The Child Protection Register

This factsheet will help you understand:

  • The Child Protection Register (the Register) and
  • Child Protection Prohibition Orders (‘CPPO’).

What is the Child Protection Register?

The NSW Child Protection Register (the Register) is a record of people who been sentenced for certain sex offences against a child, or for kidnapping, manslaughter or murder of a child, called a registerable offence. It is kept by NSW Police. The Register is also sometimes called the Sex Offender Register.

If you have been sentenced for a serious offence against a child, that offence may be a registerable offence. You would automatically go onto the Register. The only way to know for sure is to speak to a lawyer.

NSW Police can also make an application to the Local Court to put your name and contact details on the Register.

Once you have been put on the Register, your name and contact information will stay there forever.


If you are on the Register you need to report to police for a set time. This could be 8 years, 15 years or for the rest of your life, depending on the offence. If you were under 18 when you were sentenced, the time is different and will probably be shorter.

If you are on the Register, you must update police about your life. There are many things that you need to report on, such as your address, where you work and your phone number.

Reporting to police does not mean police can search your phone or computer or ask you to give a DNA sample. This can only happen if there is a specific court order. You should speak to a lawyer before you let police search your phone or computer if you are not sure.

You will need to tell police if you change your details on the Register. Even if there are no changes to your details, you will need to report to police each year to tell them that everything is the same.

If you do not report or you report false information, you could be fined or imprisoned for 5 years, or both.

This system might change where the Government changes the law about the Register. So, it is important to check the documents you are given by the police to find out what you need to do.

Speak to a lawyer if you are not sure what the documents mean.

Mistakes on the Register

In the past, NSW Police have made mistakes about who should be on the Register and how long they should report.

If you think police have made a mistake about you, contact Legal Aid NSW for help.

If you have been given a letter by the police that talks about mistakes in the Register that might affect you, contact Legal Aid NSW for help.

Even when there is a mistake with the Register, some people have been charged with an offence. If this happens to you, speak to a lawyer to find out if the police made any mistakes. A lawyer can check if you should be on the Register and for how long you need to report. A mistake might have happened which could mean that you have a defence to the new charges against you.

If NSW Police have made a mistake by putting you on the Register, a lawyer will be able to help you understand your rights and what you can do.

You can get help from a lawyer at Legal Aid NSW by calling 1300 888 529.

Child Protection Prohibition Order

NSW Police can make an application to the Local Court for a Child Protection Prohibition Order (a CPPO) against someone who is on the Register. Someone who is on the Register is called a registrable person. CPPO applications can be made at any time, even after your reporting period for the Register has ended.

A CPPO stops or limits activities that you are allowed to do. These are called conditions. A common condition of a CPPO is to stop you having contact with anyone who is under the age of 18. If you breach a CPPO by not following the conditions, you can be charged with a criminal offence. If you are convicted, you could be sentenced to up to 5 years in prison.

If the police make an application for a CPPO against you, you should get legal advice as soon as possible. A lawyer could help you defend the CPPO or get conditions that are not too harsh so you can continue your everyday activities.

If a CPPO has been made against you when you were not at court or you didn’t know about it, you might be able to cancel the CPPO. This process is called annulling the CPPO.

If you already have a CPPO, a lawyer can help you to appeal it, cancel it or change it. Time limits apply so you should get legal advice as soon as possible.

You should contact a lawyer if:

  • you have a letter from the police about the mistakes on the Register
  • you have a CPPO
  • the police want to search your phone or computer
  • the police want you to give a DNA sample, or
  • you are not sure what you have to report on.

Where can I get more help?

OrganisationInformationContact details
LawAccess NSWProvides free telephone legal information and referrals to other services, including to your nearest Legal Aid NSW office, Community Legal Centres, private lawyers and other organisations that can help.Chat to our team by clicking on 'Chat with us' on the right or by calling 1300 888 529 Mon to Fri 9am - 5pm.