Appealing a WWC exclusion

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Appealing a WWC exclusion

If you fail the Working with Children check (WWC check), the Department of Justice and Community Safety (the department) will issue you with a 'WWC exclusion’. This means that you will be prevented from doing any child-related work for a period of five years, unless your circumstances change. Before February 2021, a WWC exclusion was called a ‘negative notice'.

If you receive a WWC exclusion, you may be able to seek a review of the department’s decision at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal (VCAT).

Applying for a review at VCAT

VCAT has the power to review certain decisions made by the department.

If the department has refused to give you a WWC clearance, or revokes a current WWC clearance, you can apply to VCAT for a review. The only exception to this right of review is if you have been charged with, convicted or found guilty of a ‘category A offence’ under the Worker Screening Act 2020 (Vic) (which includes murder, rape and serious sexual offences against children). If you are in this category, you cannot apply to VCAT for a review of the department’s decision to issue a WWC exclusion.

In an application to review the department’s decision to issue a WWC exclusion, VCAT can:

  • affirm the decision or
  • set aside the decision and direct the department to give a WWC clearance or
  • send the matter back to the department for reconsideration.

VCAT must not make an order for the issuing of a WWC clearance unless it is satisfied that giving the notice would not pose an ‘unjustifiable risk to the safety of children’, having regard to a number of factors.

Read more about the Worker Screening Act 2020 (review and original jurisdiction orders) and VCAT applications: factors for consideration.

You can apply for a review online.  These applications are heard in the Review and Regulation List.

Time limits for reviews

Applications for review must be made within 28 days from the date of the decision of the department.

If you have requested a statement of reasons under the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998, you either have 28 days from the date the statement of reasons is given to you, or from when you are told that a statement of reasons will not be given.


An application fee must be paid at the time of lodging an application for review at VCAT.

If you hold a current Health Care Card you may be eligible for the concession fee rate.

Read more about Fees at VCAT.

If you are experiencing financial hardship you may apply for fees to be waived, reduced or postponed.

Read more about Fee relief.

Get help

Find out how you can Get help with a Working with Children check.

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