Criminal History Checking - B40 - Human Resources Policy

Please note that any material printed is regarded as an uncontrolled copy. It is the responsibility of the person printing the document to refer frequently to the Queensland Health Internet site for updates. B40 Criminal History Checking Human Resources Policy Effective Date: June 2009 TABLE OF CONTENTS 1 PURPOSE ___ 3
2 APPLICATION ___ 3
3 GUIDELINES ___ 3
4 DELEGATION ___ 3
5 REFERENCES ___ 3
6 SUPERSEDES ___ 4
7 POLICY ___ 4
7.1 Employment screening in Queensland Health ___ 4
7.1.1 Queensland Health general criminal history checks ___ 4
7.1.2 Corrective Services criminal history checks ___ 5
7.1.3 Aged care criminal history checks ___ 5
7.1.4 Working with children check (blue card ___ 7
7.2 Reporting of criminal charges and convictions ___ 8
7.3 Responsibility of selection panels, delegates for appointments, recruitment units and human resources managers ___ 8
7.4 Responsibility of persons engaging agency staff/locums ___ 9
7.5 Criminal History Unit ___ 9
7.6 Criminal History Assessment Panel ___ 10
7.6.1 Assessment factors ___ 10
7.6.2 Natural justice ___ 11
7.7 Payment of fees for criminal history checks ___ 11
7.8 Confidentiality ___ 11
7.8.1Suspension reporting requirements ___ 12
7.8.2 Non-disclosure ___ 12
7.9 Retention and destruction of documentation ___ 12
8 APPLYING THE POLICY ___ 13
8.1 Criminal history checking requirements ___ 13
8.1.1 Permanent employees ___ 13
8.1.2 Temporary employees ___ 14
8.1.3 Casual employees ___ 14
8.1.4 Overseas applicants ___ 14
8.1.5 Agency staff/locums ___ 15
8.1.6 Consultants/independent contractors .

HR Policy B40 June 2009 Criminal History Checking Page 2 of 28 Please note that any material printed is regarded as an uncontrolled copy. It is the responsibility of the person printing the document to refer frequently to the Queensland Health Internet site for updates. 8.1.7 Students ___ 16
8.1.8 Volunteers ___ 17
8.2 Aged care additional requirements ___ 18
8.2.1 Persons precluded from providing aged care ___ 18
8.2.2 Statutory declarations ___ 18
8.2.3 Key personnel - reasonable steps to be taken ___ 19
8.3 Criminal history check process ___ 20
8.3.1 Criminal history checks - delays ___ 21
8.4 Outcomes of the criminal history checking process ___ 22
8.4.1Queensland Police Service advice ___ 22
8.4.2 Criminal History Assessment Panel decisions ___ 22
8.5 Aged care probity checks process ___ 23
8.6 Working with Children Check (blue card) process ___ 25
9 DEFINITIONS ___ 27
10 HISTORY ___ 28
ATTACHMENT ONE Queensland Health Criminal History Checking Requirements

HR Policy B40 June 2009 1 PURPOSE To outline the employment screening processes required by Queensland Health or by legislation for employees and other persons. 2 APPLICATION This HR policy applies to all Queensland Health employees and other persons, including agency staff/locums, students and volunteers. 3 GUIDELINES Guidelines may be developed to facilitate implementation of this policy. The guidelines must be consistent with this policy. 4 DELEGATION The ‘delegate’ is as listed in the Queensland Health Human Resource Delegations Manual as amended from time to time.

