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Apply for an authority to employ children in NSW

Apply and pay online

From 1 July 2021, refunds will not be issued for authority application fees. When applying, select the type and duration of your authority with care and make sure that your organisation does not already hold a valid certificate.

Note: Your authority application contains a legal declaration that must be signed by a Director or Trustee of your company (this is not applicable to sole-trader or student applicants)

Once approved, you will be issued with an authority certificate by email. You will be given a new authority reference number each time you apply for an authority. This reference number will be valid only for that authority certificate.

We will contact you if there are issues with payment processing or compliance.

You will need to notify us of your intent to employ children at least seven days before employment commences (this includes preparatory activities). A child details form (XLSX 52KB) can be completed closer to the child's employment start date.

Who needs an authority?

You are required to hold an authority if you are:

  • an organisation or individual who directs a child to perform tasks for payment or material benefit
  • an industry student who, as part of your studies, directs a child to perform tasks. This is required when directing children in paid or unpaid activities


  • you employ children under 15 years of age for work in exhibition or entertainment, still photography or door-to-door sales or
  • you employ children under 16 years of age for modelling work.

Types of authority

  • Entertainment and exhibition
  • Still photography
  • Door-to-door sales
  • Student

Employment activities that need an authority

The types of activities include (but are not limited to):

  • film and video performance
  • television commercials
  • television series
  • recordings for digital media
  • live performances
  • theatre
  • still photography
  • performance activities including modelling, promotional work, performance art, public speaking and public performance
  • recordings for DVDs and the internet
  • radio performances
  • sound recordings and voiceovers
  • catwalk modelling
  • door-to-door sales.

These preparatory activities are also included:

  • rehearsals
  • wardrobe fittings
  • sound recordings (both pre and post production)
  • publicity activities.

The Office of the Children’s Guardian can also determine whether an activity is employment in situations where a child is not receiving payment or material benefit.


Duration of authority Entertainment and exhibition   Still photography and door-to-door sales Students
1 week $200 $100 Nil fees
3 months $1,830 $806 Nil fees
6 months $2,040 $914 Nil fees
12 months $2,400 $1,075 Nil fees

(GST included)


You may be exempt from holding an employer’s authority in certain circumstances. Exempt employers need to apply to us and comply with the Code of Practice.

Find out more about exemptions.