Our Club is committed to the safeguarding of children and young people in Surf Life Saving. One way we do this is by ensuring that our members behave in a way which creates a safe, positive and inclusive environment. Surf Life Saving’s Codes of Conduct represent the minimum standards of member behaviour and must be complied with at all times. There are two Codes of Conduct, both of which can be found in the SLSA Member Protection Policy.
– The General Code of Conduct: includes expectations relating to respect; ethics; professionalism; complying with SLSA rules, policies and procedures; reporting breaches of the Safeguarding Program; and being a positive role model.
– The Code of Conduct for People in Positions of Authority when Dealing with Children or Young People: includes expectations relating to positive guidance; overnight stays; language; adhering to role boundaries; transporting children; use of electronic communication; use of changing rooms; use of photography; physical contact; gift giving; wearing of uniforms; and use of alcohol or drugs.
Members are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the Codes of Conduct, and to ensure that their behaviour, as well as the behaviour of others within the Club, is appropriate. They are encouraged to say something if they see something that doesn’t feel right, or is not in line with the Codes of Conduct
Working With Children Check
The NSW Working With Children Check Under the Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012 and the Child Protection (Working with Children) Regulation 2013, a WWCC is a prerequisite for anyone in a child-related role, either paid or voluntary.
The WWCC is managed by the Office of the Children’s Guardian (OCG) and involves a national criminal history check and review of findings of workplace misconduct. The result of a WWCC is either a clearance to work with children for five years, or a bar against working with children. Cleared applicants are subject to ongoing monitoring, and relevant new records may lead to the clearance being revoked.
The WWCC cannot identify people who have not previously been caught or are yet to offend.
The WWCC is free for volunteers, and costs $80 for paid employees. A WWCC gained for a paid position can be used for both paid and volunteer positions, whereas a volunteer WWCC can only be used for volunteer positions.
Who needs a WWCC? Do you Require a WWCC?
SLSNSW members who work directly with children under the age of 18 must complete a WWCC, unless their role falls within one of the scheme’s defined exemptions. The exemptions which are most relevant to SLS include:
• Children (under the age of 18)
• Administrative, clerical or maintenance work
• Very short-term work (less than 5 working days in a calendar year) such as a visiting speaker, assessor or performer.
• Volunteering by a parent or close relative where the child participates*.
• Co-workers and supervisors where a child works (e.g. Patrol Captains or patrolling members)
• Interstate visitors volunteering at a one-off event (e.g. State Championships) for up to 30 days a year if they hold the WWCC in their home jurisdiction.
* This is not a blanket exemption for all parents. Parents will require a WWCC If they:
• are volunteering on overnight camps;
• are volunteering for an activity where their child is not participating (e.g. for a different age group in Nippers or for a different training squad)
• are volunteering as part of a formal mentoring program; or • are volunteering in a role which involves intimate, personal care of children with a disability.
Member and club responsibilities Members who require a WWCC have a responsibility to apply for this check, and to provide the club with their WWCC number.
Clubs have a responsibility to ensure that all volunteers and employees who require a WWCC are identified, advised and hold a valid WWCC which is verified with the OCG and recorded on SurfGuard. It is also a club’s responsibility to suspend or reject membership and participation of volunteers or employees if required as an outcome of the WWCC verification.
Applying for a WWCC – information for applicants
Those who already have a WWCC can simply provide their WWCC Number, full name and date of birth to their club for online verification.
Those who do not already have a WWCC will need to follow the below steps:
1. Complete the online application form (once the form has been submitted an Application Number will be received). 2. Take the Application Number and proof of identity to a NSW Motor Registry, Government Access Centre, or Service NSW office. 3. Once received, provide their WWCC Number to the club for verification.
Child-related work cannot be undertaken until such time that the Club has completed the online verification process and the result comes back as ‘Cleared’. Once you have provided proof of identity, most people will receive their WWCC number within a few days. However please allow up to four weeks as in some cases waiting times may be longer.