Safety Checking Staff

Safety checking regulations and workforce restriction

All children’s workers who have access to children must be safety checked in accordance with the Vulnerable Children Act (2014) before they have access to children. The requirements include

  • a standard safety check, and
  • a workforce restriction.

The Regulations under the Act set out the minimum standards for safety checking.

Forms

Click HERE to download forms that can guide you through the safety checking requirements. The first time around, you need to use the full safety check form. Thereafter, you can use the periodic safety checking form. Periodic safety checks must be repeated at least every three years.

Identity checking

Click HERE  for a list of approved identity documents and for guidance on information sharing (privacy) and safety checking policy (GMA7A).

Licensing requirements

The documentation required:

  1. A written procedure for safety checking all children’s workers before they have access to children that meets the safety checking requirements of the Children’s Act (2014); and
  2. A record of all safety checks and the results.

Here are links with guidance for Police vetting  and safety checking  GMA7A centre-based and GMA6A home-based.

Who needs to be safety checked

The Children’s Act specifies who needs to be safety checked. You can read this in section 23 of the Children’s Act. Safety checks must be undertaken and the results obtained before the worker has access to children.

ECE sector organisations must safety check all people they employ or engage as a children’s worker. This includes contractors who may have unsupervised access to children.

For ECE services and kohanga reo, all staff who have access to children would be considered a ‘core worker’, as there will be times during the day when their duties require them to have ‘primary responsibility for, or authority over’, children. For example, in an ECE centre a teacher would be considered a ‘core worker’; in a home-based service an educator would be considered a core-worker.

A ‘non-core worker’ would include staff whose main duties do not require them to have ‘primary responsibility for, or authority over’, children, but whose work may include having access to children. For example, non-teaching staff such as administrative or kitchen staff.

Every children’s worker must be safety checked every three years. Safety checks may be carried out by the employer or another person or organisation acting on their behalf.

Workforce restriction

As part of the safety checking process, anyone convicted of a specified offence cannot be employed or engaged as a core worker, unless they have an exemption.

A specified offence means an offence identified in Schedule 2 of the Children’s Act 2014.

A person convicted of a specified offence can apply for an exemption. The exemptions process is administered by the Ministry of Social Development. Applications for exemptions are being considered from 1 July 2015.

Employers will be able to make an enquiry against the Core Worker Exemption Register.

How to safety check

There are also best practice guidelines available to provide advice on selecting safe people to work with children.  They include information about all aspects of the recruiting process.  You can download these guidelines, Safer recruitment, Safer children. These guidelines have been developed for use in conjunction with the regulatory supporting documents mentioned above.

Resources for safety checking requirements

Guidance on sharing information

Exemplar safety checking policy

Licensing criteria for ECE Services

New and existing employees [PDF, 550 KB]

Students on practicum [PDF, 547 KB]

Relievers [PDF, 47 KB]

Adult checks [PDF, 53 KB].