Please be ready with your application reference number starting with 'P'. For example P1234567
The Police Clearance certificate is on the list of most requirements or applications you make in Australia today. Whether you are applying for a paid role, volunteer service, License or Probity checks, you will generally be required to submit a Police Clearance certificate as part of the requirement.
Employers and organisations want to be sure that they hire suitable candidates for their vacant roles. One legal way to do this is to assess the candidate based on their Criminal records on the Australian Criminal Database. The employer can follow the legal procedures to decide whether the candidate is a fit for the role.
Under the Spent convictions scheme guidelines, certain "eligible" convictions are wiped off a person's record. Before an offence can become Spent, the offender must have satisfied a "crime-free" period and satisfied other conditions issued by the justice at the conviction/court hearing.
The benefit of having an offence "Spent" is that it no longer appears on your criminal records or the Police Clearance certificate.
Also, an employer cannot assess you based on a "spent" conviction unless it will significantly compromise the role or purpose you are seeking.
Although the Spent convictions Scheme is a programme that helps to reduce discrimination towards people with criminal records, it does not apply to all kinds of offences. Only minor or summary offences that had lesser impacts on the victim or the community can qualify for the Spent conviction scheme.
Each State and Territory in Australia has its own legislation for Spent Convictions. The Spent Convictions scheme for most Australian States and Territories lists the following conditions for offences that can be "Spent."
These guidelines preclude serious offences from being Spent. Examples of the offences that cannot be spent include;
The offences that can be spent under the Scheme are minor offences or those stipulated by the Magistrate to remain Spent.
An offence will be automatically Spent once it satisfies all the conditions set out in the Spent Convictions Scheme.
Offences will be removed from an offender’s record when;
These offences will only be Spent if it is part of the offences covered under the Spent Convictions Scheme.
The offender must maintain good civil and public behaviour; they must not get another conviction or criminal record. Only at the end of a Good Behaviour Period can an offender have their offence Spent or removed from the Police Clearance certificate.
The Good Behaviour Period is;
At the end of the Good Behaviour period;
The Good Behaviour Period should run without the offender being culpable or indicted in any crime or conviction. It is one of the critical conditions if you want to apply for the Spent Convictions Scheme.
However, if the offender commits another offence or gets another conviction during this period, it will restart automatically.
Also, the Good Behaviour Period only commences after the offender serves their imprisonment term (if it was included as a penalty).
The Spent conviction scheme was introduced to reduce the discrimination that people with criminal records faced. Under the Scheme, your offences are wiped off your record and will never appear unless you re-offend.
The most significant benefit of having your offences Spent is that it will no longer be part of your Disclosable Court Outcomes. It means such records will no longer appear on your Police Clearance certificate.
If you have a Spent offence, you can choose to remain silent. Even if a potential employer asks you about such an offence, you do not disclose it.
However, the court or special orders may require you to disclose the Spent convictions in a sensitive role.
It may count as discrimination for an employer to assess you based on a Spent conviction. The only time an employer can determine a person's Spent conviction is if the position is sensitive and requires a complete and deep assessment of the individual.
The Police Background Check includes all your releasable conviction records in the Criminal database per the jurisdiction rules. You can have a conviction or record on the database that is not releasable under the law.
The details released on your Police Clearance Check are called the Disclosable Court Outcomes (DCO). These are the only details you will find on your Check. However, other records can be released depending on the type of background check and the purpose the use sets for it.
The DCO on your Police Clearance certificate includes;
All the criminal convictions given in an Australian Court are automatically part of your criminal records and will show up in a Police Clearance Check. However, if the court commits your offence for special programs, it may not appear on the criminal history check certificate, depending on the legal program.
If your traffic offences are settled before a Magistrate rather than by Infringement notice, it will appear on your Police Clearance records.
Even when the court decides against registering a conviction against the offender, it will still appear on the Police Clearance Check if they “find them guilty”.
All pending charges of the applicant will appear on the police history check.
The Police Clearance certificate only discloses records on the Australian Criminal database. Only the convictions given in/by an Australian Court will appear on a candidate’s Police Clearance Check.
If you have an overseas conviction, it may appear on other background checks , but not the Police Clearance certificate if the Australian legal system was not involved.
No, the Spent conviction scheme only applies to convictions given in an Australian Court. Yet, this does not mean that overseas convictions cannot qualify for other special programs under their respective jurisdictions.
Even if a Spent conviction has lasted over ten years, the Australian Court or Judiciary cannot consider such offences as "Spent."
Not only Spent convictions are excluded in an updated criminal history check certificate. All offences/convictions not given in an Australian Court will not appear on the Check; this includes;
Other records that do not appear on a Police Clearance certificate includes;
The NDCO means the convictions or records on your Police Clearance Certificate that cannot be disclosed. Spent convictions will show up as an ‘NDCO’ since they do not get disclosed.
Also, if your police check returns as NDCO, it means there are no releasable court convictions about you in the Australian Criminal Database.
There is no limit to the Spent convictions scheme. If your offences are spent, they will no longer appear on your Police Clearance certificate for life. These records cannot be used to evaluate your performance or ability unless there is a special order.
Although Spent offences no longer appear in a Police Clearance certificate, they can still affect the candidate in some special circumstances.
For example, a Spent conviction can be used to testify a person during a court proceeding. The Magistrate may admit the Spent records of a person as precedence.
Also, when employing for specific roles, a government screening unit (e.g. a working with children check screening unit) may assess the candidate's Spent records. The legislation may allow an authorised party to evaluate a person's spent records if it will be detrimental to the role.
If you are an individual, you can obtain a national criminal record check certificate online via Australian National Character Check’s police check application 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’ criminal history check results on their business portal. Organisations will undergo a process for approval prior to being granted access to ANCC’s business portal.
ANCC sends an invite to the applicant to complete their criminal record 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.
Section 85ZV of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) - http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/ca191482/s85zv.html
Criminal Records Act 1991 (NSW) - https://legislation.nsw.gov.au/view/whole/html/inforce/current/act-1991-008
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