Australian National Character Check (ANCC®) makes obtaining national police checks simple and fast. Most national police checks are returned to applicants with 24 to 48 hours of completion. The remaining that get referred for manual processing may take up to 15+ days.
Police checks are instantly dispatched on the same day they are received via email. Applicants are also given the option to request an optional hard copy certificate.
Police checks issued by Australian National Character Check (ANCC) are valid for employment, volunteering, licensing and accreditation purposes.
Checks for the purpose of Visa or Immigration must be applied for via the Australian Federal Police (AFP).
There is no difference in the legitimacy of a police check issued by a local police station and Australian National Character Check. Applicants may notice small differences in the formatting of the certificate, however both are equally valid.
Applicants that apply through ANCC® do however experience the substantial difference in speed and efficiency when obtaining their police check online. Majority of police checks are returned to applicants within 24 to 48 hours. Results are emailed on the same day they are received. Overall, applicants save time and cost when applying for their national police checks online.
A Police Check has become one of the most important certificates that decision makers ask a person to present before granting them any serious appointments or services. It helps decision makers to make “well-informed” decisions about an individual or their tendencies to obey rules and regulations.
A Police Check contains all the Disclosable Court Outcomes (DCOs) of an individual, under the state or territory’s laws and jurisdictions.
If you have ever been convicted of an offence or charged to court (juvenile and adult), these records may show up on your Police Check.
When an individual applies for a Criminal Background Check, it can come out as either of two results：
Disclosable Court Outcomes (DCOs)
Criminal records, convictions, charges, and other offences that are deemed releasable under the State laws, and not considered “Spent”.
Non-Disclosable Court Outcomes (NDCOs)
If there is no finding of a “releasable” offence, or the individual has clean records onthe National Police and Criminal Database.
A Police Check is a point-in-time check and has no set expiry date. It remains valid from the point of issue till an updated Check is required.
Police checks reflect criminal history up until the date of issue (point-in-time-check).Most companies, organisations or individuals will not accept criminal record checks that are older than 3 months for new recruits, and 12 months for current (existing) workers.
Since a Criminal History Check updates a person’s criminal status and helps the company make informed risk decisions, the government generally advises some firms/organisations to request updated Checks from their employees within a respectable time-interval.
The Australian Federal Government made major changes to ID requirements for police checks since July 2018 as part of the National Identity Security Strategy. These changes replaced the '100 points' ID system that was traditionally in place.
Since July 2018, applicants must provide four identification documents and a biometric link to obtain a national police check. These include:
1 x Commencement ID, 1 x Primary ID, 2 x Secondary ID's, a biometric link betweenthe applicant and their ID documents. A self-photo "selfie" demonstrating liveness as instructed on the ANCC® website is a biometric link. All applicants must meet theminimum identity requirements regardless of which nationally coordinated criminal history check (NCCHC) provider they use.
Should an applicant find out that they do not meet minimum identification document requirements, they should approach their local government shopfront to get identification documents updated.
This means that you may need to obtain new documents, or have your existing documents changed to reflect your name correctly if they currently do not.
A complete checklist for identification documents required for national police checkscan be downloaded using the links below:
Police check identification document checklist (DOCX)
Police check identification document checklist (PDF)
Australian National Character Check provides applicants with valid results of their National Criminal History Check in as little as 24 to 48 hours upon completion of the online application form. The remaining checks that get referred for manual processing may take up to 15+ days.
You can comfortably apply via a PC, Tablet or Mobile device connected to the internet. On average, people complete the online application in about 15 minutes (including payment and ID verification).
Paying the prescribed fee is also easy through any of our efficient payment platforms such as; PayPal, MasterCard, Debit or Credit cards.
Around 85% of all the applications submitted through our online portal get their Check results returned within 48 hours. The remaining 15% may be delayed due to incomplete registration or being flagged for “manual review”.
When an application is flagged for manual review, it does not mean the finding of a conviction. It could be as a result of other circumstantial factors like a common name or a name which is similar to one which has criminal history on the national police database.
If an application is flagged for manual review, an official from the National Police Checking agency will have to give physical supervision and evaluate the process. This delays when an applicant will get their certificate by 2 to 15 working days.
Applicants should note that no agency can influence or know beforehand which application will be flagged for manual review. We can only provide more clarity to the process by providing you with details about your Criminal Background Check.
The base price for a police check is $48.90 AUD. Applicants can pay via PayPal, credit card or debit card.
In some circumstances, your workplace or requesting authority may reimburse the cost of your national criminal history check. In other circumstances, applicants will be required to cover the costs of their own check.
