Blue card system statistics
All statistics and data on this page are for the 2022–23 financial year from 1 July 2022 to 31 March 2023.
On this page you will find information about:
- the size of the blue card system in Queensland
- the strength of the safeguards it provides to children
- the support we provide to applicants, employers and community groups to increase blue card system participation and compliance.
Size of the blue card system
There are 895,832 current links between employers and card holders / applicants in the blue card system. One card holder / applicant can be linked to more than one employer or volunteer organisation at a time.
Currently 912,148 people are blue card holders and 13,196 are applicants.
Safeguards for children
We contribute to a safer and more secure Queensland for children through the following measures.
To help keep children in Queensland safe, the blue card system stops certain people upfront from holding or applying for a blue card.
Our blue card screening involves a comprehensive check of whether there is any known criminal history or other information that raises concern about a person working with children. Where concerning information is identified, we undertake an assessment to decide if the person is eligible to work with children.
This process prevents people from working with children in regulated child-related environments if their past behaviour shows that they are unable to protect a child from harm and promote their wellbeing.
This financial year we have finalised 2,946 cases which resulted in individuals being prevented from working with children.
Another important safeguard for Queensland children is the No Card, No Start laws, which mean all people working with children are screened before they can start child-related work.
To make this easier, people can now apply for and renew their blue cards using an online service, modernising the previously paper-based system.
During this financial year:
- 202,496 blue card applications were finalised
- 94.16% of finalised blue card applications were submitted online.
Online applicants with no police or other relevant information are usually approved for a blue card within a few days.
This financial year online applications have been processed within:
- 2 business days if no police or other relevant information is received
- 12 business days if less complex police or other relevant information is received.
Paper forms can take longer to process because they need manual entry and are affected by peak processing periods.
The processing times for paper applications and all applications (regardless of the mode of submission) this financial year were:
- 6 business days for paper applications if no police or other relevant information is received
- 3 business days for all blue card applications (paper and online) if no police or other relevant information is received.
There are a number of factors that can impact our processing times, some of which are out of our control.
Unlike a one-off police check, the blue card system provides ongoing protection to children and young people through daily monitoring of all blue card applicants and card holders for changes to their Queensland criminal history.
This is a critical part of the system, allowing us to take steps to protect children from harm when a person is charged with offences relevant to child-related employment.
It is therefore essential for employers to link a blue or exemption card holder to their organisation before starting them in regulated employment. This ensures the organisation will receive important notifications about the person’s blue card status, including if the card is suspended or cancelled.
- 925,344 current card holders and applicants monitored daily.
- 625 blue cards were cancelled or suspended because of changes in police or other relevant information.
All people and organisations regulated by the blue card system must comply with their blue card obligations, such as the legislative requirement for organisations to develop child and youth risk management strategies to mitigate risks of harm to children and young people in their service environments. This includes policies for recruiting, selecting, training, and managing employees and volunteers.
We engage directly with individuals and employers to ensure they are compliant and supported in providing safe environments for children.
If we identify a breach of blue card system obligations, we can refer the matter to the police.
Where possible, our activities focus on helping organisations and individuals comply with their obligations under the blue card system and reduce risks of harm to children.
We have developed an organisation portal to help employers and volunteer organisations keep track of their blue card obligations and records.
Compliance activities include:
- educating and directing organisations and individuals to comply with specific requirements under the blue card system
- ensuring organisations have a child and youth risk management strategy in place that covers the 8 mandatory requirements
- checking that organisations have actioned our notifications that certain individuals cannot work with children.
The number of issues referred to the Compliance team for action in the 2022–23 financial year to date has increased by 54% in comparison to the same period in 2021–22.
This financial year we have:
- corresponded with 1,797 regulated organisations or businesses to provide information about and ensure compliance with legal requirements under the blue card system
- undertaken 1,113 checks with organisations about persons prohibited from working with children.
Where efforts to achieve compliance through engagement with organisations or individuals cannot be achieved—or where a serious breach is identified—we refer these matters to the Queensland Police Service for investigation and possible prosecution.
Of those matters finalised in court the 2022–23 financial year to date, 96% resulted in a successful prosecution under blue card legislation.
Education and resources
Queenslanders now recognise that we all have an important role to play in protecting our children.
Our education activities help individuals and organisations foster safer service environments by:
- increasing understanding of who needs a blue card and how to apply
- helping people and organisations meet their blue card obligations, and
- working with organisations to educate them about their risk management requirements.
We also provide resources for individuals, organisations, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Supporting our stakeholders
We provide support to stakeholders via a range of media and contact points.
This financial year we have:
- answered over 81,000 phone enquiries
- responded to over 39,000 emails
- undertaken 131 community engagement activities involving over 3,500 participants.
Our suite of resources includes how-to videos to help stakeholders navigate our online services. Our video resources have had over 50,000 views.
These videos answer a range of common questions, including how to:
- register for an online account and use the online applicant portal
- link students and volunteers to an organisation
- renew your blue card on time
- transfer from a volunteer card to a paid card
- update your contact details.
Many of our videos have also been made available in Korean, Vietnamese, Arabic, Hindi and simplified Chinese.
We visit regional and remote communities to help people with their blue card applications and help organisations with understanding who needs a blue card. We have online resources to help organisations with:
- who needs a blue card?
- organisation’s obligations
- child and youth risk management strategies.
We also provide practical blue card application assistance to culturally and linguistically diverse organisations.
Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
We are committed to breaking down barriers for First Nations Queenslanders by providing more support through each step of the blue card process. In 2022–23, Blue Card Services will:
- continue to implement the Safe children and strong communities strategy and action plan
- expand our dedicated team of identified liaison officers that help First Nations stakeholders with the blue card application and assessment processes, and provide a cultural lens on the decision-making process
- provide targeted cultural capability training for staff
- develop education resources and podcasts for First Nations communities and individuals, and provide free, tailored workshops in-person and online
- publish regular Blue Card Yarns newsletters
- increase attendance in remote communities and—at community events—give people the opportunity to learn about the blue card system, eligibility and how to apply.
Find out more about how we support these communities.
Our dedicated team of professionals—including identified liaison officers—continues to provide practical support to First Nations applicants and employers. Since 1 July 2022, this has included travelling to discrete communities (Yarrabah, Mossman, Palm Island, Weipa, Napranum, Mapoon, Mornington Island Aurukun, Kowanyama, Pormpuraaw and Woorabinda) to provide one-on-one support to applicants engaging in the blue card application and assessment processes. We have also completed outreach visits to Toowoomba, Logan, Cairns, Townsville, Charters Towers, Mt Isa, Charleville, Roma, Cunnamulla and Rockhampton to assist First Nations applicants with their blue card applications.
Since 1 July 2022, 91.16% of applicants who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander were issued with a blue card.
To assist First Nations stakeholders to have a better understanding of the blue card system, in February 2022 we launched the Yarn with Jess podcast series. In the first series, Jess—a proud Bidjara woman—presents 15 episodes with a number of guests to discuss all things blue card. The second series of this podcast launched in March 2023 and remains popular with stakeholders.
The podcast had 815 views since 1 July 2022.
If you are interested in more detailed blue card system statistics for Queensland remote communities, please download the remote community information sheet.