Category Archives: Police Check Education

Need to know more about police checks and the process in Australia?

Disclosable Court Outcomes on a police check?

Disclosable court outcomes

Disclosable Court Outcomes on a police check. What are they?

There are a number of reasons why an organisation may request your Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check. However, depending on the discretion of the organisation, they likely assess your suitability for what you apply for based on the details of your Disclosable Court Outcomes.

What are Disclosable Court Outcomes?

When you apply for a criminal history check, there are two possible results:

  1. Disclosable Court Outcomes (DCOs)
  2. No Disclosable Court Outcomes (NDCOs)

If you have any conviction, pending charge or criminal offence convicted by a legal court, they all appear in your Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check or AFP Check.

Some categories of DCOs that appear on Police Checks are;

  • Sexually related offences
  • Traffic charges for which an individual is convicted in a court
  • All Sentences and Convictions
  • Pending court charges and offences
  • Serious assault related offences
  • Other offences not under the Spent convictions scheme

Spent Convictions: Depending on the State’s legislation or the applicable spent convictions scheme, some offences are not included in your DCOs. In Victoria, NO spent convictions are shown are employment related police clearances.

Spent convictions are offences which after some years, or meeting some conditions are expunged from an individual’s updated Police Check. Some of these conditions are;

  • Ten (10) consecutive years of the waiting period has elapsed since the person was convicted of the crime (in an adult court).
  • Five (5) consecutive years of the waiting period has elapsed since the person was convicted of the crime (in a youth court/as a juvenile).

It also follows that;

  • The individual must not be convicted of any punishable offence during this waiting period, or the period restarts
  • If a jail term is imposed, the crime-free period begins after the jail term
  • Convictions stipulated by the court to be considered as Spent if the individual meets Special conditions (community works, therapy, self-quarantine, and co.)

However, some offences can never be classified as “spent” no matter the period elapsed. These offences are considered “Serious” and always appear in an individual’s criminal record check. Some of these offences are;

  • Sexually related convictions
  • Convictions against corporate organisations and institutions
  • Convictions stated by the regulations/Court sentencing
  • Convictions for which a prison sentence of six or more months is imposed

No Disclosable Court Outcomes

Applicants that have their Police Check return with NDCOs have passed a national criminal history check application. It means they have no Police/conviction history that is considered releasable or “serious” or no convictions at all.

“Offences” not included as DCOs

Most people have a certain fear of their convictions, history or criminal records and fret over what will be displayed on their Criminal history checks. However, not all your offences are considered Disclosable – including the spent convictions.

Some offences are not “serious”, or they lack the jurisdiction to be included in your DCOs

These offences are, and are not limited to;

  • Convictions outside the country.
  • Diversion programs.
  • Spent Convictions
  • Punitive measures by third party institutions or other professional bodies/unions.
  • Offences outside the jurisdiction of Australian police agencies/courts

Where are my DCOs sourced from?

A Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check (NCHC) is a nationwide check program that lists all the disclosable police/criminal records of an individual from all the States and Territories in Australia. So if you have lived in a different state where you got a conviction, it will likely appear in whichever Police Check you apply for.

The Australian Police Check is valid throughout the nation and for employment or volunteering related purposes. It captures all criminal records of an individual via each State and local Police database.

A national criminal history check will undergo vetting through the following Australian states and territories:

What is a Police Check used for?

A Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check is not only a useful and standard check to ascertain individual suitability for a role, it is also mandatory for some purposes. A person who wants to volunteer in an aged care role must submit an updated Police Check. Public vehicle drivers, nannies, Healthcare workers, Teachers, and co must also provide a valid Criminal Record Check.

Here are some purposes for which you need a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check;

Can a Police Check expire?

A Police Check is a point in time check and remains valid from the point of issue. You may continue using your Police Check certificate until you apply for an updated Police check. However, most organisations or agencies will not accept a Check certificate older than three (3) months.

When interpreting a Police Check, different agencies/organisations use discretion based on their risk mitigation strategy. That is why an individual should apply for an updated Police Check when applying for a new role (especially when their previous Checks are older than 3 months).

If you are convicted of an offence within this period, you should apply for an updated police clearance and inform your company.

Who can apply for a Police Check?

Anyone can apply for a police clearance. Getting your check also provides you with knowledge of your convictions history and DCOs. People who know the details of their convictions (if any) begin to seek other means to mitigate the effect on their future activities.

How long does it take to process a Police Check?

When you apply online, you will typically get an Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check posted in your personal portal within 1 hour of your application. The remaining that get referred for manual processing may take up to 10 business days. The applications can be completed via a PC, Tablet or mobile device, including the payment required.

Applying through Worker Checks online portal is fast, efficient, and convenient with your schedule.

Pending charges on Police Check – Do they appear?

Do Pending Charges Show up on a Police Check?


Do Pending Charges Show up on a Police Check?

Pending charges on Police Check – do they appear?  This is a very common question that gets asked at Worker Checks.

The answer differs by state.

The simple answer is YES. Pending charges DO show up on a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check  in all state and territories aside from Victoria.

However, pending charges DO NOT show up on a Police Check in Victoria.

Changes to Victoria Spent Convictions Scheme

From 1 December 2021 changes to the Victorian Spent Convictions Act commenced.

From this date you may notice changes to the information that is released by Victoria Police for Police Check VIC.

This includes the way a person’s criminal history information can be used and disclosed, including what can and cannot be released on a police record check. Some of the changes that have been implemented from 1 December are:

  • Victorian convictions that are spent will no longer show up on a police record check, unless an exemption applies.
  • Generally speaking, convictions with a sentencing outcome of 30 months imprisonment or less will be spent automatically after a 10-year crime-free period for adults and five years for young people.
  • In some circumstances, a conviction will be spent immediately, including when a person was under the age of 15 when they committed the offence.
  • Criminal charges where a court has not yet made a decision (pending charges) or information relating to an ongoing investigation by police, or a finding of not guilty by reason of mental impairment will in most circumstances not be released.
  • The Spent Conviction Act will only apply to disclosure for standard employment checks.
  • Where there is other Victorian legislation or existing national agreements (e.g. ECHIPWC/NDIS) or national laws (e.g. AHPRA) disclosure for those checks will not be affected.

