Category Archives: Police Check Education

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Police Check Process

Nationally coordinated criminal history check

How Worker Checks works with the Australian Criminal  Intelligence Commission (ACIC) in the  Police Check process

The police check process is used to help protect the Australian community, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) works with Australian police agencies and accredited bodies such as Worker Checks to deliver the National Police Checking Service (NPCS or the Service). The Service allows people to apply for a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check (check).

A Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check is often required when applying for employment, Australian citizenship, appointment to positions of trust and a variety of licensing and registration schemes. It helps organisations make informed decisions about the suitability of applicants for:

  • 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.

Click here to get your Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check with Worker Checks.


Police Check process steps:

Step 1—Applicant submits check

An applicant submits an application for a check through either an ACIC accredited body such as Worker Checks.

Step 2—Worker Checks lodges the application

Once Worker Checks verifies the applicant’s identity, they submit the applicant’s personal details provided into the National Police Checking Service Support System (NSS), the national IT system owned and operated by the ACIC.

Step 3—Applicant’s details are searched against national records

The applicant’s personal details are checked against a national database using a name matching algorithm. If the personal details match any police information held in police records, the system will generate a ‘potential match’.

Step 4—Potential match referred to police (Matching)

If the system generates a potential match, it will be referred to the relevant police agency (or agencies) for further assessment. If the police agency confirms the applicant’s details do not match the police information, a ‘No Disclosable Court Outcome’ result will be provided to the accredited body or police agency that submitted the check. If the police agency determines the applicant’s details do match the police information, a referral is generated with the relevant police agency for them to conduct their ‘vetting’ process.

Step 5—Police apply spent conviction legislation and/or information release policies (Vetting)

When an applicant’s personal details match the police information held in police records, the police agencies will determine what information can be released in accordance with the purpose of the check and the relevant spent convictions legislation and/or information release policies. This is commonly referred to as ‘vetting”.

Step 6—Check result is released

Once the police have finished processing the check,Worker Checks can retrieve the check result. On receiving the result, Worker Checks will notify the applicant that the result is available via email and SMS.

Step 7—The check result may be provided to the applicant

Login in to your Worker Checks account to view your certificate.


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.

Click here to view ACIC Accreditation

The Benefits of Police Checks

Benefits with Police Checks

✅ Ensure Peace of Mind with a Worker Checks Police Check! ✅

Benefits of Police Checks – know before your trust At Worker Checks we understand the importance of safety and security. That’s why we’re proud to offer comprehensive suite of police checks to help you make informed decisions and foster a trusted environment. 🚔🔒

Whether you’re a business owner looking to hire reliable staff, a landlord seeking trustworthy tenants, or a community organization prioritizing community welfare, Worker Checks police checks provide a thorough assessment of individuals’ criminal history. 🕵️‍♀️💼🏠

Benefits of Police Checks – Why choose Worker Checks police checks?

🔵 Rigorous screening: We conduct meticulous background checks to ensure accuracy and reliability.

🔵Wide coverage: Our checks include Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check, AFP Police Check and International Police Check – leave no stone unturned.

🔵 VEVO checks to ensure your workers are legal to work in Australia

🔵 Fast turnaround: Get results swiftly, minimising delays in your decision-making process.

🔵 Confidentiality guaranteed: Your privacy is our priority, and all information remains strictly confidential and extremely secure on our award nominated private blockchain platform.

🔵 Government Accredited with the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission

Join countless satisfied clients who trust our police checks to make informed choices and maintain a secure environment. Don’t compromise on safety!

Visit the Worker Checks website to initiate the process. Together, let’s build a safer and stronger community! 💙🤝

What happens if you fail a police check?

If you fail a police check, it means that there is information in your background that raises concerns or does not meet the requirements set by the organisation or authority conducting the check. The consequences of failing a police check can vary depending on the context and purpose of the check. Here are a few possible outcomes:

  1. Employment Implications: If you fail a police check during a job application process, it may result in the denial of employment. Many employers require a clean background check as a condition for hiring, especially for roles that involve working with vulnerable populations or require a high level of trust. But this always the case. Read here for more on why A failed police check is not the end of the world

  2. Legal Consequences: Depending on the nature of the information revealed in the police check, there might be legal implications. Certain criminal records can disqualify individuals from specific professions or industries, and in some cases, further legal action may be taken based on the nature of the offence.

