About Police Checks

 

Back to topGetting a National Criminal History Check in Australia

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:

  • Employment in areas where individuals work with "vulnerable" populations (such as aged care, childcare etc)
  • For occupation-related licensing or registration (required by the likes of Real Estate Agents and Registered Nurses)
  • For any Commonwealth government jobs
  • For voluntary work
  • For immigration purposes
  • For visa applications/overseas employment
  • For adoption

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.

Back to topAustralian Federal Police Checks (AFP Checks)

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) provides National Police Checks for:

  • residents of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Jervis Bay Territory and external Commonwealth territories
  • people seeking employment with the Commonwealth Government
  • people requiring a check under Commonwealth legislation
  • immigration purposes
  • overseas employment
  • adoption, including overseas adoption
  • visa applicationsthrough which all Police and Criminal History Checks are lodged.

Back to topObtaining a police check

Individuals (and businesses) can order Police Checks via:

  • The Australian Federal Police directly
  • Your local police station
  • An accredited agency such as National Crime Check

Back to topWhat is the fastest way to get a National Police Check?

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.

Back to topCan it take longer than 2 business days to get my National Police Check?

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.

  • If you have ever been to court or charged with an offence (including traffic offences) your application will be flagged in the database of the CrimTrac Police Background Checking Service for verification and it can then take 10-15 working days to retrieve Police Check information.
  • If you have a common surname (such as Smith, Jones, or Williams for example) or if you have moved around frequently and have had several addresses this can also cause a Police Check to be delayed for up to 15 working days whilst CrimTrac background checking service investigates and verifies your information.

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.

Back to topNational Crime Check's Automatic Follow-up on Police Checks

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.

Back to topNational Crime Check's Tamper-Proof Police Check Reports

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:

  1. Secure, tamper-proof paper
  2. Watermark unique to National Crime Check Reports
  3. Exclusive online check verification - 2 "alpha codes" are hardcoded into each check, unique to an individual's first name, surname, date of birth and disclosable court outcome history.

Back to topHow long are Criminal History Checks valid for?

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.

Back to topFree Police Checks?

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.

Back to topOther Types of Checks:

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.