Further information has been made available on the Department of Justice and Community Safety website at Spent Convictions Act 2021 | Department of Justice and Community Safety Victoria


Police Check 101 - click for Overview

A failed police check

Failed police check?


A failed police check is not the end of the world!  Read on…


What to Do If a Potential Employee Fails a Police Check

If an individual fails a police check, it means that their criminal record has raised some concerns for the organisation conducting the check.

The result of a police check can vary based on the purpose of the check and the laws and regulations of the state in question. In some cases, a failed police check may result in the denial of employment, security clearance, or visa application.

It is important to note that police checks are just one aspect that is considered by organisations, and they may take into account other factors such as the nature and severity of the offense and the individual’s character and behavior since the offense was committed.

If you have failed a police check, you may want to speak to the organisation that conducted the check or seek legal advice to understand the implications and any potential avenues for appeal or resolution.


A ‘Failed’ Criminal History Check

A high number of job vacancy adverts now comes with a disclaimer along the lines of:

All offers of employment are subject to a police check clearance that is deemed satisfactory

Where a lot of employers go wrong is in assuming that this disclaimer (however it is worded) gives them complete coverage and allows them to either dismiss an employee or refuse an employee’s application if a national police check shows a criminal history. That is not the case.

The Legal Obligations of Employers and a Police Check

While most businesses are aware that to survive in the modern age they have to be both ethically and business-focused. That’s why so many are now requiring a background check on employees. In some businesses and industries, a criminal record check is required by law.

For example, if you run a business that works in the aged care or disability care sectors and you hire someone with a criminal history of sexual offences or violence then you may be punished by the authorities for employing that person. The challenge is ensuring that employees are not being discriminated against based on their police check and criminal history.

To ‘fail’ a background check doesn’t always mean that the person applying for a job is not legally suited to the position. That means you need to ensure that you interpret the nationally coordinated criminal history check with the right kind of guidance. By integrating the right strategies in your hiring process, you can potentially save yourself a lot of legal issues.

The key thing to determine is what constitutes a criminal check ‘failure’ for your organisation, the advertised vacancy, and for your industry.

When is a Criminal Background Check Deemed Unsatisfactory?

Say that you’re looking to hire an accountant. You get an application in response to your ad from a qualified accountant with an excellent and relevant work history. Unfortunately, the Police Check is returned and it shows that they have criminal convictions related to speeding in their car, or were arrested and convicted of being drunk and disorderly after their graduation day.

In those cases, the conviction is not for anything relevant to the advertised position, so would it be fair to deny hiring that person who is otherwise perfectly suited to the position?

However you choose to address this kind of situation will end up affecting the rest of your business. It tells your existing employees that you’re more tolerant of a criminal background check showing unrelated convictions. However, if you’re too strict then you could potentially be leaving your business vulnerable to discrimination charges.

It’s also worth noting that if you make your standards too high and you immediately deny an application based on the background check results then you could be missing out on amazing applicants.

The key here is to ensure that you keep standards high from the outset. All prospective employees need to know in advance about your way of dealing with ‘failed’ Police Checks. If you don’t, or you keep changing the bar, then you could face charges of discrimination by the Equal Opportunities Commission.

Can You Legally Refuse A Job Application after a Police Check?

If a police check comes back that shows convictions that are directly related to the offer of employment, then you’re legally entitled to either review or withdraw the offer. In those cases, if an applicant believes that they have been discriminated against they can make a complaint to the Equal Opportunities Commission.

For example, if you run a financial business and an applicant’s police check comes back showing convictions for theft, fraud, or dishonesty, then you have legitimate cause to deny that application.

Some employment types are prohibited from having a criminal conviction. Doctors, caregivers, and lawyers all being examples where some kinds of convictions on a criminal background check will mean immediate refusal of a job offer, or dismissal if the person is already working.

At its core, if a potential employee or an existing member of the team undertakes a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check and results are considered to be too high a risk, then the law states that you do not have to employ or retain that person.

It’s important to get the balance right. It means comparing the correlation between the type of conviction they have and the relevance to the role that they have applied for. It also means ensuring that the business itself is protected against reputational issues or the threat of litigation.

Being Sued For Criminal History Discrimination

In most Australian states (not including Victoria), an applicant can file a complaint against your business if they believe that they have been discriminated against in the recruitment process. Complaints like this are submitted officially to the Equal Opportunities Commission and are enforced by the Australian Human Rights Commission Act of 1986.

So if your process for evaluating the importance of specific convictions on a police check certificate is fairly stringent, your job adverts need to reflect that.

The state of Victoria is slightly different in that legislation there only protects existing employees and not any potential ones.

Overlooking a Criminal History Check that’s Unsatisfactory

All businesses and organisations have their own recruitment processes. Only if those processes result in a high risk for the public will the authorities intervene. Those authorities will also get involved if the employment process breaks legal employment procedures.

So if your business decides that overlooking certain convictions is perfectly acceptable then all company policy needs to communicate that fact. Likewise, if you take a more zero-tolerance approach to a nationally coordinated criminal history check that needs to be made as clear as possible from the outset of the recruitment process.

Taking a zero-tolerance approach to criminal history, while does help to eliminate any legal grey areas, can also mean that you limit the pool of talent that will apply for your advertised positions. That can be particularly frustrating if the convictions are not even vaguely relevant to the job.

One way to protect yourself and the business is to ensure that you don’t use a probationary status as a possible trigger for dismissal in the event of a ‘failed’ criminal history check. Ideally, you should ensure that your recruitment process includes the police check before you make any offers of employment. That includes probationary or otherwise.

By doing this, you don’t have to justify any particular reason for the application rejection. You don’t even have to mention the police check.

A criminal background check is one of the most important parts of recruitment due diligence. However, it needs to be more than a case of simply ticking a box and hoping for the best. Your entire employment policy needs to reflect your stance on convictions, types of offences, and relevance to each vacancy.

At its most basic, depending on the industry and the relevant official mandates, a potential or existing employee that ‘fails’ a criminal history check shouldn’t be overlooked.

