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Policy 5.6 – Police & Referee Checks


POLICY TITLE:                              POLICE AND REFEREE CHECKS

POLICY NUMBER:                                    5.6


The Board of the Lyell McEwin Regional Volunteers are committed to ensuring the safety of patients, clients and staff in all areas of its operations through the use of appropriate screening procedures when inducting new volunteers


  1. Clear guidelines exist in determining those persons who will be screened
  2. Clear guidelines exist to determine the appropriate means and procedures for implementing police record and referee checks
  3. Clear guidelines exist in determining the outcome of Police Record and Referee checks
  4. That Volunteer Association guidelines are consistent with guidelines and policies developed by LMH, SAPOL and other relevant Government bodies
  5. That the Volunteer Association can demonstrate that it is operating in a ‘best practice’ environment


PROCEDURES (To implement Policy)

1. Mandatory police checks shall be conducted on all new volunteers wishing to work within the following areas:

  • The Playroom
  • Any other area where a volunteer will be working directly with children
  • All transport volunteers
  • Northern Respite Care Services
  • Friendly Visiting Programs
  • Bereavement Care
  • Palliative care
  • Any other volunteer working in client’s homes as a part of any Association program
  • Any volunteer handling money

2. Volunteers wishing to transfer into any of the above areas from another section of Volunteer Association operations will also be required to undertake a Police Check prior to starting in the new area.

3. In addition to the above, the Volunteer Association reserves the right to undertake random Police Record Checks on any other volunteer applying for a position within the organisation

4. The Volunteer Association also reserves the right to ‘re-check’ volunteers at their discretion at any time they believe it is warranted.

5. All potential volunteers will also be asked (as part of completing the application form) if they have a Police history. Careful notes should be made by the Volunteer Manager completing the form about any previous occurrences

6. In addition to conducting Police Record checks, all new volunteers will also be asked (via the Application Form) to provide the names and contact details of two referees who could be contacted about the applicant. Referees should not be family members, and should only be friends if they are a person in an authoritative position, or in cases where there appear to be no other referees the potential volunteer can list. Referees should preferably be persons is positions of authority (eg Ministers of Religion, past employers, club officers etc)

7. Volunteers arriving with a PRC that has been conducted by another agency will not need to re-apply for a new PRC so long as it has been less than three (3) months since their previous check was completed.

8.         Completing Police Record Checks

8.1 – To conduct a Police Record Check the interviewer provides information to the potential volunteer about completing the ‘personal information’ section of the SAPOL approved PRC application

8.2 – The interviewer will then complete the second page of the ‘Volunteer Authority’ section, listing our VOAN number.

8.3 – It is then incumbent on the applicant to deliver the form along with 100 points of identification to a local Police Station or to a Justice of the Peace certifying that the documents produced are correct copies. Following this the form will be sent off for processing.

8.4 – Those authorised to sign PRC’s on behalf of the Volunteer Association will be the Executive Officer, Director of Volunteer Services, Director of Volunteer Business Services or any authorised member of the Volunteer recruitment team.

8.5 – In those cases where a ‘positive’ PRC is returned (ie. where an offence is recorded) it will be at the discretion of the Recruitment team in association with the Area Manager where the volunteer is to work as to whether or not the volunteer will be accepted into the program.

Criteria for such decisions shall be based on;

8.5.1 – Relevance – Is the nature of the offence relevant to the area in which they will be working?

8.5.2 – Timing – What time has elapsed since the incident

8.5.3 – Certainty – Was there a conviction?

8.5.4 – Recurrence – Is there a pattern to the offence(s) being repeated?

8.5.5 – Disclosure – Did the person disclose these facts at interview?

8.6 – The recruitment Team &/or Area Manager may consult with the EO &/or Director of Volunteer Services about difficult situations which may arise where a second opinion is required

8.7  – If a volunteer has already started the Area Manager should speak to the person about any findings which the new volunteer had not previously disclosed – and where warranted a person can be asked not to continue with their voluntary commitment

8.9 – Appeal – Should the applicant wish to appeal the accuracy of the Police Record Check they should be referred to the SA Police and no further action taken

9. –       Police checks are current for only three (3) years from the time they are undertaken and will need to be undertaken again periodically to maintain their validity

10.       Referee Checks

10.1 – Referee checks are mandatory and will be conducted on all new volunteers. A note of comments made by referees will be made and recorded in the volunteers personal file


Dated: 21st May 1997

Last Updated: September 2012