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Who cannot apply for or hold a blue card?

To help ensure the safety of children and young people in Queensland, the blue card system stops certain people from holding or applying for a blue card such as:

This page outlines what happens if you are charged or convicted of a serious or disqualifying offence, as well as what to do if you have a change in your police information. You can also find information on how to make a submission to us or appeal a decision.

Disqualifying offences

To help to keep children in Queensland safe, there are certain people who are disqualified from applying for or holding a blue card.

If you are a disqualified person and you sign a blue card application, you may receive a penalty.

Who is a disqualified person

You are a disqualified person if you are:

  • convicted of a disqualifying offence, which includes
    • having sex with a child (regardless of the type of relationship, e.g. teenage boyfriend/girlfriend, unlawful carnal knowledge)
    • other child-related sex or pornography offences
    • murder and other serious sexual or violent offences against an adult or child (regardless of the penalty and regardless of when and where it occurred)
  • a reportable offender under the Child Protection (Offender Reporting and Offender Prohibition Order) Act 2004
  • the subject of an offender prohibition order under the Child Protection (Offender Prohibition Order) Act 2008
  • prohibited by a court from applying for or holding a blue card

or

What is a disqualifying offence

All disqualifying offences are listed in the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000.

An offence is categorised as a disqualifying offence under the Act if it is an offence:

  • against a provision of an Act detailed in the list of disqualifying offences
  • under a law of another jurisdiction that, if it had been committed in Queensland, would have constituted an offence of a kind detailed in the list of disqualifying offences
  • of counselling or procuring the commission of an offence of a kind mentioned in the list of disqualifying offences
  • of attempting, or of conspiring, to commit an offence of a kind detailed in the list of disqualifying offences
  • that has, as an element, an intention to commit an offence of a kind mentioned in the list of disqualifying offences

or

  • that, at the time it was committed, was an offence of a kind mentioned in the list of disqualifying offences.

View the list of disqualifying offences.

Being charged with a disqualifying offence

If your application is being processed and you are charged with a disqualifying offence, we will immediately withdraw your application. If the charge is finalised and you are not convicted of the offence, you can submit a new application and we will assess your eligibility to hold a blue card.

If you already have a blue/exemption card and are charged with a disqualifying offence, we will immediately suspend your card and you cannot continue to work or volunteer with children.

Until your charge is finalised, you are considered a restricted person.

If the charge is finalised and you are not convicted of the offence, we will reassess your eligibility to hold a blue card.

Being convicted of a disqualifying offence

If you have been convicted of a disqualifying offence and received an order of imprisonment, you are considered a relevant disqualified person and you are never allowed to apply for or hold a blue card.

As a relevant disqualified person, you are also a restricted person.

If you are a disqualified person, you cannot:

  • apply for, start, or continue in child-related work (paid or voluntary)
  • carry on a child-related business regulated by the blue card system.

If you do either of these things, you are committing an offence and may receive a penalty up to $66,725 or 5 years’ imprisonment.

Eligibility declaration process

If you have been convicted of a disqualifying offence, but did not receive an order of imprisonment, you can apply for an eligibility declaration. Until you are declared eligible to apply, it is an offence to sign a blue card application form.

You can start the eligibility declaration process before you have an organisation to support your application. Through this process, we will conduct the blue card check and assess your police information.

To support your application, we will ask you to make a submission.

If your application for an eligibility declaration is refused, you cannot apply for a blue card and you cannot appeal this decision.

If your application is approved, you can then apply for a blue card.

Find out if you need a blue card before you apply.

Negative notice holders

If you are a current negative notice holder, you cannot:

  • apply for, start, or continue in child-related work (paid or voluntary)
  • carry on a child-related business regulated by the blue card system.

If you do either of these things, you will be committing an offence and may receive a penalty up to $66,725 or 5 years' imprisonment .

As a negative notice holder, you are also a restricted person.

A negative notice remains current until it is cancelled. You can apply to cancel your negative notice 2 years after it was issued. However, this does not mean that we will automatically overturn our original decision.

For more information about how to cancel your negative notice, contact us.

Serious offences

An offence is a ‘serious offence’ if:

  • it is against a provision of an Act in the list of serious offences
  • it is committed under a law of another jurisdiction, but if it had been committed in Queensland would be considered a serious offence in the list of serious offences
  • it is a class 1 offence or a class 2 offence under the Child Protection (Offender Reporting and Offender Prohibition Order) Act that is not otherwise a serious offence under this Act
  • it is the counselling or procurement of the commission of an offence of a kind mentioned in the list of serious offences
  • it is an attempt, or plan to commit an offence of a kind detailed in the list of serious offences
  • there is an intention to commit an offence of a kind mentioned in the list of serious offences

or

  • at the time it was committed, an offence of a kind mentioned in the list of serious offences.

All serious offences are listed in the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000.

View the list of serious offences.

Being charged with a serious offence

If your application is being processed and you are charged with a serious offence, we will immediately withdraw your application.

You cannot apply again until the charge has been finalised in court. When the charge has been finalised, you will need to submit a new application.

If you already have a blue or exemption card and are charged with a serious offence, we will immediately suspend your card and you cannot continue to work or volunteer with children. We will not reassess your eligibility to hold a blue card until the charge has been finalised in court.

Whilst your card is suspended, you are considered a restricted person.

Once the charge has been finalised, we will conduct another blue card check and reassess the information to check whether you are eligible to work or volunteer with children.

To support your application, we will ask you to make a submission.

If your application is approved we will give you a blue card.

If your application is refused, we will not give you a blue card and you will not be able to work or volunteer with children.

Being convicted of a serious offence

If you have been convicted of a serious offence, you can still apply for a blue card.

When we receive your application, we will conduct the blue card check and assess any information to decide whether you are eligible to work or volunteer with children. To support your application, we will ask you to make a submission.

If your application is approved, we will give you a blue card.

If your application is refused, we will not give you a blue card and you will not be able to work or volunteer with children.

If you are convicted of a serious offence, you must stop regulated work until a further working with children clearance is issued. This means that in the meantime you must not:

  • apply for, start, or continue in child-related work (paid or voluntary)
  • carry on a child-related business regulated by the blue card system.

If you do either of these things, you will be committing an offence and may receive a penalty up to $66,725 or 5 years' imprisonment.

Making a submission

If we receive information from your blue card check that suggests we should not issue a blue or exemption card, we will ask you to make a submission. The submission gives you a chance to tell us about your police or disciplinary information and tell your side of the story.

Your submission should show us how your behaviour has changed since the offending happened. You might want to include written references from employers, colleagues or health professionals who know about your past, or other relevant material. Learn more about making a submission.

If you need help with your submission, you can contact us for more information.

If you need independent legal advice, you may choose to contact organisations such as:

If you do not provide a submission, we will either withdraw your application or refuse to issue you a blue card. If this happens, you will not be able to work with children.

We will assess all the information we have before making a final decision.

Appealing a decision we have made

If your application is refused, you can appeal our decision through the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT). Learn more about the QCAT appeal process.