Safe Sport Environments

Changes are coming to the Safe Sport Area - Please ensure you are aware of your current obligations.

Need a snapshot of the new Working With Children Checks - Click Here

Safe Sport Information

  • Legislation, Framework & Policy
  • Safe Sport for All
  • A child-safe organisation has a commitment to protect children from physical, sexual, emotional and psychological harm and from neglect. This is more than simply minimising the risk or danger to children. It is about building an environment that is both child-safe and child-friendly. An environment where children can feel respected, valued and encouraged to reach their full potential.

    This commitment is a part of the organisation's culture, reinforced by policies and procedures, and is communicated and supported by all members.

    All of us in the Australian swimming community have a role to play in ensuring that we keep our proud Sport as safe and enjoyable as possible. We must proudly stand behind high behavioural standards in our Sport and hold others to these standards too – it is in the best interests of our Members, Participants, the community and our Sport.

    Swimming Australia Limited, its Member Associations and their Clubs are committed to the health, safety and general wellbeing of everyone involved in the Sport of swimming. That is why we have developed this Safe Sport Framework.

  • Safe Sport Framework
  • The Safe Sport Framework (SSF) confirms the shared responsibility we all have for keeping each other safe in swimming - children and adults alike. The Safe Sport Framework replaced our previous child and member welfare policies and procedures from 29 July 2016, as well as our Codes of Conduct.

    The Swimming Australia Safe Sport Framework consists of the following Parts:

    • Part 1: Introduction – our Safe Sport Framework and Safe Sport Commitment;
    • Part 2: Our Child Protection Commitment Statement;
    • Part 3: Our Codes of Conduct (including in relation to Children or Young People); and
    • Part 4: Our Safe Sport Complaint Procedures.

    The complete Safe Sport Framework is available here -

    An integral part of Swimming Australia’s Safe Sport Commitment is the Swimming Australia Child Protection Commitment Statement. It consists of a set of principles and procedural benchmarks in relation to the protection of Children or Young People that Swimming Australia and its Clubs have in place for everyone involved in our Sport.

    Swimming Australia and its Clubs endorse and support the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 (ratified in Australia in 1990). The Convention recognises that Children or Young People under the age of 18 years need special care and protection.

    In addition, Swimming Australia and its Clubs will endeavour to become and remain compliant at all times with the Seven Standards of the Safeguarding Children Accreditation Program of the Australian Childhood Foundation. The Standards as set out below, when implemented in their totality, support Swimming Australia and its Clubs to develop and maintain an effective child safe culture across all of their activities, programs and services.

    • Standard One: Commitment to Safeguarding Children or Young People
    • Standard Two: Personnel roles and conduct
    • Standard Three: Recruitment and screening
    • Standard Four: Personnel induction and training
    • Standard Five: Involving Children or Young People and parents
    • Standard Six: Child Abuse reports and allegations
    • Standard Seven: Supporting a child-safe culture
  • What does my Club need to do?
  • Uphold the seven standards noted above and under the Act every organisation/club must:

    1. have a child safe policy or a member protection policy which addresses the child safe obligations
    2. have codes of conduct with respect to children
    3. have guidelines and procedures that support the policy
    4. develop a risk management plan addressing the safety of children with respect to other people within the organisation
    5. understand their relevant history assessment obligations - see below for changes
    6. consider clear recruitment procedures for staff and volunteers eg. Referee checks, qualification checks if applicable
    7. provide staff and volunteers with information or training around child safe environments, and provide support in their roles
    8. encourage the participation of children in decision making (let them have a say or provide feedback)
    9. ensure that all staff and volunteers are aware of their mandated notification obligations

    Most of the items above are covered within the Safe Sport Framework and resources that each club has adopted as part of your affiliation with SwimmingSA / Swimming Australia however this does not preclude clubs from instigating additional processes and procedures specific to your venue/club.

    Additionally, in SA all sport and recreation organisations that provide services to children 17 and under must have lodged a statement with the Department for Education and Child Development to confirm they are meeting the obligations of a child safe environment - this is an obligation under the Children's Protection Act 1993. SwimmingSA has submitted a Child Protection Statement on behalf of every swimming club in SA. Further information regarding this can be found at

    Some resources are available at the following locations to assist you achieve the above requirements:

Child-Related Employment Screening / Working with Children Checks

  • Screening - Legislation & Policy
  • Section 2.6 of the Safe Sport Framework provides provisions for background and Screening checks for people within the sport in a position of authority.

    A Person in a Position of Authority includes everyone who holds a position of authority in our Sport, whether paid or unpaid, and includes, but is not limited to, all Swimming Australia and Club staff, coaches, officials and volunteers. For the avoidance of doubt, a Person in a Position of Authority also includes Children or Young People who may hold a position of authority in our Sport over other Children or Young People.

    Unless the law provides otherwise, all Swimming Australia Limited, Member Association and Club boards (however named) and employees must have a satisfactory Working with Children Check in the appropriate jurisdiction in which they spend the majority of their working time.

    All states and territories have introduced legislation providing for child-related employment pre-screening, and there are important differences across jurisdictions. For further information regarding requirements outside of South Australia please visit –

    Under South Australian Law Volunteers are deemed to be employees and are referenced as such in the legislation. For further South Australian specific legislation and requirements see below.

  • Current & Future Requirements

    The current acts and regulations are listed below:

    • Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017
    • Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Act 2016
    • Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Regulations 2019

    Stronger, nationally consistent screening laws for people wanting to work or volunteer with children in South Australia start on 1 July 2019.

