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Can you do a police check on someone?

The information on this webpage is to be read in conjunction with this disclaimer:
Australian National Character Check (ANCC) makes every effort to provide updated and accurate information to its customers. However due to the continuously changing nature of legislations for the Commonwealth and various States and Territories, it is inevitable that some information may not be up to date. The information on the website is general information only. The contents on the website do not constitute legal or professional advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal or professional advice. While we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, suitability, accuracy or availability with respect to the information.

The police check is an essential document for several sectors of the Australian economy that most decision-makers try by all means to ensure that the candidate does it the right way.

Typically, the candidate applies for the police check through any of the approved mediums comfortable for them. At the end of the check process, they can share their own result of their police check with the requesting agency.

However, an approved employer can conduct the police check on behalf of the candidate but with certain conditions and conform to Australian privacy rules.

Can I conduct a police check on behalf of another person?

The Australian privacy legislation has strict rules and policies about the disclosure and handling of criminal records.

The police check application process consists of the applicant providing personal information, four forms of identification documents, demonstrating liveness during the application process and providing their informed consent to carry out the check. It is not possible (or legal) in Australia to carry out a police check on someone without them knowing or without their informed consent.

How can an employer conduct a police check on behalf of a person?

Employers can decide to assume the responsibility of applying for the police check on behalf of the candidate; it doesn't change its validity and use in Australia. However, there are certain processes before the organisation can formally apply for the police check.

An organisation that wants to streamline the application process for a police check can apply through ANCC to discuss police checks on such a large scale. The commoner method is for the organisation to apply through the Business portal of ANCC.

ANCC does not conduct the police check but serves as a needed intermediary between the applicant and the National Police Checking Service (NPCS).

Using the ANCC business portal as a business/employer

ANCC offers the Business Portal to help employers, agencies, and other approved organisations scale the hassles of streamlining the police check application. Through this Business Portal, the organisation can Manage, Initiate, Monitor, Track and view the police check results.

However, all these do not come before the organisation satisfies the following steps;

  • Registration as a business account

The organisation/business/employer must register their business on the ANCC website to prove that they are a legal body/entity. ANCC cannot disclose criminal history check results to an organisation not on the ANCC platform or registered.

The registration involves the employer submitting specific details about their establishment verification on the Australian database for companies/agencies.

Once their account is approved for the business portal, they will receive an email from ANCC.

  • Add and List the Candidates/Applicants

The employer must name/list the candidates or applicants the organisation wants to run the check on. It includes the employer or requesting party providing their name and other contact information.

  • Invite the candidate for a police check

The employer or business entity cannot do anything more than inform and invite the candidate to participate and complete the police check application.

ANCC will send a unique link containing the invite to all the listed candidates through their email, or any other contact means they provide. The candidate can choose to complete the police check by providing their details.

  • Monitor the Police Application process

Through the business portal account, the organisation can also monitor the progress of the police check;

  • If the candidate accepts the invite,
  • The candidate has completed the application,
  • If the police check is sent to the NPCS
  • How much of the process is remaining
  • If the candidate needs to provide extra information about their check

Typically, the business will be able to view the result by default if they are an approved organisation.

  • Access and evaluate the result

Another benefit of the Business Account is that the employer or business will view and access the candidate's result from their account. The results on the ANCC last for about 12 months before they are permanently and securely erased from the database.

The applicant can also view their police check result once it is ready for download.

ANCC will send a copy of the result to the applicant electronically through email.

Although the employer can access the result at any time, it is good practice to assess the result step by step individually (based on the inherent requirements of each job role). Evaluating the result in a group policy-based way can lead to poor decisions and losing capable employees.

Why can’t the employer complete the police check application for a candidate?

The police check application is a nationally coordinated check of the applicant. The check confirms the identity of the applicant and various items need to be provided by the applicant. It means only the applicant can submit the required document and information that is needed to conduct the police check.

What are the requirements for the police check?

Applying for the police check means the candidate has to read certain data useful for the process. There are various types of police checks in Australia, and it determines the kind of requirement or data the applicant submits.

  1. Name Check (Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check)

The Name Check is the most common type of police check; the NPCS conducts these police checks. Most employers, agencies and businesses require the Name Check when they refer to a background check.

For the Name Check, the candidate needs the following data for application;

Personal details like;

  • Name,
  • Previous known names,
  • Residential Addresses,
  • Identification documents,
  • Contact information.

These are the essential data the candidate will complete in the informed consent form for the application.

The candidate will also have to state the purpose of the police check;

  1. Fingerprint Check

It is similar to the police check, only that the State or Territory Police Force does it in a Local Police office. There are unique situations where candidates have to scan their fingerprints for a general check on a particular criminal database.

