WWCC background screening process because it uses the Attorney General’s standards and guidelines for personnel security and use the same vetting officers as the official security clearances. With over 440,000 APS staff and contractors holding a national security clearance (at varying levels), the AG’s standards are robust and delve into mental health, financial, drug use, personal conduct, illegal conduct, criminal associations — not just narrowly focussed red flags (eg. sexual convictions).
Importantly, Australian Standards 4811 2022 Workforce Screening have changed to now require a Suitability Interview and Risk Assessment on every candidate.
Organisation Decision Maker:
As a screening body, we believe that the Cleard.life background screening will meet your requirements for appropriate employment standards. If your organisation works with children on a regular basis, you need to revisit their personnel security standards in light of the Royal Commission observations:
If your organisation relies predominately on the background screening check done by the WWCC, then today is the day to revisit your standards and employment standards. If you want more than a WWCC (Blue Card) background screening service, which won’t cost the earth, then get in touch with us – or start your vetting today – for FREE – here.
View our Product details here.
Or contact us on (02) 6171-4171 for a no obligation, confidential discussion.
FAQs: Click here
Our Response to the Royal Commission on Child Sex Abuse. Read here
Reputation Matters in Membership Organisations. What you can do to improve it. Read more here