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Never Lie About Your Criminal History

Dont lie about criminal history check

Never lie about your criminal history.

Many industries in Australia require a national criminal history check as part of pre-employment screening for various jobs. When you have a criminal record, it can be concerning to be asked every time to provide a police clearance. Many people feel they will be excluded immediately, but this is not always the case. A criminal record doesn’t have to stop you from getting your dream job.

It can feel like a struggle to be treated fairly when applying for jobs which ask for a background check as part of the entry requirements, especially as protocol is strict throughout Australia. While it can seem that there is a stigma surrounding criminal records, it is never a good idea to lie about your history to an employer.

What Is A Criminal Record?

A criminal record is a document of an individual’s police history stored in the national police database. It contains information relating to all disclosable prior convictions and pending charges. A National Police Check is performed using a person’s identity information to search the database for a match and retrieve the record.

The criminal record check is handled by police authorities or by a provider accredited with the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, like Worker Checks.

Most organisations request an updated national police clearance as part of job entry requirements for screening candidates before allowing them to join the workforce. This is not mandatory in all cases, but certain occupations do require mandatory screening.

Which Sectors Require A Criminal History Check?

The sectors which commonly ask candidates for a compulsory national criminal history check are:

Why Is It A Bad Idea To Lie?

Lying to an employer immediately creates a relationship based on dishonesty. It can make you fearful of your past being revealed and affect your work life. Telling the truth means you do not have to worry about being discovered further down the line, which could jeopardize all of the work you have done for the job.

You will inevitably be found out, and placed in a bad position. Dishonesty is not taken lightly by employers, and the discovery could result in dismissal.

Rather than lying about the record or withholding information, you can show the employer that you are still suitable for the role, and have learnt from past mistakes. Building a credible case by gaining support from others who can testify to your good character will help you in the recruitment process.

How Should I Handle My Criminal Record?

The best way to handle your criminal background with a potential employer is to be open and honest about it, where required. Showing your employer that you have taken responsibility for your actions will assure them that you still have potential to be a good hire.

Many offences people hold on a criminal record are from a long time ago. Employers will take this into consideration when reviewing your police check results. Many are able to overlook past convictions if the candidate seems otherwise suitable for the role, and does not have a criminal history which could directly affect their suitability for the role.

Avoid Certain Jobs

There are some jobs which require a clean record indefinitely. As criminal records are typically job relevant, prospective employees should try to avoid applying for jobs where their specific background is likely to be an issue.

For example, an individual with a record for fraud is unlikely to be suitable for a job working in a bank or another finance sector handling other’s money and personal information. Consider the similarities between jobs and past offences.

Will My Criminal History Prevent Me Getting A Job?

When applying for a job, it is important to know that police checks are job relevant. While having a criminal record might feel daunting, it’s important to understand that this does not immediately exclude the applicant from being employed.

The relevancy of an individual’s criminal history is taken into consideration when their police clearance is reviewed. A main factor taken into consideration when police authorities assess a person’s police history is how relevant the offence is to the role, and whether it will directly put others or the company at risk. Police agencies handling the check application will liaise and determine which information is to be disclosed in the results of the police clearance.

A traffic offence on your record is unlikely to impact your chances of taking a role in an industry which does not require driving or operating a vehicle.

Less serious crimes are assessed at the discretion of the employer or organisation following their own risk assessments for recruiting staff. However, there are certain occupations where certain offences are excluded. This generally applies to serious crimes, such as violent crimes or offences which are sexually-related. These types of offences will exclude you from getting a job in childcare, aged care, education and many other positions of trust.

Depending on what the offence is, other factors to be considered include:

  • The relevancy of the offence to the job role
  • How long ago the offence took place
  • In care sectors, the level of contact to vulnerable persons will be considered
  • Whether the record demonstrates a pattern of behaviour, or a single event
  • The attitude of the individual towards their criminal history, for example, if they demonstrate responsibility or remorse for their actions

Do I have To Disclose My Criminal History?

Every person must provide informed consent to the details of their criminal record check being disclosed. If an employer asks you to provide a national police clearance and you do not consent, you are not obligated to provide the information against your will. However, you will need to decline their request, and look for another job somewhere else.

In jobs where the condition of a background check is mandatory, you will have to seek employment elsewhere if you are not prepared to consent to a police check, as you cannot get around mandatory rules. The rules are in place for safety and security reasons, and everybody should respect the system.

What Rights Do I Have?

Nobody is required by law to volunteer details of their criminal record. They have the right to refuse to answer questions relating to it, and must give consent for a police check to be performed. But if the position they are applying for requires this information, they will have to comply in order to continue with the application process, otherwise they will have to politely decline and terminate the application.

Most jobs will clarify that a National Criminal History Check is needed for the position. This gives the individual the opportunity to continue with the application or to look elsewhere. Understanding why a background check is required can help the applicant to decide whether they want to continue.

When applying for a job and the employer asks you for national police clearance, the purpose for the check must be relevant to the job in question. By law, your consent is required before any sort of check is conducted. There are privacy laws in place, as well as anti-discimation laws to protect those who have a criminal record from unfair treatment by employers.

Disclosable Convictions

After requesting a police check, your results will either show No Disclosable Court Outcomes or Disclosable Court Outcomes. If you have a criminal record, you should understand what might count as disclosable and non-disclosable.

Certain convictions and charges will not always be disclosed on your certificate. Whether or not it is depends on the legislation of different Australian states and territories. The only way to find out is to obtain an Australian National Police Check.

If you find that a conviction is not disclosed in your results, it generally means that the offence is not considered disclosable. This means after review, it has been determined that the offence is not relevant or suitable to the purpose behind why you need the police check.

A good example is that a traffic offence may not be disclosed if the police check was conducted for employment with a retail company which does not require driving of any kind.

Spent Convictions Legislation

The National Police Checking Service is the system which provides access to criminal records for police agencies and NPC providers. Access to this system is managed by the Australian Crime Commission Act 2002, which follows Commonwealth, state and territory legislation, of which is applied to the information retrieved for a police check.

Spent convictions legislation is a scheme used across Australia, as well as information release policies which are used to decide what criminal history information is released in the results of a Nationally Criminal History Check.

Each state and territory has policies in place for the disclosure of criminal convictions. The police authorities are responsible for issuing the relevant laws using the information policies.

If you have a criminal record and you want to know more legislation, you should contact the individual police agency for your state or territory and request the information.

In Australia, some convictions will become spent after 10 years. This does not mean that they are erased from your history, but rather considered irrelevant for the purposes of employment. Where a conviction is spent, the individual is not required to tell an employer about it. Except however, in circumstances where it is important to share this information, particularly if applying for child-related work.

Why Do Employers Need My Criminal History Information?

Some employers need to view the criminal record information of potential employees. This is because companies need to know the true identity of the candidate they are hiring, so that they can make an informed judgement on whether they are safe and suitable for hire.

This is particularly crucial in jobs where the individual has access to vulnerable people, or access to their personal information such as financial details.

As well as keeping vulnerable people in the community safe, screening employees protects the business’s name, its assets and sensitive data. Employers want to know that they can trust a new employee, and reduce the chances of criminal activity.

Can I apply to have my offences withdrawn?

An accused person can apply to have these charges withdrawn before the Magistrate hears the matter. Some examples where the person can apply for a withdrawal includes;

  • In cases where the Police acted inappropriately,
  • The evidence used was illegally obtained
  • Where the case is a trivial one per State/Territory laws

If the court approves of your application, all charges against you will be dropped/withdrawn. And you will not face further charges for that offence nor have it in your criminal records.

Such applications can be submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Top Tip

Individuals should remember that having a criminal record does not banish them from all employment. While there are certain jobs which will not accept a record, there are still many jobs that will.

The applicant should never lie to an employer about his or her criminal history, as a police check will reveal that the applicant has been dishonest when the results are returned. Dishonesty is never a good way to begin a relationship with an employer. By being honest about your past, you become credible and give yourself a better chance of building strong work relationships.

Police checks for new arrivals to Australia

Map of Australia with drop pins on key locations

Police Check for New Arrivals – We are often asked “Can I get a Police Check What if I Have Lived in Australia for Less Than Five Years?

Yes. The process of applying for an NPC online is broadly the same no matter how long you have lived in or outside of Australia.

The key difference when applying for your national police check (also known as a national criminal history check) is that you have to click on the “Country” drop-down box when adding an international address in the relevant part of the form. From there, simply select the correct country and fill in the address.

The same applies if you are completing your  online application while you are either currently living outside of Australia or intending to live overseas in the future. All you have to do is include your overseas address and any other addresses you have lived at in the past five years.