Businesses and enterprises can sign up to our Police Check Business Portal to pay for police checks on behalf of their applicants.
There are many reasons why a person may need a National Criminal History Check for employment purposes, and it must be correctly stated during the application process.
Australian National Character Check helps to provide valid check results to individuals who apply for jobs where it may be a requirement as part of their organization's internal risk mitigation policies.
Volunteer police checks can be obtained from Australian National Character Check. As a Volunteer, especially where the role involves care of the aged and vulnerable, you will be required to present a Police Check for volunteering.
In the interests of community safety, most organisations and decision makers want to ensure that credible individuals are placed in “sensitive” roles.
Furthermore, you require a Police Check certificate when you apply for licenses, accreditations and other public/personal services such as:
- Driver accreditation and licensing (e.g. bus drivers, taxi drivers, hire car drivers, chauffeur drivers, rideshare drivers, etc.)
- Transport Operators Licensing
- Real Estate
- Social caregivers
- Other licenses that put you in constant interaction with the publics
Part of the numerous requirements for moving into Australia or renewing your Visa is to present an updated AFP Police Check.
Only the Australian Federal Police (AFP) can issue a valid AFP Police Check for visa or immigration purposes.
Australian National Character Check does not provide police checks for immigration or visa purposes.
Some applicants ask whether it is possible to obtain a free police check. The short answer is no,it is not possible to obtain a free national criminal history check. All check requests come with a fee. Applicants can obtain a national criminal history check from ANCC® for a base price of $48.90.
Police checks are a statutory function of Australian police agencies and the rules set by the Australian federal government stipulate a fee for each check request (including volunteer checks).
When conducting a Police Check, the information provided by the applicant is compared to the data in the National Criminal Database and Australian Police records. It means that if you were convicted of an offence anywhere in Australia, it will reflect on the Police Clearance. A Police Check issued by ANCC® is formally referred to as a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check (NCCHC). Other common names used by the general public may include criminal background check, criminal history check, police clearance, crime check, etc. The check is valid in all states and territories of Australia including:
✔ The state of New South Wales (NSW)
✔ The state of Victoria (VIC)
✔ The state of Western Australia (WA)
✔ The state of Queensland (QLD)
✔ The state of South Australia (SA)
✔ The state of Tasmania (TAS)
✔ The territory of the Northern Territory (NT)
✔ The state of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
A Police Check contains charges, convictions, offences, good behaviour bonds, court sentences, and other findings of a legal Australian court that are deemed releasable (DCOs) under the State's legislation.
So if you apply for a check, here are some of the Disclosable Court Outcomes (DCOs) that may show up on your National Criminal History Check certificate:
- Sexually related offences
- Common assault
- Fraud charges
- Murder or manslaughter charges
- 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
However, some offences may be removed from an individual's Police Check if they meet certain conditions or under stipulations from the court or by State legislations. Spent convictions are under the Spent Convictions Scheme
and are executed following the purpose of the Check.
Some of the conditions that will allow a conviction to be eligible as Spent includes:
- Convictions after ten (10) consecutive years have elapsed for offences committed by an adult (not convicted in a juvenile court)
- Convictions after Five (5) consecutive years (3 years for NSW) elapses for offences convicted in a juvenile court (committed by a child)
- The individual must not be convicted of any punishable offence during this waiting period, else the period restarts
- If a jail term is imposed, the crime-free period begins after the jail term
- Convictions stipulated by the court to be considered as Spent if the individual meet some criteria
Still, not all convictions can qualify to be "Spent", some convictions are termed "Serious" offences, and no matter the years spent, it will always appear on the individual’s Police Check. Some of these offences are:
- Sexually related convictions
- Convictions against corporate organisations and institutions
- Convictions stated by the regulations/court sentencing
- Convictions for which a prison sentence of six or more months is imposed.
Together with other offences not classified as “Spent”, some offences will not show up on a National Police Check Online. There are various reasons, including the legality of the convicting body, warnings, and other smaller offences. Some of these offences are:
- Findings of non-guilt.
- Convictions outside the country.
- Diversion programs.
- Spent Convictions.
- Punitive measures by third party institutions or other professional bodies/unions.
- Offences outside the jurisdiction of Australian police agencies/courts
If you are a resident in Australia or simply want to work in Australia, you may need a Police Check to apply for jobs, licenses, permits and other applications.
Police Checks are open to:
- All individuals aged 18 years and above
- Persons under the age of 18 must seek the informed consent of their parent or guardian.
- Volunteers in Australia, especially roles that involve proximity to the aged and vulnerable populations.