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What Is An ACIC Accredited Body?

ACIC certified provider of Australian Polcie Checks

When researching for information about police checks or applying for a police check online, you might find that the term ACIC accredited body comes up frequently on the different websites of National Police Check (NPC) 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 an Australian National 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 Police 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 Australian National Police Check(NPC) application requires consent from the individual applying for the check. Without the applicant’s consent, the check cannot be processed. It is the responsibility of the NPC provider to obtain consent, and the responsibility of the applicant to fully understand what they are consenting to.

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

How Long Does It Take To Process A Police Check?

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

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

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

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

How Do I Know If A Provider Is ACIC Accredited?

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

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

Worker Checks – Overview

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

Worker Checks 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 for more information.

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


Please click on a product for more information or to apply

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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.


Do Pending Charges Show up on a Police Check?

Do Pending Charges Show up on a Police Check?


Do Pending Charges Show up on a Police Check?

Do pending charges show up on a Police Check?  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 Police 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 Checks 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

Do Police Checks expire ?

Police check expire

Do Police Checks Expire?

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

How Long Is A Police Check Valid For?

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

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

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

What Does Point In Time Mean?

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

What Does A Police Check Result Look Like?

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

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

The document will state the following information:

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

Is A Police Check Valid For Multiple Jobs?

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

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

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

Jobs Within The Same Company

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

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

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

Is A Police Check Valid For Multiple Purposes?

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

How Do Employers Determine If A Check Is Valid?

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

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

Ongoing Employee Screening

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

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

Do Criminal Records Expire?

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

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

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

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

All applications can be completed 100% online.

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

Does A Police Check Ever Expire?

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

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

Can I get an Australian Police Check from overseas?

International Police Check

Australian Police Check from overseas? Yes, with Worker Checks

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

I Am Overseas, Can I Get a Police Check?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Do I Apply for a Police Check?

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

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

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

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

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

How Do I Apply Online for a National Police Check?

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

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

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

How Much Does It Cost?

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

What Details Must I Provide?

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

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

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

What Documents Must I Provide?

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

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

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

Commencement documents

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

Primary documents

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

Secondary documents

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

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

What Is The Selfie?

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

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

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

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

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

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

What If My Documents Are In Different Names?

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

What If My Documents Are Expired?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Australian Police Check from overseas

Why Is It Never A Good Idea To Lie About Your Criminal History To An Employer?

Dont lie about criminal history check

Never lie about your criminal history.

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

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

What Is A Criminal Record?

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

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

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

Which Sectors Require A Criminal History Check?

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

Why Is It A Bad Idea To Lie?

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

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

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

How Should I Handle My Criminal Record?

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

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

Avoid Certain Jobs

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

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

Will My Criminal History Prevent Me Getting A Job?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do I have To Disclose My Criminal History?

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

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

What Rights Do I Have?

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

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

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

Disclosable Convictions

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

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

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

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

Spent Convictions Legislation

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

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

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

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

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

Why Do Employers Need My Criminal History Information?

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

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

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

Can I apply to have my offences withdrawn?

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

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

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

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

Top Tip

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

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

Can I get a Police Check if I have lived in Australia for less than five years?

police checks online fast

Can I get a Police Check What if I Have Lived in Australia for Less Than Five Years?

It doesn’t take long to complete a national police check online application and you’re likely to get yours back in no time, as long as you have all of the right information to hand. This includes personal information that the authorities will use to verify your identity before carrying the police check out.

As well as identifying documents and your basic info, any national police checking (NPC) agency will also require five years of address history. However, if you haven’t lived in Australia for quite that long yet, you might be wondering how the process differs, if at all. Here’s all you need to know.

What if I Have Lived in Australia for Less Than Five Years?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Do I Need to Provide My Address History in My NPC Application?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

police check nsw

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

What information required for police check? Police Check ID requirements? We get these questions a lot!

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

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

What is a National Police Check?

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

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

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

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

Can I Order my Police Check Online?

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

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

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

How Long Does it take to get a Police Check?

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

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

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

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

What Personal Information Will I Need to Provide?

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

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

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

  • 1 Commencement Document

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

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

  • 1 Primary Document

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

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

  • 2 Secondary Documents

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

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

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

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

What Other Personal Information Will I Need to Provide?

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

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

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

What is a National Police Certificate?

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

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

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

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

Can I Dispute My Results?

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

What About Police Checks in Other Locations?

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

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

What if I have Questions?

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

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

Why Police Checks Are A Must For Companies In 2022?

police check business solution

Why Police Checks Are A Must For Companies In 2022?

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

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

Why Police Checks Are a Must For Companies In 2022?

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

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

What Is The Purpose Of a Police Check?

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

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

What Will a Police Check Reveal?

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

Police History Information (PHI) can include the following:

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

How Is a Police Check Performed?

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

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

Why Do Employers Ask For a Police Check?

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

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

Who Needs a Police Check?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Business Protection

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

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

  • Theft
  • Robbery
  • Fraud
  • Bribery
  • Cybercrime

Protecting Assets

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

Protecting Reputation

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

Building Trust

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

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

Promoting Good Staff Conduct

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

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

What About Existing Employees?

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

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

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

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

What Rights Does The Company Have?

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

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

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

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

What Rights Does The Employee Have?

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

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

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

How Can Companies Make The Process Straightforward?

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

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

How Long Does The Process Take?

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

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

When Should a Company Request a Police Check?

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

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

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

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

Police Check 101 - click for Overview