Prior to and following that step, you can complete the form as normal. However, if you run into any problems when attempting to enter an international address or you find yourself unable to move on with the rest of the form, contact us. We’ll be happy to provide you with the assistance you need to complete the process smoothly.

Do I Need to Provide Additional Documentation as Part of My National Police Check Application if I Have Lived in Australia for Less Than Five Years?

While you do need to provide identifying documentation as part of your national police check application, you will not have to submit any additional documents if your five years of address history includes one or more international addresses. The only caveats are if you do not have any ID documents that have been issued by the Australian government.

For an national criminal history check application, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission stipulates that you must submit four documents, including one commencement document. This commencement document, whether it be an Australian birth certificate, an Australian visa, or an ImmiCard, must have been issued by the Australian government. 

It doesn’t matter if you currently live in, say, New South Wales and are applying for a police check NSW specifically. If you do not have any documentation that proves you have the right to live in that region or elsewhere in Australia, then you will not be able to proceed with your NPC application until you have acquired some.

What Other Documents Do I Need for My National Police Check?

Applicants will need to provide four documents from an extensive list that has been approved by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission. These include, as mentioned above, one commencement document, also known as a commencement of identity document.

You will also need to provide one primary document. Your primary document can either be an Australian driver’s licence, an Australian marriage certificate, a passport, a proof of age or photo identity card, a firearms licence, or a student identification card.

Finally, you should upload two secondary documents, choosing from a selection that includes Medicare cards, certified academic transcripts, Australian utility bills, and more. Please click here for more information and a full list of ID documents you will be expected to provide and details of how to upload them.

Why do I need to provide my address history in my police check application?

The information retrieved by the relevant authorities following your application online must be entirely accurate. As such, there are strict guidelines in place to ensure that all police checks are carried out for the correct person. These guidelines include the requirement for applicants to provide five years of address history, as a means of verifying their identity.

With five years of your address history, it will be far easier to locate you on the appropriate national crime databases. Particularly if you have a common name, additional information such as your previous addresses, whether they be here in Australia or overseas, will help to ensure that your criminal history is checked rather than anyone else’s.

Further, you will also need to provide proof of address if you want to get the correct certificate for your region. So, for those whose current address is in, for example, West Australia, their applications may have to be for police checks in West Australia specifically.

What Other Personal Information Do I Need to Provide in My NPC Application?

It will also be necessary for you to provide some personal information as part of your NPC application process. So, in addition to five years of address history, you must submit such details as: 

  • Your legal names and previous names, plus an additional document providing evidence of any name change.
  • Your date and place of birth.
  • Information about your gender.

This information will be used to verify your identity and locate you in national crime databases. So, accuracy is crucial. You should take great care to avoid even minor differences when giving your personal information, including inconsistent spacing and misspellings. Unfortunately, you may not receive police clearance if the information provided is incorrect.

If we have reason to believe that you have supplied incorrect information, we will contact you as soon as possible. We may be able to adjust your application accordingly if, for example, you have misspelled your address or incorrectly spaced your name. However, keep in mind that we also reserve the right to cancel your application if we are not satisfied with the details provided. 

Will My Online Police Check Application Take Longer to Process if I Have Lived in Australia for Less Than Five Years?

It could potentially take longer than the standard one hour to receive your result if you have lived in Australia for less than five years. As mentioned above, this has to do with the fact that additional, international organisations may have to be reached to help verify the address information provided in your application.

There are other reasons that your criminal record check may be delayed. For one thing, around 30% of all applications are selected for manual review by the National Police Checking System. This could delay the process by up to 15 business days, or longer in some exceptional cases. Other reasons include:

  • If you have ever been to court or charged with an offence.
  • If you have a common name or a name that matches with a person of interest in police databases.
  • If any of your police information is old and requires manual collection.
  • If your records are incomplete or inaccurate. 

Regardless, the vast majority of applications (around 70%) are processed in1 hour. If you are concerned that you have not yet received your application result, you can contact us regarding the progress of your police check at any time.

Police Check ID requirements – what’s needed to get my police check?

police check nsw

What Personal Information Must I Provide to Get My Police Check?

Police Check ID requirements – What information is required for police check?  We get this question a lot!

If you have decided to order your Police Check, you will need to know what kind of information is needed for the check to be completed. These are the necessary items that you will need to gather to be able to proceed with the Police Check process. There are no exceptions to these requirements and you will need to provide them all to be able to complete the police check process.

Police Checks can be done through a local post office or police station, but this slows down the process significantly as well as requiring that you fill out paper forms. Ordering your Police Check online is a far easier and more efficient option. If you are ready to check your criminal record at an affordable price and through a process that takes place 100% online, here is the personal information that will be needed.

What is a National Criminal History Check?

A National Criminal History Check is an official document that itemizes all of an individual’s criminal history in Australia. These offenses included are disclosable ones that took place in any state or territory in Australia. It does not matter where you are originally from.

You will always order a national police check that is valid in the state or territory that you currently reside in and the results are based on criminal records held by Australian police agencies. The Police Check will show any disclosable court outcomes, court sentences, records and pending Australian cases within Australia.

These police checks are completed for many reasons, such as when you apply for jobs, accept an internship, apply for citizenship, take a volunteer position, or when you begin the process of fostering or adopting a child. At Worker Checks, provide these police checks online to our customers for any of these needs.

We are reputable and we will provide a hassle-free experience for your National Police Check needs in the state or territory where you currently reside. No more having to drive to a separate location and wait in line to order your Police Check and no more waiting around for it to arrive after the fact. Our online ordering process makes the order and receipt of your Police Check quick and painless.

Can I Order my Police Check Online?

There are two primary ways to order your Police Check. You can order it manually or at a police station or post office. However, ordering your Police Check Online is often the easiest way to get this process done quickly and efficiently. If you want to avoid the line and the wait after you have submitted a paper Police Check Form, you will want to order your Police Check Online.

We offer a quick and simple ordering process that only takes 5 minutes to complete. If you have been dreading having to do this necessary and common bit of paperwork, being able to complete your Police Check online and having it on hand right away is a welcome relief.

You will just need some required documents and you will need to fill out an online application. We will ask to see your required documents with a selfie so that we can confirm your identity. After that, the rest is up to us! In many cases, you will receive your National Police Certificate within 60 minutes.

How Long Does it take to get a Police Check?

The actual online ordering process takes five minutes or so. This is quick, painless and much faster than applying at other locations! You will be done with your order in the time that it takes to make a cup of tea! Best of all, you will not have to leave the comfort of your home and you will not have to deal with the frustration of driving to another location to order and then finding out that you forgot a document that you needed!

About 70% of orders are completed within 1 hour and your National Police Certificate will be available in your secure personal portal as soon as the process is completed. This is the standard experience, but we will call if your personal information seems to be incomplete or if other errors are found to be present in your application. We are experts at reviewing and confirming that your order is complete and consistent.

You should know that about 30% of Australian Police Checks are delayed to be further reviewed by the National Police Checking System. This can add another 2 to 15 business days to your order. Due to this, we always recommend that you submit your order at least 10 days before you will need your completed Police Check in hand.

Submitting your order early will make sure that your application for a job or for a volunteer position will not be held up by delays that cannot be helped by you or by us. These checks are performed randomly and are not pre-selected by us in any way.

What Personal Information Will I Need to Provide?

The most common reason that you will be asked for a police check  to be done, is to be hired for a job. This is a required step for many jobs to protect your potential employer from anti-discrimination laws or privacy laws. It is not enough for you to just state that your record is clean.

You might be worried about the personal information that you will need to provide, but you can rest assured that none of the necessary information is invasive or should be considered too personal to provide.

To complete a Police Check NSW for example, you will need to provide the following documentation:

  • 1 Commencement Document

The acceptable items that fall under this heading are a current Australian passport that is not expired or a Full Australian Birth Certificate. A birth card will not be accepted in place of a birth certificate. If you do not have either of these documents, you will need to provide an Australian Visa that is current or an ImmiCard issued by Immigration and Border Protection.

If you do not have any of these documents, you will need to provide a certificate of identity that has been issued by the Foreign Affairs and Trade or a Document of identity issued by the Foreign Affairs and Trade. The last item that you might be able to use is a certificate of evidence of resident status.

  • 1 Primary Document

These documents are proof of identity and include a current Australian driver’s license or learner’s permit, an Australian marriage certificate, or a current passport from another country that shows valid entry into Australia. You can also use a current proof of age or photo ID card from an Australian government agency.

A firearms license can be used or a student ID card as well. All of these forms of ID must show your complete legal name, a photo, and signature.

  • 2 Secondary Documents

These include a certificate of identity that has been issued by the Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade or a document of Identity issued by them. You can also use a convention travel document secondary (UN) issued by the Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade. A foreign driver’s license will also work.

