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Information about Children Act safety checking for researchers

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If a research project involves regular or overnight contact with children, the researchers involved must be safety checked before the relevant child contact takes place. See the Flowchart for determining if the CA applies to a research project.

Where research requires safety checking, researchers must inform their Head of Department and the appropriate University of Otago Human Ethics Committee via the ethics application process. In the case of student research, such notifications are the overall responsibility of the student’s supervisor(s).

Safety checks will be organised as for existing staff and students. However:

  • for safety checking purposes, graduate research students who have been enrolled for at least three months may be treated the same as current staff (see the documentation requirements for existing staff), and
  • staff who have been previously safety checked by the University within the last three years (i.e. who have a current status allowing them to work with children) will not need to be checked, although they may need to be rechecked if child contact will occur or continue beyond the expiry date of their current check.

A guide to assist departments and researchers with meeting safety checking responsibilities is available for staff on request.