Why get the DVFREE Tick?

The DVFREE Tick is a mark of confidence that an employer has taken meaningful steps to achieve goals of a DVFREE workplace: 
  • Employees impacted by domestic violence feel safe and supported at work
  • Domestic violence is not tolerated or excused; the workplace promotes and supports respectful behaviour within domestic/family relationships
  • All employees know what to do if a work colleague is experiencing or perpetrating domestic violence
  • A best practice workplace response to domestic violence exceeds legal obligations under the Domestic Violence – Victims Protection Act 2018 and other laws

The DVFREE Tick is also a structured partnership with Shine’s DVFREE Team, which can help ensure you provide a sustainable, best practice workplace response to domestic violence, while also helping the DVFREE team to learn from your experience and improve the support and services we offer.

You can request a list of referees from DVFREE Tick accredited organisations who can share their experience of going through this process with you.

See our current DVFREE Tick partners. 

DVFREE Tick Criteria

The basis of the criteria for the DVFREE Tick are the essential recommendations within the Guidelines for a DVFREE Workplace Programme.

In addition to the Guidelines’ essential recommendations, DVFREE Tick training requirements are as follows:

  • Your First Responders must participate in DVFREE initial First Responder training and annual refresher training
  • All of your managers with direct reports must participate in DVFREE Manager training. While we understand this is a significant commitment of time and resource, manager training is critical to ensuring a safe and supportive response for employees who experience domestic violence.
    • The DVFREE Tick requires 90% of an organisation’s managers to attend training, and bi-annual refresher training. DVFREE can provide Tick partners with access to an online refresher training option for alternating refresher trainings, so that managers may only attend in-person training every 4 years.
    • Organisations with more than 500 employees and sites in multiple regions may negotiate for a lower minimum requirement of 70% of managers receiving training.
    • Employers with more than 500 employees may attain the manager training requirement in milestones over several years; a training plan with budget approval to meet milestone requirements in future years is required for the initial DVFREE Tick

NOTE: DVFREE Tick partner organisations may opt to have DVFREE train and accredit an internal trainer(s) to deliver their manager training. Please contact us to enquire about fees and process for this option.

Legal Obligations vs DVFREE Tick Criteria

The DVFREE Tick criteria requires going above and beyond employers’ legal obligations under the Domestic Violence – Victims Protection Act 2018 and other relevant laws. See a high level comparison of legal vs DVFREE Tick requirements.

The Process

also The process of working towards the DVFREE Tick officially starts once you sign a DVFREE Tick Agreement and pay your initial DVFREE Tick fee. After that, we will support you at your pace to meet the DVFREE Tick criteria over a period of up to one year. Some partners have achieved the DVFREE Tick within several months, while the average time for this is closer to six months.

Organisations may do these steps in a slightly different order, but broadly, the required steps  are as follows:

  1. Create or revise your domestic/family violence policy and procedures, and domestic/family violence information for staff to meet DVFREE Tick requirements. You may also need to update other policies, procedures and staff information to align (e.g. your leave policy updated to include domestic violence leave).
  2. Recruit and appoint First Responders, book your First Responder training, and plan ongoing support for First Responders. We recommend First Responder training in person if possible, but if it’s not possible to bring them together in person or if there are COVID restrictions in place, it can be delivered as an interactive and engaging online training. There’s an option for a Shine expert to participate in quarterly First Responder peer support meetings, which is one good way to ensure your First Responders are well-supported.
  3. Draft your domestic/family violence information for staff to meet DVFREE Tick requirements, especially including a definition of domestic/family violence and help-seeking pathways. Most employers make this information accessible as a section on their intranet.
  4. Plan your staff awareness raising strategy – you can utilise Shine’s free online learning module for this purpose, create your own learning module, and/or plan other creative ways of raising awareness amongst staff about domestic violence and your help-seeking pathways.
  5. Create a statement from leadership (ideally your CEO or most senior leader) that supports your staff domestic violence programme. We can provide examples of these.
  6. Plan your manager training rollout. Again, we recommend in-person training if possible, but we can also deliver it as an interactive online session. See the DVFREE TICK CRITERIA for details about manager training requirements.

Once you sign your DVFREE Tick Agreement, we can also provide some additional resources that can help get you started, such as leadership statement examples, a co-branded poster template, a sample Workplace Safety Planning tool, etc.