Other options include things like bank and credit cards, credit reference checks, student ID cards, government-issued photo ID, consular photo ID or even your Medicare card.

These items will need to be provided whether you are ordering a Police Check in NSW or a Police Check VIC. Each territory or state will have its own police records on anyone who has committed an infraction while they resided in that location.

For more information – visit our Proof of Identity page here.

What Other Personal Information Will I Need to Provide?

A Criminal Record Check cannot be done if additional personal information is not provided. This is basic information that you likely used when you filled out your job application. The personal information that will be required includes:

  • Current legal name
  • Any other legal names you have had
  • Place of birth
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Address history for the past 5 years

We will also ask that you provide a selfie with the necessary documents pictured. This image will be attached to the information above, which is supplied through an application form that is quick and easy to fill out. You do not need to stress about providing your personal information to us for the purposes of your Police Clearance process.

What is a National Police Certificate?

The National Police Certificate is the official document that you will be issued when you have completed the National Criminal History Check. This certificate will disclose any illegal activities that you have been involved in which led to a criminal record being established for you related to those activities.

You might be wondering how long this check is good for. Technically, there is no expiry date for these checks, however many businesses have their own regulations regarding how old a Police Check can be before a new one must be provided. You can refuse to provide a new Police Check, but this will likely result in you not being considered for the position that you have applied for.

A Criminal Record Check request should not be viewed as a sign that you are being treated with suspicion. This is a common practice when applying for jobs and trying to adopt or undertake volunteer jobs. These entities must satisfy their own requirements related to hiring anyone who has failed a Police Clearance related to the Spent Convictions Scheme.

These are basic practices that are undertaken by all reputable employers and organisations who are seeking to hire a new employee. They should not be looked at with embarrassment or frustration as they are common practice. Remember that these are practices that are required by the entity that is hiring you and that you are not being treated any differently than any other applicant.

Can I Dispute My Results?

You are able to dispute your results and we can help you with queries related to the accuracy of your Police Check results. Always contact us immediately if you think your Police Check is not correct and we will liaise with ACIC on your behalf or help you to start the necessary processes with your local Police Agency.

What About Police Checks in Other Locations?

No matter if you are ordering Police Checks in South Australia or Police Checks in West Australia, the process is the same. You will need to provide the same basic personal information and the same documentation. These rules are standardized for a reason and are intended to protect everyone who applies for jobs or caretaker roles from being treated with discrimination.

Remember that you will only need to order a Police Check in the state or territory in which you currently reside. There is no need to order a Police Check for another location that you lived in before. There are various rules related to infractions that were incurred in other locations other than your current primary address but these do not have any effect on the Police Check process in your current location.

What if I have Questions?

Contact us here if you have questions about our online ordering process or the documentation that you will need to provide. We want to take all of the guesswork out of your order and we know that it can be stressful to have to apply for a Police Check. It is hard enough having to wait to hear if you have gotten a job, and we want to be sure that the hiring process is not delayed for a moment longer than it has to be!

Click here if you are ready to start your application and you have the necessary documents on hand. We are ready to help you with your order, no matter what time of day you start the application process. We will deliver fast, efficient, and accurate results for you with every order that you place.

Why Police Checks Are A Must For Companies In 2023?

police check business solution

Why police checks for screening new starters are a must in 2023?

It’s very common practice for employers to require a National Criminal History Check (NPC) from potential new employees. Many recruiters use a police check to regulate the screening process of individuals before they begin working with the company. It serves as a means of security for protecting the business, existing employees, vulnerable people and the applicant themselves.

Australian police checks are a must for companies in 2021. Here is everything you need to know about police checks, whether you’re an employer or an employee.

Why Police Checks Are a Must For Companies In 2023?

There are many reasons as to why companies require a police check to be performed on an individual applying for a certain role. The information held within a National Police Clearance can be highly relevant to the job in question. The document will show whether the applicant has any previous convictions or pending charges, as the results of a criminal record check.

Companies need to know who they are employing, mainly for reasons of safety. A police check helps to safeguard the business and its assets, build a strong reputation, and promote good staff conduct.

What Is The Purpose Of a Police Check?

A National Police Check (NPC) is a document containing the police history of an individual in Australia. It is a government regulated service used for employee screening, licencing or registration purposes, and some voluntary work. A police check may also be required for visa and citizenship purposes.

A criminal record check is performed on the individual with their consent, using the database of police agencies across the whole of Australia. This will reveal any disclosable court outcomes and any charges pending.

What Will a Police Check Reveal?

A National Police Check in Australia will reveal any disclosable court outcomes (DCO) if there is any in the police history information of the individual. Some prior convictions may not be disclosed, for instance if they are juvenile or spent convictions. If there is no police information held on the individual, the document will state that there are no disclosable court outcomes (NDCO).

Police History Information (PHI) can include the following:

  • Charges
  • Pending charges
  • Appearances in court
  • Court convictions
  • Court orders
  • Penalties
  • Findings of guilt without conviction

How Is a Police Check Performed?

After an applicant submits personal information and identity documents in the online application, a police check is performed by screening the databases of police agencies in all states and territories of Australia.

The screening searches for matches with Persons of Interest (POI) and any information held on an individual using their personal details. The results will then be released on a document called a National Criminal History Check. Employers and organisations can then request the document as part of the enrolment process.

Why Do Employers Ask For a Police Check?

There are many employers and companies who will ask for police clearance from a person applying for a job. It is beneficial to the company for many reasons, and is required by law for individuals seeking to work with vulnerable people including children, the elderly and people living with a disability.

Police checks are a vital tool to determine the eligibility of a new employee, and to rule out past offenders of certain crimes to prevent harm or threat to vulnerable persons.

Who Needs a Police Check?

As part of company policy, every employee may be required to provide a police check certificate if the role involves working with children or any other vulnerable person.

Whether a person needs a National Criminal History Check depends upon the job criteria, and the level of risk involved in the role.

As a company, it is important to understand the importance of employee screening, and to determine whether a background check is necessary for the job in question.

What Are The Benefits Of a Police Check For a Company?

There are several benefits for requesting a National Criminal History Check from employees as part of company regulations. Some of the major benefits include the following:

  • Business protection
  • Protecting company assets
  • Protecting company reputation
  • Building trust
  • Staff conduct

Business Protection

A major benefit of issuing police checks to employees, both existing and new, is for business protection. Having confirmation that each employee does not have a criminal history which is directly related to their position within the company will help to safeguard the business. A police check ultimately acts as a precaution to minimise the chance of crime within the workplace.

Individuals with a police record could potentially have a direct impact on the company, as well as other employees. Prior crimes which include the following may pose a heightened threat:

  • Theft
  • Robbery
  • Fraud
  • Bribery
  • Cybercrime

Protecting Assets

Screening individuals for prior economic crimes will help to minimise the threat toward company data and confidential information. It is important for a company to be aware of any individual with a record for cybercrime, fraud and theft.

Protecting Reputation

Making police checks as part of the recruitment process mandatory shows due diligence. It shows that a company cares and values the safety and protection of its staff, clients and customers, and that it takes its recruitment process seriously.

Building Trust

Whatever the type of company, it is important to build trust with employees, clients and consumers. By carrying out a police check on employees, current employees can rest assured that they are going to be working alongside somebody who does not have a criminal record. Clients and consumers can put their trust in the company if they are assured that the likelihood of criminal activity is low, as everybody working there has been screened.

This is particularly important within care settings. People who leave their children and/or family members in the care of others want to be assured that the staff involved are screened correctly and have no prior convictions which could potentially put their loved ones in danger.

Promoting Good Staff Conduct

By making a National Police Check mandatory as part of the job application process, companies promote a safe and professional working environment. It can help to deter employees from criminal behaviour and prevent misconduct within the workplace, as well as keeping up employee morale.

The team will know that their welfare has been considered, and that the correct precautions have been taken to ensure the safety of all.

What About Existing Employees?

In most cases, an Australian national police check will be issued as part of the screening process for new employees, in the early stages before they begin working at the company. However, they can be required for existing employees.

If a current employee is changing roles within the company, they may require another police check. This ensures that the level of risk within the new role has been considered and assessed. For instance, a police check conducted for a role within information technology will not have the same relevancy as a new role working directly with vulnerable groups.

Different roles pose different levels of risk, even within the same company. An updated police check should always be considered for cases where an existing employee changes roles.

The company should also take into account that a National Police Check in Australia is a ‘point in time’ check. While a check does not expire, the results of a police check are valid at the time it is issued. The organisation should determine how long they feel an NPC remains valid for.

What Rights Does The Company Have?

