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How do I do a police check on myself?

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.

There are many reasons to obtain the police check certificate, including for the personal reason of just knowing your criminal history in Australia. Of course, you can do these yourself in Australia; obtaining a police check in Australia is easier than it used to be.

To obtain a police check, there are a number of questions you need to answer, and steps you must follow, these include;

What is the purpose of the police check?

There are various "Uses" of the police check, which influences the method or the manner in which the National Police Checking Service (NPCS) conducts it. Of course, the Purpose of your police check certificate may already determine where you must obtain that police check.

For Example, police check for Immigration and Visas can only be obtained from the Australian Federal Police. Any other issued police check is not accepted by the Department of Home Affairs.

Other purposes for doing a police check in Australia include;

  • For paid roles/Employment

If you seek employment or any other paid position in Australia, your employer will likely request a police check. Employers use a police check to determine the suitability of "qualified" candidates; mainly, some criminal records are compromising a role.

You can apply for an employment police check online, through the Local Police office and the Post office.

  • For Licensing

Most license applications will request that you submit your police check certificate before getting the license. Whether it is a firearm license, Real Estate license, Driver's or other types of permits that may affect public security or routine, you must submit a police check certificate.

Australian National Character Check guides all candidates seeking a convenient and faster method to obtain their check in Australia.

  • For individuals

Some people apply to the police check to learn more about their records in the Australian Criminal Database. Since not all of a person's violations end up on the Police records, it is hard to tell what your Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check will look like. The surest way to know more about your criminal record in Australia is to obtain a police check.

There are many other reasons to obtain a police check depending on the requesting party scope and preference.

Can I switch between the various purposes in the application process?

No, the purpose for a police check certificate is only peculiar to that “purpose”. Candidates are not allowed to use a Check for one purpose in another. For example, a police check for paid employment will not be accepted in a Visa/Immigration application or process.

What is the requesting party stipulating as a medium or source for your police check?

It is typical for the requesting party to stipulate where (medium) you get the police check certificate. Although there are three main mediums of obtaining the police check certificate in Australia, the details in the certificate are all the same.

However, for some reason, some organisations may favour some source over another. If the organisation stipulates a medium, the candidate must obey and abide by the instruction.

Where can I obtain the Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check?

There are three main mediums for applicants to obtain the Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check certificate in Australia. However, the Police Check certificate details do not change regardless of where or how you applied for it.

  • Online application

Most people consider it the most popular and easiest method of applying for the check. If there is no restriction or compulsion to the source of your Check, it is generally recommended to obtain the police check online service providers like Australian National Character Check (ANCC).

It tends to be more convenient for applicants to complete an application using their P.C., mobile or tablet devices. It also generally takes less than 15 minutes for applicants to satisfy the requirements for the application. It can take hours through other mediums if an applicant needs to complete the application in person.

  • Local Police Office

The Australian Federal Police issues valid police checks in Australia.

Applying through the Local Police office is usually paper-based and may require a visit to a police station to verify or attest identification and complete the application.

All police check applications processed through the Local Police office usually takes between 5 to 10 business days for the candidate to get their certificate.

  • Local Post office

The Post office aids candidates in processing their police checks to and from the NPCS.

It also works for people with a busy schedule as it requires fewer visits to the Local Post office.

Do I have to pay for a police check?

Yes, the police check application is not a free application or certificate unless the organisation/requesting party bears the part or entire cost of your police check application form. The online application in Australia costs $48.90 and a further $9.50 if you request the hard copy of your documents.

You can complete the payment using PayPal, Debit/Credit Card, or other bank transactions.

What do I need to apply for the police check?

Applying for the police check means you must submit and consent to the NPCS to run the system Check using your data. The applicant must fill the informed consent form and provide Identity documents to verify their application.

The Identity documents you need are in three categories, but a compulsory four (4) documents in total. In other States, they favour a point-based system that the candidate must meet up to before completing the police check application.