As long as your business uses a fair and transparent process for the use of disclosed criminal records, then potential accusations of discrimination can be avoided. It’s an extremely sensitive area, and there is a lot of potential for mistakes to be made by both businesses and potential employees.

For lots of jobs in Australia, there is simply no need for a criminal record check. For those roles, the employer does not need to request information about criminal history. All employers need to read and understand Section 4 of the Australian Human Rights Commission. This states that to “decide whether a criminal record is relevant to the inherent requirement of the job”, you need to:

Identify the essential tasks, circumstances and requirements of the job
Assess whether criminal records are relevant to these tasks and requirements
Assess an individual criminal record against the inherent requirements of the job

When Should You Ask For a Criminal Background Check?

There are some useful considerations to take into account when it comes to finding the right time to ask for a criminal history check. Ideally, you should only request the police check for those applicants who have been shortlisted for the position. This helps to:

Avoid time-consuming and potentially unnecessary admin needs (processing a lot of consent to disclosure forms alone can take a lot of time)
Manage costs, since all police checks incur some form of fee
Minimise risks of seeing confidential information that’s simply not necessary

On the job application form and the advert itself, applicants need to be forewarned that an offer of employment is dependent on the findings of the police check. It should also be reiterated during the interview process.

It’s in your interest not to make any kind of job offer before you have received the results of a criminal history check. If you allow someone to start work, even for a probationary period, and their background check comes back with relevant convictions that make them unsuitable then you risk wasting business resources. It can also cause a lot of stress for the other employees.

Don’t forget the fact that although using a criminal background checking service like Worker Checks means that you get results quickly (usually within one business day), if a check is flagged for manual review it can take weeks for the certification to be emailed to you. This happens in around 30% of applications.

If you need to fill a position quickly, any delays in submitting your request for a criminal history check can be a problem. In those cases, you need to gain consent from the relevant applicants to get that police check process started.

Convictions of Existing Employees

Plenty of businesses and organisations will require that their workforce update their police checks regularly. In many cases, a member of your workforce might have received a conviction while employed by you. The good news is that the way to handle this issue is very similar to that when presented with an applicant with convictions.

It is up to you and your business management how you handle this situation. Ideally, if the offence is not relevant to the role of the employee and presents no risk to the business, then leniency is highly advised.

Overall, the more information that an employer has about their applicants and employees, the easier it is to exercise  more reasonable judgement when evaluating potential connections between the requirements of a position and a criminal record.

The need to remain transparent is essential. Employers will inevitably take longer to check an application from someone with a criminal record. This means additional pressure on applicants.

Whatever system you establish for when to request an Australian Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check and how you evaluate convictions in terms of the position, each decision needs to be made on a case-by-case basis. Look at the basic and inherent requirements of the role that they will be doing and the tasks that they will be expected to do.

A police check that comes back with convictions should never mean an absolute blanket policy of refusal (unless the vacancy is in a mandated industry or a role that means close contact with vulnerable groups).

In Summary

If a potential employee fails a criminal record check, it needs to be assessed according to the requirements of the vacancy. In many cases, you’ll find that the connection between the job and the criminal record is clear and a decision can be made easily. This is easier if your business or organisation deals with particular people or is a relevant industry.

Police checks will only provide some very basic information, and they will not include any specific details about the circumstances of a conviction. That can make it harder for an employer to understand if a conviction is relevant to a position. In those cases, an honest and transparent discussion with the applicant will need to be conducted. This will allow them to provide any relevant information.

This allows you to more professionally consider the relevance of the criminal record, the seriousness of the offence, and even factors like the age the applicant was when the crime was committed.

Conduct the right criminal background check and respond to it in the right way and your business will only benefit.


How do I get a Police Check in Australia?

How do I get a police check in Australia

To get a police check in Australia, you can follow these steps:

  1. Choose a provider: To get a police check in Australia – there are several authorised providers of police checks in Australia, including the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and accredited third-party organisations, such as Worker Checks.

  2. Apply online: Most providers offer the option of applying for a police check online, which is usually the quickest and most convenient method. Worker Checks provide a 100% online application process, including online verification of identity.

  3. Provide personal information and identification: You will need to provide personal information, such as your full name, date of birth, and current address, as well as appropriate identification, such as a passport or driver’s license. The identity documents you will require differ by check type and you can read more about identity proof here.

  4. Pay the fee: The cost of a police check varies depending on the provider, but most charge a fee which can be paid online. Workerchecks provide Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Checks for $40

  5. Wait for the check to be processed: The processing time for a police check in Australia varies, but it is usually completed within a few business days. 8-% of Workerchecks Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Checks are returned within 60 minutes.

  6. Receive the certificate: Once the check is complete, you will receive a police check certificate, available in your Workerchecks portal for printing or e-sharing.

It’s important to note that police checks in Australia are only valid for a specified period of time, after which a new check must be obtained. Commonwealth Privacy guidelines mean that personal information contained in Police Checks must be disposed of after 12 months.


What Is An ACIC Accredited Body?

ACIC Accredited Provider

When researching for information about police checks or applying for a police check online, you might find that the term ACIC (Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission) accredited body comes up frequently on the different websites of National Criminal History Check  providers. To ensure you have a good understanding of what a police check is and what the process entails, it’s important to be aware of what an accredited body is.

When applying for a Police Check, you should use an ACIC accredited provider to ensure the process is done properly. An accredited body will submit a police check on your behalf in order to perform a criminal record check. The results of this will appear on a National Police Clearance. Here is all you need to know about ACIC accredited bodies.

What Is An ACIC Accredited Body?

An ACIC accredited body is an organisation, business or company in Australia that has received acceptance and approval from ACIC to give access to the National Police Checking Service. Access to this service allows the accredited body to request a National Police Check on behalf of individuals who require one.

Accredited bodies are granted a level of authority and trust to use the National Police Checking Service Support System (NSS) and retrieve the applicant’s police history results.

The accredited body is entrusted with confidential information and is responsible for securing the safety of that information.

Who is ACIC?

ACIC stands for the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission. The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission is the national agency for criminal intelligence in Australia. ACIC works closely with Australian government and law enforcement agencies to fight crime by sharing information between police forces through its services.