  • 5 REFERENCES
  • Public Service Act 2008
  • Public Service Regulation 2008
  • Aged Care Act 1997 (Cwlth) and associated Accountability Principles 1998 and Sanctions Principles 1997
  • Aged Care Amendment (2008 Measures No. 2) Act 2008
  • Bankruptcy Act 1966
  • Child Protection (Offender Reporting) Act 2004
  • Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian Act 2000
  • Corrective Services Act 2006
  • Crimes Act 1914 (Cwlth)
  • Criminal Law (Rehabilitation of Offenders) Act 1986
  • Juvenile Justice Act 1992
  • Penalties and Sentences Act 1992
  • Privacy Act 1988
  • Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993
  • Directive 17/08 – Employment Screening
  • Directive 6/08 – Appeals Directive
  • Queensland Health Code of Conduct
  • Recruitment and Selection HR Policy B1
  • Employees to Notify Supervisor if Charged with an Indictable Offence HR Policy E4
  • Queensland Corrective Services Procedure Properties – Relevant Persons
  • Queensland Corrective Services Guidelines for Assessing Suitability – Relevant Persons
  • Queensland Government Information Standard No.42A Information Privacy for the Queensland Department of Health Criminal History Checking Page 3 of 28 Please note that any material printed is regarded as an uncontrolled copy. It is the responsibility of the person printing the document to refer frequently to the Queensland Health Internet site for updates.
  • HR Policy B40 June 2009 6 SUPERSEDES
  • IRM 3.12-1 Criminal History Checking Policy and Procedures
  • IRM 3.12-2 Aged Care – Legislative Requirements Relating to Key Personnel
  • IRM 3.12-3 Pre-employment Screening – Child Related Employment 7 POLICY Queensland Health has a responsibility to:
  • ensure the safety and security of employees, volunteers and members of the Queensland community who rely on and/or receive services provided by Queensland Health.
  • maintain public confidence in the integrity of Queensland Health staff.
  • treat employees, volunteers and prospective staff fairly in relation to any consideration of their suitability for employment in Queensland Health.
  • ensure that assessments and decisions made about whether to appoint a person to perform the duties of a particular job in Queensland Health are consistent and based on the principles of natural justice.
  • 7.1 Employment screening in Queensland Health Part 6 of the Public Service Act 2008 provides the legislative basis for criminal history checking provisions for general Queensland Health employment. In addition, the Public Service Commission Directive 17/08 – Employment Screening applies by regulation to Queensland Health employees through Public Service Regulation 2008. Queensland Health complies with other state and Commonwealth legislative requirements relating to employment screening in specific areas of employment, as follows:
  • Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian Act 2000 for regulated child-related employment
  • Aged Care Act 1997 (Cwlth) for aged care services
  • Corrective Services Act 2006 for offender health services. Legislation may necessitate an employee, potential employee or other person to undergo an alternative criminal history check to that provided for under the Public Service Act, or for a probity or other check to be undertaken in addition to the criminal history check required for the specific area of employment.

Reference to the requirement for a criminal history check is to be made on role descriptions and in vacancy advertisements. Refer to the Recruitment and Selection HR Policy B1 and associated guidelines for further information. 7.1.1Queensland Health general criminal history checks From 1 August 2006 a Queensland Health general criminal history check is to be conducted on all persons prior to being appointed for general employment, permanently or when the period of employment will exceed three (3) months. Persons Criminal History Checking Page 4 of 28 Please note that any material printed is regarded as an uncontrolled copy.

It is the responsibility of the person printing the document to refer frequently to the Queensland Health Internet site for updates.

HR Policy B40 June 2009 engaged for any duration in Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Services is to have a general criminal history check undertaken. General employment in Queensland Health is employment other than in aged care services or offender health services. Persons engaged in these areas are required to undergo pre-employment screening as defined in the relevant legislation. Employees of Queensland Health engaged in general employment who were permanent employees as at 1 August 2006 and who maintain continuous permanent employment with Queensland Health are not required to have a general criminal history check undertaken.

A person under this policy includes permanent, temporary and casual employees, agency staff/locums, students and volunteers. The general criminal history check requirements for specific employment categories are outlined in attachment one of this policy. 7.1.2Corrective Services criminal history checks Persons engaged in the Offender Health Services Branch or providing health services in correctional facilities are relevant persons under the Corrective Services Act 2006. Division 2 of the Corrective Services Act requires all relevant persons to undergo a Corrective Services criminal history check to assess their suitability to undertake work in a QCS facility.

From 1 July 2008 a Corrective Services criminal history check is to be conducted on any person to be engaged by Offender Health Services Branch or to provide health services, for example mental health or oral health services, for any duration in a Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) facility. A person under this policy includes permanent, temporary and casual employees, agency staff/locums, consultants and independent contractors, students and education provider student supervisors, and volunteers. The Corrective Services criminal history check requirements for specific employment categories are outlined in attachment one of this policy.

7.1.3Aged care criminal history checks Commonwealth legislation mandates the criminal history checking of persons engaged in aged care services under the Aged Care Act 1997 (Cwlth) and associated Accountability Principles 1998 and Sanctions Principles 1997. In accordance with section 63-1 (1) (m) of the Aged Care Act, Queensland Health has an obligation to ensure that:
  • each staff member and volunteer has the required police certificate, and if necessary, a statutory declaration
  • persons with certain criminal convictions do not provide aged care. Those persons engaged in aged care services subsidised by the Australian Government under the Aged Care Act require an aged care criminal history check to Criminal History Checking Page 5 of 28 Please note that any material printed is regarded as an uncontrolled copy. It is the responsibility of the person printing the document to refer frequently to the Queensland Health Internet site for updates.
HR Policy B40 June 2009 meet the national police certificate requirements. For Queensland Health these services include, but may not be limited to:
  • Residential aged care facilities
  • Community aged care services: o Community Aged Care Packages (CACP)
  • Flexible care services including: o Extended Aged Care at Home (EACH) o Extended Aged Care at Home Dementia (EACHD) packages o Multi-Purpose Service places
  • Transition care programs. Overseas applicants who are to be engaged in a Queensland Health aged care service and persons who have been a citizen or permanent resident of a country other than Australia at any time since turning 16 years of age, are required to provide a valid statutory declaration stating they have never been:
  • convicted of murder or sexual assault or
  • convicted of, and sentenced to imprisonment for, any other form of assault. An aged care criminal history check is to be undertaken every three (3) years to obtain a current national police certificate for persons who continue to be engaged in aged care services.