Generally, the Identity document that you provide must confirm any of the following details;

  1. The personal information the applicant submits.
  2. The ID document should verify their full name and date of birth. If different, the extra certificates should provide proof for the "data change."
  3. For any of the I.D. documents, the applicant should have a photo image of the person.

What are the steps to apply for the police check certificate?

  1. Connect your device with good access to the internet, a P.C., Tablet or Mobile device, and using a solid browser, get to the online portal of the Australian National Character Check
  2. Select the "Start a new police check" option on the online portal of the ANCC; you will find the Informed Consent Form. Those below 18 should complete the form with their guardian or parents.
  3. Fill out this form with your accurate details. Your data is run against the information on the Criminal database; Always be explicit with information.
  4. Select the "Purpose" of the police check; Whether paid employment, or other roles. The police check certificate varies slightly depending on the purpose of the check.
  5. If the check is processed for a wrongly selected purpose, you may have to re-apply for another police check.
  6. Make payments via any of the online options; PayPal, Debit/Credit card, and co. If an approved organisation is sponsoring it, you will get an "invite" to complete the police check application.
  7. Confirm all the information you have filled in on the Informed Consent form. Ensure that you have selected the correct purpose of the check and spelt the details correctly.
  8. Add the required Identity Document in your application before you can finally submit a police check application. These IDs prove the person or profile you claim; the NPCs will reject all applications without adequate I.D.
  9. Provide the required Identification Documents through;
    • JPEGs, images or other soft copy formats (online application)
    • Scanning and uploading the document (online application)
    • Sending mails copies (in the case of a physical application)
  10. Complete the informed consent online with your signature before submitting the application. It allows you to manage the parties that you grant access to the information released on your Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check certificate.
  11. Use the "Track a Check" option on the website to track the status of the application. The certificates of tracking are also downloadable in case you want to show them as evidence.
  12. Get the soft copy of the police check result. It is sent to the submitted Email address on your application.

If you request the hard copy, it will be forwarded to your submitted postal address.

What you should expect on a police check certificate

The police check certificate is a complete record of all the disclosable court outcomes of the candidate in their Australian Criminal records. It includes all the court convictions, findings of guilt or other diversionary programs.

The details released in a police check document are called the Disclosable Court Outcomes (DCO). However, the rules guiding the DCOs may vary slightly across the State and Territories.

The details of a DCO includes;

All convictions issued by a court enter your criminal records on the Australian criminal database.

  • Sexually related assault

An offence of sexual assault/violation will always appear on your police check. The certificate will also show the kind of punishment that the court orders.

  • Finance related offences

Offences of fraud, misappropriation, theft, robbery and other finance-related offences where there is an imprisonment term of 2 years or more always appear on the police check. These types of violations will hardly qualify for any legal pardons under the State laws.

  • Pending charges

The Court can include your pending charges in your police check record, especially if it relates to the purpose of the check. Also, where the pending charge is of community risk or potential danger, the Court will include it in their criminal records.

  • Arrest Warrants for a Criminal Offence

A pending arrest warrant, especially for custody due to a probable criminal offence, can appear on the candidate’s police check. When the police execute a warrant for an arrest due to a criminal offence, it automatically enters the offender's criminal record.

  • Good Behaviour Bonds

If the Court commits your sentence for a Good Behaviour Bond, the details will remain on your criminal records for the Bond duration. Only the Court can issue a GBB depending on the peculiarities of the offence.

What does not Show up in a police check?

The police check does not include ALL the violations of the individual, if they were not sentenced in Court. The Disclosable Court Outcomes released in the police check only include the offences for which the Court convicts the person.

For example, infringement notices, Traffic tickets, Police warnings and other forms of On-the-Spot settlement that the Court does not convict you will not show up in the police check in Australia.

The details that do not appear in a police check include;

  • Diversionary programs,
  • No findings of guilt,
  • Police cautions,
  • Infringement notice,
  • Restriction/court orders,
  • Convictions given by agencies other than an Australian court,

How can I obtain a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check?


If you are an individual, you can obtain a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check certificate online via Australian National Character Check’s police check 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’ 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 Nationally Coordinated Criminal History 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.

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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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