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How to get a Police Record Check

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.

One of the many documents or background certificates you will need as an employee or applicant in Australia is the Police Record Check. It is not hard to get this background check, mainly when applying online through approved online platforms.

Most applicants apply for the Police records online because of how convenient it makes getting the Police Record Check certificate. Nevertheless, there are other ways for applicants to get their Police Record Check.

A national police check can be obtained online via the Australian National Character Check (ANCC) website. Most Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Checks are dispatched to applicants within 24 to 48 hours, with the remainder that get referred for manual processing taking longer.

Below we outline the various options available to get a police record check.

  • Online application

Applying online means "Starting" your Police Record Check process through services like Australian National Character Check (ANCC). Applying online tends to be much easier than other traditional means of applying for the Police Record Check in Australia.

Candidates can apply for the Police Record Check using their PC, Tablet or Mobile devices regardless of where they are in Australia. Online applications are easier for most applicants with tight schedules and barriers which may prevent a physical application.

When you apply online, your Check generally takes 24 oto 48 hours unless the check is delayed due to the need for manual processing.

  • Applying through the Local Police office

The Local Police office also processes Police Record Checks applications for candidates who apply physically through their local stations or via their website. This application process may be paper-based and may require the candidate to visit the physical offices to verify or attest identification documents.

Applicants should allow ten days before the applicant gets their police check result.

  • Applying through the Post office

The post office courier various documents between different destinations in Australia; The candidate can process their applications by sending them to the local post office.

The post office sends all completed Police Record Check results to the candidate within 5 and 15 days of application.

Will the medium I use in applying for the police check affect the result?

No, the Police Record Check is nationally coordinated; it will disclose similar details for the same purpose, as long as the purpose of the check is for employment, licensing or accreditation. The background check result may differ in style, stamps or other visible substances, but the details remain the same.

The choice in which medium to use depends on the employer or the candidate.

Can a third party apply for the Police Record Check on my behalf?

Yes, many employers apply for the Police Records Check on behalf of their applicants all the time. A third party can initiate the process on your behalf as long as they get your informed consent to do that.

How can I apply for the Police Record Check on behalf of a person?

The ANCC offers a streamlined service of the Business on the portal to allow organisations or other parties to initiate a Police Record Check on behalf of the candidate.

However, the employer or organisation will undergo a process of approval before getting an account to streamline the Police Record Checks.

How can an Employer do a police check for their candidate?

After the organisation verifies their status with ANCC as an approved group, they can get access to a Business Portal account that allows them to manage and initiate police checks on behalf of their employees.

Third parties can apply for a police check on behalf of the candidate by completing the following steps;

  • Open a business account with ANCC

The ANCC Business Portal is where your company and decision-makers will manage and view all the records of the police check. You will list and include all the candidates your organisation wants to "invite" for the police check through this account.

  • Add the Applicants

The business can only invite and add the applicants they want to apply for a police check on their behalf. The candidate will receive the invite through their email to complete the required details for their application.

To make the process easier, the business should inform the candidate before applying for the police check.

  • Track the check process

Your organisation can track the progress of the application through their account on the ANCC portal. It includes all progress about the check and knowing how long it takes to complete the police check.

  • View and assess the police check result

The police check details can be viewed and assessed through the business account on the ANCC Business Portal.

How long does my Police Record Check application take?

The application period for the Police Record Check depends on the medium the candidate used in applying. Online applications don't usually take longer than 24 to 48 hours except for special cases or delays in the application, for example in the case of manual processing the check may take up to 15 business days.

Physical applications take as long as ten business days before the candidate can get their result.

However, if there are some errors in the checking, the application can be delayed for a further period depending on how long it takes to correct such errors.

Can my Police Record Check get delayed?

The NPCS processes thousands of Police Record Check applications per day, of which over 70% of these applications usually get to their application within the average period. However, if there are errors in the application, the check will be delayed.

There are various causes of delays to your police check, and it is not always about errors. If the checking is a potential match, it has to pass through the vetting of various Police jurisdictions, which can cause delays in the time the applicant gets their Police Record Check.

What can cause delays in my Police Record Check application?

  • Vetting of potential matches by numerous Police jurisdictions

Causes of delays for an application can be the amount of vetting the police check result passes through. Usually, after the NPCS compares the candidate's data against the Australian Criminal Database, it forwards a result of all "potential matches" to the relevant Police jurisdiction. It can get a little complex, primarily if the candidate has resided in various territories within that period.