A person under this policy includes permanent, temporary and casual employees, agency staff/locums, consultants and independent contractors, students and volunteers. The requirement for an aged care criminal history check applies to all employees, at all levels, from all occupational streams e.g. medical, nursing, administration, operational, health practitioner, professional and technical. The aged care criminal history check requirements for specific employment categories are outlined in attachment one of this policy.

Key personnel The Aged Care Act identifies the holders of certain positions in aged care services as key personnel. Queensland Health has a legislative responsibility under section 63- 1A(2) of the Aged Care Act to take all reasonable steps specified in the Sanctions Principles 1997 to ensure none of its key personnel is a disqualified individual. Under the Aged Care Act key personnel include:
  • any person responsible for the nursing services provided by the service (these persons are to hold a recognised nursing qualification)
  • any person who is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the service. The following positions are determined to be key personnel in Queensland Health aged care services:
  • Directors of nursing (including relief, secondment, temporary and casual arrangements) Criminal History Checking Page 6 of 28 Please note that any material printed is regarded as an uncontrolled copy. It is the responsibility of the person printing the document to refer frequently to the Queensland Health Internet site for updates.
  • HR Policy B40 June 2009
  • Nursing officers Grade 7 and above (including relief, secondment, temporary and casual arrangements). In addition to an aged care criminal history check the following probity checks are required to be undertaken for any key personnel:
  • Seek(with the person’s written consent) a report about the person’s criminal conviction record from the Australian Federal Police
  • conduct a search of bankruptcy records
  • conduct previous employment and referee checks. 7.1.4Working with children check (blue card) Queensland Health is committed to the protection of children’s rights, interests and well-being and will not tolerate child abuse in any form.

In accordance with requirements under the Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian Act 2000 (CCYPCG Act), persons convicted of serious offences against children and other vulnerable people will not be employed/engaged in child-related positions involving or potentially involving unsupervised contact with children and young people (i.e. birth to 18 years). The CCYPCG Act mandates a Working with Children Check to obtain a blue card is to be undertaken for persons, paid and unpaid, engaged in regulated child-related employment, e.g. health, counselling or support services. Queensland Health is deemed a ‘government service provider’ under section 9 of the CCYPCG Act.

A person in their capacity as a paid employee of a government service provider engaged in health, counselling or support services does not require a blue card. Although the CCYPCG Act exempts Queensland Health paid employees, Queensland Health subjects these persons to general criminal history checking under the Public Service Act 2008 in accordance with this policy. There is a requirement under the CCYPCG Act for any Queensland Health employee providing services in a school or school boarding facility to obtain a blue card if they meet the frequency test determined by the Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian.

Examples include, but are not limited to, mental health services, school-based youth health nurse program, school-based oral health services and some alcohol, tobacco and other drug services.

The CCYPCG Act requires students studying with a tertiary education provider e.g. registered training organisation (RTO), university or TAFE college, to obtain a blue card before they undertake a placement in a health, counselling or support service as part of their study. The CCYPCG Act does not require a health professional student to obtain a blue card when placements are undertaken with a government service provider e.g. Queensland Health. A Working with Children Check is required to be undertaken every two years to obtain a current blue card for persons who continue to be engaged in regulated child-related employment.

Criminal History Checking Page 7 of 28 Please note that any material printed is regarded as an uncontrolled copy. It is the responsibility of the person printing the document to refer frequently to the Queensland Health Internet site for updates.

HR Policy B40 June 2009 A person under this policy includes paid permanent, temporary and casual employees, agency staff/locums, consultants and independent contractors, students and volunteers. The Working with Children Check (blue card) requirements for specific employment categories are outlined in attachment one of this policy. 7.2 Reporting of criminal charges and convictions This policy does not alter the responsibilities of Queensland Health and all employees in relation to the Queensland Health Code of Conduct, and Employees to Notify Supervisor if Charged with an Indictable Offence HR Policy E4. The Employees to Notify Supervisor if Charged with an Indictable Offence HR Policy E4 states an employee is required to provide written advice to the delegate immediately after:
  • being charged with having committed an indictable offence and details of the alleged offence/offences or
  • being convicted of an indictable offence and details of the offence/offences and the penalty imposed.

