View the current full schedule of fees for blue cards.
As a guide, you should allow at least 28 business days for your application to be processed as the check includes a national criminal history check and a comprehensive assessment of a person's eligibility to work with children.
Applications will take longer to process if:
- forms are incomplete or not correctly filled in. Please ensure each part of the form is filled in by the appropriate person and completed correctly, or
- there is police or disciplinary information about an applicant that must be retrieved and considered before determining a person's eligibility to work with children, or
- there is a potential name match and the police need to verify the information.
No. You may only submit an application for a blue card in circumstances where:
- an organisation proposes to employ you in a paid or voluntary capacity in a category of child-related employment regulated by the Working with Children Check (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000 (the Act), or
- you are a trainee student doing a practical placement in a category of child-related employment regulated by the Act as part of your studies with an education provider, or
- you propose to carry on a child-related business which is regulated by the Act.
Blue Card Services can only screen for activities that are regulated by the Act. If the work is not covered by the blue card system, you may not require a blue card/exemption card and Blue Card Services may not be able to screen you.
For further information please contact Blue Card Services on 1800 113 611 (freecall within QLD - calls from mobile phones may attract charges) or 3211 6999.
Blue Card Services accepts the following forms of payment:
- Credit card. Blue Card Services is unable to accept payment over the phone and details must be submitted with the application or relevant form (to provide payment with your form, you must first pay online), or
- Cheque or money order - made payable to: Blue Card Services (ABN 60 789 586 626), or
- Cash or EFTPOS (for over the counter transactions only).
Business operators, volunteers and trainee students must ensure their renewal application is received by Blue Card Services at least 30 days before their blue card expires in order to continue in regulated work after their blue card expires unless their blue card has been suspended or cancelled.
Blue Card Services will send a courtesy renewal reminder to blue card holders approximately 10 weeks prior to the expiry of their blue card, and renewal applications will not be processed by our office more than 16 weeks prior to the current card expiry date.
Paid employees must submit their renewal application before their blue card expires.
Exemption cards have no expiry date and remain valid as long as the person is a registered teacher or police officer in Queensland, unless suspended or cancelled earlier.
I work in more than one child-related area of employment (for example, I work in a child care centre and volunteer at a children's sporting club), do I need more than one blue card or exemption card?
You can use your blue card or exemption card for other roles, however you must notify Blue Card Services by submitting a Link an applicant/cardholder to this organisation form (PDF, 187KB). By submitting this form employers, volunteer coordinators or education providers will receive any important updates about an applicant or card holder's status.
Please note, if you have a volunteer or student card and have not previously paid for your blue card and are proposing to enter into paid work (either with another organisation or through operating your own business) you must submit the Volunteer to paid employment transfer form and pay the prescribed fee. You will receive a new card with an additional three years of validity from the date of issue.
A person with a criminal history will not necessarily be refused a blue card.
If a person's criminal history suggests that a blue card should not be issued, the applicant will be asked to provide a submission, explaining why the application for a blue card should not be refused.
The information provided in the submission is assessed before making a final decision. Read more about who is eligible to work with children.
Please note certain people are prohibited from applying for or renewing a blue card. Find out more information about disqualified persons (PDF, 228KB).
The police information of all card holders and applicants is monitored. If the information changes, immediate steps can be taken to protect children from harm which might include:
- suspending or cancelling a person's blue card or exemption card, and
- notifying organisations or employers of any suspension/cancellation to a person's status and requiring them to be removed from child-related work or activities.
If there is a change in a person's police or disciplinary information, the card holder must notify their employer that a change has occurred. However, the card holder does not need to provide specific details of the change.
The person's employer, volunteer organisation or education provider should provide notice to Blue Card Services that they are aware of a change in the person's police information by submitting a Change in police information form (PDF, 137KB).
Find out more information about changes in police information.
If an application for a blue card or exemption card is not approved, a person is issued with a negative notice letter which prohibits that person from working in employment or carrying on a business regulated by the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000.
The Blue Card Check (also known as a Working with Children Check) and a Police Check are two different checks.
The Blue Card Check is an ongoing assessment of a person’s eligibility to work or volunteer with children and involves a check of a person’s national criminal history (including all spent convictions, pending and non-conviction charges) and other disciplinary and police information.
The Police Check is only current on the day of issue and is a list of offences from a person’s criminal history which can be disclosed. It does not involve an assessment by a government agency.
|Question||Blue Card System||Police Check|
|Does it allow someone to work or volunteer with children?||Yes. If a blue card application is approved the applicant is issued with a positive notice and a blue card which allows them to work in any regulated child-related employment or conduct any regulated child-related business for 3 years while their police information continues to be monitored.||No.|
|How does it work?||The blue card check is an ongoing assessment of a person’s eligibility to work or volunteer with children based on their known past police and disciplinary information.||A police check is only current at the time of issue and is a list of offences from a person’s criminal history which can be disclosed.
There is no assessment or investigation made by a government agency.
|What does it check?||The blue card check involves a check of a person’s national criminal history (including all spent convictions, pending and non-conviction charges), and other disciplinary and police information. This information is collected from sources in Australia and also includes an assessment of:
Information about a person’s criminal record may also be obtained from authorised bodies in Queensland and similar interstate authorities such as:
|This depends on the type of history obtained.
A combination of histories will be required to obtain a picture of a person’s charges and convictions. This information is limited to Queensland charges and will not disclose spent convictions, interstate, pending or non-convictions charges or other information taken into account by the Blue Card System. For example:
|How far back does the check go?||The check considers all relevant offences across a person’s lifetime.||Some offences cannot be disclosed, depending on when they were committed.|
|How long is it valid?||A blue card is valid for 3 years unless suspended or cancelled.
An exemption card (for teachers and police officers undertaking work outside of their professional duties) remains valid while a person continues to be a police officer or approved teacher.
|Only current at the time of issue.|
|Are criminal records monitored?||Yes. Ongoing monitoring of all card holders and applicants is conducted which enables action to be taken to protect children and young people if the person is charged with a concerning offence, including the suspending or cancelling of a card.||No. A police check is a point of time check. A new police check will be needed to show any new offences.|
|What happens when someone changes employers - is a new history required?||Once a blue card is issued, it can be used across all categories of regulated employment and regulated business. For example, a person can use it to be a foster carer, operate a licensed child care service or coach a child’s sporting team. Organisations are required to notify Blue Card Services if they engage an existing blue or exemption card holder or applicant in regulated employment, which enables appropriate action can be taken where a person’s card status changes.||Employers and organisations have their own policies around requiring police checks. The person may need a new police check when they start a new job.|
- A spent conviction is one that does not need to be ordinarily declared.
- A pending charge is a charge that has not yet been decided by a court.
- A non-conviction charge is a charge that has been finalised by a court but did not result in a conviction. For example, a charge: that has been withdrawn; that has been the subject of a nolle prosequi, a no true bill or a submission of no evidence to offer, that led to a conviction that was quashed on appeal, or upon which a person was acquitted or disposed of by a court otherwise than by way of conviction.
Last Updated: 13 September, 2018