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Categories of organisations and businesses that have to comply
Schedules 1 and 2 of the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005 (the Act) set out the categories of organisations and businesses that need to comply with the Child Safe Standards (Standards). A summary is provided below, and you should check the legislation to confirm the situation for your organisation.
The categories of organisations and businesses that have to comply with the Standards are:
- registered schools (government and non-government)
- schools other than registered schools, such as language schools. Excludes home schooling
- residential facilities of boarding schools and student hostels
- organisations registered or accredited to provide senior secondary education and training
- registered overseas student exchange organisations
- approved education and training organisations providing courses to students from overseas
- approved education and care services (e.g. kindergartens, after hours care services)
- children’s services (e.g. occasional care providers)
- post-secondary school education institutions and providers, including TAFE institutes and universities
- coaching or tuition services for children
- an organisation that provides early therapeutic intervention specifically for children with a disability, additional needs or developmental delay
- maternal and child health centres
- public and denominational hospitals, public health services, private hospitals, multipurpose services, day procedure centres and registered community health services
- drug or alcohol treatment services
- designated mental health services and publicly funded mental health community support services
- counselling or other support services for children
- organisations that provide disability services including both organisations that are, and are not, disability service providers within the meaning Disability Act 2006
- out of home care services
- child protection services
- family violence or sexual assault services
- housing services and homeless services
- youth services
- youth organisations (such as Scouts or Girl Guides)
- support services for parents and families
- Victorian government departments
- organisations created by legislation that have functions of a public nature
- local councils
- publicly funded or commercial transport services specifically for children
- religious bodies, including churches
- charities and not-for-profit organisations
- cultural, sport or recreation services specifically for children
- entertainment or party services specifically for children
- gym or play facilities specifically for children
- photography services specifically for children
- talent or beauty competitions in which children participate
- overnight camps for children
- professional babysitting services
- organisations that employ a child and that are required to hold a permit issued under the Child Employment Act 2003 for that employment.
Other information about who has to comply
If an organisation or business comes within one of the above categories, it is required to comply with the Standards unless it does not do any of the following:
- provide any services specifically for children, or
- provide any facilities specifically for use by children who are under the organisation’s supervision, or
- engage (whether paid or unpaid) a child as a contractor, employee or volunteer to assist the organisation in providing services or facilities or in producing or providing goods.
Providing services 'specifically for children' does not mean providing services solely for children. It means that some or all of the services or programs the organisation provides must be particularly directed at or offered for children or have a special application to children in the manner of form in which they are provided.
Providing facilities ‘specifically for use by children under the organisation’s supervision', does not mean that the organisation would need to provide facilities only to children. It means that some or all of the facilities it provides are particularly directed at children or have particular or special application to children in the manner of form in which they are provided.
Organisations or businesses that fall within the above categories and are incorporated or unincorporated bodies or associations have to comply with the Standards. Sole traders (individuals who carry on a business) also have to comply with the Standards if they engage any contractors, employees or volunteers (of any age) as part of providing their services, facilities or producing or providing goods.
Child means anyone under 18 years of age.
For those required to comply, it is important to remember that the Standards are not voluntary, they are law within Victoria. Organisations and businesses must comply with all aspects of the Standards at all times and there can be legal consequences for non-compliance. The Commission has a range of enforcement powers it can use in instances where organisations and businesses fail to comply with their obligations.
Contact the Commission for guidance
If you are still unsure, the Commission may be able to provide advice about whether your organisation or business has to comply with the Standards. You may also wish to seek your own legal advice.
You can contact us to ask any questions by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1300 78 29 78.