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Employee Background Checks Policy
Purpose:
This policy is currently under review to align content with the University of Canberra Enterprise Agreement 2019-2022.


This Policy seeks to ensure the recruitment of high quality employees. To better manage the risks associated with Employee Background Checks and in the interests of sound corporate governance the University will ensure that staff are appropriately risk assessed. This is particularly the case for those roles where trustworthiness and integrity are deemed as inherent requirements of the particular position, for example positions that involve certain financial delegations and/or access to sensitive or confidential information.  
 
The Appendix to this Policy contains a table that outlines the Employee Background Checks required by the University due to legislative and/or University requirements. Working with Vulnerable People Checks and National Police Checks supplement the reference, visa and qualification checks that are already required by the University. The particular positions within the University that have been identified as requiring a form of Employee Background Check are detailed in the Appendix. From time to time this table may be amended to reflect changes to legislation and University requirements.
Scope:
This Policy applies to all current (and prospective) University staff occupying a position that has been identified as requiring an Employee Background Check.
Principles:
  • The University recognises its responsibility with regard to compliance with legislative and other Government requirements.
  •  The University will require checks only for specific positions, as approved by the Vice-Chancellor from time to time.
  • Offers of employment for new appointments are dependent on all required checks being satisfactory. 
Responsibilities:
The Manager or Supervisor is responsible for identifying the need for Employee Background Checks where the inherent requirements of the role require such checks, for new employees and/or new/amended positions. Relevant recruitment paperwork including position descriptions and selection documentation will incorporate decisions in this regard. Furthermore the Manager or Supervisor is also responsible for ensuring that evidence of the required Employee Background Checks is submitted to HR prior to a new employee commencing employment or in as timely a fashion as possible for existing staff (if applicable).  
 
HR Staff are responsible for reviewing the positions identified as requiring Employee Background Checks to ensure the inherent requirements of the role require such checks. HR Staff will ensure that advertisements and recruitment related paperwork reflect this requirement.
 
The HR Director (or nominee), together with the Dean or Director, are to be involved in any discussions involving the results of an Employee Background Check and to consider any impact of such results on the employment options for that particular person.
Legislation:
This policy is governed by
  • Working with Vulnerable People (Background Checking) Act 2011 (WWVP Act)
  • TEQSA Threshold Standards 2011
  • ACT Human Rights Act 2004
  • Age Discrimination Act 2004
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1992
  • Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986
  • Racial Discrimination Act 1975
  • Sex Discrimination Act
  • Privacy Act 1988
Supporting Information:
Other related documents:
Definitions:
Terms Definitions
“regulated activities” (WWVP) Specific activities outlined in Schedule 1 of the Working with Vulnerable People (Background Checking) WWVP Act 2011.
"vulnerable person”
(WWVP)
A person is defined as being vulnerable if they are a child under the age of 18 years or an adult who is experiencing disadvantage and accesses a “regulated activity” or service in relation to the disadvantage.
Notes:
APPENDIX TO UC EMPLOYEE BACKGROUND CHECKS POLICY

“Working with Vulnerable People” (Background Checking) Act 2011 WWVP 
Due to the introduction of new ACT legislation “the Working with Vulnerable People” Act 2011,(WWVP), the University is obliged to implement a background checking policy which requires staff members or prospective staff members to be registered with the Office of Regulatory Services (ORS) if participating in “regulated” activities or services for vulnerable people.
Employees who will require the WWVP Background Check and registration will include:
  1. Those appointments that involve direct and unsupervised contact with, or access to, a child or children in a “regulated activity”;
  2. Those appointments that involve direct and unsupervised contact with adults who are experiencing disadvantage, and accessing a UC service specifically targeted at that disadvantage (“regulated activity”). 
Evidence of a current WWVP Registration card is to be submitted to the University for recording and reporting purposes.  
 
NB: There are exemptions to the legislation. One particular exemption concerns those employees with valid registrations with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). These staff members do not require the WWVP Background Check. However, evidence of AHPRA membership should be submitted to the University for recording.
Specific positions within the University have been identified as requiring WWVP Background Checks; these have been detailed in Table 1.  
 
National Police Check  
In keeping with the University’s desire to better manage risks associated with Employee Background Checks, and in the interests of sound corporate governance, the University will seek consent to undertake National Police Checks (NPC’s) for those positions that hold particular financial delegations and/or have access to particularly confidential and sensitive information.
The University may request staff consent to undergo a NPC due to the nature of the duties and responsibilities to be undertaken in a particular position. Such National Police Checks will be sought where an individual’s integrity and honesty are integral to the inherent requirements of the appointment.
 
In line with this policy employees who will be requested to consent to  a National Police Check will include:
  • Employees in positions that hold certain financial responsibility.   
  • Employees in positions that require access to particularly confidential and sensitive information.  
Specific positions within the University have been identified as requiring a NPC, these have been detailed in Table 1. 
Evidence of a current NPC is to be submitted to the University for recording.  
 
Qualifications
The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) has outlined specific requirements for tertiary institutions and teaching personnel.
  1. Members of the higher education provider’s corporate governing body and the higher education provider’s key personnel demonstrate that they are “fit and proper” persons.
  2. The higher education provider ensures that staff who teach students in the course of study are appropriately qualified in the relevant discipline for their level of teaching (qualified to at least one Qualifications Standard higher than the course of study being taught or with equivalent professional experience).
All Academic staff will be required to confirm their qualifications to the University for recording and reporting purposes.
 
Type of Check Portfolio/Faculty Unit Area/Group Which staff require the check Reason for the check Date for the check to be completed
Visa All All All who are not Australian citizens To confirm eligibility to live and work in Australia Prior to starting with the University
Reference All All All To confirm suitability to undertake a certain role Prior to starting with the University
Qualifications All Academic Staff Academic Staff To ensure suitably qualified / TEQSA compliance Prior to  starting with the University
WWVP ESTEM Wiradjuri Child Care Centre All Activities or services for children November 2013
WWVP Health Headspace All Activities or services for children / Mental health November 2013
WWVP Health Sports Studies Only staff working in Exercise Physiology Disability services (Parkinson’s Group) November 2013
WWVP Health Health and Counselling Only staff providing counselling services Mental Health (AHPRA exemption may apply in this area) November 2013
WWVP Office of the Vice-Chancellor UC College of Music Only staff working with children Activities or services for children November 2013
WWVP Student Equity and Support Student Equity and Access (UC Aspire) All Activities or services for children November 2013
WWVP Student Equity and Support UC Accessibility All Disability services November 2014
NPC Various SMG All University leaders 2013
NPC Various Business Managers / Executive Officers All Certain levels of financial delegation and / or access to confidential / sensitive information 2013
NPC Vice-President’s Portfolio Student Administration Staff employed at UC8 or above or as designated by the Director Access to confidential / sensitive information 2013
NPC Vice-President’s Portfolio Finance and Business Services Staff employed at UC8 or above or as designated by the Director Certain levels of financial delegation and / or access to confidential / sensitive information 2013
NPC Vice-President’s Portfolio Information and Technology Management Staff employed at UC8 or above or as designated by the Director Access to confidential / sensitive information 2013
NPC Vice-President’s Portfolio Human Resources HR Managers, Payroll and Superannuation staff and ‘super’ systems users or as designated by the Director Access to confidential / sensitive information 2013