According to the ACIC website, its motto is to create ‘An Australia hostile to criminal exploitation’.

What Does ACIC Do?

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission reacts to crime on a national scale in Australia. Through the National Police Checking Service, criminal information can be shared across all states and territories in Australia through law enforcement agencies and police databases. This helps the nation to keep track of criminal activity, conduct Australian National Criminal History checks, and to tackle crime of the highest level. ACIC aims to keep the nation and the community safe.

What Does An Accredited Body Do?

An accredited body will serve as a provider of Australian Police Checks for individuals who require a check as part of employment screening, registering, licencing and legal purposes. It will submit applications on behalf of the applicant and deliver the results back to them, following national police clearance.

What Is The National Police Checking Service?

The National Police Checking Service (NPCS) is the system which holds the information of police history records. All accredited bodies have equal access to the service, and use it to search and match applicant’s to Persons of Interest.

What Is A Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check?

A Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check is also known as a National Police Clearance. It is delivered as a National Police Certificate which shows the results of a person’s criminal record check taken from the police information gathered in all states and territories. It is mainly used for identity verification purposes and most commonly for pre-employment screening with companies.

Who Can Become An Accredited Body?

There are currently over 180 ACIC accredited bodies in Australia. If successful, the ACIC website states that the following types of organisations can become an accredited body:

  • Federal, state and local Australian government agencies
  • Businesses in the private sector
  • Not-for-profit organisations
  • Screening services for child and vulnerable person-related employment

Who Do Accredited Bodies Work For?

Any accredited body will have the potential to submit police clearance requests for many people and for many purposes. When applying for accreditation, there are different categories available to choose from for who you want to submit police checks for. These are as follows:

  • Members of the general public
  • Other organisations
  • Existing employees or potential new employees
  • Individuals for licencing and registration reasons

What Is The Agreement?

Every organisation which becomes ACIC accredited must confirm that they have read and understood the conditions of the Agreement, a legally binding contract called the Agreement for controlled access by duly Accredited Bodies to Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Checks. The Agreement lasts for 5 years unless it is terminated early, for instance, if the organisation has not met its obligations.

The company must comply with several legalities including the Australian Crime Commission Act 2002 (Cth), the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), Australian Privacy Principles and Spent Conviction schemes. The Agreement must be read, understood and signed before access is granted to the organisation, allowing it to use the service.

Please note, your organisation will be assessed throughout the term of the contract to ensure all obligations are being met. Failure to do so may result in your organisation losing its accreditation and thereby losing access to the service.

Full details of the Agreement can be found on the website of the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.

What Is The Accreditation Process?

7 steps are listed as part of the accreditation process with the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.

  1. The organisation must complete the online questionnaire provided by ACIC. This step will determine eligibility and allow you to progress to the next step if you are successful.
  2. The organisation must then complete and submit the application form
  3. Following receipt of the application form, ACIC will determine if you are a suitable organisation to register as an accredited body
  4. You will receive in writing whether your application has been approved or denied
  5. The agreement is signed and finalised
  6. Training is supplied for using the service
  7. In the final step, your organisation will be ready to begin submitting police checks and actively work as an accredited body

How Does An NPC Provider Get Certified?

An organisation which can provide a National Police Check will need to meet a number of requirements set out by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission to become ACIC certified. The organisation must have provided the minimum volume of police checks, which is 500 police checks over 5 years, to be given the opportunity to become ACIC accredited. There are several other steps to be taken to meet the standards required, including being able to demonstrate the benefit that the organisation brings to public safety.

After meeting the initial criteria, the organisation must then follow the official process to become an accredited body.

What Legislation Applies?

All accredited bodies who have access to the National Police Checking Service are granted a level of trust. You and your organisation will be responsible for safely storing the personal information of individuals who have applied for a National Police Check. There are laws in place to ensure the protection of information gathered and held by the accredited body. The information gathered from a criminal record check is in compliance with relevant Australian state and territory legislation, as well as Commonwealth laws. Accredited bodies must also respect privacy laws as outlined in the Privacy Act 1988.

How Does An Accredited Body Demonstrate Compliance?

An accredited body can demonstrate its compliance by strictly following the rules and guidelines provided by ACIC. A program is in place to review the organisation throughout the length of the contract. This includes reviewing data quality, investigations into accusations of the company not complying, periodic reviews and ongoing assessments.

By monitoring the companies compliance to the Agreement, professional standards are kept and the correct laws are followed to ensure the protection of individuals using the NPC provider.

What Are The Expectations of An ACIC Accredited Body?

Once qualified as an accredited body with ACIC, the organisation enters into a legal contract. The organisation must administer certain protocols and increase security standards to be able to participate in the scheme and to access the National Police Checking Service.

Full compliance is expected throughout the contract and this will be assessed regularly. In some cases, access to the system will be terminated before the contract ends.

ACIC lays out 9 steps to reach full access to the service.

  1. Collect police check application
  2. Collect informed consent from the applicant
  3. Verify the identity of the applicant
  4. Lodge the application and monitor it
  5. Receive check result
  6. Provision of check result
  7. Take care of any queries or disputes about check results
  8. Retain information
  9. Dispose of information

What Is Informed Consent?

Every Police Check (NPC) application requires consent from the individual applying for the check. Without the applicant’s consent, the check cannot be processed. It is the responsibility of the NPC provider to obtain consent, and the responsibility of the applicant to fully understand what they are consenting to.

Every applicant must read all information provided and understand how their personal and police information will be handled when applying for an online police check. They must then give consent to the NPC provider to submit the check on their behalf.

How Long Does It Take To Process A Police Check?

The National Police Checking Service is handled by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, accredited bodies and police agencies. The service will always aim to complete a National Police Check as soon as possible and have results turned over fast.

Roughly 70% are completed within 1 hour if no match is found and the applicant has No Disclosable Court Outcomes, while 30% are subject to further review and may take up to 15 business days to retrieve results.

Please read this linked article with information on why police checks may be delayed.

The accredited body you use is not responsible for the time taken to process the application. Once they have submitted your check, the process time is out of their hands.

