Information about a Police Clearance
A police clearance is a certificate of an individual’s criminal record check. It can be obtained by applying through either an Australian police station located in your state or territory, or through a government accredited provider such as Worker Checks. The Australian police clearance is a specific, official document listing any disclosable criminal offences. The process of requesting and providing one is designed to help protect the Australian community. For more information on what may be included in a copy of your police clearance, please see this link.
A police clearance may also be referred to as a national clearance certificate, national police check and a national criminal history check. There are four purposes for a police clearance check: employment, probity, licence and Commonwealth. It is important to note which type of clearance you are required to provide, as you may need to undergo another application to provide the right one.
How do I get a police clearance?
The government does not directly accept applications for a criminal background check. To obtain a copy of your police check you will need to apply through either an Australian police station in your state or territory, or via an accredited agent. Worker Checks is an accredited agent authorised to accept and submit individuals’ application. Our online process has been designed to offer you a streamlined and fast-tracked application experience.
We offer applicants an online application process, which can usually be completed within 5 to 10 minutes. You must have ready access to the information you may be asked for, including 4 pieces of ID. For more information on the identification required for a police clearance, please click here. Worker Checks verify your identity documents 100% online. Your certificate is made available in your personal Worker Check portal, where you can electronically share your check, or print out.
Police checks are usually completed within 1 hour. However, in approximately 30% of cases, an individual’s application may be flagged for what is known as a ‘manual review’. This occurs when a partial or whole match of information provided matches with information in the criminal history database. A manual review must occur before the check is released to allocate the information correctly. If this happens in your case and you have opted for the express service, then the express service fee will be refunded to you. Your application may take between 1 and 15 business days to be finalised in this instance. Click here for more information on police check delays.
The alternative method for obtaining your police clearance is directly through the police in your state or territory. For example, you can obtain your national police clearance in WA by applying through your local Western Australian police. It still covers all states and territories even though you have lodged your application through a state provider. The same applies for applications processed in SA, NSW, QLD and VIC. The police check is a nationally coordinated criminal history check so it will include a complete history of disclosable offences obtained all over Australia: Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania, the Northern and Australian Capital Territories, Western Australia and South Australia.
When you choose to submit your application with your local police agency you may have to fill out paper-based forms and you will not have access to Worker Check’s online portal to share or print your checks in the future. In addition, the majority of Police checks are usually completed within 1 hour and available in your personal Worker Checks portal. If you use a local police service – you could potentially be waiting weeks for your police clearance.
Our Australian police check process is completed online and aims to have your application returned to you in as little one hour.
How long does a police check last?
A national police clearance will include information related to your criminal record up to the issue date of the certificate. If you are required to provide a more recent police clearance certificate, then the organisation or individual who has requested one in the first place will be able to tell you how often you should provide an updated copy.
Worker Checks offer organisations a free business solution for their internal police check process. This reduces administration time like data entry and chasing individuals up for their clearance certificates. Contact us for more information on how we can ensure your police clearance compliance process is simple, intuitive and streamlined.
How much is a police clearance?
A National Police Clearance for employment purposes is $40.
It is also important to note that a police clearance certificate or Federal Police Check issued by the Australian Federal Police Check (AFP Check) is also available from Worker Checks. If you have been asked to provide a police clearance certificate for immigration related processes, please double check exactly where you need to obtain that certificate with the requesting organisation. Please read this article if you are unsure which check you need.
Can I apply for a police check online?
When you choose Worker Checks to lodge your police clearance application, you are choosing a completely online application process. We offer our applicants an online application process which can be completed in their own time. You will need access to the internet and your identification documents to complete the form. We verify your identification online application. You will also require a webcam – or take and upload selfie – of you holding a piece of photographic ID.
It can take most individuals 5 to 10 minutes to complete and submit your online application. If you are unfamiliar with online forms or internet portals, then it may take longer to complete your application.
Save time and hassle with Worker Checks. Get your national police clearance online in as little as one hour by choosing our express smart, streamlined and entirely online application process.
You can then share your check electronically from your Worker Check’s portal – or print out.