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Employment Background Check in Australia

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.


It is unlikely that you or any other applicant will get a job in Australia without a background check. And it is not just any check, or only the police check, but every check result that certifies that you are suitable for the job.

The Employment Background Check can include different tests or assessments, including psychological, medical, analytical, and co. And it must fall within the various legislations in Australia.

Why Employers must run a Background Check on potential employees

For most roles it is not enough to employ a person based on academic or analytical qualifications;

  • What if the role is sensitive to others,
  • What if the candidate misrepresented their records,
  • What if they are a recent offender of a related crime,
  • What if the role is inimical to their health based on an underlying health condition.

There are lots of “what ifs” that Employers must not risk when employing a candidate. And the Employment Checks provide the most credible way of eliminating the dissonance.

What are some of the checks Employers conduct?

Depending on the role offered, the activity or requirements of the job, and other factors, Employers can conduct any of these tests;

  1. Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Checks (NPC)

The NPC is a nationwide checking scheme that releases all conviction details of the applicants under the Australian Criminal Records. All conviction information released of the applicants is vetted by the Police per the State Criminal records disclosure policies.

The police check informs an employer about all the applicant's contact with the law, pending charges and sentencing. Also, the NPC is related to the role the applicant has intended.

Any of the applicants or the Organisation can apply for the Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check through the ANCC.

Organisations all over Australia and internationally also utilise ANCC’s business portal for police checks.

  1. Working with Children Check (WWCC)

Although work with children is adopted in all Australian States and Territories, they are issued under individual State laws.

A WWCC is non-negotiable where the applicant will be offered a role in;

  • Healthcare,
  • School Bus Driver,
  • Nanny, Private Teacher,
  • Educators and Schoolteachers,
  • Counsellor/Camp guide,
  • Caregivers, and other children/vulnerable related roles.

The WWCC contains "deeper" records like;

  1. Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO)

This check ensures that employers don't offer legal roles to illegal workers. A person may be illegal to work in the role they apply for depending on their Visa status. It is stressful to cross-check the visa they hold when you can request their VEVO checks.

The VEVO check informs the employer of the person's;

  • Visa limitations,
  • Maximum Hours they are allowed to work per week,
  • Period of stay,
  • The validity period of their stay.

  1. Credit History Checks

The Credit reports inform the employer of the candidate's financial history, including other personal information.

Most employers think it risky to employ someone with a terrible credit score, as they feel it may impact their behaviours.

The Credit History result is released as points per any standard value the checking authority uses.

A credit report will also contain any history of;

  • Loan defaulting,
  • Bankruptcy and debt agreement,
  • Repayment history,
  • Credit applications,
  • The number of loans guaranteed, and so on.

  1. Qualifications Check

Candidates applying for a job can get overzealous at times and bloat or amplify a certification. Probably arrogate themselves a fellowship position in a professional body where they are just members. While making such confirmation may be difficult, the employer can make use of simple means like;

  • Physical visits, or;
  • Sending correspondence.

Furthermore, the employer should also verify the academic qualifications of the employee before offering them formal employment. And this should be more intense where the academic qualifications influence their selection.

  1. Medical Checks

The Industrial activists/groups have roped organizations into court cases they could have prevented with a simple medical check. These days, most employers are too relaxed on something as critical as a medical check.

Should you know the underlying health condition of your employees? Yes. It can help the organization assign suitable tasks to the person or offer them a mutual termination agreement.

A Medical check may be substituted for a Doctor's report that certifies the applicant "free or unfit" to perform their duties.

Make this check part of your recruitment process if your operations include;

  • Stressful movements,
  • Lifting heavy materials,
  • Working with chemicals,
  • Working in dusty, smoky or strong-smelling areas, and so on.

  1. Identification Checks

The IDs you request must corroborate all the information the application has submitted so far. The popular and credible ID types are;

  • Australian Birth Certificate,
  • Australian/International Passport,
  • Australian Visa,
  • Australian Drivers License,
  • Immicard,

It proves that the applicant has submitted their original documents.

  1. Bankruptcy Check

Almost similar or part of the Credit History Check, this check reveals whether the candidate has filed for bankruptcy in the past or is facing bankruptcy charges and proceedings. It is also referred to as an insolvency Check.

If a person is bankrupt, certain legislation may preclude them from holding public/critical positions, especially in financial roles.

Bankruptcy is when a person, declared by a financial agency to be unable to pay their debts.

  1. Employment Reference Checks

An employer may reach out to the previous employer of their candidate to get certain information. It is also possible to inquire if they had any pending cases or disciplinary actions before leaving the organisation.

Hiring a candidate with a history of disregarding corporate structures will affect the balance of your organization.

Employers can complete this check through correspondence, requesting a letter of recommendation or physical visits. And it can either be official or informal Referencing.

Wrapping Up

When conducting any of these checks, the employer must observe the rules per Australian legislation. It includes abiding by the following:

Privacy Acts; on release and use of personal information.

And other Acts that are specific to the particular workplace.

All these Employment Checks will help your organisation employ the most qualified and credible candidate.

Copyright & Disclaimer

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.

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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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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.