In certain jobs, a National Police Check is a mandatory requirement. In these cases, the company is obligated to ask the applicant for consent to a criminal record check.

To avoid accusations of discrimination, the company should disclose during the recruitment process that a police check is required. Requesting the information in the early stages avoids any surprises further down the line. Many individuals who hold a police record may feel discriminated against or that they will be judged by their prior convictions, so it is important to make the process as open as possible.

Whether or not a criminal record check is required for the job should be considered carefully before asking applicants to disclose this information.

Further information can be found on the website of the Australian Human Rights Commission.

What Rights Does The Employee Have?

An individual’s police history for employment purposes can only be released with their consent. Except for police investigations, no other person is permitted to check another person’s police record without first receiving consent to do so.

If an applicant is asked during the interview process about their criminal record, the applicant is not obliged to volunteer any information. The applicant is free to volunteer the information themselves if they choose to do so. However, in the circumstance that there is a legal requirement, the applicant will be required to disclose the information.

In industries where the new employee will be working with children, the elderly or people with a disability, a criminal record check is vital.

How Can Companies Make The Process Straightforward?

If you’re a company and you are seeking to add national police checks as part of your recruitment process, it’s important that you make sure you use a certified provider. You want the process to be as straightforward and as timely as possible.

A provider must be accredited by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC). Worker Checks is an accredited provider of Australian National Criminal History Checks.

How Long Does The Process Take?

If you’re considering making police checks a part of your employee screening process, you might be wondering how much time this will take. The majority of police checks in Australia are submitted and completed within 1 hour. This applies to 70% of all police checks. The remaining 30% will be subject to delays for further review. This can be from 2 to 15 business days.

To help the process along, applicants should ensure they have all required documents and personal information entered correctly in the application for a police check online. We recommend that the company make the applicant aware as soon as possible that a police check is required from them for the job. Often, the police check requirement is listed within the job description.

When Should a Company Request a Police Check?

After careful consideration, a company should confirm whether police clearance is necessary for the job. If determined that a police record is required, the company should clearly state this at the beginning of the recruitment process, for instance in the job advertisement. This allows the potential new employee to prepare, and decide if they are still happy to apply for the job.

To prevent any claims of employee discrimination, it’s a good idea to state within the job advertisement that holding a criminal record does not immediately exclude the individual from applying, unless required by law. It may also be helpful to include some information as to why a police clearance is relevant to the position.

As an organisation, it is best to be upfront and honest about the screening process from the beginning to avoid any issues going forward.

For more information, visit the Australian Human Rights Commission website or contact Worker Checks with any queries you have.

Police Check 101 - click for Overview

What if my identity documents are in different names?

police check identity documents

I need to conduct a Police Check – documents in different names?

Anybody applying for a National Criminal History Check will be required to provide 4 documents to prove their identity, no matter which service they use. But we are often asked  -What if my identity documents are in different names? – Can I still compete a police check ?

The requirements for a National Police Check are coordinated by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) and must be followed properly. The rules are in place to protect the identity of individuals and to prevent cases of fraud. If there are issues with your ID documents, you may be required to obtain new ones. One main cause of problems with identity documents is the names displayed. All details including names, must be accurate and consistent throughout.

What If My Documents Are In Different Names?

When you apply for a police check online, you must provide 4 identity documents to complete your application. All 4 of these documents must be in your primary name. However, sometimes your name may be different on documents. This could be from taking your partner’s name after marriage, or having your name changed for other reasons.

In this case, you will be required to provide an official marriage certificate, or a change of name certificate. This will verify that the names on the documents match to the same person, i.e. you.

You should ensure that you have access to the required certificates if your documents are in different names, as you will not be able to continue with the police check application until all the requirements are met.

It’s important to note that alternative spellings of your name, or any misspellings, punctuation or spaces can all affect your application and result in difficulties processing your police check.

Do I Need To Provide All My Names?

As part of an Australian  National Police Check , it is mandatory for you to provide some personal information to verify and confirm your identity. This information includes your legal names, as well as any previous names. For instance, if you are married and have taken your partner’s name, you will need to provide your maiden name. If you have had your name changed legally for any other reason, you will need to provide your previous names.

All names must be spelt correctly and consistently. If Worker Checks or the alternative NPC provider you have used believes any of the information you have given to be inaccurate, you will be contacted to discuss the problem.

What If I Have Had My Name Changed?

Many people change their name for different purposes, usually for personal reasons. Anybody can change their name officially by lodging a legal name change application, provided that it is not for fraudulent purposes. Following a successful application, you will receive a certificate documenting your name change.

If you have had your name changed and are applying for a National Police Check, you will need to provide a copy of the name change certificate to demonstrate that the different names in your ID documents belong to you.

How Do I Get a Name Change Certificate?

You will usually obtain a change of name certificate when you apply for a name to be changed legally. If for whatever reason you do not have access to the certificate, you should contact the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Each state and territory in Australia is responsible for the provision of certificates, so you should contact the relevant agency.

What If I Am Married?

If you are married in Australia and have taken the surname of your spouse, the names on your documents may still show your maiden name. When applying for a police check online with documents in different names due to marriage, you must provide an official marriage certificate.This proves your name change by marriage and will verify and protect your identity.

How Do I Get A Marriage Certificate?

If you have lost or misplaced your official marriage certificate, you can request a replacement certificate from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. You will need to apply through the website of the relevant state or territory in Australia.

What Is The Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages?

The Births, Deaths and Marriages Registry is a government agency which allows people to do the following:

  • Register a birth, death or marriage
  • Apply for a certificate
  • Change names
  • Search family history
  • Register adoptions
  • Register changes of sex or gender

Please note that the individual state and territory governments in Australia are responsible for the provision of certificates. You will need to contact the relevant authority. For more information, visit the Australian government website.

What If My Name Is Spelt Wrong?

An Australian National Criminal History Check is an official document. For this reason, the contents of the National Police Certificate, including all personal information and identity documents must be fully correct.

It’s very important that you spend time checking your application carefully before you submit your online police check . You should check for any inconsistencies, typing errors and spelling mistakes throughout the form.

Any differences, no matter how minor can cause problems with your police check. This will cause delays and it cannot be determined how long you must wait for your national police clearance. Inconsistencies with formatting, spacing, hyphens, different spellings and more will be problematic. Please enter your information carefully.

What If An Alternative Spelling Of My Name Has Been Used?

If you receive your National Criminal History Check and an alternative spelling of your name is printed, you must contact Worker Checks, or the relevant NPC provider as soon as possible. The identity requirements for a National Police Check are strict and in line with Australian government, and must be followed correctly at all times.

What Documents Do I Need?

Anybody who applies for an Australian National Police Check needs to provide 4 ID documents. These include the following:

  • 1 x Commencement Document
  • 1 x Primary Document
  • 2 x Secondary Documents

For a full list of suitable documents for each of the 4 categories mentioned above, visit the Police Check  Identity Frequently Asked Questions page on the Worker Checks website.

Why Do I Need To Provide a Selfie?

As well as the personal information and identity documents, you are also required to upload a selfie when completing your police check online.

The selfie is a method used to compare your appearance to the photograph in your identity document. This is another form of identity verification which is in place to verify and protect your identity, and to stop any other individual from claiming your details as their own.

The process for the selfie is as follows:

  • Take a photo of yourself holding one form of photo ID, such as your passport or driver’s licence
  • The photo is compared against the photo of you in your ID document, and cross checked electronically using automated tools
  • The automated system will also recognise if the photo ID document has been altered in any way

What If I’ve Made a Mistake In My Application?

Once your police check has been submitted, you will need to wait for police clearance following a background check using the identity information you supplied. If you realise you have made a mistake in your application, or you believe there could be a mistake, you must contact the relevant agency you used to apply through immediately.

No matter how small the mistake, it is important to alert the relevant NPC provider to have it rectified. The sooner you get in touch, the sooner the mistake can be amended, and your application will be able to progress.

What Can I Do If I Don’t Have The Right Documents?

If you need to obtain a National Police Check, you have to supply the right documents as required in the application. Whichever provider you use, the documents and information required are exactly the same, as the requirements are set out by Australian government.

If you find that you do not have the right documents, you may need to apply for new documents from the relevant agencies. If you have the right documents but they have expired, you will need to obtain updated documents, as expired documents will not be accepted as part of your police check, with the exception of a passport expired under 2 years ago.

For problems relating to your name or names on documents, there may be an option to have them changed to the correct name. Contact us for any queries or concerns you have about documents and we will advise you the best possible way to move forward with your check.

Why Was My Document Not Accepted?