The Queensland Health Code of Conduct applies to all Queensland Health employees, volunteers, contractors and consultants. Principle 3 – Respect for the law and the system of government requires a person to notify their manager if charged with an indictable offence, or convicted by a court of any offence. All new employees, volunteers, contractors and consultants are to be made aware of their obligations under the Code of Conduct. The notification of a relevant charge or conviction by an employee may warrant a criminal history check to be conducted on the employee, irrespective of previous checks undertaken.

7.3 Responsibility of selection panels, delegates for appointments, recruitment units and human resources managers Selection panels, delegates for appointments, recruitment units and human resources managers are to ensure employees, prospective employees and other persons have the requisite criminal history check prior to appointment. Any staff participating in a criminal history check process, including those providing administrative support, are to be made aware of their obligations for confidentiality and comply with this policy.

Selection panels are responsible for obtaining the applicant’s written consent and requesting the appropriate criminal history check.

A criminal history check can only be conducted with a person’s written consent. A criminal history check is only to be conducted on the person/s recommended for appointment. Delegates for appointments are to comply with decisions of the Criminal History Assessment Panel in line with the HR Delegations Manual. Criminal History Checking Page 8 of 28 Please note that any material printed is regarded as an uncontrolled copy. It is the responsibility of the person printing the document to refer frequently to the Queensland Health Internet site for updates.

HR Policy B40 June 2009 Local work units/facilities and human resources units are required to coordinate Working With Children Checks (blue cards) for persons engaged in regulated childrelated employment, and aged care criminal history checks and probity checks required for key personnel engaged in aged care services. 7.4 Responsibility of persons engaging agency staff/locums It is the responsibility of the person engaging clinical agency staff/locums who will provide direct services to patients to verify with the agency/locum service that staff they supply to Queensland Health have had the required employment screening, for example, an agency nurse has a current blue card and the blue card is sighted before the nurse commences a shift.

7.5 Criminal History Unit The Criminal History Unit, Queensland Health Shared Service Partner (QHSSP) is responsible for the administration of criminal history checking in Queensland Health under this policy, including:
  • uploading criminal history request data to Queensland Police Service (QPS)
  • liaising with the QCS Ethical Standards Unit for the coordination of Corrective Services criminal history checks
  • receiving clearances and disclosable criminal history information on individuals from QPS
  • referring disclosable criminal histories to the Criminal History Assessment Panel (CHAP) for determinations to be made on the employment of individuals
  • advising applicants and delegates for appointments of CHAP decisions that an appointment is not to proceed
  • advising delegates for appointments/managers that an appointment may proceed
  • undertaking audits of payroll records to ensure all persons required to have a requisite check have done so.
  • The Criminal History Unit coordinates all requests for:
  • Queensland Health general criminal history checks
  • Corrective Services criminal history checks
  • Aged care criminal history checks (excluding aged care criminal history checks for key personnel)
  • Renewals of National Police Certificates every three years as required under the Aged Care Act 1997. The Criminal History Unit does not coordinate:
  • Working with Children Checks (blue cards) for persons engaged in regulated child-related employment
  • aged care criminal history checks
  • additional probity checks required for key personnel engaged in aged care services.

Criminal History Checking Page 9 of 28 Please note that any material printed is regarded as an uncontrolled copy. It is the responsibility of the person printing the document to refer frequently to the Queensland Health Internet site for updates.

HR Policy B40 June 2009 Before working in the Criminal History Unit, staff are to undergo a criminal history check. Changes to staffing in the unit are to be approved in advance by the Executive Director, QHSSP. 7.6 Criminal History Assessment Panel The Criminal History Assessment Panel (CHAP) determines the suitability of an applicant who has a disclosable criminal history to perform the relevant duties of the position for which they are recommended for appointment or ongoing appointment. The CHAP is composed of:
  • a lawyer from the Queensland Health Legal Unit
  • a senior Queensland Health human resources practitioner, nominated by the Deputy Director-General, Corporate Services.

The Queensland Health Criminal History Unit, QHSSP takes part in the CHAP in an advisory capacity, providing support, advice and reports on convictions. Membership of the CHAP is to be as constant as operationally possible to ensure consistency in decision-making. Any interim changes to the composition of the CHAP are to be approved by the Deputy Director-General, Corporate Services. Any person proposed to be a member of CHAP is to undergo a criminal history check. Decisions of the CHAP to endorse or not endorse the appointment of an applicant are to be unanimous. When CHAP members are unable to reach a unanimous decision, they are to consult the Deputy Director-General, Corporate Services for direction.

The CHAP may consult other advisors (e.g. clinical advisors, lawyers) as necessary in undertaking assessments provided all consultations are undertaken in accordance with Queensland Health privacy provisions.

