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Individuals requiring a blue card to work or volunteer with children

To work or volunteer with children in Queensland, you may need a blue card.

Whether an individual requires a blue card will depend on several factors including the environment where the work is performed, type of work and frequency of work.

To require a blue card, an individual’s services or activities must fall within one of the 16 categories of regulated employment under the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000 (the Act).

Categories of regulated employment

The categories of regulated employment under the Act are:

If the services or activities fall within one of these categories, you will need a blue card unless an exemption applies. People under the age of 18 years may also need a blue card.

This list does not include all situations where you may need a blue or exemption card.

If you are unsure whether you need a blue card, please contact us.

Care of children under the Child Protection Act 1999

You will need a blue card if you:

  • provide care for a child as an approved carer (not including as a provisionally approved carer), for example if you are a foster or kinship carer
  • are an adult living in a home where care is being provided for a child, for example living in a home where foster or kinship care is being provided
  • will be doing any work inside a licensed residential facility
  • are employed by a licensed care service and your work includes providing support for an approved carer
  • are responsible for directly managing a licensed care service
  • are engaged to provide care to a child through a licensed care service.

Child accommodation services, including homestays

You will need a blue card if you:

  • will be providing a homestay to children through school or a homestay provider
  • are over 18 and live in a home where a child accommodation service or homestay is provided.

Under this category, you don't need a blue card for offering child accommodation services if you are a:

  • relative of a child living in the house where the child accommodation service is being provided
  • person living in the home who is under 18.

Childcare services

You will need a blue card if you will be providing childcare as part of a commercial service, for example if you are:

  • a babysitter (including babysitters under the age of 18), nanny or au pair employed by an agency or a family
  • employed to provide a child-minding service (e.g. at a gym, hotel or kid’s club)
  • employed to chaperone children (e.g. looking after child actors on the set of a film or television show).

Under this category, you may not need a blue card if you are a parent volunteering where your child attends in any of the above areas (restricted persons cannot rely on this exemption).

Churches, clubs and associations

You will need a blue card for work at a church, club, association or similar entity that includes providing services to children and conducting activities with children. A blue card is required for people working or volunteering:

  • in the children’s Sunday school at a church, or youth group
  • with a children’s sports team
  • with an organisation that provides guided tours to children
  • as a board or committee member—such as a president, treasurer or secretary member—for a community organisation that provides regulated services for children.

Under this category, you may not need a blue card if you are a parent who volunteers at an organisation your child attends and you provide the same or similar services to those your child is receiving at the church, club or association.

For example, if a parent volunteers at their child’s sporting club as a team manager/coach for their child’s team, and does not perform another role within the club such as a timekeeper for another junior team, a blue card is not required. This is because the services the parent provides are the same or similar to those their own child receives at the club, and they are captured by the volunteer parent exemption (unless a restricted person). A restricted person cannot rely on the volunteer parent exemption.

However, if the same parent proposes to volunteer at their child’s sporting club as a Secretary of the Committee, or officiates other junior teams, they are not providing the same or similar services that their child is receiving at the club and a blue card is required.

Churches, clubs and associations are best placed to determine whether the services or activities a volunteer parent will provide are the same or similar to those their child receives at the organisation.

You should check with your church, club or association about the proposed activities of any volunteer role and whether a blue card is required.

Disability work

You will need a blue card if you:

  • provide disability services to a child with disability
  • carry out risk-assessed National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) work for an NDIS service provider in relation to a child with disability.

Under this category, you don't need a blue card if you are a:

  • person with disability who is employed at a place where you also receive NDIS supports or services, or other disability services
  • secondary school student on work experience who carries out disability-related work under the direct supervision of a person who holds a blue or exemption card (restricted persons cannot rely on this exemption)
  • volunteer who is a relative of a person who receives NDIS supports or services, or other disability services, and are only at the place to help with the care of that person (restricted persons cannot rely on this exemption).

Education and care services

You will need a blue card if you will be doing any work in education and care service premises while children are present. In general, an education and care service is a service other than a school that provides regular education and care to children under 13, although there are other exemptions. This includes services such as outside school hours care, family day care, childcare and kindergarten.

You will need a blue card if you are:

  • someone who provides education or assistance in an education and care service
  • someone who works or volunteers at an education and care service while children are present
  • an adult who lives in a home where an education and care service is provided, including people who are not normally in the home while children are present
  • someone who supervises a student’s practical placement in an education and care service premises (e.g. assessing a student’s work while they are doing a placement)
  • a tradesperson whose usual work is performed while children are present (including entering the education and care service premises to consult with staff before doing any work)
  • a student (including under the age of 18) doing a practical placement in an education and care service.

Under this category, you don't need a blue card if you are a:

  • parent volunteering at their child’s education and care service (unless they are a restricted person, who cannot rely on this exemption)
  • person doing work outside the operating hours at the education and care service premises (e.g. a tradesperson who only does work at night or on the weekend, and does not enter the premises while children are present).

Education programs conducted outside of school

Only some people will need a blue card under this category. If you are unsure whether this applies to you, you should check with your employer or contact us.

A person will usually need a blue card if they deliver educational programs to school, students who can’t attend regular school, such as students who have been suspended, have special schooling arrangements or are in an elite education program.