The DVFREE Tick Fee

Your DVFREE Tick fee pays for all the support needed to achieve the DVFREE Tick, except for manager training (unless you are a small employer). Specifically, it includes:

  • Consultation to review written documents required by the DVFREE Tick (policy, procedures, staff information)
  • One inhouse group training for your First Responders (20 max)
  • Option to upload the DVFREE online workplace learning module files, and DVFREE pre-training learning (for First Responder and Manager training) module files, onto your Learning Management System
  • Auditing your organisation for the DVFREE Tick
  • Once you are provided DVFREE Tick accreditation, the right to use DVFREE Trademarks for one year (after that is dependent on maintaining/renewing your DVFREE Tick)

The DVFREE Tick fee does not pay for manager training, which is required for the DVFREE Tick, unless you are a small employer with less than 50 staff.

DVFREE Tick partners have the option of accrediting  internal trainer(s) to deliver DVFREE Manager training within your organisation, which is generally a more cost-effective and sustainable approach for larger employers.

DVFREE Tick Renewal

first ResponAfter being awarded the DVFREE Tick, there is a two-yearly renewal cycle, with ongoing requirements for maintaining and renewing your organisation’s DVFREE Tick. This primarily involves continuing to meet DVFREE Tick training requirements, as well as a bi-annual audit to ensure your organisation continues to meet all other criteria. 

We update the DVFREE Tick criteria from time to time as we learn about what works and in response to changes in the legislative environment, etc. We will update you with any changes to the DVFREE Tick criteria that may require action on your part. Otherwise, the renewal audit process is likely to mostly involve confirming that the evidence provided for your initial DVFREE Tick is still current, or providing us with any updates to relevant documents.

The DVFREE Tick renewal fee covers all support needed to maintain/renew your DVFREE Tick, except manager training (unless you are a small employer). The DVFREE Tick Renewal fee includes:

  • Consultation to review any new or updated documents required by the DVFREE Tick requirements
  • One inhouse group training (or refresher training, or combined refresher and new) for your First Responders per year (max 20), either in person or online
  • Any updates to the DVFREE online workplace learning module files and DVFREE First Responder pre-training learning module files if you have these on your Learning Management System
  • Option for a DVFREE expert to participate quarterly in your First Responder peer support meetings to help with specialist input and feedback, or provide and/or lead discussion on workplace domestic violence scenarios
  • A bi-annual renewal audit in the last half of the second year of the renewal period
  • If your DVFREE Tick accreditation is renewed, the right to use DVFREE Trademarks for one year after your accreditation (beyond one year is subject to maintaining/renewing your DVFREE Tick)

The DVFREE Tick Renewal fee includes manager training for small employers.

The DVFREE Tick requires that managers attend initial training and bi-annual refresher training – either in-person or online. For the first and then alternating manager refresher training, one option is for managers to complete the DVFREE online manager refresher training module (from 2022).

“As a large employer we know family violence will be a real and serious issue for a number of our staff at any given time. We collaborate with Shine to ensure our approach follows best practice and we continue to be formally recognised as a DVFREE employer with the DVFREE Tick.”

— David McLean - Westpac NZ CEO

“The DVFREE customer response training reinforces being the bridge to help our customers, opens our eyes to signs and provides real life examples that we can apply to our job - it was very practical, with great facilitation.”

— IAG Care Team member training evaluation

“With specialist support from Shine, we are able to provide our people with a work environment where those affected by domestic violence are able to and feel supported to speak up, are treated with dignity and empathy, and where safety and privacy is protected."

— Catherine Dixon - Suncorp New Zealand Executive General Manager People and Culture

"It is our duty as a responsible employer to ensure our people feel safe and supported at work. Shine’s DVFREE programme has given us the knowledge and tools to be confident in how we respond to any of our people who experience domestic violence.”

— David Stevenson, General Manager, Parliamentary Service

“The model we have developed with Shine has given our managers tools to deal with some of the issues faced by our people. The systems we have put in place are already working." The Ministry of Justice was the first state sector agency awarded the DVFREE Tick. CE Andrew Bridgman urged other public sector organisations to follow its lead.

— Andrew Bridgman, Chief Executive, Ministry of Justice