There are many reasons why a document you have given as part of your police check online may not be accepted. In these cases, the relevant agency will contact you directly using the email address or phone number you provided in your application. You will be informed of the problem, and advised and assisted in how to move forward with your Police Clearance. In some cases, there may be alternative documents which will be accepted.

One reason as to why a document will be rejected is because of issues with your name. If the document displays an abbreviation or alternative spelling of your name, this will be flagged as an inconsistency. Another possible reason for rejection is that the name on the document or any other personal information such as date of birth, may be displayed wrongly.

Other reasons for an unaccepted document can include the following:

  • It is not written in English
  • It is not an accepted form of ID
  • It is expired/no longer valid or it has been cancelled
  • It has been provided in the wrong category (each of the 3 categories – commencement, primary and secondary must have the correct type of document)

Why Do You Need My Documents?

All organisations and providers of Australian police checks must follow the strict application process for identity information. Each provider, including Worker Checks Pty Ltd, has a legal obligation to request and access your identity documents in order to verify your identity.

Every applicant must follow the same process and provide the right documents, or they will be unable to get a National Criminal History Check.

In certain situations, you may have special circumstances which warrant special provisions to be made if you cannot provide the required documents. If you believe you have a genuine reason or inability as to why you are unable to produce the documents, you should contact our customer service team for advice.

Please note, special circumstances are rare and will be reviewed carefully for accuracy. Lost, stolen or expired documents will not be accepted as valid reasons for special provisions.

Who Do I Contact For More Help?

For those who have applied for a National Police Check with Worker Checks, contact our customer service team via phone, email or using the online contact form.

For details, visit the Contact Us page.

The Importance Of Police Checks For Employment Screening

online police check process

Never has the Importance of Police Checks for employment screening been more prevalent. Employment screening during the recruitment process can be a lengthy task. Choosing who to hire and feeling comfortable about who you can trust is a big decision. For many companies, policies and procedures are in place to help streamline the recruitment process, and to find the best candidate for the job. Obtaining a criminal background check on potential new employees can help companies to make the right decision, and ensure that the likelihood of the candidate posing a threat is minimal.

Many employers use the police checking service as part of their risk assessment process. To eliminate risk or threat to any party, a police check can be issued as an important requirement for pre-employment screening.

The Importance of Police Checks For Employment Screening

A National Police Check plays a crucial role in the recruitment process for many employers and organisations. Essentially, an applicant for a job is usually a complete stranger to the employer. By requesting a police check, the identity of the applicant can be verified and confirmed. Any important police history information which may be relevant to the position will be disclosed in the form of a National Police Certificate. This allows the employer to make an informed decision before hiring the candidate.

While police checks are not necessary for all industries, as an employer or company you should be aware of whether or not a police check is suitable for the job in question, and whether adding national police clearance as a mandatory requirement will benefit the business in any way.

What Is a Police Check?

Firstly, it’s important to understand what a police check is. A National Police Check, also referred to as a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check, is a legal document in Australia coordinated by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, and the accredited body serving as a NPC provider. It is a ‘point in time’ check which declares the police history of an individual after giving their consent, including previous convictions and any other information held in police records.

What Information Will a Police Check Include?

A National Police Check is obtained from using the personal details such as name, date of birth and gender to search police databases across Australia. The search will reveal criminal history kept on police records, if there is any. This information will then be released on a National Police Certificate following Spent Legislation policies and other considerations determined by each police agency individually.

The results of a criminal history check will show one of two results, either:

  • No Disclosable Court Outcomes (NDCO) or
  • Disclosable Court Outcomes (DCO)

What Are Disclosable Court Outcomes?

A Disclosable Court Outcomes result may include information relating to the following:

  • Charges
  • Convictions/sentences
  • Penalties
  • Court appearances
  • Traffic offences
  • Court orders
  • Findings of guilt without conviction

Why Is a Police Check Important?

A police check is of great importance when it comes to employment screening. The main factor of importance is safety and security, but there are several other aspects as to why a police check is crucial for choosing the right candidate. There are also many benefits for an employer or company who require that a background check be performed when hiring new employees.

Protection and Security

The most important purpose behind a National Police Check for pre-employment screening is the most obvious one – for protection and safety. Hiring people you know are safe and trustworthy creates a safer working environment. The check serves to protect the employer, existing employees, clients, consumers, and vulnerable groups. As well as protecting people, a police check can help to protect company assets and private information, as well as prevent cases of fraud or other crimes of an economic nature.

After viewing the information disclosed in a National Police Certificate, the employer or recruiter can make an informed decision based on the police information available.


Safety should be a top priority for pre-employment screening. In some industries, the safety of all involved could be jeopardised by a missed opportunity to view an individual’s police history information.

The level of risk involved is dependent upon the job. In cases where the applicant seeks to work with children or vulnerable people, a more thorough check will be required.

Identity Verification

Another primary purpose of a Police Check Australia is to verify that the person applying for a position is really who they say they are. The police check requires identity documents and personal information from the applicant to validate their identity, as well as a photo ID and selfie for cross referencing. This process not only prevents the individual from others stealing their information and becoming a victim of fraud, but it assures the employer or company that the applicant’s information is accurate and true.

A National Criminal History Check can also confirm the education and employment history of an applicant which in turn helps to speed up the hiring process and verify the accuracy of the information provided.

Faster Hiring Procedure

By requesting a police check from individuals applying for an employment position, the hiring process can be much quicker. As an employer, rather than looking into the background of a candidate yourself or trying to gather information to confirm their application, a police check carried out by an accredited NPC provider will give you the important information you need to know. This saves time and ensures complete identity verification.

Professional Standards

Police checks offer a high standard of procedure for recruitment. Acquiring a criminal history check shows that the employer takes matters seriously when it comes to hiring staff, and screening is a professional way to find candidates who are both suitable and eligible for the position.

Reputation Protection

A reputable company name is important for growth, client satisfaction and trust. Adding Australian police checks to the requirements of a job application shows due diligence on behalf of the company. It is a proactive measure to avoid jeopardizing both the business and its people. Prioritising pre-employment screening shows care and concern toward all parties involved with the job and builds a strong reputation.

Reduce Time Wasting

Requesting a police check before the new employee starts work will prevent time being wasted further down the line. Any training should not be given until the new employee has successfully received national police clearance and eligibility for the role has been confirmed.

The applicant must be proven to be safe for work within the company and to minimise any threat to fellow employees, or any person or people the applicant will have access to within the job. This cuts out any time being wasted on training and preparing a new employee who has not yet been confirmed as suitable and safe for work, as the process would have to start over if the police clearance was unsuccessful.

Working With Children and Vulnerable People

When you apply for a police check online, you will be asked whether you are going to be working with children or vulnerable people. It is highly important that the police agencies know this information so that the correct legislation and spent conviction regimes are applied when conducting the check. Certain prior convictions or charges may be highly relevant to the job that the applicant is applying for, and this will determine if the information, if any, will be released in the results.

Working with children or vulnerable people will have an impact on the information presented in the document, as working with these groups poses a greater risk and a full assessment must be carried out. In some cases, the applicant may need another type of police check called a Working With Children Check.

What Is a Risk Assessment?

Police checks are obtained as part of a risk assessment for new employees. Each company will have its own measures and protocol in place for dealing with new members of staff for health and safety reasons. The level of risk involved is dependent on the position. Most pre-employment screening is conducted to ensure a safe environment for the most vulnerable groups in the community, including children, elderly people and people who have a disability.

A risk assessment is performed as an integral part of health and safety in the workplace. Different organisations and employers have their own safety procedures to follow, but all are designed to reduce the chance of injury, harm, fraud and other economic crimes, and many other risks which threaten the company and its people.

Does Every Employee Need a Police Check?

Depending on the industry and the organisation, not every new employee will require a National Police Check. Police checks are compulsory for many industries that work with the public and in care settings. Industries which regularly require a criminal background check are as follows:

How Does An Employee Obtain a Police Check?

To obtain a National Police Check for employment purposes, the employee can apply for a police check online using an accredited provider such as Worker Checks Pty Ltd. Many organisations use a preferred provider, so it is a good idea to check with your potential employer which service provider they would like you to use for your police check.

The process is easy if you read through the information thoroughly to ensure you have the correct identity documents and personal information that is needed.

The process can be completed in as little as 5 minutes, and involves entering your details such as name, gender, date and place of birth. Next you’ll need to provide 4 documents to verify your identity, as well as a selfie of yourself holding one format of photo identification.

What Rights Does The Employee Have?

Any candidate applying for a job is not legally required to volunteer information relating to their police history. If asked for information about their criminal background, they are not obligated to answer. However, the candidate is required to disclose criminal information held on their record if the job requirements specify that a police check is needed, usually in jobs working with children or vulnerable persons.