How Do I Know If A Provider Is ACIC Accredited?

All ACIC accredited bodies are listed on the ACIC website, including Worker Checks Pty Ltd. Organisations will state on their own websites whether they are ACIC accredited.

If you want to know more about the credentials of Worker Checks Pty Ltd, contact us.

Worker Checks – Overview

Worker Checks is a leading Accredited Police Check Provider, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Worker Checks offer Australian, International Police Checks and VEVO right to work checks on a simple, safe, blockchain secure platform.

All applications are completed 100% online and can be completed on your computer or mobile device.

Individuals can store and share your checks from your blockchain secure personal portal.

Check results can be forwarded electronically to your employer, or can be printed from your personal portal.


Free Full business solution to manage all your worker check requirements from a leading police check provider.


Management suite for alerts and non-compliance of worker’s checks:

  • Employer or Worker Pay options
  • Invite your workers to conduct checks from your management portal
  • Portal view of all your worker’s status
  • Your branding on electronic correspondence

Available for organisations of any size.

Worker Checks is a fully accredited police check provider with the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and licensed to conduct criminal history checks.

Please visit us at for more information.

Your first choice for Police Checks in Australia.


Please click on a product for more information or to apply

Do Dropped or Dismissed Charges Show up on a Police Check?

dismissed charges police check

Do Dropped or Dismissed Charges Show up on a Police Check?

Do dropped or dismissed police charges show up on a Police Check?  This is a very common question that gets asked at Worker Checks.

Having a conviction or other disclosable court outcome on your Police Check is a situation that can cause some difficulty with employers or other businesses that require your National Police Check. A conviction in your criminal history may set you back in aspects including;

  • Seeking employment
  • Getting a volunteer role
  • Getting a license, accreditation or other purposes.

If a court does not record a conviction or the charges against a person are dropped or dismissed, no conviction or disclosable court outcome will show up on a police check result.

What are Dropped or Dismissed Charges?

The Court will drop any charges against you if any of the following occurs during the hearing;

  • The victim refuses to cooperate

Where the alleged victim attempts an unfounded or unserious action toward an allegedly innocent perpetrator. Examples may include;

–  Failing to appear in court,
– Flouting all court deadlines and orders
– Refusing to provide a witness or evidence in court


  • There is insufficient evidence

Every charge the victim/prosecutor brings must be backed by evidence. All this evidence must be tendered in court to back up the charge.

However, if the victim or prosecution team cannot provide evidence to back up their claims, the court will dismiss the charge. The court usually considers such issues as “waste of court resources”.


  • New information resurfaces that places doubt over previous evidence

If additional, or more credible evidence is provided to the court that refutes, or places doubt on previously evidence, the court will likely dismiss all previous charges and pronouncements.

  • The prosecutor/victim drops the charge

The prosecutor agrees to an out of court settlement; before the trial, or drops all charges during the trial. Once the prosecutor announces their position to the judge, the court will dismiss the case. When the court drops your charges, they will acquit you and all other defendants and close the case.

Therefore, Dropped or Dismissed charges do not show up on a police check in Australia as there is no conviction recorded by the court, and hence there is no disclosable court outcome.

What offences show up in a Police Check

A police check discloses a person’s criminal history as relating to the purpose stated in the application.

If you apply for a Police Check, here are some of the offences you may find;

  • Convictions/Charges against corporate organizations
  • Sexually related offences
  • Traffic charges for which an individual is convicted in a court
  • All Sentences and Convictions
  • Pending court charges and offences
  • Other offences not under the Spent Convictions Scheme

What are Non-Conviction Offences?

Aside from Dropped or Dismissed charges, there are other ways a person can avoid a conviction in their criminal record. If the offender agrees to certain pre-stipulated agreements/orders, the court will grant them non-conviction sentencing.

Non-conviction sentencing means the candidate does not have a conviction record. However, it can be disclosed in their Police Check depending on the purpose of the check and the agreements

Under the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW), the court can use its discretion to order any of this non-conviction sentencing;

  1. Section 10 (1) (a)

The court will give such orders where there is a finding of guilt but dismisses it without recording a conviction against the offender.

  1. Section 10 (1) (b);

The court will issue non-conviction sentencing of this kind where there is a finding of guilt and decides to release the offender on a Conditional Release Order (CRO). However, the (CRO) must fall under section 9 (2) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999.

  1. Section 10 (1)(c)

The court will discharge an offender without recording a conviction if they enter into special agreements. It will include the offender being part of intervention programs and other special conditions stipulated in court.

Spent Convictions: Depending on the State’s legislation or the Spent Convictions Scheme, some offences are not included in your Disclosable Court Outcomes.

Spent convictions are expunged from an individual’s updated Police Check. However, several conditions make an offence eligible for the spent conviction scheme. Some of these conditions are;

  • Ten (10) consecutive years of waiting period elapses since the person was convicted of the offence (in an adult court).
  • Five (5) consecutive (3 for Juveniles in NSW) years of the waiting period elapses since the person was convicted of the offence (in a youth court/as a juvenile).

It also follows that;

  • The individual must not be convicted of any punishable offence during this waiting period, or the period restarts
  • If a jail term is imposed, the crime-free period begins after the jail term.
  • Convictions stipulated by the court; the individual meets special conditions (community works, therapy, self-quarantine, and co.)

What is the impact of non-conviction sentencing?

Most non-conviction sentencing will not show in your criminal records after you meet the agreement or conditions of the orders. And in most cases, you do not have to disclose the details of this record to an employer or any other person.

If your charge is dismissed under Section 10 (1)(b), the records will remain in your criminal history for the duration of the order. If your conditional release order was for 10 months, the offence remains in your national criminal record for that period.

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).

Offences that do not show in your Police Check

If an offence or conviction does not show on your Australian criminal history check, you have the right of no disclosure.

Also, such convictions cannot be used to assess you in cases where your Police Check certificate is required.

If you are charged for an offence; discuss with your lawyers if the prosecution or victim will agree to drop the charge on special arrangements. However, if this is not possible, you can inquire about a diversion program or other intervention programs.


