Criminal History Checking - B40 - Human Resources Policy

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 .................................................................................. 15


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                                   refer frequently to the Queensland Health Internet site for updates.
HR Policy B40
                                                                                                                                                   June 2009
               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




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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



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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.

       7.1.1 Queensland 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

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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.

       7.1.2 Corrective 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.

       7.1.3 Aged 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

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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)

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                                                                                                                                 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.

       7.1.4 Working 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.


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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.

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                                                                                                                                 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 child-
       related 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.


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                                                                                                                                 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



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                                                                                                                                 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.

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                                                                                                                                 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
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                                                                                                                                 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.


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                                    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

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                                    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.
HR Policy B40
                                                                                                                                 June 2009

       Legislative requirements
       The Sanctions Principles 1997 require:

       •       each member of the key personnel understands the obligations of key personnel
               and of Queensland Health under the Aged Care Act in relation to disqualified
               individuals
       •       when Queensland Health reasonably believes that an individual may be mentally
               incapable of performing his or her duties as one of the key personnel,
               arrangements are to be made for the individual to be examined by a registered
               medical practitioner
       •       when Queensland Health ascertains that an individual is a disqualified individual,
               appropriate steps are to be taken to ensure the individual ceases to be a
               member of the key personnel.

       If requested by the Secretary to the Department of Health and Ageing, Queensland
       Health is obliged to provide the Secretary with information as to the steps taken to
       ensure key personnel are not disqualified individuals.

       Section 9-1 of the Act requires Queensland Health to notify the Secretary of the
       following within 28 days after the change occurs:

       •       a change of circumstances that materially affects Queensland Health’s suitability
               to be a provider of aged care.

       8.3 Criminal history check process

       Refer to the SSP Criminal history checks page on QHEPS for a detailed flowchart,
       explanatory notes and relevant forms on the process for undertaking a general
       criminal history check, a Corrective Services criminal history check or an aged care
       criminal history check; these checks are coordinated by the Criminal History Unit.

       Principles
       •    A criminal history check can only be conducted with a person’s written consent.
       •    Selection panels are encouraged to seek the written consent of applicants at the
            time of interview. All consent forms are to be sealed in separate envelopes and
            stored securely.
       •    Only the person/s recommended for appointment is to be subject to the requisite
            criminal history check.
       •    General criminal history checks are to be undertaken in accordance with this
            policy even when there is no requirement to advertise the vacancy, for example
            base grade recruitment, or when a selection panel is not formed, for example
            some temporary appointments.
       •    Criminal history checks will only be undertaken by the Criminal History Unit when
            the following is provided:
            o     a completed consent/application form signed by the applicant
            o     original copies of suitable proof of identity documentation
            o     a valid statutory declaration (if required)
            o     the delegated manager’s request (fax coversheet)
       •    No permanent appointments can be offered or made until the requisite criminal
            history check clearance has been received.

Criminal History Checking                                                                                               Page 20 of 28

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