    The new laws require people working or volunteering with children to have a valid working with children check (WWCC), replacing the current system where people can have either national police check assessment done by an employer, or a DHS screening.

    From 1 July 2019, a WWCC can only be issued by the DHS Screening Unit.

    A valid WWCC is transferrable between different jobs or volunteer positions and lasts for five years. Continuous monitoring will remain in place for WWCCs, which will be re-assessed as new information becomes available. If a re-assessment results in a person being prohibited from working with children, both the person and their employer will be notified.

  • Transition & Change
  • Commencement & Transition:

    Commencement Date - 1st July 2019

    Is My Police Clearance and/or Teachers Registration still acceptable?

    An assessment of relevant history (Police Clearance, DCSI) conducted in respect of a person within the 3 years preceding the commencement of this section will, for the purposes of the Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Act 2016, be taken to be a working with children check in respect of the person conducted under that Act. There is a 12month transition period eg. by 1st July 2020 all WWCC must be issued by DHS therefore a Police Clearance will not be accepted from this date.

    From July 1st 2020 all participants involved in swimming requiring a clearance must provide their SRN Number to SwimmingSA or your club and have a copy of your clearance loaded on Swim Central.

    Why the Change?

    The new Act implements a number of recommendations made by Royal Commissioner Nyland of the South Australian Child Protection Systems Royal Commission (2014). The Commissioner’s recommendations about improvements to the child protection system in her report included recommendations concerning working with children checks in South Australia.

    The Act also implements recommendations from the August 2015 Commonwealth Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and final recommendations on working with children checks.

    The Act provides for a consistent, efficient and transparent system, in line with these recommendations. The new system will eliminate the current two-tiered arrangement, whereby some organisations rely on a National Criminal History Check instead of a check undertaken through the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion’s Screening Unit. Under the new system a person will need to undertake a working with children check. The person will only be allowed to work or volunteer with children if they have this check.

    The checks will be:

    • valid for a period of five years
    • transferable between different jobs or volunteer positions
    • continuously monitored as new information, such as a new criminal conviction, becomes available
    • undertaken through a single, centralised assessment unit responsible for all working with children checks on individuals.
    • Employers will be able to use a persons’ unique identifier that they receive when the working with children check is completed, to check a records management system to see if a working with children check has been done and also to see if a person is a prohibited person.
  • What is a Child-Related Employment/Volunteer Screening?
  • Child-related employment screening is required to assess whether a potential employee or volunteer could pose a risk to the safety of children, while working for an organisation offering these services:

    • health
    • child and family welfare
    • education
    • sporting or recreational
    • religious or spiritual instruction
    • child care and child protection
    • cultural
    • entertainment
    • residential.

    Conducting child-related employment screening

    Screening can be done by an authorised screening unit, such as the DHS Screening Unit, or organisations can undertake their own criminal history assessments.

    Information assessed as part of a child-related employment screening

    The range of information that is assessed includes:

    • a national criminal history check
    • information from South Australian government databases, such as SA child protection records from Families SA (Department of Education and Child Development) and Care Concern investigations (by DHS or DECD) into the welfare of children in foster or state care
    • publicly available information from professional registration bodies relating to persons disciplined or precluded from working with children or vulnerable people
    • information from South Australian police, courts, and prosecuting authorities including information about charges for offences alleged to have been committed (regardless of the outcome of those charges)
    • expanded criminal history information from other Australian police jurisdictions, and
    • any declarations made by the applicant in response to questions in the 'declaration' section of their screening application form.

    In some cases, information from professional accreditation bodies regarding people disciplined and/or precluded from working with children or vulnerable adults will be taken into account.

    Factors considered in the assessment

    The following factors are considered during the assessment process for child-related employment screening:

    • the nature of and circumstances surrounding the offence
    • the presence of a pattern of offending (if any)
    • time elapsed since the offence was committed
    • severity of a court-imposed penalty
    • the age and vulnerability of the victim
    • the relationship to the victim and age difference
    • applicant's own age at the time of the offence
    • whether a child played a part in committing the offence (either directly or   indirectly)
    • relevance of the offence to the role of the applicant
    • the applicant's conduct since the time of the offence.

    It is unlikely that an applicant will be considered suitable for employment or volunteering if they are convicted of:

    • murder
    • sexual assault
    • an offence involving child pornography, child prostitution or child abuse, for example, criminal neglect.
  • Check if your Working With Children Check ticks the boxes
  • Click Here to check if your Working With Children Check ticks the boxes

    Already have a clearance? Do you need your Working with Child Check Unique ID? Click Here to search for it.

  • Apply for a Screening
  • Applying for a screening check

    The process for applying for a screening check has not changed. It is up to the organisation to decide if a volunteer needs a DHS screening check.

    After an organisation starts a new application, the volunteer receives an email with a link to the Screening Unit website to provide the details needed to complete the application.

    Volunteer Screenings are free from November 1st 2018.


    Processing times

    The Screening Unit processes most applications within three weeks but it is recommended that organisations allow up to six weeks for screening to be completed.

    When submitting an application, it’s important that all information is correct and relevant, such as all names, nicknames and previous addresses, to help the process run smoothly. Incorrect or incomplete information can slow the process down, as the Screening Unit may need to return the application to the volunteer and ask them to correct and resubmit it.

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