Clearances

Screening of key people

The Bishop in Council of the Diocese of Bendigo at its meeting on 9 May 2017 determined that the Professional Standards Uniform Act 2016, except for Parts 4.1 and 4.2 (clearances) would commence on 1 July 2017.

Clergy

When Part 4.1 of the Act commences, a person in Holy Orders or an authorized lay minister will be prohibited from engaging in ministry in the Diocese without a clearance for ministry certificate issued by the Kooyoora Office of Professional Standards and remaining current: s57.

A clearance for ministry includes a provisional clearance,  issued pending determination of a complaint, where the Board is satisfied that pending the final determination—

  • the applicant may otherwise lawfully engage in the ministry; and
  • there is no unacceptable risk of harm to any person if a provisional clearance is granted:  s80.
Lay people

The Bishop in Council of the Diocese has not yet determined the commencement date of Part 4.2 of the Act dealing with clearance for service of lay people.  In the meantime, screening is being conducted by the Diocese in accordance with its lay authorisations policy.

Once part 4.2 of the Uniform Act commences operation, a lay person whose role office or position for service falls within prescribed categories decided by the Bishop in Council of the Diocese and the prescribed criteria in s67 will be prohibited from engaging in that service in the Diocese without a clearance for service certificate issued by the Kooyoora Office of Professional Standards and remaining current.

Special responsibility of a Rector or Priest in Charge or the Dean

A Rector or Priest in charge, with overall authority in a parish or a congregation or the Dean at the Cathedral­ has a special responsibility –

  • not to permit a member of the clergy to engage in ministry without that person first obtaining a clearance for ministry;
  • not to appoint a lay person to a role office or position unless they are satisfied that the person is fit to hold the same;
  • not to permit a lay person to hold or continue to hold a role office or position for which they are responsible if that lay person falls within the prescribed criteria in s67.