A decision about whether to endorse the appointment of a person to be engaged by Queensland Health to provide offender health services is determined by the QCS chief executive or delegate. Delegates for appointments are to comply with decisions of the CHAP or QCS chief executive or delegate. 7.6.1 Assessment factors In determining the suitability of an applicant to perform the relevant duties of the position, the CHAP considers a number of factors in their decision-making process, including:
  • any legislative requirements which provide automatic exclusion from employment in specific areas for certain offences
  • the relevance of the offence to the duties of the job to which it is recommended the person be appointed Criminal History Checking Page 10 of 28 Please note that any material printed is regarded as an uncontrolled copy. It is the responsibility of the person printing the document to refer frequently to the Queensland Health Internet site for updates.
  • HR Policy B40 June 2009
  • whether the appointment of the person with such a criminal history is likely to substantially conflict with Queensland Health’s values and Code of Conduct,or seriously erode public or client confidence in Queensland Health. A criminal record is not to be used to unlawfully discriminate against any person. 7.6.2 Natural justice When the CHAP considers an applicant may be unsuitable for appointment or ongoing appointment, the applicant will be provided with an opportunity to respond (natural justice).
  • The CHAP or appropriate delegate will provide the applicant with:
  • a copy of the criminal history report
  • a request to confirm that they are the person to whom the criminal history report relates
  • an invitation to make written or oral representations as to their suitability for appointment and to provide other information they consider may be relevant to the consideration of their circumstances and their suitability for appointment to Queensland Health. The CHAP is to act fairly, in good faith and without bias and consider the representations made by the applicant.

If there is no response to the request for the information above within seven days, the applicant is to be excluded from further consideration for appointment to the role. When the QCS chief executive or delegate considers an applicant may be unsuitable for appointment to a Queensland Health position providing offender health services, the applicant will be provided with an opportunity to respond in accordance with the QCS Procedure Properties – Relevant Persons. 7.7 Payment of fees for criminal history checks The costs associated with conducting criminal history checks undertaken in accordance with this policy are charged to the cost centre nominated by the work unit requesting the check.

Queensland Police Service (QPS) prescribes the fee schedule for criminal history checks.

Costs associated with Working with Children Checks or other probity checks required are the responsibility of the work unit/facility engaging the person. 7.8 Confidentiality Queensland Health staff are not to disclose criminal history information or provide access to documentation about a person’s criminal history, except in relation to assessing the suitability of a person to perform the duties of a job. The delegate for the suspension or dismissal of an existing employee is to be notified of an employee’s unsatisfactory criminal history.

Criminal History Checking Page 11 of 28 Please note that any material printed is regarded as an uncontrolled copy.

It is the responsibility of the person printing the document to refer frequently to the Queensland Health Internet site for updates.

HR Policy B40 June 2009 Criminal history information is to be managed in accordance with Queensland Government Information Standard No.42A Information Privacy for the Queensland Department of Health available on QHEPS. Refer to section 7.10 Retention and Destruction of Documentation. 7.8.1Suspension reporting requirements Under the Queensland Government suspension reporting requirements, Queensland Health is required to identify:
  • employees on suspension
  • the status of the suspension
  • the reason for suspension. If, because of a criminal history check, an employee is suspended, no details regarding a conviction are disclosed as part of suspension reporting requirements. 7.8.2 Non-disclosure A person is not to be asked to disclose personal criminal history information to a selection panel or other employee at any stage during a selection process. 7.9 Retention and destruction of documentation In ensuring compliance with the Privacy Act 1988 and the Queensland Government Information Standard No.42A Information Privacy for the Queensland Department of Health, the Criminal History Unit is the only unit within Queensland Health authorised to retain and store information relating to an employee’s identified criminal history beyond the statutory review periods.
  • Information to be stored by local human resources units is limited to:
  • email notification from the Criminal History Unit advising that the appointment may or may not proceed
  • separate confidential file for the employee due to an unsatisfactory criminal history assessment
  • a reference on the employee’s personnel file identifying a confidential file exists. The person requesting the criminal history check, the local work unit/facility or human resources unit, is not to record or store:
  • information relating to an employee’s identified criminal history on an employee’s personnel file
  • information relating to an employee’s identified criminal history on the payroll system or other record keeping system
  • any consent and criminal history application documentation. Criminal history information about an applicant or current employee is to be stored securely. Criminal history information, including originals and hard and soft copies of:
  • the consent form, including proof of identity documentation Criminal History Checking Page 12 of 28 Please note that any material printed is regarded as an uncontrolled copy. It is the responsibility of the person printing the document to refer frequently to the Queensland Health Internet site for updates.
  • HR Policy B40 June 2009
  • correspondence to or from the QPS or QCS Ethical Standards Unit
  • correspondence to and from the applicant regarding the criminal history checking process
  • any documents developed in undertaking the assessment of suitability or the reasons for finding the applicant unsuitable to perform relevant duties as a result of criminal history checking is to be destroyed only after fair treatment appeal and judicial review time frames have expired in accordance with the Public Service Act 2008, Directive 17/08 – Employment Screening and Directive 6/08 Appeals, i.e. all documentation is to be destroyed 28 days after email notification is received from the Criminal History Unit. 8 APPLYING THE POLICY 8.1 Criminal history checking requirements 8.1.1 Permanent employees Any person permanently appointed to Queensland Health from 1 August 2006, is to have one of the following criminal history checks undertaken:
  • a general criminal history check
  • a Corrective Services criminal history check
  • an aged care criminal history check. If the requisite criminal history check was conducted while the person was engaged in a temporary capacity immediately preceding their permanent appointment i.e. there has been no break in the continuity of service, there is no requirement for a further check to be conducted. If the requisite criminal history check was conducted while the person was engaged in a casual capacity immediately preceding their permanent appointment and there has not been a break of greater than three months since the last casual shift was worked, there is no requirement for a further check to be conducted.

