There are numerous reasons individuals may be required to obtain a national police check in Australia.
The most common purpose is for pre-employment screening so that employers can more objectively assess the risk posed by individuals and ensure safe environments for what are considered "vulnerable" or "special needs" populations (such as children, the aged and those with disabilities).
Police Checks may be required for:
Getting a Police Check requires going through a process of providing personal details and identification in order to request a full national Criminal History Background Check and report of outcome.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) provides National Police Checks for:
Individuals (and businesses) can order Police Checks via:
Whilst, in some circumstances, it can take up to 3 weeks to get a Police Check via the AFP or your local police station, one of the fastest and easiest ways to get a Police Check is to submit it through National Crime Check. You can have your report emailed directly back to you! The police check application form takes less than 5 minutes online via National Crime Check - simply follow the prompts.
One your check is processed you can have your national police check emailed electronically to you (usually within 24-48 hours) or a hard copy delivered in the post (Or both!). Note that approximately 75% of our checks are back within 1-2 business days of lodgement.
Whilst most police checks via National Crime Check are returned in 1-2 business days, there are situations where police checks can take longer to be returned to applicants.
In the cases above the CrimTrac Police Background Checking Service goes through a process of investigation before releasing any information. This process cannot be escalated, interfered with or followed up until 12 business days have elapsed - and is out of the hands of any agency who has lodged the check for you.
National Crime Check advocates monitor all checks daily and will automatically escalate follow-up at the 12 day mark on your behalf with the CrimTrac agency.
When your application is processed and your report is returned you will receive a police check report. When this is done through National Crime Check you will receive a tamper-proof report of the highest level of integrity. We guarantee 3 levels of encryption which protect the integrity and security of our checks:
Police checks are current at the date of issue and are not designed to be transferred between organisations. However it is at the discretion of specific organisations as to how recent a police check they may require or request from you, and may vary based on the level of security required in the job role.
All Police Checks in Australia, regardless of where you are working or if you are a Volunteer require you to pay a fee in order to verify and retrieve your data.
However the fee is discounted for Volunteers seeking Police Checks, and in some instances may even be free. Read more about Volunteer Police Check.
The other type of pre-employment screening program that is commonly required in various industries and which employees may come into contact with children is a "Working with Children Check".
There is no single national requirement in Australia for obtaining a Working With Children Check and each state and territory has its own procedures and requirements. Find out more about each jurisdiction's procedure and requirements for Working With Children Checks.
*Note that every effort has been made to ensure the most current and accurate information on police checks and working with children checks, however legislation and requirements can change. National Crime Check recommends you approach your local police station for up-to-the-minute accuracy on the topics above. This article is current at November 2011.