Police Check Overview – a guide for Police Checks in Australia

young man thumbs up at blackboard


Police Check Overview

We have penned this Police Check Overview to help both individuals and those in organisations understand a little more abut Police and criminal history Checks in Australia.

Employers  require their applicants to undertake a police clearance or national criminal history check, as part of their hiring process. Police checks contain essential information that employers use to support their decision on whether to hire the applicant or not. Read more here on A failed police check is not the end of the world!

Purpose of a Police Check

The purpose of a Police Checks- whether it is an Australian National Criminal History Check, AFP Police Check or International Police Check is to reveal an individuals’ criminal history, but the results contained in a check an reveal more.

Whether you are an employer or an applicant for a police check, it pays to know what an online police check certificate may contain.

Here’s a list of things that you can learn from a criminal history check.

Disclosable Court Outcomes

What is a disclosable court outcome?

Disclosable court outcomes are police information that can be released to the public, or more specifically, the requesting party. Disclosable court outcomes contain information on convictions, cases, and related criminal proceedings that involve the person concerned. This information details the results of the criminal proceedings, including the case specifications and other details.

Pending Cases

What is a pending case?

Disclosable court outcomes are information about criminal proceedings that have been settled  and dealt with.

Pending cases are cases that are yet to be finalised in court. This information will be presented in the police check certificate.

Criminal History Dispute Clarification

Can I see my criminal record?

Regardless of whether you require an employment police check or not you can still apply for a police check to view your criminal record check for peace of mind.

Can I dispute my criminal record?

A police check online may contain offences which you believe to incorrect, or wish to dispute. As an Australian Crime Commission (ACIC) accredited National Police Check provider, Worker Checks can handle the dispute and rectification process for you.

There is a link to commence the dispute process below your online police check certificate in your Worker Checks personal portal.

Eligibility for Vocational Positions

Vocational positions in nursing and healthcare, disability & aged care, education, finance, emergency, automotive, construction, and many others require people who can be trusted to work with. Previous or pending criminal history might affect one’s chances of getting hired due to the role’s sensitivity and access to vulnerable persons in the workplace.

Eligibility for Other Official Documents

Do I need a Police check for immigration?

In Australia, police checks are also required if an individual wishes to apply for any type of visa. Whether you plan to immigrate or to obtain a visa, you have to be prepared to acquire a police check online. But this does not only apply to visas. Many other official documents require police checks before they can be approved and issued.

What police check do I need for Immigration?

Applicants will require both an AFP Police Check to check any criminal background for your time in Australia. Worker Checks can provide your AFP Check.

Although Worker Checks can provide International Police Checks – our international police checks are suitable for background screening, for example employment and rental checks, not for visa and immigration purposes. Some organisations have specific requirements for international police check certificates, so we recommend checking these requirements before you proceed.

Please ensure you check requirements with the Dept of Home Affairs.

Qualification for Citizenship

What police check do I need for citizenship or permanent residency?

AFP Police checks are also required when applying for a citizenship or permanent residency.

Why Apply for an Online Police Check?

There are many ways to get a police check. One involves visiting an actual police station and the other one involves connecting to the internet and completing your  police check online.

Many people nowadays prefer the latter for convenience, speed and many other benefits.

Convenient and Easy Online Police checks

Completing tasks and online and sharing secure information – such as your police check results is par for the course in today’s world.

Worker Checks manage Australian National police checks, AFP Checks and International police checks for companies like Uber. (See Police Checks for Uber)

The gig economy moves fast, and so do we. Using your applicant’s webcam, mobile phone or tablet, we can provide a full police check within the hour.

So if you are looking to work with companies such as Uber, Menulog, Deliveroo – make sure you use Worker Checks for all your checks.

You can share all your checks from one spot from your personal Worker Checks portal!

Online Police Checks are the fastest

What are police check processing times?

In most cases, you’ll receive your Worker Checks National Police Check result and email to download your police check certificate within 1 hour of your check being submitted online. 

Why is my police check taking longer?

Police checking is a partially manual, name-based process, so some checks take longer to process than others. When an application is submitted for processing, your name and date of birth are run against a central database to find any potential matches throughout Australia with people who have police information.

For example, if a record of someone with name and date-of-birth details similar to yours is found in the police check database, your check would be referred for manual processing (completed by a person as opposed to being done electronically).

If you haven’t received your check result after 10 business days, feel free to email us at [email protected]

For more information on delayed police checks – please click here >


Highly Secured Data

Is my police check data safe online?

Absolutely. is powered by our proprietary blockchain enabled certificate engine. (Nominated for the prestigious Lloyds List awards in 2017 & 2018 – see

Both employees can be assured that their personal information is safe – and employers can rest assured that each police check certificate with authentication feature contains original and true information.

Read more about how we use private blockchain technology to provide the highest level of security for your sensitive personal data – Worker Checks private blockchain protecting your Police Check personal data

Choose Worker Checks™

Why should I use Worker Checks for my National Police Check? provides police checks online – both Australian Police Checks and International Police Checks.

Application is 100% online – including  online identity verification, with support available.

Worker Checks Pty Ltd:


Police Check FAQ

Do Police Checks expire?

Police check expire

Do Police Checks Expire?

A Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check (formerly known as a  Australian National Police Check) or an Australian Federal Police (AFP) Check is requested for many purposes. It involves a criminal record check on an individual to disclose police information on any disclosable criminal history of an individual. The question is often asked – do Police Checks expire?

How Long Is A Police Check Valid For?

There is no standard period of time that a police check remains valid for. The check does not include an expiry date, and only includes the date that the report was issued.

A Criminal History Check is considered a ‘point in time’ check. The information contained in the document is only accurate up to the date and time of issue. A police check does not expire officially, but the information may become outdated as time goes on, or miss out new information contained on an individual’s police record, if an offence took place after the certificate was produced.

The purpose behind the police check is relevant to determine how valid the document is. Organisations who request the check must decide themselves if the date on a police check is acceptable. They must also determine a timeframe in which they require an updated Australian National Police Check. This is usually part of company policy and their own risk assessments as to what they will and won’t accept, and when it needs to be renewed.

What Does Point In Time Mean?

