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When your not-for-profit organisation recruits employees or volunteers, you need to conduct appropriate screening procedures to manage any risks they may pose to your organisation.
It’s important that your organisation screens and inducts employees and volunteers in a thorough and systematic way. Certain background checks are required by law (under legislation or contract) and others are discretionary.
What checks you conduct will depend on the nature of the work the employee or volunteer will be doing. If someone has access to money, equipment or data, it may be appropriate to conduct a police check. If they will be working with children (this has a special meaning), it's a legal requirement to conduct a Working With Children Check. And specific requirements apply to workers providing National Disability Insurance Scheme services and supports.
Screening applicants appropriately when your organisation is recruiting is a good way to try to keep your organisation safe and to head off potential problems before they arise.
All organisations have a duty of care (a legal responsibility) to ensure a safe environment for employees, volunteers and clients, and being appropriately informed will help.
Note - Privacy laws
During the recruitment process your organisation will gain access to personal information about candidates, so privacy laws may apply to govern the ways your organisation manages that information.
Even if privacy laws don't apply to your organisation, the ways your organisation uses, stores and discloses that information might impact on your reputation, so it's worth considering how best to approach information about individuals.
For more information, see our guide to privacy.
We have produced a comprehensive guide on screening checks for each state and territory.
Each guide includes information on:
- Working with Children Checks
- Police Checks
- NDIS Worker Screening Checks
- other types of screening checks, and
- child safety law reforms relevant to screening
The content on this webpage was last updated in August 2023 and is not legal advice. See full disclaimer and copyright notice.