Screening and background checks

Warning 

The Screening Unit Introduced new Informed Consent Forms on 12 August 2013.  The advertised transition period, and a further three week grace period, will expire on 30 August 2013.  After Monday 2 September 2013, the Screening Unit WILL NO LONGER PROCESS applications for any form of screening received on the old application forms.  All OLD application forms received after this time will be returned. 

Why has the Screening Unit changed? 

The recent changes that the Screening Unit has undergone were undertaken to ensure compliance with a range of legislative, regulatory and intergovernmental obligations.  Importantly among these is the Screening Unit's participation in the National Exchange of Criminal History Information for People Working with Children (ECHIPWC).

ECHIPWC facilitates the exchange of expanded criminal history information between the States and Territories, including spent convictions, pending charges and non-conviction charges.  The Screening Unit will also be able to request the circumstances information of charges and convictions to provide contextual details to better understand offences.  This information will be particularly useful where applicants have come to South Australia from other jurisdictions, or where expanded criminal history information about the applicant is held in another jurisdiction.

ECHIPWC places strict controls on the sharing and use of expanded criminal history information, and only permits its use for child-related purposes.  As a result, the DCSI Screening Unit has implemented safeguards to protect expanded criminal history information from use for any other purpose.  The safeguards included a requirement for separate process for different types of screening.  Consequently the forms are indicative of much broader changes within the Screening Unit. Each form represents the first step in separate and distinct risk assessment processes based upon different kinds of available information and legislative obligations.

What is Screening?

Screening is an assessment of information obtained about you to determine whether you may pose a risk to a particular group of people in a professional or volunteer environment.

The Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI) Screening Unit is authorised under the Children's Protection Regulations 2010 (PDF 68KB) to conduct Child-Related Employment Screening for people who work with children and young people. More information about who is required to undergo child-related employment screening.

The DCSI Screening has also been authorised by the Chief Executive, Department for Communities and Social Inclusion, to conduct the following forms of criminal history assessment pursuant to Regulation 12(2) of the Regulations:

  • Vulnerable Person-Related Employment screening;
  • Aged Care Sector Employment Screening; and
  • General Employment Probity Screening.

The Screening and Assessment Process outlines the different types of information that are assessed as part of each form of screening.