Any check – an Australian National Police Check or an AFP Check or International Police Check is classed as a ‘point in time’ check. A point in time check means that the information is only in date as of that moment. If a person commits an offence the day after receiving their police check certificate, this latest offence will not be included in the information. For this reason, police checks should be renewed regularly depending on the reason they are being used.

What Does A Police Check Result Look Like?

The National Police Checking Service generates a report containing the individual’s check results. An example copy of the document can be found on the website of the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.

Some reports may include branding from whichever accredited service provider the applicant used, but the police information and check results must remain the same as they are found on police databases.

The document will state the following information:

  • The date that the check was issued
  • An outline of the police check process
  • Details of the applicant (name, birth date, birth place etc.)
  • The outcome of the results, either NDCO (No Disclosable Court Outcomes) or DCO (Disclosable Court Outcomes) and the details of the offence

Is A Police Check Valid For Multiple Jobs?

An Australian National police check cannot be used for multiple jobs. As every police check requires the reason for requesting the document, the results can differ. Police authorities need complete disclosure of the reason behind a police check, so that they are able to assess the individual correctly, and apply the correct legislation. The fact that the check is job specific or purpose specific, means it is not suitable for reusing for different jobs.

Different legislation and information release policies apply to different occupations. Usually for child-related work, all prior convictions and charges will be released in the police check results. Alternatively, a check request submitted for an office worker would not require the same disclosure of certain past offences.

It is important to note, that in the time that a person works for one particular company, they could have received a charge on their record since their last police check when moving to a new company. Companies should always request a fresh police check to ensure the applicant’s police history is up to date and any new offences are recorded and acknowledged appropriately.

Jobs Within The Same Company

In Australia, national police clearance is part of the screening procedure for employees joining a company or organisation. On many occasions, an existing employee might seek to change roles within the company, whether for a promotion, a career change or to gain new skills.

In this case, the employee, although having already provided police clearance when they first joined the company, may need to obtain a new national police clearance. Despite the company remaining the same, a different role brings different risks. It’s important that current employees are vetted before switching roles.

It is possible that since beginning their job with the company, new information has been added to their criminal record. A new check will reveal any recent offences which could affect their suitability for the different role.

Is A Police Check Valid For Multiple Purposes?

A police check in Australia is not valid for multiple purposes. Each case should be individually assessed to ensure the right protocol is applied. A police check is only accurate up to the date it is received. As with employment screening, the same applies to any other purpose a police check is used for. A background check for the purpose of obtaining licences and registrations, voluntary work, immigration purposes, visa applications and adoption purposes each require a unique police check to assess the individual for the correct reasons. This not only assures the security of others, but ensures that you, the applicant, is assessed fairly.

How Do Employers Determine If A Check Is Valid?

In most cases, employers will have their own measures in place for risk assessments when it comes to hiring new staff, and their own protocol to adhere to. Most will require recent police clearance to rule out any possibility of missed offences being released in the document.

When applying for a job, you can always ask the employer for clarification on whether they are willing to accept a police certificate you already have.

Ongoing Employee Screening

In some industries, ongoing employee screening is in place. For example, in the aged care sector, a renewed police check is required typically every three years. This keeps information up to date, and again acts as a preventative measure for putting others in the community at risk.

If a person is employed and is currently involved with the police for whatever reason, they should communicate the situation with their employer if it could have an impact on their career.

Do Criminal Records Expire?

In Australia, criminal records do not expire. An individual’s record will never be erased completely, however, for some convictions, there is a time frame for how long an offence must be disclosed for. All states and territories in Australia have legislation which limits the disclosure or certain information after a certain amount of time. This is known as the spent convictions scheme or spent convictions legislation.

The period of time after an offence is known as the ‘waiting period’. This is the time after an offence occurred in which the individual does not commit any further offences. In Australia, this tends to be 10 years for crimes committed as an adult, and 5 years for crimes committed as a minor. After the waiting period, the conviction becomes ‘spent’. The conviction still exists, but it will not be disclosed on an Australian National police check, unless under certain circumstances where the information is mandatory for safety reasons. A spent conviction will be spent automatically.

I Need A New Police Check. How Do I Get One?

All police checks can be obtained online through Worker Checks, as follows:

All applications can be completed 100% online.

Please note, applications should be submitted as and when needed with a designated provider. They should not be submitted to multiple NPC providers in the hope of retrieving a different result. All accredited bodies access the same system to view police records, and will retrieve the same information in equal time.

Does A Police Check Ever Expire?

In short, an Australian National Police Check does not expire, but it should not be relied upon for a long period of time. Much can change for any individual over time, and it is vital that new police history is recorded accurately.

It is important that organisations request recent police checks from individual’s to ensure accuracy and validity, to continue to support the security that any Police Check provides.

Can I get an Australian Police Check from overseas?

International Police Check

Australian Police Check from overseas? Yes, with Worker Checks

A National Police Check (NPC) or a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check is a document containing the details of a person’s disclosable court outcomes and any pending charges. A police check is most commonly used for pre-employment screening to ensure that the individual does not pose any risk. However, they are also used for visas, citizenship and registry purposes.If you are applying for a police check while overseas, here is everything you need to know about the process.

I Am Overseas, Can I Get a Police Check?

If you are living overseas, you can still acquire an Australian police check. The application process remains the same as if you were applying for a police check while currently living in Australia. As part of the requirements, you must provide your overseas address, as well as all previous addresses you have resided in over the last five years.

Can I Get a Police Check If I Intend To Live Overseas?

If you intend to move overseas, you can still acquire a police check. The requirements and process are the same as if you were applying for a police check while currently living in Australia.

I Am Overseas, How Do I Get a Police Check?

If you are living overseas, you can get an Australian police check by applying for a police check online and following the same application process as if you were still living in Australia.

Why Do I Need To Provide My Address History For the Last 5 Years?

Providing your address history helps to validate your information and verify your identity. It’s important that you list your full address history for the last 5 years correctly.

What If I Have Lived In Australia For Less Than 5 Years?

As part of the application process, you must provide your residential address history for the last 5 years. This includes your current address and any prior addresses overseas.

