Category Archives: Police Check Education

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

Worker Checks – Overview

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

Worker Checks is an accredited police check provider and 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 police checks.

Please visit us at workerchecks.com for more information.

Your first choice for a first class Accredited Police Check Provider.

 

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A failed police check

police check fail

 

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

 

What to Do If a Potential Employee Fails a Police Check

Modern employment contracts contain many safeguards that allow an employer to legally dismiss an employee. What’s often overlooked is the need to have a reliable process in place for when you need to handle a potential hire that has failed a criminal background check.

There are a lot of challenges involved when implementing criminal background checks as an employer. Although those background checks are considered essential due diligence, the process also needs to be consistent, fair, and transparent. Get this process wrong and your organisation could be exposed to legal action, which is a risk you will want to avoid.

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 national background 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 national police 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 national 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 police 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.

 

What are Disclosable Court Outcomes on a police check?

Dont lie about criminal history check

 

What are Disclosable Court Outcomes on a police check?

There are lots of reasons and purposes for which an organisation may request your Police Check. However, depending on the discretion of the organisation/agency, they mostly assess your suitability for what you apply for based on the details of your Disclosable Court Outcomes (DCOs) and the relationship of the DCO to the work tasks (if any).

What are Disclosable Court Outcomes?

When you apply for a Police Check, there are two possible results for your certificate to return as;

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

When your Australian National Police Check of AFP Check returns with Disclosable Court Outcome (DCOs); it means the details of the convictions are considered releasable by the State legislation.

If you have any conviction, pending charge or criminal offence convicted by a legal court, they all appear in your check. The (DCO) is the documented history of an individual’s national criminal history.

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 national 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 national 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 national 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 Australian National Police 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 our online portal is fast, efficient, and convenient with your schedule.

Police Check Overview – a guide for Police Checks in Australia

Police Checks in Australia

 

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 check 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 Police 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 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 >

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Highly Secured Data

Is my police check data safe online?

Absolutely.

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

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?

Workerchecks.com 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

It Possible to Clean My Criminal Record?

clear my criminal record

It Possible to Clean My Criminal Record?

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

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

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

What types of convictions are in my Criminal Record?

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

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

For starters, convictions will become spent after different waiting periods in different areas of Australia. In addition, some convictions can never become spent, and there are circumstances under which even spent convictions will be disclosed in an NPC. Read on for more information.

How Long Before a Conviction Becomes Spent?

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

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

What Criminal Offences Will Never Become Spent?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Information Does a Police Check Certificate Typically Include?

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

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

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

Will Interstate Convictions Be Included on My National Police Certificate?

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

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

How Accurate Are National Police Checks?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Will I Need to Get a New National Police Certificate If My Convictions Become Spent?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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