  3. Volunteer or Licensing Restrictions: If you fail a police check while applying for a volunteer position or a licence in certain fields (such as healthcare or childcare), it could prevent you from obtaining the desired role or licence. These organizations often prioritize the safety and well-being of their clients or beneficiaries, and a failed check could disqualify you from participating.

  4. Limited Opportunities: Failing a police check can limit your opportunities in certain sectors or organizations that require a clean background. It is important to note that policies and regulations can vary, and some organisations might have more lenient criteria than others.

In any case, if you fail a police check, it is advisable to understand the specific reasons behind the failure and seek legal advice or guidance to explore any possible recourse or avenues for addressing the concerns raised. Its not the end of the world – if you are honest and upfront – you will often be fine. Everyone makes mistakes!

#PoliceChecks #SafetyFirst #BackgroundScreening

AFP Police Check- 100% Online with Worker Checks

AFP Police Check

What is an AFP Police Check?

An Australian Federal Police Check, also known as a AFP Police Check, is a certificate issued by the Australian Federal Police, which contains information about an individual’s criminal history in Australia. It is commonly requested by employers, licensing authorities, and other organisations as part of their assessment processes for various purposes, such as employment, licences, volunteer work, or visa applications.

The AFP Police Check provides details of an individual’s disclosable court outcomes, which include convictions, sentences, penalties, and pending charges, obtained from various police and law enforcement databases across Australia. It is important to note that the AFP Police Check only covers offenses committed within Australia and does not provide information about criminal records from other countries.

To obtain an AFP Police Check, individuals typically need to complete application process can be completed 100% online with Worker Checks, provide identification documents, and pay the required fee. The AFP the conduct the necessary checks and verifies the information provided before issuing the certificate.

It is worth noting that each organisation or employer sets its own requirements regarding the validity and currency of an AFP Police Check. Many organisations require a recent check issued within the past 12 months.

Overall, an Australian Federal Police Check is a document that provides information about an individual’s criminal history within Australia and is often required for various purposes, such as employment or volunteering.


What ID do I need for an AFP Police Check?

Worker Checks AFP Police Check Verification of Identity table:

AFP Police Check ID


What is the Difference between Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check and a AFP Check?

The National Coordinated Criminal History Check (NCCHC) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) Check are two different types of criminal history checks in Australia. Here’s a comparison of the two:

  1. Issuing Authority:
    • NCCHC: The NCCHC is issued by accredited bodies called “Criminal History Check providers.” Such as Worker Checks. Worker Checks is authorised by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) to conduct criminal history checks.
    • AFP Police Check: The AFP Police Check is issued by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) directly. The AFP is a federal law enforcement agency responsible for enforcing federal laws and investigating federal offenses.
  2. Coverage:
    • NCCHC: The NCCHC covers an individual’s criminal history information from all states and territories of Australia, including convictions, charges, and pending court proceedings. It combines information from various police databases and sources across the country.
    • AFP Police Check: The AFP Police Check focuses specifically on an individual’s criminal history within the Australian Federal Police jurisdiction. It includes information on disclosable court outcomes, such as convictions, penalties, sentences, and pending charges obtained from AFP databases.
  3. Application Process:
    • NCCHC: The application process for an NCCHC is typically conducted through accredited Criminal History Check providers such as Worker Checks. Applicants complete the online process, provide identification documents, and the provider initiates the check on their behalf.
    • AFP Police Check: The application process can be completed 100% online with Worker Checks Applicants complete the online process, provide identification documents, and pay the required fee.
  4. Validity:
    • NCCHC: The validity of an NCCHC is determined by the organisation or employer requesting the check. Many organisations require a recent check issued within the past 12 months.
    • AFP Police Check: The AFP Police Check is generally considered valid at the time of issue. However, most organisations require a check issued within the past 12 months.

In summary, the National Coordinated Criminal History Check (NCCHC) covers an individual’s criminal history from all states and territories of Australia, while the Australian Federal Police (AFP) Check focuses specifically on the AFP jurisdiction. The NCCHC is issued by accredited Criminal History Check providers who partner with ACIC, while the AFP Police Check is issued directly by the AFP.


Read more on Which police check do I need?

Worker Checks is a leading provider for both Nationally Coordinated Criminal History (NCCHC) and Australian Federal Police Check (AFP Police Check).



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 – Police Check Information

Police Check Information

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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.