  • Application errors from the candidate

Errors in applications account for a number of delays of applicants’ police check applications. And this is why it is essential to correct and cross-check all details you fill into the application.

Manual Processing

Of all of the police check applications that pass through the central government agency’s computer system, 30% are delayed due to "manual review". An official will have to supervise it manually.

Manual review delays the police check application by an additional 5 to 15 business days. During this period, applicants cannot influence or even affect anything relating to their check,

  • Some causes of manual processing are where the check algorithm has become stuck as a result of;
  • Shared standard information like (Names, Addresses, Date of birth).
  • Pending conditions, penalties for infractions.

How does the police check process work?

The Police jurisdiction compares the NPCS' Person Of Interest (P.O.I) with their State and Police records. This verification process from the Police completes the Police Record Check, and after that, the applicant gets the police check result.

Do I need to pay for the Police Record Check?

Yes, the Police Record Check is a paid service conducted nationally by the National Police Checking Service (NPCS). When you apply online through approved online services like ANCC, you must pay a base fee as the application fee.

Can I hasten the process of a police check?

External forces or influences do not affect the police check process if it is delayed. The candidate can only be patient and obtain updates about the check process.

If you are running late submitting your result, you can contact the requesting party with proof of your application through a "Track a Check" option.

ANCC also provides real-time updates about the progress of the police check for those who apply online via ANCC.

What do I need to apply for a Police Record Check?

Before applying for the Police Record Check, you have to conclude on some essential steps like;

  • Your choice of funding the Police Record Check

The police check is a paid service, though the government or employer may cover some or all costs depending on the circumstance. However, if there are no special arrangements about the police check fee from the employer, you will have to self-fund.

  • Method of application

The approved organisations that offer online application portals tend to be the most accessible means of applying for the police check in Australia. However, if the requesting party prefers a Police Record Check issued by the AFP, you must inquire about the process through the local Police office.

  • Select the Identity documents required

The Police Record Check application requires that you provide at least four copies of three different classes of identity documents to prove the details you have entered.

If the primary documents do not capture updated details, you can supplement them with the other IDs.

The IDs you provide must be able to show;

  • The personal details the candidate has initially provided, including the legal Name.
  • The photograph of the applicant,
  • The ID must carry an expiry date.

  • Accurate information about yourself

The details you input in your informed consent form must be accurate and up to date. It includes all your past addresses, aliases or contact information. Any errors in the information may lead to a request for further information.

Applying for the Police Record Check online

  1. Log in to the online portal for ANCC using a mobile, tablet or PC device with good access to the internet.
  2. Select the "Start a new police check" option on the online portal of the ANCC website; you will find the Informed Consent Form. Candidates below 18 should complete the form with their guardians or parents.
  3. Fill out this form with your accurate details. Your data will be compared against the information on the Criminal database. Be explicit with the information you provide.
  4. Select the correct "Purpose" of the police check. The police check certificate varies slightly depending on the purpose of the check.
  5. You can complete the police check payments through any of the available means; PayPal, Debit/Credit card, and co.
  6. It is also possible for the employer or requesting party to initiate the check. Here the candidate will get an "Invite" to do the police check.
  7. Provide the required Identification Documents through;
    • jpgs, or other soft copy formats (online application),
    • Scan and upload the document (online application),
    • Applying physically requires the applicant to send photocopies of their documents.
  8. Try to confirm that all the information you have filled in on the Informed Consent form is correct. Ensure that you have selected the proper purpose of the check and spelt the details correctly
  9. If you choose the wrong purpose for the check, you may have to re-apply for another police check.
  10. Include the requested Identity Documents in your application to confirm and corroborate the information you pick. These IDs prove the person and profile.
  11. You must complete and validate the informed consent through an electronic signature.
  12. Using the "Track a Check" option on the website, Candidates can retrieve copies of their police checks. It helps in cases where the applicant have misplaced their original copies
  13. You will receive the soft copy of the police check result.

All soft copies of the police check are sent to the email the candidate provides

Can I apply for a Police Record Check from a Different State or Territory?

Yes, the police check result is a nationally coordinated criminal history check. So, even if you relocate to another State or Territory, you can still use the Police Record Check certificate obtained in a different State or Territory.

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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