Blue card system statistics
The data on this page is for the 2021–22 financial year as at 30 June 2022.
It provides 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
- our focus on increasing compliance to create safe environments for children.
Size of the blue card system
There are 898,339 current links between employers and card holders / applicants in the blue card system. One card holder or applicant can be linked to more than one employer or volunteer organisation at a time.
Currently 880,069 people are blue card holders and 10,775 people are applicants.
Safeguards for children
We contribute to a safer and more secure Queensland for children through:
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 determine 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 indicates that they are unable to protect a child from harm and promote their wellbeing.
Did you know?
This year we actioned 3,483 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.
Online applicants with no police or other relevant information are usually approved for a blue card within a few days.
Between 1 July 2021 and 30 June 2022, online applications have been processed within:
Paper forms can take longer to process because they require manual entry and are impacted by peak processing periods.
Between 1 July 2021 and 30 June 2022, the processing times for paper applications and all applications (regardless of the mode of submission) were:
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 component 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.
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.
Focus on compliance
Enhancing police officers’ knowledge of the blue card system and potential breaches of blue card laws facilitates the ability of the Queensland Police Service (QPS) to assist Blue Card Services to immediately deal with risks to children posed by non-compliance with blue card system obligations.
Officers from Blue Card Services have attended the Queensland Police Academy throughout 2021–22 to provide specialist blue card system training to QPS officers.
In 2021–22, our ongoing collaboration with QPS has resulted in 92% of blue card offences finalised in court resulting in a successful prosecution.
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
The Community Information team continues to provide support to stakeholders via a range of media and contact points. In 2021–22, we have:
- answered over 130,000 phone enquiries
- responded to over 40,000 emails
- undertaken 66 community engagement activities involving over 1,900 participants.
Our suite of resources include a number of how-to videos to help stakeholders navigate our online services. Our how-to-videos have had over 25,000 views and 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.
The Community Information team visits regional and remote communities to assist with blue card applications and assisting organisations with ‘who needs a blue card’.
We also provide practical assistance to culturally and linguistically diverse organisations with blue card applications. This included assisting recent Ukraine arrivals with translation services and application assistance.
Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
We are committed to increasing the participation of First Nations peoples and communities in the blue card system. Find out more about how we support these communities.
In 2021–22, our dedicated team of professionals, including identified liaison officers, continued to provide practical support to First Nations applicants and employers. This included travelling to discrete communities including Normanton, Lockhart River, Palm Island, Bamaga, Seisa, Injinoo, Umagico, New Mapoon, Woorabinda, Doomadgee, Coen, Cherbourg, Murgon, Kowanyama and Aurukun to provide one-on-one support to applicants engaging in the blue card application and assessment processes.
Since 1 July 2021, 94% of First Nations applicants have been issued with a blue card.
To assist First Nations stakeholders to have a better understanding the blue card system, in February 2022 we launched the Yarn with Jess podcast series. Jess, a proud Bidjara woman, yarns with blue card staff on all things blue card to help ensure our gunanoos (which means kids) are kept safe.