Specifically, this relates to the following sections of the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006:

  • 182 and 183—Flexible arrangements (state or non-state school)
  • 284, 294 and 301—Continuing education during suspension
  • 304 and 310—Continuing education during exclusion of certain student(s).

Under this category, you don't need a blue card under section 232 of the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 if you are providing education under the banner of a:

  • school
  • registered higher education provider
  • registered training organisation, for example a university or organisation such as TAFE Queensland.

Emergency services cadet program

You will need a blue card if your work includes teaching children as an adult member in a cadet program managed by the department responsible for emergency services, such as the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services cadet program.

Health, counselling and support services

You will need a blue card if you provide:

  • child health screening at a community health facility
  • a health service to a child at a children’s hospital or a pediatric ward
  • first aid to a child or children, even as part of a sport
  • counselling to a child one-on-one in person
  • counselling to a child over the phone or online
  • a support service to a child one-on-one in person
  • a support service to a child over the phone or online
  • massage therapy to children
  • speech pathology to children.

You will also need a blue card if you are a student enrolled in a tertiary course (including certificate, TAFE and university courses) and need to do a practical placement.

Under this category, you don't need a blue card if you are:

  • a person doing general work at any hospital, for example a cleaner
  • a registered health practitioner working in your professional capacity, for example a doctor, nurse, midwife, paramedic, psychologist or dentist
  • an approved teacher working within the school in your professional capacity as a teacher
  • a person providing services as part of your employment with a licensed care service.

Private teaching, coaching or tutoring

You will need a blue card if your work includes teaching, coaching or tutoring children on a commercial basis, for example a:

  • person (including under the age of 18) employed by a private tutoring company to tutor children
  • personal trainer who offers training to children
  • driving instructor who offers lessons to children, even if they are supervised.

Under this category, you don't need a blue card for private teaching, coaching or tutoring if you are a:

  • volunteer (a person who does not receive a payment or reward)
  • person employed by an education provider, including a registered training organisation (e.g. a person employed by a university or TAFE).

Religious representatives

You will need a blue card if you are a religious representative and your work includes providing services to children as a religious representative or conducting activities with children as a religious representative.

For example, if you are:

  • a religious leader such as a priest, chaplain, minister or rabbi whose role includes (or may include) providing religious instruction to children or conducting activities as a religious representative
  • an employee of a religious organisation and the organisation runs children's activities (e.g. if you are a youth leader who runs children's worship groups and Sunday school activities)
  • an employee of a business promoting spiritual beliefs and guidance to children, even if you don't consider yourself to be part of an organised religion.

A person who represents their church or other religious entity as a religious representative may apply for a blue card as a business operator instead of as an employee.

Residential facilities

You will need a blue card if you will be doing any work in a:

Under this category, you don't need a blue card for work at a licensed care service. As per the Child Protection Act 1999, a licensed care service provides care for children under the Chief Executive’s custody or guardianship, and is licensed to do so.

School boarding facilities

You will need a blue card if your usual work is in a boarding facility at a school.

Under this category, you don't need a blue card if you are a teacher registered with the Queensland College of Teachers.

School crossing supervisors

You will need a blue card if your work includes supervising a road crossing at a school (e.g. a lollipop person).

Schools

You will need a blue card if your work is at a school and includes if you:

  • do work with children at a school, including school excursions and school camps
  • are a teacher's aide
  • do other work at a school, such as a cleaner, including employees of the school and of other companies
  • are a student doing a practical placement in a school.

Under this category you don't need a blue card to work at a school if you are a:

Sport and active recreation

You will need a blue card if your work relates to sport or active recreation and includes providing services to children or conducting activities with children, including if you are:

  • an employee or volunteer of a business that offers training for children (e.g. a person who works or volunteers with children at a martial arts business)
  • under 18 and paid for your work
  • a student enrolled in a tertiary course (including certificate, TAFE and university courses) who needs to do a practical placement
  • a person employed to provide personal training to children.

Under this category (unless you are a restricted person) you don't need a blue card if you are a:

  • parent volunteering at the same place where your child participates in the activities
  • person who works at an amusement park (e.g. a person who dresses as a character in a theme park)
  • person providing these activities as part of a church, club or association.

Under 18 years of age

You will need a blue card if you are under the age of 18 years and proposing to engage in paid work or a student placement which is captured under the above categories. For example, a young person who is getting paid to do babysitting.

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When you don’t need a blue card

Not all environments involving children will require a person to hold a blue card.

  • You don’t need a blue card if you are a paid employee, volunteer or student and you work for no more than 7 days in a calendar year. A calendar year starts from 1 January and ends on 31 December. A ‘day’ is for any period of time on 1 day, irrespective of whether it is a full day or part day. You cannot rely on the frequency test if you are a restricted person or a running a business.
  • You don't need a blue card if you are a volunteer who is under 18 (a restricted person cannot rely on this exemption). If you continue volunteering after you turn 18, you will need to apply for a blue card. We can accept your application 3 months before you turn 18 and, if it’s approved, your card will be issued on your 18th birthday.
  • You don’t need a blue card if you are working alongside a person who is under 18 (e.g. if you supervise a 17-year-old colleague).
  • You don’t need a blue card if you are involved in a team, club or group activity that also has members under 18 (e.g. if you participate in an under-20s sports group with a member who is 17).
  • You don’t need a blue card if you are supervising a student while they do work experience, including school students.

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