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Rights and obligations under the blue card system

Applicants, card holders, organisations and business operators have rights and obligations under the blue card system.

Your rights

We are committed to ensuring the blue card application process is fair and ‘natural justice’ is followed.

This means that before we start to assess concerning information from the blue card check we will:

  • give you a copy of all the information we have received
  • give you a chance to tell your side of the story (by making a submission)
  • make sure you understand the process and how the information will be assessed
  • consider all information you provide before making a final decision.

You also have the right to:

  • withdraw your application while it is being processed
  • use your valid blue card for other child-related work
  • cancel your blue card.

If you are refused a blue card, you may be able to apply to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal to have our decision reviewed. Find out more about appealing a decision.

Your obligations

As an applicant, card holder, organisation or business operator, you have obligations. If you don't comply with these oblications, you could be fine

Duration 07:41:00

Welcome to the Blue Card Services Online Information Sessions.

We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land upon which we are recording this information session. We pay our respects to elders both past and present for their courage and leadership in advocating for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

We also pay our respects to future elders and acknowledge the valuable role they play in shaping our future generations.

We extend a special welcome to all First Nation peoples listening to this information session.

This video provides information on the key obligations for individuals.

On 31 August 2020, the Queensland Government made changes to the blue card system to make it better. Better for you, better for our kids.

If you work or volunteer with kids in Queensland, under the blue card system you have obligations you must comply with.

This video will guide you through some key obligations for applicants and card holders.

The No Card, No Start laws mean that paid workers, volunteers, students and business operators must have a blue card before they can work with children.

If you submitted a paid application before the No Card, No Start laws began, you can continue working while your application is assessed.

The first obligation is that you must notify Blue Card Services if you change your personal details, such as your: email, postal address, contact number, or name, for example, due to marriage or divorce. You must also advise of any changes in your employment circumstances, such as: starting a new job, changing from a volunteer to a paid employment position, if you stop working in child-related employment, and if you lose or destroy your blue card.

Also, if your card is due to expire and you wish to continue in child-related work, you will need to ensure that you renew your card before it expires.

It is important to provide us with your most recent details as this will ensure that you receive any important correspondence which may be sent to you.

It will also ensure that we will not send correspondence to organisations you are no longer with. Your next obligation is that you must immediately notify us if there is a change in your police information.

You can do this by submitting the 'Change in police information notification' form. You do not have to provide the details of the change in police information, only that a change has occurred.

We will notify your employer of a change in police information, where appropriate. Your police information is considered to change if: you are charged or convicted for an offence.

A conviction means a finding of guilt by a court or the acceptance of a plea of guilty by a court, whether or not a conviction is recorded and regardless of when and where it occurred, police investigative information exists which relates to allegations of serious child-related sexual offences, even if no charges were laid, you become the subject of an application for a disqualification order, which is an order that prohibits a person from holding or applying for a blue or exemption card, you become the respondent to an application for an offender prohibition order under the Child Protection (Offender Reporting and Offender Prohibition Order) Act 2004, or you become subject to reporting obligations or a child protection offender prohibition order under the Child Protection (Offender Reporting and Offender Prohibition Order) Act 2004 or a disqualification order or a sexual offender order.

If you have a change in your police information, we will reassess your eligibility to work with children and you will be notified of any relevant outcomes.

If your card is cancelled or suspended: you must not apply for, start or continue in child-related employment or business regulated by the blue card system; you must also return your blue card to us immediately. The No Card, No Start laws mean stricter requirements for people who rely on an exemption to work or volunteer with kids through the introduction of the terms 'restricted person', 'restricted employment' and the associated offences.

A restricted person is somebody who has been: convicted of a disqualifying offence, issued with a negative notice, has had their blue or exemption card suspended, or has been charged with a disqualifying offence and the matter hasn't been finalised.

Restricted employment refers to situations that allow a person to work with children without a blue or exemption card, such as: a volunteer parent, a volunteer under the age of 18 years, a person who works with children for not more than 7 days in a calendar year, or a person who receives services at a disability service centre where services are provided to children.

These penalties apply to individuals who start restricted employment as a restricted person and organisations who employ a restricted person in restricted employment.

For example, a 16 year old volunteering with kids at a local footy club who has been charged with a disqualifying offence, such as rape, which has not yet gone to court cannot rely on the exemption to continue volunteering with kids at the local footy club.

Another example: a person who was convicted of rape, a disqualifying offence, in 1990 and is now a parent of a child in a primary school.

They want to help at their child's school reading with the students and volunteering at the tuckshop.

This parent is a restricted person and cannot rely on the exemption.

All organisations, including self-employed persons, falling within the scope of the blue card system, are required to develop and implement child and youth risk management strategies which address 8 minimum requirements.

It is very important that you make sure you fulfil these obligations as penalties may apply for non-compliance.

To assist organisations to develop and implement relevant child and youth risk management strategies, a suite of short online videos and a toolkit have been developed, both of which can be accessed on our website.

The obligations mentioned in this video are not an exhaustive list of all obligations. You must ensure you familiarise yourself with all obligations which are relevant to your situation, which you can do on our website.

Thank you for taking the time to learn about the key obligations for applicants and card holders.

We hope you found this video useful and we encourage you to watch the remaining videos on offer from the Blue Card Services YouTube channel.

For more information, visit our website, phone our call centre or send us an email.

Changes to personal and employment information

As an applicant, you must let us know within 7 days if:

As a card holder, you must let us know:

As an organisation or business operator, you must let us know:

Changes to police information

As an applicant or card holder, you must immediately let us know if your police information changes.

As an organisation or business operator, it is an offence to employ or continue to employ a 'restricted person' in 'restricted employment' if you know (or should reasonably know) that they are a restricted person. The maximum penalty is $27,570 (200 penalty units) or 2 years in prison.

Suspension of blue card or exemption card

As an applicant or card holder with a suspended blue card or exemption card, you must:

  • not apply for, start or continue child-related work
  • not start or continue a child-related business
  • return your card to us immediately unless already surrendered to the Queensland Police Service.

Once the court finalises your charge, we will re-assess your eligibility to hold a blue card.

We will tell you and your employer, volunteer organisation or education provider whether your card is continued or cancelled.

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

As an organisation or business operator, you must not employ or continue to employ a person with a suspended blue card or exemption card within regulated employment (paid or volunteer).

If you have linked the person to your organisation, we will tell you if their card is continued or cancelled.

Cancellation of blue card or exemption card

As an applicant or card holder with a cancelled blue card or exemption card, you must:

  • not apply for, start or continue child-related work
  • not start or continue a child-related business
  • return your card to us immediately.

If you have been issued with a negative notice, you are considered a restricted person.

As an organisation or business operator, you must not employ or continue to employ a person with a cancelled blue card or exemption card within regulated employment (paid or volunteer).

If you have linked the person to your organisation, we will tell you if their card is cancelled.