What are Disclosable Court Outcomes on a police check?
There are lots of reasons and purposes for which an organisation may request your Police Check. However, depending on the discretion of the organisation/agency, they mostly assess your suitability for what you apply for based on the details of your Disclosable Court Outcomes (DCOs) and the relationship of the DCO to the work tasks (if any).
What are Disclosable Court Outcomes?
When you apply for a Police Check, there are two possible results for your certificate to return as;
- Disclosable Court Outcomes (DCOs)
- No Disclosable Court Outcomes (NDCOs)
When your Police check returns with Disclosable Court Outcome (DCOs); it means the details of the convictions are considered releasable by the State legislations.
If you have any conviction, pending charge or criminal offence convicted by a legal court, they all appear in a Police Check certificate. The (DCO) is the documented history of an individual’s Police and Criminal records.
Some categories of DCOs that appear on Police Checks are;
- Sexually related offences
- Traffic charges for which an individual is convicted in a court
- All Sentences and Convictions
- Pending court charges and offences
- Serious assault related offences
- Other offences not under the Spent convictions scheme
Spent Convictions: Depending on the State’s legislation or the applicable spent convictions scheme, some offences are not included in your DCOs. In Victoria, NO spent convictions are shown are employment related police clearances.
Spent convictions are offences which after some years, or meeting some conditions are expunged from an individual’s updated Police Check. Some of these conditions are;
- Ten (10) consecutive years of the waiting period has elapsed since the person was convicted of the crime (in an adult court).
- Five (5) consecutive years of the waiting period has elapsed since the person was convicted of the crime (in a youth court/as a juvenile).
It also follows that;
- The individual must not be convicted of any punishable offence during this waiting period, or the period restarts
- If a jail term is imposed, the crime-free period begins after the jail term
- Convictions stipulated by the court to be considered as Spent if the individual meets Special conditions (community works, therapy, self-quarantine, and co.)
However, some offences can never be classified as “spent” no matter the period elapsed. These offences are considered “Serious” and always appear in an individual’s criminal record check. Some of these offences are;
- Sexually related convictions
- Convictions against corporate organisations and institutions
- Convictions stated by the regulations/Court sentencing
- Convictions for which a prison sentence of six or more months is imposed
No Disclosable Court Outcomes
Applicants that have their Police Check return with NDCOs have passed a national criminal history check application. It means they have no Police/conviction history that is considered releasable or “serious” or no convictions at all.
“Offences” not included as DCOs
Most people have a certain fear of their convictions, history or criminal records and fret over what will be displayed on their Criminal history checks. However, not all your offences are considered Disclosable – including the spent convictions.
Some offences are not “serious”, or they lack the jurisdiction to be included in your DCOs
These offences are, and are not limited to;
- Convictions outside the country.
- Diversion programs.
- Spent Convictions
- Punitive measures by third party institutions or other professional bodies/unions.
- Offences outside the jurisdiction of Australian police agencies/courts
Where are my DCOs sourced from?
A nationally coordinated criminal history check (NCCHC) is a nationwide check program that lists all the disclosable police/criminal records of an individual from all the States and Territories in Australia. So if you have lived in a different state where you got a conviction, it will likely appear in whichever Police Check you apply for.
The Australian Police Check is valid throughout the nation and for employment or volunteering related purposes. It captures all criminal records of an individual via each State and local Police database.
A national criminal history check will undergo vetting through the following Australian states and territories:
- National Police Criminal Check in Tasmania
- National Criminal History Check in Queensland (QLD)
- National Police Check in the Australian Capital Territory
- National Police Check in Victoria (VIC)
- National Police Clearance check in Western Australia (WA)
- National Police Check in the Northern Territory
- National Police Record Check in New South Wales (NSW)
What is a Police Check used for?
A national criminal record check is not only a useful and standard check to ascertain individual suitability for a role, it is also mandatory for some purposes. A person who wants to volunteer in an aged care role must submit an updated Police Check. Public vehicle drivers, nannies, Healthcare workers, Teachers, and co must also provide a valid Criminal Record Check.
Here are some purposes for which you need a national criminal record check;
- Licensing (Firearms, Schools and co)
- Employment and Recruitments (financial roles, caregivers, working in child-related roles, and co.)
- Working with elderly community members like police checks for the aged care sector
- Contracts (Real Estate, Freelancing)
- Criminal history checks for organisations who run community organisations
Can a Police Check expire?
A Police Check is a point in time check and remains valid from the point of issue. You may continue using your Police Check certificate until you apply for an updated Police check. However, most organisations or agencies will not accept a Check certificate older than three (3) months.
When interpreting a Police Check, different agencies/organisations have their discretions based on their risk mitigation strategy. That is why an individual should apply for an updated Police Check when applying for a new role (especially when their previous Checks are older than 3 months).
If you are convicted of an offence within this period, you should apply for an updated background check and inform your company.
Who can apply for a Police Check?
Frankly, every person can apply for a criminal background check. Getting your check also provides you with knowledge of your convictions history and DCOs. People who know the details of their convictions (if any) begin to seek other means to mitigate the effect on their future activities.
How long does it take to process a Police Check?
When you apply online, you will get a Police Check certificate delivered to your mail normally within 1 hour of your application. The remaining that get referred for manual processing may take up to 10 business days. The applications can be completed via a PC, Tablet or mobile device, including the payment required.
Applying through our online portal is fast, efficient, and convenient with your schedule.