Work and development order

Work and Development Orders (WDO) are made by us to allow eligible customers reduce their fines through unpaid work with an approved organisation and through certain courses or treatment. You are an eligible customer if you:

  • have a mental illness, intellectual disability or cognitive impairment
  • are homeless
  • have a serious addiction to drugs, alcohol or volatile substances
  • are experiencing financial hardship to satisfy their fines through unpaid work with an approved organisation or through certain courses or treatment.

For information about WDOs and the activities you can do, refer to the Work and development order factsheet.

How do I apply for a WDO?

To apply for a WDO you need to find an approved sponsor organisation or health practitioner to support your WDO activity. Your sponsor can lodge your application online.

If you do not meet the eligibility criteria and are applying under exceptional circumstances, you need to fill out a written Work and development order - exceptional circumstances application. Your sponsor will help you through the application process.

For all enquiries related to WDO customer applications and related reporting, contact us.

What is the role of approved organisations/health practitioners in the WDO process?

Customers of Revenue NSW cannot apply for a WDO without the support of an approved organisation or a health practitioner.

Approved organisations/health practitioners are free to decide whose applications they wish to support, according to their own priorities, expertise and resources.

If an approved organisation/health practitioner wishes to assist a customer with a WDO, they are responsible for:

  • determining whether the customer appears eligible for a WDO
  • determining the most beneficial treatment or activities for the customer to undertake for the WDO
  • assisting the customer to complete a WDO application
  • providing or supervising treatment or activities under the WDO
  • keeping copies of paperwork relating to the WDO (e.g. copy of application, timesheets for activities completed)
  • submitting monthly, non-compliance and completion reports on the customer’s progress, using the self service portal.

What is involved in supporting a WDO application?

An approved organisation/health practitioner needs to review the WDO Guidelines to determine if a customer is eligible to apply for a WDO.

Where an approved organisation/health practitioner makes a decision to support a WDO application, the application must include:

  • the name, contact details and signature of the approved organisation/health practitioner, or their representative(s) certifying the application

  • the identity and contact details of person(s) responsible for supervision of the proposed activities under the WDO.

The approved organisation/health practitioner and the supervisor do not need to be the same person.

The WDO application needs to describe the treatment or activity which the customer proposes to do in order to reduce their fine debt, and the frequency at which they will do those activities.

If there are no suitable services or activities available in a customer’s area, or if the customer does not have the capacity to complete any activities under a WDO, they should be directed to Revenue NSW for further options.

Can a WDO be varied?

Yes, it is possible to apply to Revenue NSW to vary an existing WDO. For example, if the WDO needs to be changed, alternative activities are to be undertaken, or the number of hours per week changes, send a written request to Revenue NSW for consideration.

If you would like to apply to have new fines included in a WDO, this can be requested in writing via your approved organisation/health practitioner, advising if there are any changes to activities or hours.

The variation needs to be supported by the approved organisation/health practitioner that will be supervising the activities in question.

If a WDO is issued, what’s involved in supervising a WDO?

The approved organisation/health practitioner (in practice, the customer’s nominated supervisor) is responsible for keeping track of a customer’s participation and/or attendance in the activities as set out in the WDO.

The person supervising activities under a WDO will be required to submit monthly progress reports.

There are penalties for providing false or misleading information to Revenue NSW. Each approved organisation/health practitioner will need to establish a process for completing and submitting reports and complying with minimum record keeping requirements.

What record-keeping requirements apply?

Approved organisations/health practitioners are required to keep WDO records containing the following information:

  • full copies of all applications made to Revenue NSW, along with supporting documentation

  • a copy of the WDO and/or any correspondence from Revenue NSW declining to issue an order

  • documentation showing the level of compliance with the order (this may include: running sheets listing the hours or days of attendance or participation; completion of any assessments; notes documenting compliance with any course of treatment).

Requirements for the storage of and access to WDO records are set out in the WDO Guidelines.

These requirements to give access to records relate only to the WDO paperwork, and do not allow access to the customer’s general file.

What reporting requirements apply to approved organisations and health practitioners?

Approved organisations/health practitioners are required to report to us monthly on the progress of all active WDOs under their supervision, or being completed for (or on behalf of) them.

Approved organisations/health practitioners can provide their monthly reports via the self service portal.

Monthly reporting is required so the customer’s debt can be progressively reduced as they complete each month of their WDO activities, or so that we are advised of non-compliance with the WDO.

Approved organisations/health practitioners must report to us within seven days of the end of each reporting period.


1300 478 879
8.30am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday
Revenue NSW
PO Box A2571
Sydney South NSW 1235

Last updated: 17 August 2017