You will find a drop down box titled ‘Country’ where you can add international addresses when providing previous addresses, to ensure the relevant country is added.

How Do I Apply for a Police Check?

Applying for a police check is a relatively straightforward process. Anybody can apply for one, whatever the purpose.

Worker Check’s Australia’s application process is easy to follow. If you have all of the required documents and information needed, you could complete the process in as little as five minutes.

You will first need to provide basic information such as your name and contact information, and your reason for requesting a police check. You will then need to provide a payment method to pay the fees. Please note that fees can vary depending on the provider you go through.

You will then need to provide personal information. This includes your date and place of birth, your gender and residential address history. You will need to upload your identity documents as specified, including a selfie of yourself holding a form of ID which has your photo on it. This will confirm that you are who you say you are.

Lastly, you will need to give your consent to your information being shared with the National Police Checking Service for further checks. Once completed and a successful criminal background check has been carried out, you will receive your National Police Check in the form of a certificate, available in your secure online portal for printing or sharing electronically.

How Do I Apply Online for a National Police Check?

The process for applying for a police check online is straightforward if you have all of the documentation to hand. You will first need to fill in the online form following the instructions carefully. You will then be asked to provide additional information and upload the required identity documents. There is a fee which must be paid in order to continue with your application. This can be paid using your credit or debit card. You’ll then need to give your consent and submit the form.

Here is a step by step guide of what will be required when you apply for a police check online:

  • Provide your name, surname and contact details including phone number and email address
  • Provide the reason as to why you need a police check, and the type of police check you require (voluntary or employment)
  • Pay the fees using your credit or debit card
  • Provide any additional information as required
  • Online verification of your ID documents
  • Upload a selfie of yourself holding one of your ID documents
  • Provide your consent and submit the online form

How Much Does It Cost?

When applying for a police check with Worker Checks you will be charged a fee for your application.

What Details Must I Provide?

When applying for a police check, whether overseas or in Australia, you must provide details of your personal information. The details must be accurate to ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible. You will need to provide your contact number and email address so that you can be contacted if there is a problem with your application.

To acquire an Australian police check, you must submit the following:

  • All legal names including any previous names
  • Place and date of birth
  • Gender information
  • Residential address history for the last 5 years

What Documents Must I Provide?

To obtain a National Police Check, you will need to provide several documents. It’s a good idea to have these ready and with you before you begin your application. That way you won’t be interrupted by having to search for documents. It will also give you the chance to check all expiry dates and ensure that all documents are valid.

The requirements for a police check are set out by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) and there are 4 identity documents which every applicant must provide:

  • One commencement document
  • One primary document
  • Two secondary documents

Commencement documents

  • Australian Birth Certificate
  • Australian passport
  • Australian Visa (current at time of entry)
  • ImmiCard issued by the Department of Home Affairs
  • Certificate of Identity issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
  • Document of Identity issued by DFAT
  • Certificate of Evidence of Resident Status
  • Australian Citizenship Certificate

Primary documents

  • Australian Drivers Licence, learners permit or provisional licence
  • Australian Marriage Certificate
  • Passport issued by a country other than Australia with an entry stamp or visa
  • Proof of Age of Photo Identity Card
  • Shooters or Firearms Licence
  • Student Identification Card

Secondary documents

  • Certificate of Identity issued by DFAT
  • Document of Identity issued by DFAT
  • Convention Travel Document Secondary (United Nations) issued by DFAT
  • Foreign Government Issued Documents
  • Medicare Card
  • Enrolment with the Australian Electoral Commission
  • Security Guard or Crowd Control Photo Licence
  • Evidence of Right to an Australian Government Benefit
  • Consular Photo Identity Card issued by DFAT
  • Photo Identity card issued by the Australian Defence Force
  • Photo Identity card issued by the Australian Government or a state/territory government
  • Aviation Security Identification Card (ASIC)
  • Maritime Security Identification Card(MSIC)
  • Credit Reference Check
  • Australian Tertiary Student Photo Identity Document
  • Australian Secondary Student Photo Identity Document
  • Certified Academic Transcript from an Australian university
  • Trusted Referees Report
  • State/territory government rates assessment notice or Australian Taxation Office assessment notice
  • Australian Utility Bill with your name and address
  • Australian Private Health Insurance Card
  • Australian Trade Association Card

For more information on Proof of Identity and the required documents – please click here

What Is The Selfie?

When applying for a police check online, you will be asked to upload a selfie. The requirement for the selfie is to show yourself holding one form of photo ID. Your selfie will be cross checked with your photo in the identity document using an automated system. The system is able to confirm a match, and pick up on changes, if any, which have been made to the ID.

The selfie is an important part of the application process as it verifies your identity. If you were applying in person for your police check, the documents would simply be compared to your physical appearance. The automated system allows us to do this digitally.

The ID documents and selfie can be uploaded using the intuitive web interface, or uploaded straight from your smartphone.

What If I Don’t Have All Of The Documents?

The National Police Check is a legal process which must be applied for correctly. It’s a good idea to read all of the information before applying for your police check. If you are missing any documents, have expired documents or you don’t have all of the documents, you will need to obtain them before applying for your police check.

Obtaining documents will delay your application, but these are the official requirements as set out by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC).

What If My Documents Are In Different Names?

To obtain a police check, every applicant must provide 4 identity documents which are in their primary name. If you have had your name changed, whether for marital or legal purposes, you must provide the legal documents which confirm that the different names belong to you. This will verify your identity by proving that you are who you say you are, and prevent identity fraud.

What If My Documents Are Expired?

Expired documents will not be accepted for your National Police Check. All documents must be valid and in date at the time of submission.

Submitting an expired document will delay the process of your application, so make sure you check all expiry dates.

The only exception for an expired document is passports where the expiry date is less than 2 years ago.

How Will I Receive My Police Check if I Am Overseas?

You will receive your National Police Check in the form of a certificate, available in your secure online portal for printing or sharing electronically.

70% of checks are successful and returned within 1 hour while 30% of checks face delays. Delays can take from 2 to 15 business days, and even longer in rare cases.

For further information on police checks, visit the FAQ page.

Australian Police Check from overseas