Only special court orders or legislation can order a fingerprint police check.

  1. Ammonium Nitrate Check

Those who want to handle Ammonium Nitrate in large quantities or work in any establishment that does so must register for an Ammonium Nitrate Check. The ASIO and the AFP jointly coordinate the check.

  1. Federal police check

This is similar to the Name Check, but the candidate can only apply for this check-in via the AFP. The Australian Federal police check is the standard background check for;

  • Immigration and Visa,
  • Employment in Commonwealth agencies,
  • Overseas employment.

What identity document does ANCC request from the candidates?

The Identity document that the NPCS mandates for the application are to confirm and corroborate the information that the applicant submits. There are four copies of IDs from three different categories.

The IDs required to complete a police check application are;

  • Commencement of ID document (1)
  • Primary Use in Community Document (1)
  • Secondary Use in Community Document (2)

Any ID should also show a selfie or photograph of the candidate. The photo of the candidate is essential to capture the biometric details of the candidate.

Why do employers do a police check on behalf of candidates

Although it is not the default format for employers to apply for the police check for the candidate, yet most do it for many reasons. However, keep in mind that it is not illegal for the employer to do a police check for a person as long as they obtain their legal consent.

Employers can apply for a police check for a person for any of the following reasons;

  • Ensure the authenticity of the result

You cannot tell how ingenious candidates can get trying to excite their police check—seeing how vital the police check is to your enterprise, making good recruitment decisions, and streamlining the application process.

If your organisation monitors the process through an account, there is no chance for discrepancies in the process.

  • Get the police check in a timely manner

When you monitor and track the entire police check application process, you have isolated the issue of uncoordinated delays. If candidates do the Police Check individually, there is a tendency to get their result earlier than others which can cause an unnecessary waiting time.

  • Easily access the candidate's records.

The online agency for the police check application keeps a copy of all police check results for up to 12 months before they are permanently erased. It means the third party can still access these results for up to 12 months with the candidate's permission.

However, this does not grant liberty for the third-party agency to disclose or handle the applicant's details indiscriminately.

  • Customer Support

Using the ANCC Business portal means the candidate and the third party have access to 24 hours dedicated customer service. Doing the police check with the customer service as help and guide can reduce the burden of the entire process.

How long does a police check last if you do it on behalf of a person?

The police check is a point time check regardless of how you apply for it. The police check will continue to run until the requesting party considers the records of the police check obsolete for the role.

Many decision makers consider a police check result to be obsolete after three months of issuance however this will depend on their internal risk mitigation policies.

Also, employers in specific sectors require their employers to provide updated police check results at regular intervals.

How long does the police check take?

Applying for the police check online tends to be the fastest and easiest means to get your result unless it gets referred for a manual review. Most applicants get their check back within 24 hours of completion. In the case of a manual review, the application may take up to 15 business days.

How can I obtain a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check?


If you are an individual, you can obtain a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check online via Australian National Character Check’s application and informed consent form. The results are dispatched via email.

Business and Enterprise Customers

Business and Enterprise customers are able to sign up to ANCC’s business portal where they can order, manage, track and view candidates’ police check results on their business portal.

Organisations will undergo a process of approval prior to being granted access to ANCC’s business portal for the purpose of police checks.

ANCC sends an invite to the applicant to complete their background check online and handles the application and informed consent form. Contact ANCC’s business and enterprise partnerships team today to enquire about setting up a business portal for your organisation.

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The content on this website is communicated to you on behalf of Australian National Character Check™ (ANCC®) pursuant to Part VB of the Copyright Act 1968 (the Act).

The material in this communication may be subject to copyright under the Act. Any further reproduction of this material may be the subject of copyright protection under the Act.

You may include a link on your website pointing to this content for commercial, educational, governmental or personal use.

The contents of this website do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal or professional advice.

Why use ANCC?


Fast online application form

The online application form can be completed in a few minutes online. 70% of results are dispatched in 24 hours. Approximately 30% can take longer than 15 days due to a 'potential match'.


Australian based support team

All of our staff are based in Canberra, ACT. All data is stored securely in Australia. Each application is checked in accordance with Federal Government guidelines. Support staff are available from Monday to Friday 9AM to 5PM.


Top rated national police check provider

ANCC is amongst the highest rated employment background check providers. Refer to ANCC's Google Reviews and Product Reviews.


Guaranteed to be valid Australia wide

A nationally coordinated criminal history check is valid in all States and Territories of Australia.

Need discount police checks? We beat prices!

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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Not sure where to start?

Book in a free consultation with us to discuss your organisation's employment background check needs, or to get an overview of the ANCC Business Portal.