What kind of Screening do I need?

What kind of Screening do I need?

The type of screening required depends on the work or tasks the employee or volunteer is required to undertake in their role. In some cases, screening is required by law.

The DCSI Screening Unit conducts five types of screening assessment on behalf of employer organisations or those engaging volunteers:

In some circumstances, a police check may be more appropriate. 

Chart comparing the key features of each type of screening check 

Information about the requirements for each type of screening is provided below.

Child-related Employment Screening

Certain organisations are required under the Children's Protection Regulations 2010 (SA) to ensure that certain employees and/or volunteers (people holding 'prescribed positions') undergo screening by an authorised screening unit, such as the DCSI Screening Unit. 

Alternatively, organisations may undertake their own criminal history assessments in accordance with a set of standards.  The 'Standards for dealing with information obtained about the criminal history of employees and volunteers who work with children' were developed by the Department for Education and Child Development (DECD), which leads and manages South Australia's education system and oversees the provision of services that benefit children and families.  This document can be accessed by clicking on this link:  The Standards

When is it required?  The flowchart below is a guide to determining which employees and volunteers are required to undergo criminal history assessments under the Children's Protection Act and associated Regulations.

Child-related Employment Screening Flowchart

The Children's Protection Act 1993 (SA) defines a 'prescribed position' as one in which a person is engaged in the following:

  • regular contact with children or working in close proximity to children on a regular basis, unless the contact or work is directly supervised at all times; or
  • supervision or management of persons in positions requiring or involving regular contact with children or working in close proximity to children on a regular basis; or
  • access to records of a kind prescribed by regulation relating to children; or
  • functions of a type prescribed by regulation (see Regulation 10).

For more information:

For more information about child-related employment screening, please refer to our information sheet: Child-related Employment Screening (PDF 198.7 KB).

If you are unsure about whether or not you or someone in your organisation is required to undergo child-related employment screening:

For DECD Employees and Volunteers:   Information about child related employment screening requirements for Department of Education and Child Development (DECD) employees and volunteers is available on the department's website at www.decd.sa.gov.au.  An online screening guide is now also available on the website to help clarify the screening requirements for people who are working, volunteering or visiting at a public school, preschool or service.  

Disability Services Employment Screening

Section 5B of the Disability Services Act 1993 places a legal obligation on prescribed disability service providers funded under the Act to ensure that before a person is appointed or engaged in a prescribed position, he or she undergoes an assessment of his or her relevant history by an authorised screening unit.

As of 1 July 2014, when the Disability Services (Assessment of Relevant History) Regulations 2014 come into effect, people seeking to work or volunteer with people with disability in South Australia are required to undergo disability services employment screening.

Where the role of a person working in the disability sector also involves working with children, only a child-related employment assessment will be required, ie a disability services employment assessment will not be required. 

More information:

Please refer to Frequently Asked Questions (PDF 284.5 KB)for further information.

View the Disability Services Employment Screening standards (PDF 684.7 KB).

Fact Sheet:  Disability Services Employment Screening (PDF 171.7 KB)

Vulnerable Person-Related Employment Screening

There are no legislative or regulatory requirements for people to undergo screening before they commence working with vulnerable people.  

Some government departments and non-government organisations may require people working with vulnerable people to undergo this form of screening as a condition of employment or contractual responsibility, in cases where child-related employment screening is not a mandated requirement. 

Fact Sheet:  Vulnerable Person-related Employment Screening (PDF 146.8 KB)

Aged Care Sector Employment Screening

Aged care sector employment screening involves an assessment of an individual's criminal conviction history to determine if they pose a risk of harm if engaged for employment or volunteering activities with Commonwealth-funded aged care services.  

Aged care sector employment screening may be required for:

  • key organisational personnel in Commonwealth-funded aged care services;
  • employees and contractors providing care (including staff employed, hired, retained or contracted to provide services, whether in a residential aged care setting, community setting or in the service recipient's own home);
  • allied health professionals contracted to provide care services;
  • kitchen, cleaning, laundry, garden and office personnel employed by the service provider either directly or through a contract agency; and
  • consultants, trainers and advisors for accreditation support or systems improvement, who are under the control of the approved provider.

The  Aged Care Act 1997 (the Act) provides a legislative framework for Commonwealth-funded aged care services. The  Aged Care Accountability Principles (2014) provide specific details about what is required or permitted under the Act.

The Principles require that organisations funded by the Commonwealth to provide aged care services be satisfied that a person providing those services has not committed a precluding offence.  Precluding offences are defined as:

  •  a conviction for murder or sexual assault;
  •  a conviction of, and sentence to imprisonment for, any other form of assault.

Other offences in a person's criminal history record are also included in the assessment process in this type of screening. 

For more information

Fact Sheet:  Aged Care Sector Employment Screening (PDF 121.9 KB)

For more information about the relevant Commonwealth legislation go to:  www.comlaw.gov.au

General Employment Probity Screening

General employment probity screening by the DCSI Screening Unit is a point-in-time assessment of a person's criminal conviction history.  This type of screening is conducted on behalf of the employing organisation, having regard to the inherent requirements of a specific job role or volunteer position.

The Screening Unit will obtain and analyse any criminal conviction history information relating to the applicant to assist the employer in determining their suitability for employment. The Screening Unit will contact the requesting organisation directly to notify them whether any criminal history exists, including any identified risks, as part of the assessment.

There is no formal legislative or regulatory requirement for a person to undergo an employment probity check.  However an employer may request that a criminal history check be undertaken before a person is employed, and at regular intervals after that time, as part of an employment contract.  

General employment probity clearances are not suitable for agency staff who undertake various roles. It is therefore recommended that employment agencies not direct these staff to obtain this type of screening, but instead direct them to apply for a National Police Check 

Documentation of outcome:  On completion of an employment probity assessment, the applicant is NOT issued with a clearance letter or a copy of their National Criminal History Record Check or National Police Certificate.   If documentation is required about the applicant's criminal history, it is recommended that a National Police Certificate be obtained from a police service, such as South Australia Police.

Fact Sheet: General Employment Probity Screening (PDF 140.5 KB)

Police Check

If you require documentation about your criminal history, you can obtain a National Police Certificate through a police service, such as South Australia Police.  For information about the difference between a screening assessment by the DCSI Screening Unit and a Police Check please refer to How is a Police Check Different?