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Checking the authenticity of a vaccination certificate

Posted November 8, 2021

In line with current regulations in most states and territories across Australia, salon owners need to check vaccination certificates for both their staff and their customers. Currently, public health directions in NSW and Victoria prevent unvaccinated workers from attending work. Knowing what to look for to determine that a vaccination certificate is authentic is key to ensuring that salon owners protect their business and abide by the current laws. But what should you be looking for?

Checking the authenticity of a vaccination certificate

It is recommended that employers check certificates against a known genuine certificate to confirm its authenticity. Employers should check that the coat of arms, green banner, version number and disclaimer all match up with a genuine certificate.

In most cases, employers do not need to take further steps to verify that a certificate is genuine. However, in some situations, an employer may suspect that a certificate provided as evidence is not authentic. In such circumstances, the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) has advised that:

  • The recommended way to verify a certificate is to require the person to log in to their MyGov account and navigate to their digital certificate.
  • In Victoria, the recommended way to verify someone’s vaccination status is to ask them to link their digital certificate to the Service Victoria app on their phone. At this stage, there is no known way to forge a certificate for the app.
  • The AIR will not verify a person’s vaccination status if provided with an Individual Healthcare Identifier (IHI) or any other personal details. They cannot provide any personal information to third parties due to privacy and this prevents them from confirming whether the person is vaccinated based on their IHI or any other details. There are currently no online mechanisms for the AIR to confirm the authenticity of a certificate.

Employers who have further questions about digital vaccination certificates can contact the AIR on 1800 653 809.

New process in Victoria for the issue of Vaccination Medical Exemption Certificates

The Victorian Government announced a new process for the issuing of certificates where a person claims a medical exemption to the mandatory requirement to get a COVID-19 vaccination.

The only way a person can get a vaccination exemption certificate is through a doctor lodging an Immunisation Exemption Form with the AIR.

A person will then be able to access their Medical Exemption Certificate via the MyGov website or app. Access to this certificate is the same as downloading an immunisation certificate.

Businesses will only be able to rely on the AIR Medical Exemption Certificates as proof of a person’s medical exemption to mandatory vaccination. Existing certificates issued directly by a medical practitioner will expire on 12 November 2021.

The process for the issuing of a Medical Exemption Certificate is as follows:

  • The person seeking a medical exemption to vaccination will need to consult their doctor
  • The doctor will be given strict guidelines on the limited medical exemptions available
  • A medical exemption will then be lodged by the doctor using the Immunisation Exemption Form with the AIR
  • The person can then download their certificate to a smartphone using the MyGov website or app, or it can also be printed.

This new process is effective from 6:00pm Friday 29 October 2021, and anyone with an existing certificate issued by their doctor must return to get a new certificate issued prior to 12 November 2021. On this date, all certificates issued directly by a doctor will expire and be considered invalid.

Further Advice or assistance

Our advisers are ready to answer your questions. For advice on this topic, or any other workplace relations matter, please call the HABA Advice Line on 02 9221 9911.

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