It can be useful for employers to provide an explanation as to why certain convictions and criminal history is relevant to a particular job. The requirement of a police check should be clearly stated in the job advertisement to give the candidate the opportunity to decide whether they would like to continue with their application.

I Am An Employer And I Want To Know More About Police Checks For Employee Screening. Who Do I Contact?

If you are an employer and wish to add a National Police Check to your job entry requirements, contact Worker Checks Pty Ltd for information about registering as an employer. You can also find more information on the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission website about how to get a check for your employees.

It Possible to Clean My Criminal Record?

clear my criminal record

It Possible to Clean My Criminal Record?

If you’ve been asked to apply for a national police clearance as part of a job application process, you might be wondering whether it’s at all possible to clean your criminal record. And, thanks to spent convictions legislation in place in regions across Australia, it is.

See below for information on how spent convictions legislation works and how it varies between different States and Territories.

Plus, find out more about how the national police checking (NPC) process works if you have spent convictions, how to dispute NPC results if your spent convictions show up on your certificate, and how long a certificate with unspent convictions is valid.

What types of convictions are in my Criminal Record?

There is spent convictions legislation in place in all Australian States and Territories. Simply put, this exists to automatically clear the criminal records of former offenders, meaning wiped or ‘spent’ convictions will not show up on their Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check certificates.

There are, however, certain terms and conditions to bear in mind as well as variations in the application of this legislation in different states.

For starters, convictions will become spent after different waiting periods in different areas of Australia. In addition, some convictions can never become spent, and there are circumstances under which even spent convictions will be disclosed in a check certificate.

How Long Before a Conviction Becomes Spent?

Generally speaking, a conviction becomes spent after 10 years if it was given when the offending person was an adult, or five years if the offender was a child at the point of conviction. However, these rules may vary depending on the region in which a person received their conviction.

In New South Wales (NSW), for example, a child’s conviction will be considered spent after just three years. Plus, some convictions in the region may be wiped early as the result of good behaviour. So, it is advised that you meet the conditions of your conviction if you want to apply for a police check NSW and receive a national police certificate with no listed convictions.

What Criminal Offences Will Never Become Spent?

In most States and Territories across Australia, sexual offences can never become spent, no matter how many years have passed since the date of conviction. As such, any sexual offences committed will always show up on an offender’s NPC certificate. In some instances, this is also the case when the offender was a minor at the time of conviction.

Additionally, convictions in Western Australia will not become spent automatically. Rather, those with convictions on their criminal record must apply for a spent conviction on the Western Australia government website.

Keep this in mind if you are applying for police checks in West Australia. If you fail to apply for a spent conviction in time, it may still be listed on your national police certificate.

Under What Circumstances Will My Spent Convictions Be Disclosed in an NPC?

Even if your convictions become spent, there are some instances in which they might still be disclosed on a national police certificate.

You may notice that, during the NPC application process, you are asked to provide information on the purpose of your national police check. If the reason you need a police certificate is any of the following, older convictions may still appear:

  • Working with children.
  • Working with the elderly.
  • Working with disabled or otherwise vulnerable people.
  • Working in immigration.
  • Working as a commercial driver.
  • Employment in a hospital.

To find out if older convictions are likely to be disclosed on your police certificate, refer to the police check legislation for your State or Territory.

What Information Does a Police Check Certificate Typically Include?

The primary purpose of a police check certificate is for employers to ascertain whether you have any convictions on your criminal record, particularly those that would make hiring you a risk either to the company or the people it serves. As such, every certificate will come back either with ‘disclosable outcomes’ or ‘no disclosable outcomes.’

Disclosable outcomes are the convictions that are listed on the certificate. If you have been charged for a crime but have not yet appeared in court, that charge may be included as well.

If your certificate has no disclosable outcomes, that most likely means you have no recorded convictions, or your convictions have become spent. Or, it could mean that any convictions found during your criminal record check were not considered relevant to the position you applied for.

Will Interstate Convictions Be Included on My National Police Certificate?

Yes, your national police certificate will list any relevant convictions from all States and Territories throughout Australia. Even when you apply for a regional (or state based) police check, police databases from all regions will be searched. In doing so, the information you provide can be matched with person of interest records across the country.

So, if a person were convicted of a crime in Brisbane, that conviction would still show up on their national police certificate if they applied for police checks in South Australia.

How Accurate Are National Police Checks?

As long as you enter the correct details upon application, the outcomes listed on your national police certificate should be accurate. However, even small mistakes in the spelling or spacing of the information you provide could result in an inaccurate search.

It is in your best interests to provide the right information when completing an NPC online application. That way, you can be sure you won’t receive a certificate that lists convictions that are not attributable to you.

If we have reason to believe that the information you provided is incorrect, we will contact you as soon as possible. We may be able to amend any mistakes for you before the police checking process begins. However, please note that we do reserve the right to reject applications that contain inadequate information.

What Personal Information Do I Have to Provide for My NPC Application?

For the first step of your police check online application, you will be asked to enter your name, contact details such as your email address and phone number, and information related to the purpose of your police check.

Then, after you pay your fees through the secure online platform, you will be prompted to provide the following additional details:

  • Your gender.
  • Your date of birth.
  • Five years of address history.

Will My National Police Check Certificate Show Spent Convictions If My Identifying Documents Are in Different Names?

As well as your personal information, you also need to provide four types of identifying documentation. If you have recently changed your name and not had time to update your IDs, you will be required to include an official marriage certificate or change of name document in your application, too. This will help to prove the link between your former name and current name.

So, if you have convictions that only became spent following your legal name change, you don’t have to worry about those convictions showing up on your police clearance certificate. Any changes to your convictions will be acknowledged, whether or not you’ve had time to update your documents.

What Happens When I Submit My National Police Check Application If I Have Spent Convictions?

Once you have entered your details, uploaded your identifying documents, and paid your fees, you should be just about ready to submit your application. The process that follows is the same regardless of whether you have spent convictions, unspent convictions, or no convictions at all.

As soon as we receive an application, we check that the information provided is accurate before submitting it to the National Police Checking Service. There, they will search national and all regional criminal databases to see if there’s a match between the information you provided and persons of interest known to the authorities.

Before your results are returned to Worker Checks, they will be sent to a police agency. There, it will be determined what convictions (if any) will be included in your application. So, if you have spent convictions, this is the point at which that they will be struck from your certificate. The only exception is if your spent convictions are found to be relevant to the purpose of your application.

Will It Take Longer to Process a National Police Check If I Have Spent Convictions?

In most cases, it takes just one hour for an applicant to receive their certificate. However, in some instances, the process can be delayed for up to 15 days. This happens when the National Police Checking Service selects an application for further review.

It is not possible to predict whether your application will be selected for review because it can happen whether you have spent convictions or not.

Can I Dispute the Disclosable Outcomes on My National Police Certificate If I Have Spent Convictions?

If your national police certificate is returned to you with disclosable outcomes but you believe your convictions have become spent, it is possible to dispute your results. However, please bear in mind that if your certificate shows your spent convictions, there will most likely be a reason why.

Remember that there are certain exceptions to spent convictions legislation. These state that if your spent convictions are relevant to the purpose of your NPC application, they may still be included on your certificate.

Say, for example, that an applicant needs an NPC certificate for employment in a school. If that applicant has prior convictions for offences against children, it is highly likely those convictions will be disclosed, regardless of how long it has been since the offence occurred.

Still, if you would like to dispute your results, you should contact us as soon as possible. We will be able to liaise with the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission on your behalf.

Will I Need to Get a New National Criminal History Check If My Convictions Become Spent?

Any police check is a ‘point in time’ check. As such, the certificate you receive will be valid at the time of issue. It will only be considered invalid when the organisation that requested it asks you to renew or if the status of any of your conviction’s changes.

Therefore, you will be required to apply for a new national police certificate when your convictions become spent. It is likely to be of more benefit to you to produce a certificate with fewer or no disclosable outcomes.

Can I Still Get Hired If My Check Certificate Shows Unspent Convictions?

Having no disclosable outcomes is the desired result for most people who apply for a police check in Australia. However, having unspent convictions listed on your certificate does not necessarily mean you won’t get hired.

It’s worth bearing in mind, though, that not all organisations will ask you to complete a national police check. Those that do will quite likely have a good reason for not wanting to take on applicants with a criminal history. This is especially true of offenders whose convictions are considered to make them a higher risk to the people the organisation serves.

Are There Any Other Ways to Clean My Criminal Record in Australia?

No, the only way to clear your criminal record in the different States and Territories across Australia is for your convictions to become spent.

