Policies and regulations
Our state and federal government have policies in place to help guide canteens with their business plans and nutrition policies.
1) Registering as a food business
In NSW and the ACT, canteens need to register as a food business to comply with government regulations. Follow these links to learn more.
2) Canteen strategies by state/territory
Each state and territory has developed and implemented nutrition policies and guidelines for their schools and canteens. Public schools are required to abide by these policies, and independent and Catholic schools are strongly encouraged to adopt them. For more information, check the canteen strategies table or click on the links below:
- NSW – Healthy School Canteen Strategy and Nutrition in Schools Policy
- QLD – Smart Choices
- VIC – National Healthy School Canteens Guidelines
- WA – Healthy Food & Drink
- SA – Right Bite (under review)
- ACT & TAS – National Healthy School Canteen Guidelines
There is a range of regulations (laws) which a school food service must abide by in operating their canteen or tuckshop, such as food safety and Work Health and Safety.
3) Working with children check
Whether or not you need a working with children check depends on a number of factors. You can find further information on our fact sheet. Unfortunately, there is no national working with children check. Each state and territory has its own rules and regulations.
- In the ACT, people who work with children and vulnerable adults must register with a Statutory Screening Unit.
- The Office of the Children’s Guardian is responsible for conducting checks in NSW.
- SAFE NT requires an employment and criminal history check, plus other specific requirements related to some areas on employment.
- Queensland works under its ‘blue card’ three-point system.
- For information on the screening and background checks required in South Australia, go to the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion website.
- There are currently no legal requirements for people working with children to undertake a police check in Tasmania. However, some organisations may have their own policies.
- Victoria’s working with children check process can be found online.
- The WWC Check in WA is a comprehensive criminal record check.