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Processes to recruit and manage staff and volunteers who work with children must be thorough, defensible, transparent, and evidence based.
Personal information must be treated with respect for the privacy of individuals. People should know what will happen to any information they provide and who will have access to it.
Your organisation should have safeguards in place to cover the collection, retention, use and disclosure of personal information. In some cases, these safeguards are required by law.
Applicants, employees and volunteers have the right to procedural fairness throughout the relevant history assessment process.
Standard 6 of the child safe environments: standards for dealing with information obtained about a person’s criminal history as part of a relevant history assessment (PDF 845KB) explains the obligation to ensure procedural fairness.
All organisations conducting relevant history assessments must comply with these standards.
Principles of procedural fairness
Your organisation can observe the principles of procedural fairness when conducting relevant history assessments by ensuring people are:
- informed of any proposed decision to be made about them
- provided with the rationale for the proposed decision
- given the right to have a decision reviewed by an independent body.
Any decision relating to a relevant history assessment made by a South Australian organisation may be reviewable by the Human Rights Commission.
More information about procedural fairness and natural justice can be found in these documents:
- discrimination in employment on the basis of criminal record
- guidelines for exclusion of persons from employment/volunteering in child-related areas.
Right of reply
Your organisation must provide people with an opportunity to confirm or dispute the accuracy of their criminal history report.
If a person’s criminal history report indicates a criminal history, you must also provide an opportunity for the applicant to provide further information.
This may include:
- details regarding the conviction or offence
- circumstances surrounding the conviction or offence
- character references surrounding the offence
- how their circumstances may have changed since that time
- any other information or references.
Your organisation must ensure that personal information is protected and securely managed to protect against loss, unauthorised access, modification, disclosure or other misuse.
Records to keep when assessing relevant history
Your organisation should retain the following information as evidence that relevant history assessment decisions are rigorous, defensible and transparent:
- that a criminal history report was obtained
- that the applicant was provided with an opportunity to provide a submission
- how the criminal history information and submission by the applicant affected the decision making processes
- statutory declarations (where applicable).
You should not retain a criminal history report once a decision has been made regarding whether the person may pose a risk to the safety of children if appointed to, or engaged to act in a prescribed position. Once a decision has been made the report must be destroyed or returned to the applicant.
Child Safe Environments
Phone: 8463 6468
Email: decdchildsafe [at] sa.gov.au