Don’t ignore your WWCC renewal

A NSW Working With Children Check (WWCC) clearance is valid for five years. All persons holding a WWCC clearance whose contact details are up to date, will be contacted by the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian (OCG) three months before their WWCC number expires, explaining what they need to do to renew their WWCC clearance number for another five years. The OCG does not send a further reminder.

A current WWCC clearance number for paid employment is also a mandatory requirement of the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for accreditation to teach in a NSW school or early childhood service or centre.

NESA implements the following WWCC renewal reminder system for NSW accredited teachers:

  • Three months before expiry – NESA will email the teacher a reminder to renew their WWC clearance number.
  • Six weeks before expiry – if NESA hasn’t received the teachers renewed WWCC clearance number, they will be sent another reminder.
  • Three weeks before expiry – A final reminder is sent.

If a NSW accredited teacher has not notified NESA of their renewed WWCC clearance number at least two weeks before the expiry of their current WWCC clearance number, they will receive a notice of intention to suspend their accreditation.

If their WWCC is not verified by NESA before the expiry date, their accreditation will be suspended and they will not be able to teach in any NSW school or early childhood service or centre.

No last minute action

All union members are reminded not to ignore the renewal reminder email sent to you by the OCG, and if applicable the emails from NESA or your employer.

While renewal applications cannot be submitted until three months before your WWCC clearance number expiry date, do not leave your renewal application to the last minute, allow as much time as possible, as there are significant delays in the processing of applications by the OCG.

One part of the OCG checking process involves the use of the National Police Checking Service (NPCS) to conduct a nationally coordinated criminal history check for applicants. The following information has been provided by the OCG to explain the reasons for the delays in processing applications.

“The National Police Checking Service (NPCS) is currently experiencing an unprecedented use of the system, and due to several factors outside their control, there may be significant delays in the processing of checks.

“Police checking in Australia is a partially manual, name-based process, involving many stakeholders. The NPCS aims to return checks as quickly as possible, however turnaround times are not guaranteed.

“There are many reasons as to why some checks take longer than others to process, including: The check subject having a common name, or a name that matches with many potential Persons of Interest on policing systems.

“The check subject having old police information that requires manual collection and processing of hardcopy records.

“The relevant police agency having inaccurate or incomplete records which need to be investigated properly before the check can be finalised.

“Transferring information between the various state and territory police agencies before the information can be vetted and/ or released.

“The NPCS facilitates over a million checks each year, which may result in over 7000 referrals to police each day.

“Resourcing constraints within all affected agencies will also likely impact upon the ability to turn around these check results more quickly, primarily during peak periods.

“The NPCS completes around 70 percent of police checks within minutes, providing a result back to the submitting agency. The remaining 30 percent of checks are referred to one or more police agencies for manual processing.

“When responding to concerns about timeframes, the NPCS team escalates concerns to the relevant police jurisdiction, however as there is no definitive amount of time it takes to process a police check, it is always advisable to allow as much time as possible.

“You can help to reduce any unnecessary referrals to our police partners by ensuring that application data is submitted accurately and in full.” Reference:

How to renew

To renew go to and choose the ‘Renew your WWCC number’ panel.

After completing the WWCC number renewal you will be sent an email confirmation with a new expiry date for your WWCC clearance number. Provide these details to your employer, and if applicable to NESA. They will need to re-verify your renewed WWCC clearance number and new expiry date.

We encourage members with any issues concerning their WWCC to immediately seek advice by contacting their IEU Organiser or Russell Schokman, IEU Policy Advisor on 8202 8900 or the toll free number (for country members) 1800 467 943.

Russell Schokman
Policy Advisor