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Blue cards

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​​​The Queensland Department of Education is committed to providing safe and supportive learning environments for children and young people receiving services and participating in activities, such as Community Language Schools (CLS).

On 31 August 2020, the Queensland Government made changes to the blue card system to make it better—better for you, better for our children. These changes strengthen and streamline the blue card system under the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000.

To find out more about the No Card, No Start laws, visit Blue Card Services.​​

General information

There are 16​ categories of employment in the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000. A CLS may fall under more than one category but in most cases, CLS are categorised as ‘churches, clubs and associations’.

Individuals and organisations, including CLS, need to be aware of their rights and obligations under the Blue Card system​.

Who is exempt from requiring a blue card in a CLS?

Parent volunteers are exempt from requiring a blue card if:

  • they are unpaid by the CLS; and
  • have a child at the CLS.

Teachers working within their professional capacity must hold registration as a teacher with the Queensland College of Teachers at all times during their employment for the purpose of satisfying the exemption requirements of the Act. Teachers engaged by a CLS require a Working with Children Exemption Card as the services provided are outside what is considered to be the teachers professional capacity.

CLS responsibilities

Each CLS is responsible for all employees and volunteers working with children. Queensland Department of Education is not the employer.

Each CLS must validate the blue cards for all administrators, volunteers, instructors before classes start in February each year. Blue cards can be validated using the Blue Card Services online validation tool.

Each CLS must immediately advise Blue Card Services when an employee or volunteer commences work with the CLS by submitting a link form to Blue Card Services or updating your organisations Blue Card Services Organisation Portal​.

Each CLS has an obligation to ensure that all employees and volunteers have a valid blue ​​card. A blue card or exemption card can be renewed 16 weeks prior to its expiry date. ​If an employee or volunteer’s blue card is expired, the CLS must ensure the employee or volunteer does not continue to work or volunteer with children. A blue card can only be renewed before it expires. If the blue card or exemption card expires, the card holder must apply for a new card.

Each CLS is required to maintain a blue card register. The blue card register (XLSX, 20KB) provided to each CLS by the Queensland Department of Education must include all personnel, including instructors, volunteers and administrators. When completing the department’s blue card register, each CLS is to record the names of volunteer/s who are not required to hold a blue card and the reason why they are exempt.

It is an offence for an employer (i.e. CLS) to employ or continue to employ a restricted person in restricted employment if they know (or should reasonably know) that they are a restricted person.​

Useful links

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Last updated 15 March 2022