I have been charged with a Criminal Offence and hold a positive notice Blue Card: What Do I Do Now? 




Obtaining a Blue Card is a mandatory requirement for individuals in Queensland who work or volunteer in roles involving contact with children. The Blue Card system is designed to protect the safety and well-being of children by assessing the suitability of individuals in these roles. However, being charged with a criminal offense while holding a Blue Card can create a complex and challenging situation.


In this article, we will explore the steps to take if you find yourself in this situation and how it may affect your Blue Card status.


Understand the Blue Card System


A Blue Card is a formal approval issued by the Queensland Government that indicates an individual has met the necessary screening requirements and is eligible to work with children. These requirements include criminal history checks and ongoing monitoring.


It is essential to be aware of the responsibilities that come with holding a Blue Card, such as the duty to report any changes in police information, including criminal charges.


Notify the Blue Card Services


If you have been charged with a criminal offense, it is imperative to notify the Blue Card Services as soon as possible. Failure to do so may result in significant consequences, including the suspension or cancellation of your Blue Card.


You can notify the Blue Card Services by submitting a “Change in Circumstances” form, which is available on their website. Provide accurate and complete information. It is important that where the charges are at an early stage and you have only recently been charged your disclosure be brief because any disclosure about the charges themselves might be obtained by the QPS. You have the right to remain silent in the face of criminal allegations and the intersection between Blue Card and the criminal prosecution process should be approached with caution.


Await Further Instructions


After notifying the Blue Card Services of your criminal charge, they will review your case and may contact you for additional information or documentation. It’s essential to cooperate during this process and provide any requested information promptly.  However, it is also important to consider your competing rights in relation to criminal prosecution.


The Blue Card Services will consider the details of your case, the nature of the offense, and the potential risk to children. They will then make a decision regarding the status of your Blue Card.


Suspension or Cancellation of the Blue Card


If you have been charged with a criminal offense, the Blue Card Services may choose to suspend your Blue Card while they assess your case. This suspension is not a final decision but a precautionary measure to protect the safety of children. This would happen when the charges are disqualifying offences or where the person becomes subject to a temporary offender prohibition order or an interim sexual offender order.


During the suspension period, you are not authorized to work in roles that require a Blue Card. It is crucial to respect this suspension and refrain from engaging in any child-related work until the matter is resolved.


In some cases, the Blue Card Services may decide to disqualify a Blue Card holder.  This will occur if you are convicted of a disqualifying offence and sentenced to imprisonment, become subject to reporting obligations, a final offender prohibition order or a sexual offender order.  In such cases, the card must be cancelled and the person issued with a negative notice. .


Appeal to QCAT 


If your Blue Card is cancelled and a negative notice is issued, you have the opportunity to appeal to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal. It is crucial to demonstrate that the decision was incorrect and that you have addressed any identified issues which the Department might rely on to have issued you a negative notice.


In many cases, it is possible to argue that the circumstances of the individual do not meet the ‘exceptional circumstances’ category required in many of the discretionary categories of cancellation. For example, where the offending is discontinued, not serious or disqualifying or relies only on domestic violence information or other relevant information.


Reapplying for a Blue Card


If your Blue Card is cancelled due to criminal charges, you have the opportunity to reapply for a new Blue Card after a period of 2 years. This is an application to set aside the negative notice.  It is crucial to demonstrate that you have addressed the issue that led to the suspension or cancellation and that you are no longer a risk to children.


When reapplying for a Blue Card, it’s advisable to provide all necessary documentation and information, including any evidence of your rehabilitation and good character. Your legal representative can guide you through the reapplication process.


Rehabilitation and Character References


One key factor in the Blue Card decision-making process is rehabilitation and insight. If you have been charged with a criminal offense, it is essential to actively work on your rehabilitation by complying with any court orders, seeking counselling or treatment if necessary, and making positive changes in your life.


Character references from individuals who can attest to your good character, personal growth, and commitment to children’s safety can be valuable when reapplying for a Blue Card. Those commenting on your character should be briefed with the correspondence from Blue Card setting out the reasons for reconsideration or proposed cancellation so that it is clear that they are aware of the difficult parts of your history but still support you and attest to your good character.




Being charged with a criminal offense while holding a Blue Card in Queensland can be a challenging and stressful experience. However, it’s essential to follow the necessary steps to address the situation and protect the safety of children. This includes notifying the Blue Card Services, cooperating with their review, seeking legal counsel for your criminal case, and actively working on rehabilitation and character references.


If you have been charged with a criminal offense, it is essential to seek legal counsel to navigate the criminal proceedings effectively. The outcome of your criminal case will have a significant impact on your Blue Card status.


Your legal representative will work with you to build a defence and address the charges brought against you. It is crucial to have a consistent strategy in respect of both your criminal matter and your blue card response.


If you would like to discuss your own matter, please contact ROG and speak with one of our specialists on (07) 3034 0000.