Blog: Examining changes to the blue card system

All children in Queensland have a right to be safe and protected from harm. Blue Card Services administers the blue card system, which regulates activities which are essential to children’s lives. These include child care, education, sport, cultural activities and foster care. Blue Card Services check and monitor people who work in these industries and help organisations to create safe environments for children.

No Card, No Start laws began on Monday 31 August 2020, bringing a suite of changes and new regulations to not only improve the system, but increase the safety of children in our communities.

No Card, No Start

Under the new laws people will need to hold a valid blue card before they start working with children. People with paid applications submitted before 31 August 2020 are able to continue working while their applications are being processed, but in general, pending applications will no longer be valid in place of a valid blue card.

There is no change for volunteers, trainee students and people running regulated child-related businesses – you have always needed a blue card before you could start working or volunteering with children. If you are a job seeker, you can also apply for a paid blue card to be job-ready. Find out more about changes affecting individuals.

For organisations, anyone working or volunteering with children must hold a valid blue card before they begin work. The new application form is now online.

Under the new laws, organisations must also ensure that all employees and volunteers are linked to their organisation before they begin working with children. You will be able to link applicants using the Organisation Portal.

Restricted person, restricted employment

There are certain exemptions which allow people to work or volunteer with children without requiring a blue card, however to further strengthen the system, two new terms are being introduced – ‘restricted person‘ and ‘restricted employment‘.

A ‘Restricted person‘ is someone who has been issued a negative notice, has a suspended blue card, is a disqualified person, or has been charged with a disqualifying offence.

Restricted employment‘ refers to situations or exemptions that allow a person to work with children without a blue card. These include volunteering as a parent, volunteers under 18, paid or unpaid staff who work in regulated child-related employment for not more than seven days in a calendar year, or a consumer at a child-related disability service outlet where they also carry out work.

Find out more.

New forms and fees

From 31 August 2020 you will be able to apply for and renew your blue or exemption card online using the online applicant portal.

Blue Card Services will also have new paper forms available to download and print from that date. Importantly, it will no longer accept the existing forms which have an expiry date of 31 March 2020. 

New fees also apply from 31 August 2020:

  • Standard application fee – $93.95
  • Replacement card fee – $14.20

Resources and who to contact for help

Blue Card Services has developed resources to help you prepare for these changes, including short videos on each of the key changes, posters, and fact sheets.

If you need more information you can contact Blue Card Services between 8 am and 5 pm weekdays – phone 1800 113 611 or 3211 6999, or email here.