Working with children clearance review

If the Children's Guardian refuse or cancel your Working with Children (WWC) clearance, you can apply to NCAT for a review of the decision.

Steps in a working with children clearance review case

Step by step guide to applying to NCAT for the review of WWC clearance decision.

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The Children's Guardian who made the decision will tell you if your decision can be reviewed by NCAT.


You can apply to NCAT for a review  within 28 days from the date you receive the decision from the Children's Guardian.

You can either present your own case to NCAT or have a lawyer or non-lawyer agent represent you. You will usually need to attend the hearing to give your instructions to your lawyer or agent.


Your lawyer or agent needs complete a Notice of Representation and submit to NCAT in person or by post. If a non-lawyer agent is representing you, you also need to sign the Notice before it is submitted. In both cases, you have to send a copy of the Notice to the Children's Guardian.


Your agent needs to ask for permission to represent you from the Tribunal Member the next time the case is listed. You should attend with the agent in case NCAT does not allow the agent to appear for you. A lawyer does not need to ask for permission from the Member.

Complete the Administrative review application form and pay the relevant application fee.


Include the following information with your application form:

  • Your name, address and telephone number.
  • Name of the government agency that made the decision you want reviewed (Office of the Children's Guardian)
  • Date the original decision was made by the Children's Guardian and their reference number.
  • Date you received the decision.
  • Copy of the original decision (the letter sent to you by the Children's Guardian).
  • A brief outline of why you think the decision is wrong.


Do you need an urgent stay of the decision?

Applying to NCAT does not mean that you can participate in child related employment. You are committing an offence if you apply for, undertake or remain in child related employment before NCAT makes a final decision.


A 'stay' is a temporary suspension of the decision to refuse or cancel your Working with Children Check clearance..


You can ask for a stay of the Children's Guardian decision until NCAT decides the case. This is called an application for a stay.

You will receive a notice of listing from NCAT with a date for a directions hearing.


The purpose of a directions hearing is to agree on what the parties need to do to prepare the case for hearing. Normally you will be given a timetable to file your evidence with NCAT and give it to the Children's Guardian.


During the directions hearing, the Children's Guardian may ask you questions about your involvement with children and your background. This information will help the Children's Guardian to prepare for the hearing.


More than one directions hearing may be necessary before the matter is ready for hearing.

Look through the documents provided by the Children's Guardian.


Decide what further information NCAT will need when hearing your case.


At the directions hearing you may have been asked to file and serve a statement or affidavit from yourself or other witnesses. Learn more about evidence and witnesses​.


You must give a copy of any statements or other documents that you want to rely on to the Tribunal and to the other party by the deadline given to you at the directions hearing.

NCAT's hearings are less formal than court hearings. The application will be heard by a Tribunal Member.


When NCAT reviews an administrative decision, the respondent (the government agency) will usually give its evidence first. After the agency has given its evidence, the applicant will present his or her evidence. In these cases the Tribunal’s role is to decide whether the administrator made the correct decision.


In some cases, the Tribunal Member will be able to give you their decision at the end of the hearing. However, in most cases the member will need time to consider the case and will give their decision at a later date. You will usually receive the decision in less than three months. Complex matters may take longer. 

NCAT can make various decisions including:

  • affirming the government agency's decision (stating that the original decision is correct);

  • reversing the decision completely or in part;

  • substituting a new decision for the original decision; or

  • ordering the government agency to reconsider the decision.

You will receive a letter telling you of the decision that NCAT has made.


Applications which are filed in the Community Services Division of NCAT are subject s 126 of NCAT Act which prohibits the publication or broadcasting of the name of (or any other information that may identify) the applicant,  witnesses and children the subject of the application. Although this provision does not prevent the Tribunal from publishing a decision which includes the names of a party or witness, the Tribunal’s general practice is not to do so.


For more information about the publication of the name of a party or witness, read the ​Guideline - Confidentiality, privacy and publication [PDF ​58​kB].

Last updated:

08 Sep 2022

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