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Home Other Checks and Registrations Aged Care police checks in Australia

Aged Care police checks in Australia

As members of our community get older, it becomes difficult for them to do the things they could once do themselves. They need assistance with domestic and non-domestic activities.

Aged care is an occupation that has the responsibility of caring for and supporting the health and wellbeing of the elderly, disabled, or the infirmed. Caring for such people is a full-time and sensitive job. People employed in such positions of caring for the elderly should be thoroughly scrutinised.

police check requirements were implemented by the Australian Government in 2007 and reviewed in 2009. The Australian Government by enabling the police check requirements ensures that the health, safety, and rights of the vulnerable persons in the community are not infringed upon.

police checks aim to strengthen the meticulous employment process for the vulnerable in Australia. It ensures all applicants are screened and approved for the care of the aged.

What is the legal backing for background checks by organisations that care for the aged?

The Aged Care Act 1997 (the Act) provides the legal framework and backing for all aged care services under the Commonwealth legislation. This legislation falls with but is superior to laws guiding aged care in any Australian state or territory.

The Aged Care Quality standards cover all aged care services including; residential care, home care, other similar care and services which appears under the Commonwealth Home Support Programme. Standard 8 (3) (c) v) provides the requirements for approved providers to espouse systems that will help identify and ensure compliance with pertinent legislation.

What are the basic requirements for a police check in aged care?

An approved aged care provider should document any decision it makes on a police certificate. They must ensure that an issued certificate is satisfactory to the requirements. Every Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check certificate must include;

  • The full name and date of birth of the applicants;
  • The date of issuing the certificate
  • The reference number or a substitute
A Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check issued by an accredited Australian police check agency will satisfy the requirements above.

An online Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check can be obtained from the following link: police check application form.

Are statutory declarations accepted?

There are only two instances where presenting a statutory declaration can be eligible;

  • For new staff applicants who are waiting to be issued with a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check after application;
  • For any staffwho has been a citizen, or permanent resident of a country other than Australia after 16 years of age.

Is there any offence(s) that precludes a person from working in the care of the elderly?

Some convictions prevent a person from being hired, contracted, retained or accepted in an unsupervised role in the care of the aged. Such offences are;

  • Convictions for murder or sexual assault
  • Convictions leading to sentences/imprisonment for any other form of assaults
Interpretation of precluding offences can vary between states and territories. But preclusions due to murder and assaults are considered highly inflexible.

Assessing other offences

Where an individual’s conviction(s) does not fall under precluding convictions, approved providers are enjoined to assess such cases pertinently. An approved provider’s decision regarding employment on such convictions must be meticulous, defensible and transparent. Guides have been provided in helping approved providers to assess an individual’s suitability for a role in aged care services;

  • Considerations should be made about the degree of the individual’s access to care recipient
  • The pertinence of the convictions to the role of the individual
  • The proportion of the preclusion to the convictions
  • The time that has elapsed since convictions
  • Employment history since convictions (with guarantors)
  • Findings of therapies/programs that followed their conviction and individual’s attitude to convictions
  • If there are patterns or links in the individual’s convictions
  • The likelihood of a recurring incident if the individual is employed

What record of the police checks should be kept by aged care providers?

Accredited aged care providers must ensure that their records prove that;

  • Every staff of their organisation has a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check certificate which is not older than three (3) years.
  • An application for the Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check certificate has been requested for every new staff/member who doesn't have a police check certificate.
  • A statutory declaration should be made by any staff member who is yet to obtain a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check certificate. Or Staff who is a citizen or permanent resident of a country other than Australia.
Approved providers are enjoined to sight/assess the nationally coordinated criminal history check of their staff if such person has self-obtained their own police certificate. Where it is impossible to assess the certificate, providers should request such staff to obtain a new police check certificate.

Where a person has given consent, an approved provider may obtain a police certificate on their behalf.

Approved providers are advised to keep regular register/records of their staff police certificate information. All dealings with the personal information of staff members must comply with the Privacy act 1988 (Commonwealth).

What happens if a member commits an offence within the police certificate expiration?

Approved providers must take possible measures to require any of their staff members to notify them if they are found guilty of a precluding offence within the three years of obtaining an updated Police certificate. A staff member convicted of a precluding offence must not be allowed to continue with the organisation.

Are approved providers inspected for police check compliance?

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission is empowered to monitor the compliance of approved providers to police certificate requirements by the Quality Standards; Standard 8 (3) (c) v). The Department also monitors approved providers under the Act to ensure they meet up to their obligations.

How can aged care service meet compliance for police checks requirements?

Aged care services whose staffs do not have police check requirements can obtain them through either of the two ways;

Obtain them via a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check provider like Australian National Character Check.

Or

Obtain them through the Australian Federal Police authorities;

Full Aged Care Police Certificate Guidelines and Policy

Full aged care police certificate guidelines and policy information (including templates for record keeping and statutory declarations) provided by the Department of Health and Ageing can be downloaded by clicking on the following link: Download PDF.

Streamlined police checks for Australian Aged Care Providers

Australian National Character Check™ provides a 100% online solution for Australian aged care providers to meet employer compliance requirements when hiring or recruiting new staff.

Contact customer support today to find out how Australian National Character Check can streamline police checks at your organisation.

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About ANCC

ANCC® enables individuals and approved legal entities to apply for a nationally coordinated criminal history check, which is commonly referred to as a national police check. The nationally coordinated criminal history check is valid all over Australia and can be used when applying for Employment, Probity, Licencing, or Commonwealth check purposes. Get discount police checks online. We beat prices!

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