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Information for staff who need to be safety checked under the Vulnerable Children Act

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The University of Otago is committed to the well-being of children and young people. Under the Vulnerable Children Act, staff whose work involve regular or overnight contact with children and young people in the context of particular regulated services must be safety checked. Such safety checking must occur before any relevant child contact takes place.

If you are a new staff member entering a role that involves child contact you will normally need to:

  • provide identity confirmation via original copies of specified primary and secondary identity documents
  • provide information about previous criminal convictions, including authorisation for a New Zealand police vet
  • provide a history of your employment over the last five years
  • provide the names of any relevant professional bodies, licencing authorities and/or registration authorities to which you belongs or through which you are licenced or registered
  • provide details of referee(s) who are not relations, who may be contacted by the University about your suitability to work with children
  • provide any other information considered to be relevant by the University, and
  • be interviewed by University representative(s) on your suitability to work with children.

If you are an existing staff member whose role involves or shifts so as to involve child contact you will normally need to:

  • provide identity confirmation via original copies of specified primary and secondary identity documents
  • provide information about previous criminal convictions, including authorisation for a New Zealand police vet, and
  • provide the names of any relevant professional bodies, licencing authorities and/or registration authorities to which you belongs or through which you are licenced or registered (such organisations may be contacted by the University).

On the basis of the information you provide, the University will then conduct a risk assessment. Staff safety checks shall normally be coordinated by Human Resources, in conjunction with the relevant department.

Please note that if the University deems you to be a risk to children, you may not be able to be employed in certain roles, or may have conditions imposed on your interactions with children. If you have been convicted of any specified criminal offences then you are extremely unlikely to be permitted to work with children.

Periodic safety rechecks are required at least every three years, if you are continuing in child relevant work. Requirements for these are similar to those for existing staff members, as detailed above. However, identity documentation is only required if the staff member’s name has changed.