That being said, spent convictions legislation is applied slightly differently in the different regions of Australia. So, it’s worth reading up on the way spent convictions work where you are. The outcomes disclosed on an applicant’s NPC certificate may vary depending on whether they apply for a police check Vic, one in Queensland, or elsewhere in the country.

How Police Checks Protect The Vulnerable

police check vulnerable

Police Checks when working with the vulnerable – a necessity and a legal requirement.

Police checks (National Criminal History Checks) are a common procedure in Australia for employment purposes. Many recruiters request a mandatory police check from candidates as part of the job entry process. This is mainly to verify the identity of the candidate, and to disclose important information regarding their police history which may affect their suitability for the role they apply for.

Australian police checks strengthen the employment screening process to protect the most vulnerable people in the community. By accessing the details of a person’s police background through a criminal record check, the organisation or employer can make an informed choice as to whether they post a threat to vulnerable persons. All applicants must be thoroughly assessed and approved for work in this sector.

Who Is Classified As A Vulnerable Person?

A vulnerable person refers to:

  • Minors under the age of 18, i.e. a child or children
  • A person over the age of 18 who is or may not be able to take care of themselves. This includes an inability to protect themselves against harm or exploitation.

In general terms, there are three groups of people in the community who are categorised as vulnerable persons. This includes children, the elderly and people with a disability. A National Police Check can be used for pre-employment screening for individuals working or seeking to work with any of these groups. There are also other types of checks which provide a more thorough screening for each group, such as Working With Children Checks and NDIS Worker Screening Checks.

What Makes A Person Vulnerable?

A person is classified as vulnerable if they are not completely capable of taking care of themselves, whether for physical or mental purposes. It could be for reasons of age, disability, physical or mental illness, trauma, or any other matter that makes a person less able to protect and care for themselves.

What Is The Vulnerable Sector?

The sector of industry which works with vulnerable people includes any type of setting where a level of care is provided. This includes the aged care sector, childcare and care for people with a disability.

People working in this sector are employed to support and care for the mental and physical wellbeing of people who cannot fully care for themselves.

Positions working with the vulnerable can include:

  • Roles within Information and Technology services which handle sensitive information belonging to vulnerable people or where the employee has access to personal information
  • Voluntary positions working in various community service industries such as mental health services, women’s services, homeless support, youth support, addiction support etc.
  • Health professions such as doctor and nurse roles
  • Carers, residential support workers and community support workers
  • Any child-related employment, including health, education, child welfare, entertainment and religious sectors

What Requirements Are Needed To Work With The Vulnerable?

The main requirement needed for undertaking work with vulnerable groups is a National Police Check to produce a full criminal record check. This not only determines that the person does not have any prior convictions, but confirms that the person is who they claim to be.

An individual cannot partake in work, whether employed or voluntary, with vulnerable people without obtaining national police clearance.

Who Cannot Work With The Vulnerable?

Following the disclosure of a person’s criminal record check on a National Criminal History Check, the information will be assessed.

Having a criminal record does not definitely exclude you from working with vulnerable people. However, this is highly dependent upon the offences committed, and the role which you apply for. Each case is assessed individually by police authorities and many aspects are taken into consideration during the review. For example, this could include how long ago the offence happened, the nature of the offence, how relevant it is to the role, and the type and level of contact that the applicant will have with the vulnerable person.

Some prior convictions which include serious crimes will immediately prevent the person from working with vulnerable people. This typically includes murder, assault, sex crimes and cruelty to children.

It is the responsibility of the police agencies across Australia to ensure the disclosure of important criminal history on a National Police Certificate so that employers are made aware before hiring any individual.

Why Is A Police Check Important?

A police check is crucial for industries working with vulnerable groups whether children, the elderly or disabled persons. This is because the organisation must know who they are hiring and carry out a full risk assessment based on the individual’s background check. Mandatory police clearance strengthens the screening process to prioritise the safety and protection of those with a vulnerability.

An Australian national police check is highly common for pre-employment processes. Putting and keeping the vulnerable in safe hands is a top priority for police check requirements. Only fully screened and approved individuals should be given access to work with vulnerable people to ensure the best possible level of service and protection to those who need it.

The background check will reveal any prior offences committed by the employee/potential employee which will be reviewed to determine if these prior crimes could put vulnerable people in their care at risk.

Caring for vulnerable people is a serious profession, and a police check is vital for this industry.

What Protective Measures Are In Place?

When a person applies for a job working with vulnerable people, they are required to submit a police check for safety measures. Every National Police Check requires 4 identity documents and some personal information including names, date and place of birth, and 5 year residential address history. The document requirement is in place to better confirm and validate the person’s identity while checking for consistency in the person’s information.

When applying for a police check online, the applicant will be asked to confirm whether they are going to be working with children or vulnerable people. This gives the police agencies a better understanding of the importance of the criminal background check, and allows the application to be assessed correctly using the right protocol.

The authorities will then use spent convictions legislation and other relevant policies to determine the potential level of risk from the individual. The screening will review any patterns in behaviour, one-off offences, or crimes which could be linked to or have an impact on vulnerable persons.

There are other types of checks which are targeted to specific industries within the vulnerable care sector, including Working with Children Checks and NDIS Worker Checks for those working with people who are living with a disability.

Working With Children Checks

The Working With Children Check in Australia is another type of police check for screening people who work or seek to work with children, including volunteers. While each Australian state and territory has its own measures in place, Working with Children Checks are mandatory across Australia to ensure safe environments for children.

People who may require a this type of check include anybody applying for child-related work, such as the following:

  • Accommodation services
  • Child protection
  • Child-minding
  • Coaching, clubs and sports
  • Education
  • Child health
  • Child transport services
  • Religious organisations

NDIS Worker Screening Checks

An NDIS Worker Screening Check is the assessment of an individual who works with, or applies to work with people with disability. This is different to a National Police Check in that it is more thorough, and is targeted directly to those who seek to work in disability services.

The assessment clarifies if the individual could be harmful to the disabled persons, or pose any sort of risk to them. This will prevent unsuitable candidates from being employed in certain roles that work closely with people with disability.

More information on NDIS Worker Screening Checks can be found on the website of the NDIS Commission.

Working With Vulnerable People Registration

The Working with Vulnerable People Registration is another type of check for individuals working with vulnerable groups. This is an assessment which is ongoing to ensure the eligibility of the individual employed or volunteering in a vulnerable persons environment.

Unlike the National Police Check which is a point in time check, the Working with Vulnerable People Registration is ongoing, performing regular reviews of a person’s criminal history or any other police related information. Whether or not you need this type of check is dependent on the legislation of different states and territories in Australia.

Spent Convictions Scheme

The general aim behind spent convictions legislation is to stop individuals from being judged by certain older, previous convictions by limiting the disclosure of such offences following a period of good behaviour. This is the case where convictions are less serious, or were committed a long time ago when the individual was a youth.

Under Commonwealth law, the spent convictions scheme is usually passed after a 10 year period if the offender has continued with good behaviour and has not reoffended in this time.

In many cases, individuals with spent convictions who apply for jobs working with vulnerable groups will have their full police history disclosed, no matter how long ago the offence took place.

How Long Is A Police Check Valid For?

A National Police Check is valid at the date of issue, which means the certificate only reports on offences up to this date. This is called a point in time check. While a national police certificate does not officially expire, organisations and employers must decide how often they require an updated check, and whether it is satisfactory to accept an old check.

How To Get A Check

A National Police Check can be obtained by applying for a police check online with an ACIC accredited NPC provider such as Worker Checks.

Some organisations will have their own protocol for obtaining a police check and will use particular providers. You should check this when applying for a job, but it is usually referenced in the job advertisement.

Your organisation or potential employer should inform you of any other types of police check you may need, such as checks for working in the childcare or disability sector. Organisations often use police checks as part of their own investigation into candidates, but some roles are required by law to include certain types of checks, such as Working with Children Checks and NDIS Worker Screening Checks.

How Police Checks Protect The Vulnerable

Police checks work as a proactive measure to prevent danger or harm coming to the people in society who are more vulnerable. By conducting a police check during the employment process before an individual begins working in the industry, the employer or organisation is informed of important information which may affect the decision as to whether the person applying for the role poses a risk.

People working with the vulnerable populations must be of good character, and not have any prior convictions or charges which could jeopardize the safety of the person or people under their care.

All organisations in the vulnerable care industry must ensure proper protocol is followed and measures are taken to keep those most at risk in the safest environment.

What Causes Police Checks To Get Delayed?

police check delay

Is your Police checks delayed?

Police checks are common practice for many industries across Australia, with thousands of citizens applying for national police clearance every year.

The National Police Checking Service will always endeavour to complete and return a police check application as soon as possible, but in some cases the process is delayed. There are multiple reasons as to why this may be. Here is everything you need to know about delayed police checks in Australia.

