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Combined disability worker screening and blue card application

On 1 February 2021, a new worker screening process commenced in Queensland for workers that provide supports and services to people with disability.

It replaced the ‘yellow card’ and ‘yellow card exemption’ screening.

In Queensland you may require:

  • a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) worker screening clearance to provide certain NDIS supports and services
  • the state’s disability clearance to provide certain non-NDIS related disability services.

Disability Services can give you more information about these, including which type of disability worker clearance you need.

About the screening

Blue Card Services is part of the Department of Justice and Attorney-General and administers the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000. We screen and issue blue and exemption cards for people working with children.

Disability Services is part of the Department of Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships. They administer the Disability Services Act 2006, and screen and issue both:

  • NDIS worker screening clearances for people providing NDIS supports and services
  • state disability worker screening clearances for people providing non-NDIS disability supports and services.

NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission is the national entity responsible for improving the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services. However, NDIS service providers should contact Disability Services for information on worker screening requirements.

Blue cards for working with children

We screen and issue blue and exemption cards for people working with children.

The blue card check:

  • assesses the eligibility of a person who works or seeks to work (including volunteering) with children or young people in regulated work in Queensland
  • is more than a police check and looks at a charge or conviction for any offence in Australia, even if no conviction was recorded.

You cannot use another state or territory’s working with children card for regulated child-related work in Queensland. Using your blue/exemption card elsewhere depends on that state or territory’s rules.

NDIS worker screening

Disability Services screens and issues NDIS worker screening clearances for people providing NDIS supports and services.

The check:

  • assesses whether a person who works—or seeks to work—with people with disability poses an unacceptable risk to them
  • determines whether a person is cleared for or excluded from working in certain roles with people with disability.

Working with children with disability

Under the NDIS

To work with children with disability as part of the NDIS in Queensland, you will need both:

  • an NDIS worker screening clearance
  • a blue/exemption card.

If you need both, you will be able to apply using the disability worker screening and working with children check application(we call this a ‘combined application’).

If you apply for and get an NDIS worker screening clearance and later require a blue/exemption card so you can work with children with disability, you will be able to  apply for a reduced fee. Volunteer and exemption card applications will continue to be free.

State disability worker screening

A state-level clearance is also required for people providing some non-NDIS disability services in Queensland.

You will also be able to apply for the state disability worker screening clearance and a blue/exemption card in a combined application.

To find out which card you need to work with children with disability, contact Disability Services on 1800 183 690 or visit the worker screening website.

How to apply if you already have a card or application

Already have blue and yellow card exemption?

You can continue using your existing blue and yellow card exemption to work with children with disability—you don’t need to get the new NDIS worker screening clearance or the state disability worker screening clearance until your current cards are due to expire.

When it’s time to renew, make a combined application through Disability Services that will cover both checks.

You must lodge your combined application before your current blue and yellow card exemption expires, so you can continue to provide services while it is being processed.

You can apply for the new clearance up to 3 months before your existing card expires.

Already have blue/exemption card and need disability worker screening clearance?

You can apply for an NDIS worker screening clearance or state disability worker screening clearance with Disability Services via the worker screening website.

Already applied for disability worker screening and then need a blue/exemption card?

If, after 1 February 2021, you have applied for or hold a NDIS or state disability worker screening clearance and you also need a blue/exemption card, you should use a specific form to apply for a blue/exemption card with us.

If you work in paid employment or are operating a business, you will be able to apply for a blue card for a reduced fee of $10, payable using the BPoint payment system.

You must use these forms to apply—or you will need to pay the usual blue card fee of $93.95:

Note: These forms do not apply to interstate NDIS worker screening clearance holders who need a blue/exemption card.

Submit your DWS and DWS/E application to us by:

If your blue/exemption card is approved, it will be valid for the same period as your existing disability worker clearance. This will allow you to renew both cards together using the combined application.

How to apply for both clearances

To make a combined application, we recommend using the online application system available on the worker screening website.

Online applications are usually processed more quickly than paper applications. If you can’t access the online application system, you can complete a paper form .

Contact the Disability Worker Screening Unit on 1800 183 690 if you need:

  • a paper form
  • help to complete the combined application online.

We will not accept combined applications. The only way to submit a combined application is with Disability Services via the worker screening website.

What you need for your combined application

To make a combined application, you need:

  • a Customer Reference Number (CRN) from the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR)
  • your blue/exemption card number if you have previously held one.

A CRN is the number on your driver licence, photo identity card or marine licence. Learn more about locating your CRN .

If you don’t already have a CRN, you can apply for one for free at a TMR Customer Service Centre by showing your ID documents. TMR will take your photo and give you a CRN.

How long does the application take to process

If you make a combined application, Disability Services will process your disability worker screening application and advise you of the outcome.

They will also advise us of the outcome of your application and, if approved, share your clearance details and expiry date.

We will then process your blue/exemption card application. If approved, your card will be issued with the same expiry date as your disability clearance.

Applicants with no police or other assessable information should have their blue/exemption card finalised within 5 business days from when we have been notified by Disability Services.

An application may take longer to process if:

  • there is any information missing
  • the applicant has police or other information that requires an assessment.

We may contact an applicant if further information is required.

While your application is processed

Under the No Card, No Start laws, you must have a valid blue card (or be notified of approval) before you can start working in regulated child-related work or provide certain disability services.

Learn more about the requirements for disability workers at the Disability Services website.

Expiry dates

A blue/exemption card is valid for 3 years.

The state disability worker screening card is valid for 3 years.

An NDIS worker screening clearance is valid for 5 years.

If you lodge a combined application (i.e. blue/exemption and disability worker screening clearance) and both checks are approved, your blue/exemption card will have the same expiry date as your disability worker clearance—whether it’s the NDIS or state clearance.

Fees

A blue card application fee is usually $93.95.

An existing NDIS or state disability clearance holder—or a disability worker screening applicant whose application has not been decided—can apply for a blue card for $10.

Applications for volunteers and working with children exemption cards are processed free of charge.

Disability worker screening fee information is available from Disability Services.

Linking workers to organisations

Before engaging a person in child-related work, an organisation must take reasonable steps to ensure a blue or exemption card is held by the card holder. They can do this by checking the card holder’s driver licence or photograph on their blue card. They must ensure the card holder is then linked to their organisation.

For organisations

Organisations using the Organisation Portal can quickly create a link with the applicant / card holder using the portal.

There is a form for when a blue or exemption card holder:

For NDIS self-employed / business operators

If you are an NDIS self-employed / business operator who provides NDIS supports and services to a child, a relevant person is entitled to be notified about your blue or exemption card status.

A relevant person includes the child receiving the supports or services, the child’s parent or the child’s plan manager.

A relevant person seeking to link an NDIS self-employed / business operator needs to complete a link an NDIS self-employed / business operator form.

Updating contact details

If your contact details change, you will need to update your details with us and Disability Services.

Interstate NDIS workers who will work with children in Queensland

If you have an interstate NDIS worker screening clearance and will be working with children in Queensland, you will need to apply for a blue card using the usual process.

You cannot use your interstate NDIS worker screening clearance to complete the DWS or DWS/E form. Learn how to apply for a blue card.

Information about using a disability worker screening clearance in other states or territories is available on the worker screening website.