Member and Client Protection

ISPA police check

What Protection is needed?

We live in a world today where what is deemed to be unacceptable behaviour is more common than we would like it to be, and has a much higher public profile with often unforeseen circumstances for both parties.

As a mental health practitioner , we routinely interact with our clients when they are highly vulnerable. We do not often interact with their family or support group, most of whom are interested in protecting “the client”.

In today world,  it is vital  we are able to provide a degree of certainty to our clients and their support group, that we are what we say we are,  that we are qualified to do what we do, and that we do not have anything  from our past which might be seen to be “of unsound character”.

Every country around the world offers reports which  help people to show they are of “sound character”  These reports are called Police Checks and  are  often required by every job  where vulnerable people receive a service.

Mental Health services are no exception.

ISPA requires all  it’s members to have a valid and up to date Police Check

Working with Children (WWC) or Vulnerable People.

In most countries around the world today, any role which requires  a close proximity, or in-person service, to children in Australia mandates  a Working with Children Check. This check also includes a role which works with Vulnerable People.

Should a member provide services to a Vulnerable person, or a person younger than 18 years of age, they must have a valid WWC or WWVP check for their membership.

Your clients need to be sure you are in fact qualified to offer your services and that you know what to do to avoid “doing harm”.

Police Checks


Police checks in Australia are now mainly conducted online. They all incur a fee.

Police Checks aim to provide an official record of any disclosable criminal offences which have been committed nationwide by the applicant. It is seen to be a valid, and reliable  “background” check clients can make on their mental health providers

Most police checks are valid for between 3 – 5 years, depending upon the State where it is reported.

It is important to check  police check providers in your own state or country. In Australia, the ACIC or Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission accredits all police check providers.

It is important to get a Police Check which is for Working rather than volunteering.


Fit2Work, a division of Equifax, offers Police Checks across Australia and internationally if required.

They offer a seamless, online experience with support if needed.


Australian National Character Check

Australian National Character Check  also provides police checks through an online service.

fit2work logo

WWC – Working with Children Check

WWVP – Working with Vulnerable People Check


In Australia, WWC or equivalent checks are mandated at a National level but managed at a state level.

Members need to make sure they are checked for the states they work in, as a state WWC does not apply to any other state other than the one where it was purchased.

WWC checks are NOT the same as police checks, as they assess any potential risk to a child, or vulnerable person, who is receiving a service. It offers an ongoing assessment of a person’s eligibility to work, or volunteer with children.

Police checks assess criminality from the past.

State links for WWC or WWVP 

All state links and requirements from this website are shown below for easy reference.


State or Territory

Name of Check

Link to Government Screening Unit

Year of Commencement

Western Australia

Working With Children Check



Registration to Work with Vulnerable People (RWVP) / Working with Children Registration


Australian Capital Territory

Working With Vulnerable People (WWVP) check


South Australia

DCSI Screening / Working with Children Check



Blue Card Check / Working with Children Check


New South Wales

Working with Children Check


Northern Territory

Working with Children Clearance / Ochre Card