Existing permanent, temporary or casual employees who have been subjected to either a Corrective Services criminal history check or an aged care criminal history check and who are then appointed/transferred to a position in general employment are not required to have a general criminal history check undertaken, providing there has been no break in the continuity of service. Existing permanent employees engaged prior to 1 August 2006 who accept promotion, deployment or redeployment, transfer, secondment, higher duties/relieving arrangements to a position in Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Services (QHFSS) are to undergo a general criminal history check.

Existing permanent employees who accept promotion, deployment or redeployment, transfer, secondment, higher duties/relieving arrangements in an aged care service, Offender Health Services Branch, or providing offender health services in a QCS facility are to have the requisite criminal history check conducted for that specific area of employment.

Criminal History Checking Page 13 of 28 Please note that any material printed is regarded as an uncontrolled copy. It is the responsibility of the person printing the document to refer frequently to the Queensland Health Internet site for updates.

HR Policy B40 June 2009 8.1.2 Temporary employees Temporary employees who are engaged for more than three (3) months in general Queensland Health employment, including consecutive temporary engagements, are to have a general criminal history check undertaken. Any temporary employee engaged for any duration in an aged care service, QHFSS, Offender Health Services Branch, or providing offender health services in a QCS facility is to have the requisite criminal history check conducted for that specific area of employment.

Existing temporary employees who have been subjected to either a Corrective Services criminal history check or an aged care criminal history check, and who are then consecutively appointed to another temporary,or permanent position in general employment, are not required to have a general criminal history check undertaken, providing there has been no break in the continuity of service. 8.1.3 Casual employees Casual employees who are engaged for more than three (3) months in general Queensland Health employment, including consecutive casual engagements, are to have a general criminal history check undertaken.

Any casual employee engaged for any duration in an aged care service, QHFSS, Offender Health Services Branch, or providing offender health services in a QCS facility is to have the requisite criminal history check conducted for that specific area of employment. Existing casual employees who have been subjected to either a Corrective Services criminal history check or an aged care criminal history check, and who are then consecutively appointed to another casual, temporary or permanent position in general employment, are not required to have a general criminal history check undertaken, providing there has been no break in the continuity of service.

For casual employees a break of more than three months between casual shifts constitutes a break in service for criminal history checking purposes. 8.1.4 Overseas applicants Applicants from overseas who possess a temporary work visa, e.g. 457 or 444 visa, may be required by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) to undergo a criminal history check from their country of origin.

DIAC also generally requires an Australian criminal history check to be undertaken in association with applications for permanent residency in Australia. However, persons granted temporary work visas or permanent residency are not required to notify DIAC about criminal records that may arise after receiving their temporary work visa or permanent residency status. Prospective appointees from overseas with temporary work visas or permanent residency permits are to undergo the requisite criminal history check of Australian police records in accordance with this policy.

Criminal History Checking Page 14 of 28 Please note that any material printed is regarded as an uncontrolled copy.

It is the responsibility of the person printing the document to refer frequently to the Queensland Health Internet site for updates.

HR Policy B40 June 2009 8.1.5 Agency staff/locums When clinical agency staff/locums are being engaged to provide direct services to patients, the agency/locum service is to supply staff to Queensland Health who have undergone appropriate employment screening. The person engaging the agency/locum service is to verify any staff provided to Queensland Health have undergone appropriate employment screening. Agency staff/locums are to provide evidence of compliance upon request, for example a current blue card. Any agency staff/locums, including clerical staff, engaged in a Queensland Health aged care service who have, or are reasonably likely to have, access to care recipients are required to have a current national police certificate or blue card.

A blue card issued by the Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian is deemed to meet the requirements for police checks for aged care services under the Accountability Principles 1998.