What Is The Process For A Police Check?

The process for a police check is quite simple. In this case, a police check refers to a National Criminal History Check, which is also called a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check.

The applicant can apply manually, or complete a police check online with a registered provider such as Worker Checks, who will handle the process for you once you submit your application.

After submitting your application, the process is as follows:

  • Your application will be reviewed for accuracy and consistency with the information you have provided, as well as identity documents provided
  • If all is well, you are required to give your consent to have your information passed on to the National Police Checking Service, who will search the national database for matches to Persons of Interest
  • If your information matches with an existing Persons of Interest record, the Police History Information records will be searched next. This step clarifies which information, if any, will be disclosed in your police check.
  • The results of the police check are returned to the NPC provider handling your application and they will be made accessible to you in a document called a national criminal history check

Where Does My Information Go?

The information provided on your application for a police check online is first assessed by the accredited NPC provider you have chosen to use, such as Worker Checks. Once the provider is satisfied with the information received, it is given to the National Police Checking Service for further review. This service is used by police agencies across all states and territories of Australia.

How Long Does A Police Check Take?

Different providers of police checks have different timeframes for results. Generally, the process is completed within 1 hour. This applies to most applicants with a 70% success rate. The remaining 30% are delayed for various reasons, most commonly for further review. A delay could mean waiting up to 15 business days for the results of your criminal record check to be returned.

For this reason, you should complete an online police check as soon as possible should you require one.

Why Is My Check Taking So Long?

Police checks are performed by computer systems which run your name and details through police databases in search of a match. This generates an automatic pairing with police history records. This can be a speedy process for many applications, but for others it can be more complex. If the computer is unable to generate a result with certainty, your application may require manual processing.

Manual processing is when your application must be checked and assessed manually, by police authorities. This can be a timely process, and will add more time onto the process.

If a match is found on the database, or your name and details match another person of interest, it will be flagged for further review. A true match must be confirmed, and the computer system is not always able to confirm this conclusively, so people are needed to investigate the matter by hand.

Reasons A Police Check Is Delayed

There are multiple reasons for why your Police Check is delayed and takes longer than the average 1 hour. Around 30% of police check applications are sent for further review by the National Police Checking System.

Common reasons for why a police check result might take longer than expected are the following.

Common Names

If the applicant has a name which is relatively common in Australia, it is possible for it to flag matches to information in criminal records belonging to other individuals with the same name. This takes the system more time to establish if you are the person in question, or if you must be excluded from being a person of interest.

Old Information

The information on police record systems should be regularly updated. However, outdated information may still exist on police records. If the applicant’s data has not been updated effectively, this may require the applicant’s information to be gathered and assessed manually by police authorities.

Issues With Police Records

Any problems with the information held on police records can cause delays to your results. If information on the system is found to be incorrect, inaccurate or incomplete, it will have to be fully investigated before the results of a police check can be established.

Transfer Delays

The National Police Checking System works by giving police agencies and ACIC accredited providers across all states and territories in Australia access to criminal history records. In order for this to work successfully, information must be transferred and shared between different states and territories. For various reasons, some agencies may take longer to pass on information, and this will result in delays to your application.


Sometimes, there are unprecedented levels of police check applications being submitted in Australia. As with every application, it must be managed correctly and meet all requirements as set out by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission. Police check applications must not be rushed, and this means that a heavy workload for individual police agencies can cause delays to police checks as they work through applications.

Will A Criminal Record Cause Delays?

If you already expect that your national police clearance will contain details of your criminal record, there are some reasons why the results might be delayed.

If you are wondering about a delay with your criminal record, the following are possible causes:

  • Legal technicalities and different legislation, including spent convictions schemes in different police jurisdictions
  • The state or territory where the offence took place
  • The decision process which determines whether a previous conviction or charge is disclosed as part of the results of a police check. This is dependent on the purpose behind the police check, the relevancy of the information and the assessment of the role the applicant is applying for (if for pre-employment screening purposes)

What If I Don’t Have A Criminal Record?

Many people assume that if they have no criminal record, their police check request will be returned quickly. However, it is still possible that your application will be delayed. Some factors to be considered are as follows:

  • Similarity to police records belonging to other individuals, such as a common name or other similar personal details
  • The time and location of an offence committed in the police records of an individual with similar data to yourself
  • Time spent verifying your information and residential address history

Can I Prevent A Delay?

Anybody who applies for a National Police Check cannot control the process once the application is submitted. The important rules to follow as a preventative measure are to complete the application correctly.

For a successful application, you must provide everything asked of you in terms of personal information and identity documentation. Check all dates to make sure documents are valid, and double check that you have entered all information correctly.

Generally, problems with the application itself can be resolved by the applicant if they read and follow the steps carefully. All applicants should consider spellings, typing errors, spacing format and consistency to enable a smooth process.

Will Another Provider Be Faster?

If you find that you are waiting a long time for the results of police clearance, there is little you can do to speed up the process. Once your application is submitted with the NPC provider, the process is handled by the system, and there is nothing that can be done to retrieve the results any faster.

All accredited bodies who submit police checks on behalf of applicants have equal access to the National Police Checking Service. All must follow the same rules and procedures put in place by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission. For this reason, you should not attempt to submit applications to different providers, as this will not result in a faster turnaround. It could slow down the process, as multiple providers will be searching for the same results.

Police checks are certified documents which must be performed following strict protocol. A police check result will only be released once the police agencies are completely satisfied and confident that the applicant has been assessed fully.

Will I Be Notified Of An Issue With My Police Check?

If there are any issues with the application submitted, the accredited body handling the application will contact you directly, either via phone, email or both. A discussion will be held to inform you of the issues, and to determine the best course of action for moving forward with the criminal record check. This could include providing alternative documents or further personal information to help to verify your identity.

If the police check request has been sent for manual processing, the applicant will be informed and updated throughout the procedure where possible.

What Will The Result Be?

In every police check document, there can only be one of two results – No Disclosable Court Outcomes (NDCO) or Disclosable Court Outcomes (DCO).

Disclosable Court Outcomes can include charges, convictions, court appearances and findings of guilt with no conviction. The information disclosed is based on spent convictions legislation and release of information policies in different states and territories.

No Disclosable Court Outcomes means one of two things. Either there is no police history information linked to the applicant, or there is some information on their record which does not need to be disclosed.

Will Disputing My Results Cause More Delays?

Every applicant has the right to dispute the results of their national police clearance if they believe the information to be false, inaccurate or irrelevant.

Depending on what the dispute is, further delays may take place as the issue is resolved. To begin the dispute process, the applicant should contact the relevant accredited body immediately to discuss any concerns. They will then raise the dispute on your behalf as they liaise with the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.

Each case is unique, and the amount of time required to resolve a dispute is undetermined. Doubts or concerns should be communicated as soon as possible.

A delayed police check is in no way an indicator that an applicant has any criminal history to be disclosed.

In response to Australia’s COIVD-19 recovery, the National Police Check Service is currently experiencing an unprecedented demand for police checks.

Police are working to capacity to process checks but delays are being experienced.

Checks normally take up to 10 business days to complete. Currently, applicants are experiencing delays upwards of 1-month to complete.

Government Accredited

Worker Checks Pty Ltd is an Accredited Body with the Australian Criminal Intelligence  Commission (ACIC).
Authorised to access the National Police Checking  Service.
Worker Checks Pty Ltd  have been assessed and approved against  strict security and compliance requirements.

A list of ACIC Accredited providers can be found at:


Should I get a police check?

Coach with Australian Police checks talking to team

A police check result may increase your job opportunities. 

A police check helps organisations make informed decisions about the suitability of applicants for a range of employment, registration or licensing entitlements, including:

• recruitment, job applications and pre-employment screening
• volunteer and not for profit positions
• working with children or vulnerable people
• immigration and citizenship
• visa applications
• adoption applications
• occupation related licensing
• firearm licensing.

Is it compulsory?
Police Checks are an important means for many organisation to get to know and show they care about their employees. It demonstrates that an organisation values its reputation, team culture and clients.

Police checks are not required for all jobs, but for some it’s rather crucial. It’s common for people in senior or financial roles to undergo a police check, when applying for jobs working with children or vulnerable demographics, in many government or legal positions, or in public roles such as bus and taxi drivers.

What should you expect on a result?
A police check will show your police history including information such as:

  • court appearances
  • court convictions, including any penalty or sentence
  • findings of guilt with no conviction
  • good behaviour bonds or other court orders
  • charges
  • matters awaiting a court hearing

A police check does not contain information about spent convictions which are those removed from an individual’s record because it’s exceeded the required duration of time.

Click here for more information on Worker Checks online police checks.