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How long is an Australian police check valid for?

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 uses for a police check in Australia, and this is why most people are wondering how long their certificate will last. The police check is one of the most in-demand certificates among employers, agencies and decision makers. There are only a few things where you do not need a police check in Australia.

The police check is a check that has no set expiry date; it is a point in time check. Such checks only run from the period they are issued until the holder or the person who requests it thinks it has become obsolete. Technically, a police check does not expire; it is valid from the point of issue onwards. The validity period of a police check will depend on the organisation and their internal risk mitigation policies.

Why do organisations refuse older police check results?

While the police check does not expire, most organisations or employers will refuse police check results older than three (3) months. Usually, a police check is a requirement; they stipulate that such checks must not be older than three months.

Applicants who have older police check results must renew them before applying for such a position/role.

Therefore, an organisation can interpret or assess results depending on their internal risk mitigation strategies.

Why do organisations and division makers require a recent police check result?

The police check result is constantly updated; such records change as the person gets new convictions. A recent police check will capture a person's conviction even though it was recorded the previous day.

Also, in roles where the individual will perform sensitive duties, the employer must assess them based on their recent records. There are a lot of benefits to evaluating a candidate's recent records, it shows;

  • The tendency of a candidate for "trouble"

A recent Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check result will show an employer the tendency of an applicant to re-offend. Assessing a person based on a one-year-old check will preclude their recent conviction history, which may offer many insights.

  • It shows all updated records

A recent Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check result will show the updated Criminal records of the candidate.

  • It aids better assessment

The agency or employer assessing a nationally coordinated criminal history check result will do a better job with a recent record. It is possible for an employer to fault discrimination if they assess a person by an older record.

A recent criminal history check can guide the assessor whether such offence(s) relate to the role or not.

How long does a Criminal record last?

Having a criminal record on the Australian criminal database is an exhausting reality for some. These records remain on the database for a long time, unless special laws;

  • Decriminalises such offences under Australian law,
  • The Court sentences them for other programs.

If none of these happens to your offences, then such records may remain on your criminal database for life. And all your criminal records on the Australian criminal database will appear on a police check in Australia.

A Criminal record will last for a lifetime unless specific programs in the legislation erase them.

What do I do if my police check result is rejected?

If the requestor rejects your criminal history check certificate because it is old, then it is time to renew that Check.

Renewing a nationally coordinated criminal history check is not different from the initial application. Applicants can renew their police check online through approved service providers like Australian National Character Check (ANCC).

How do I renew a police check?

A Check renewal will require you to provide your updated personal details and complete the application form along with all supporting identification documents again.

Depending on the preference and the use of the nationally coordinated criminal history check, you can renew your Check through any of the following methods;

Australian National Character Check (ANCC)

There are numerous service providers approved by the government to issue police checks. These service providers make the process more convenient and faster through online application portals.

Most candidates who apply through ANCC will get their results within 24 to 48 hours. The remaining that get referred for manual processing will take longer.

Local Australian Police Forces

Australian police forces issue a nationally coordinated criminal history check certificate to all candidates who apply through the local police. Such an application may require you to physically visit the Local Police office to verify or attest your IDs. Applicants should allow between 10 and 15 business days to get a result.

The Post office

The Local Post office serves as an intermediary between the applicant and the National Police Checking Service (NPCS). The applicants must ensure they submit complete details on their application forms and present their identity documents to the post office.

What shows up on a police check?

The information revealed on a nationally coordinated criminal history check relates to the purpose of the check (which you must select).

There are various uses for a police check, and this may determine the different preferences.

A police check for employment may prioritise details about;

  • The applicant’s previous records with corporate bodies,
  • The convictions relating to financial or employment records on the applicant’s record,
  • Any conviction history in misappropriation of public misconduct,
  • Any other conviction that is relevant for the role they are applying for.

Police check for Licensing or Accreditation

Obtaining certain licenses in Australia may require you to tender a nationally coordinated criminal history check certificate. The details on the check will reveal the applicant’s convictions (if any) that may affect the suitability of the individual to hold the license.

The convictions on a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check certificate are called Disclosable Court Outcome (DCO). However, if the applicant has no releasable conviction records, their police check will return with a No Disclosable Court Outcomes (NDCO). The results of a nationally coordinated criminal history check may display the following convictions as a DCO:

When should I apply for a police check?

As most organisations do not accept older Checks (usually older than three months), it is best to apply for a nationally coordinated criminal history check at least one month before you need it.

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 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 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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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.