The ‘Not-For-Profit Law’ website helpfully explains the importance of screening potential employees and volunteers before recruiting them:
“Screening applicants appropriately when your organisation is recruiting is a good way to try to keep your organisation safe and to head off potential problems before they arise. All organisations have a duty of care (a legal responsibility) to ensure a safe environment for employees, volunteers and clients, and being appropriately informed will help.” (https://www.nfplaw.org.au/backgroundchecks)
But what screening is appropriate? What is necessary for a safe church?
In partnership with Ansvar Risk Management, we identified that different levels of screening are appropriate for different positions of authority each employee or volunteer might hold in your church. Ultimately each church needs to work this out for themselves with their insurer and based on state regulations. For example, if someone is working with children, they are legally required to hold a valid Working with Children Check which varies in name from state to state.
We have worked with Ansvar Risk Management to identify some key checks churches could use with their leaders. These include:
- Working With Children Check
- Police Check
- Referee Checks
- Personal Disclosure Statement
- Agreeing to a Code of Conduct
Which checks you require from your volunteers is up to you and your insurer. We recommend you get your volunteers to do each of the above (with the exception of the Police Check, which we suggest you require for employed staff).
Screening is one of the primary ways we can safeguard our churches, and Safe Ministry Check helps you do all these checks and more. If you want more information on the requirements for your state or territory, you can head to the Not-For-Profit Law website or chat to your insurer.