It is the agency’s/locum service’s responsibility to ensure their staff have a current national police certificate or blue card and can produce evidence of compliance upon request. Agencies/locum services are responsible for the administration and costs associated with national police certificates or blue cards for agency staff/locums. Any agency staff/locums engaged in Offender Health Services Branch or providing services in a QCS facility are required to undergo a Corrective Services criminal history check. Corrective Services criminal history checks are to be coordinated by Queensland Health.

Any agency staff/locum engaged for a continuous period of more than three (3) months is required to undergo a general criminal history check. The general criminal history check is to be coordinated by Queensland Health. Queensland Health’s requirement for employment screening of agency staff/locums is to form part of any tender, contract, service agreement or standing offer arrangement. Purchasing and Logistics Branch can be contacted for advice on formulating an appropriate employment screening clause for inclusion in tender and other procurement documents.

8.1.6 Consultants/independent contractors Consultants and independent contractors require an appropriate criminal history check to be undertaken when they are engaged in one of the following circumstances:
  • for a period of more than three (3) months when the service they provide includes direct patient care or access to patients for training or other purposes
  • to undertake work in Offender Health Services Branch or to provide services in a QCS facility
  • to undertake work in an aged care service when they have, or are reasonably likely to have, access to care recipients
  • to operate a regulated business as stipulated under the Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian Act 2000, unless exempt.

Criminal History Checking Page 15 of 28 Please note that any material printed is regarded as an uncontrolled copy. It is the responsibility of the person printing the document to refer frequently to the Queensland Health Internet site for updates.

HR Policy B40 June 2009 Independent contractors who are tradespersons performing work in an aged care service otherwise than under the control of Queensland Health are not deemed staff members and are not required to undergo an aged care criminal history check. 8.1.7 Students Health professional students Health professional students, who as part of their studies through an education provider, e.g.

RTO, university or TAFE, undertake clinical placements within a Queensland Health facility are required to undergo a criminal history check when the expected combined duration of their placements will exceed three months. The Aged Care Act requires students who have, or are likely to have, unsupervised access to care recipients in an aged care service, to obtain a national police certificate. The Department of Health and Ageing deems a blue card issued by the Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian satisfies the police checks in aged care arrangements. When a student holds a current blue card no further police checks are required for aged care.

When a health professional student is engaged as a paid employee in a Queensland Health facility during the course of their studies and the total duration of continuous or consecutive paid employment combined with their student placements exceeds three (3) months, a general criminal history check is to be undertaken. The general criminal history check is to be undertaken irrespective of the student holding a current blue card. Non-health professional students A non-health professional student, who as part of their studies through an education provider, e.g. RTO, university or TAFE, undertakes tertiary placements within Queensland Health, are required to undergo a criminal history check when the expected combined duration of their placements will exceed three months.

The Aged Care Act requires students who have, or are likely to have, unsupervised access to care recipients in an aged care service, to obtain a national police certificate. The Department of Health and Ageing deems a blue card issued by the Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian satisfies the police checks in aged care arrangements. When a student holds a current blue card no further police checks are required for aged care.

When a non-health professional student is engaged as a paid employee in a Queensland Health facility during the course of their studies and the total duration of continuous or consecutive paid employment combined with their student placements exceeds three , a general criminal history check is to be undertaken. International students International students are to be enrolled with an Australian tertiary provider in order to undertake clinical or tertiary placements in Queensland Health facilities. Irrespective of any police checks required by DIAC as part of the student visa process, international health professional and non-health professional students are subject to the same criminal history checking requirements as Australian students.

Criminal History Checking Page 16 of 28 Please note that any material printed is regarded as an uncontrolled copy. It is the responsibility of the person printing the document to refer frequently to the Queensland Health Internet site for updates.

HR Policy B40 June 2009 Secondary school students A secondary school student under the age of 18 years who, as part of structured workplace learning coordinated by their school, performs work experience to sample employment in a Queensland Health facility, does not require a general criminal history check. A school student 18 years of age or over, who as part of structured workplace learning coordinated by their school, performs work experience to sample employment in a Queensland Health facility, is to have a general criminal history check undertaken when the total duration of work experience placements will exceed three months.

If a school student turns 18 years of age during work experience to sample employment and the duration of work experience placements is expected to exceed three months, a general criminal history check is to be undertaken immediately following the student’s 18th birthday.

Full-time school students 18 years of age or over undertaking work experience placements in an aged care service are required to obtain a national police certificate. When the student holds a current blue card this is deemed to satisfy the police checks in aged care arrangements and no further police checks are required for aged care. 8.1.8 Volunteers Volunteers engaged and coordinated by Queensland Health Volunteers engaged and coordinated directly by Queensland Health are required to undertake a general criminal history check when the duration of their volunteering is expected to exceed three months.

