Please be ready with your application reference number starting with 'P'. For example P1234567
As part of the recruitment process, employers carry out police checks on potential hires to vet their suitability. When applying for this police check, you’ll be required to provide a wide range of information - from your name to valid proof of identity. While filling out the application form, you will also be required to fill in a purpose field. This section alone can make or break the validity of your police checks results.
In this post, we’ll explore why that is the case. But more importantly, we’ll provide valuable tips to appropriately fill out the purpose field of your employment police check.
In the broadest sense, the purpose field asks you for the reason you’re performing the check. In the context of employment, this reason is usually a short description of your proposed job.
Common examples include:
However, asides from the proposed position or tile, the purpose section of the police check application will also request the following:
Now you might be thinking, “Isn’t a police check supposed to report prior convictions? Why would they need the purpose of the check to find out that information?”.
Here’s the answer: The contents of your police check will depend primarily on its purpose.
Only information relevant to the role will be released from the police database when performing a police check (Of course, there are exceptions to this rule that will be explored in the next section).
For example, if you’re applying to work as a line manager, your traffic infringements may not appear on your police check because it is irrelevant to the role. On the other hand, if you’re applying as a truck delivery driver, previous traffic infringements that led to a court conviction (like excessive speeding and drunk or drug driving) will be present in your police check report.
Hence, if you fill inaccurate or misleading information under the purpose section of your police check application, your prospective employer will not have access to all the relevant convictions (if any) required to make an informed decision.
The Commonwealth Spent Conviction Scheme was implemented to prevent discrimination against job applicants based on their prior convictions in Australia. This scheme allows the exclusion of minor criminal convictions from a person’s police check after ten years has elapsed for adults and five years for minors (the offence is tagged spent).
However, note that there are exceptions to spent convictions depending on the purpose of your police check. As an example, sexual offences cannot be considered spent. Hence, they will remain in a person’s record for life. So if you’re applying for a role where you’ll be working with vulnerable groups (children and the elderly), your past sexual-related convictions will be included in your police check result, even if the offence occurred decades ago.
Other purposes for which previous convictions are not considered spent and will be provided in your police check result include:
The short answer is no. Because the content of your police check result is mainly dependent on the job role, the information obtained from one may be invalid for another.
Even if the job roles are similar, you still have the timeframe to contend with. Police checks are only valid up to the point they were performed. Hence, even if you’re applying for a similar role in the future, your previous police check may be invalid because a lot might have happened within that time frame.
A police check may only be used multiple times if the job roles are the same, in the same industry, and at the same time.
In most instances, your proposed job title will suffice as the purpose for your check. But in situations where your title is not clearcut, it is always a good idea to reach out to the hiring manager so they can provide you with the proper description for your police check.
Now that you know the importance of accurately stating the purpose of your police check when applying for one, how can you make sure your police check comes out positive?
Applying for a primary school teaching role is a waste of time if you have a prior conviction of a sexually related offence. Hence, you must assess your criminal record to know what positions you can apply for and which you cannot.
Since spent convictions are not included in your police check, you are under no obligation to reveal them to your prospective employer. If it were relevant to the role in question, it would be included in the police check result.
When applying for a police check, you must fill the purpose field correctly. Failure to do so may render the results invalid. That’s why it’s always advisable to seek further clarification from the hiring manager if in doubt.
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.