The local volunteer coordinator is required to ensure their facility’s volunteers have a criminal history check undertaken. Queensland Health volunteers aged 16 years or over engaged in an aged care service who have, or are reasonably likely to have, unsupervised access to care recipients, are required to have a current national police certificate. When the volunteer holds a current blue card this is deemed to satisfy the police checks in aged care arrangements and no further police checks are required for aged care. Any volunteer required to undertake work in Offender Health Services Branch or in a QCS facility is required to have a Corrective Services criminal history check conducted.

Volunteers engaged from the community to assist in areas of need for one-off or short periods, e.g. to undertake kitchen duties during periods of industrial action, are not required to obtain a blue card. Volunteers provided through external agencies Volunteers may be provided through external agencies such as the Red Cross, or religious groups, e.g. chaplains. External volunteers are required to hold a blue card before they start volunteering in regulated child-related employment regardless of how often they come into contact with children and young people.

Criminal History Checking Page 17 of 28 Please note that any material printed is regarded as an uncontrolled copy.

It is the responsibility of the person printing the document to refer frequently to the Queensland Health Internet site for updates.

HR Policy B40 June 2009 Any external volunteer aged 16 years or over, provided to an aged care service who has, or is reasonably likely to have, unsupervised access to care recipients, is required to have a current national police certificate or blue card. 8.2 Aged care additional requirements 8.2.1 Persons precluded from providing aged care The Accountability Principles outline matters that preclude a person from employment in an aged care service. A person is not suitable to provide aged care if there is a police certificate or statutory declaration that records that the person has been:
  • convicted of murder or sexual assault
  • convicted of, and sentenced to imprisonment for, any other form of assault. Any person with a conviction for the serious offences outlined above is deemed to be unsuitable and is not to be employed, contracted, hired, retained, accepted as a volunteer, or allowed to provide any other care or ancillary duties, in an aged care service.
  • 8.2.2 Statutory declarations In addition to the requirement for an aged care criminal history check (national police certificate) legislation requires any person who at any time since turning 16 years of age has been a citizen or permanent resident of a country other than Australia, is to provide a valid statutory declaration stating that the person has never been:
  • convicted of murder or sexual assault or
  • convicted of, and sentenced to imprisonment for, any other form of assault. A statutory declaration is to be completed by any person commencing in an aged care service prior to their national police certificate clearance being received. To ensure compliance, it is recommended all applicants for an aged care criminal history check complete the statutory declaration available on the SSP Aged care police certificates page on QHEPS.

Statutory declarations are to be forwarded to the Criminal History Unit with aged care criminal history check applications and requests. Queensland Health does not have the authority to seek information from applicants about their criminal history if a conviction is set aside or quashed or it is a charge, except when seeking a National Police Certificate. Applicants are not required to disclose such information in a statutory declaration or otherwise. Employees are to be made aware of their obligations under the Code of Conduct and Employees to Notify Supervisor if Charged with an Indictable Offence HR Policy E4 requiring a person to notify their manager if charged with an indictable offence, or convicted by a court of any offence.

Criminal History Checking Page 18 of 28 Please note that any material printed is regarded as an uncontrolled copy. It is the responsibility of the person printing the document to refer frequently to the Queensland Health Internet site for updates.

HR Policy B40 June 2009 8.2.3 Key personnel - reasonable steps to be taken Interviews At the time of interview, applicants are to be given a clear understanding of their obligations in terms of the Aged Care Act 1997 and the Queensland Health Code of Conduct. Disqualified individuals Section 10A-1 of the Aged Care Act determines an individual is a disqualified individual if:
  • the individual has been convicted of an indictable offence
  • the individual is an insolvent under administration or
  • the individual is of unsound mind. Queensland Health is to ensure none of its key personnel are disqualified individuals. Key personnel aged care criminal history checks Under the Sanctions Principles 1997 a report about a person’s criminal conviction record from the Australia Federal Police is required. It is the responsibility of the selection panel/work unit and local human resources unit to request a key personnel aged care criminal history check directly from the Australian Federal Police. Contact details for the Australian Federal Police national police checks service are below: Australian Federal Police Criminal History Branch Locked Bag No. 1 WESTON ACT 2611 Telephone: (02) 6256 7777 Website: http://www.afp.gov.au/services/operational/criminal_history_checks/national _police_ch ecks.html#forms Probity checks In addition to the requirement for an aged care criminal history check the following probity checks are to be undertaken for key personnel to determine they are not disqualified individuals:
  • Seek(with the person’s written consent) a report about the person’s criminal conviction record from the Australian Federal Police.
  • conduct a search of bankruptcy records
  • conduct previous employment and referee checks. Criminal History Checking Page 19 of 28 Please note that any material printed is regarded as an uncontrolled copy. It is the responsibility of the person printing the document to refer frequently to the Queensland Health Internet site for updates.
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