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How to get a police check for employment

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 undoubtedly many reasons anyone will want a police check in Australia, depending on their needs. However, the most common "purpose" for the police check in Australia is for Employment purposes.

It is not hard to understand why when you consider how vital the police check is to every sector. Most employers in Australia will instead assess a candidate's Police Check certificate than any other background check information. This leaves a delicate question and issue for the candidate – How to get a police check certificate for employment in Australia.

Applying for the police check in Australia

There are three primary mediums to apply for the police check in Australia, depending on the candidate's preference. However, the employer can specify the medium or source of the police check certificate based on their internal policies.


  • Online application

With any mobile, Tablet or P.C. device connected to the Internet, you can "Start” and “Submit” a police check application within 15 minutes. The great thing about this method is that it is entirely online; your application will not be affected by place or geography.

Also, once you get the soft copy of the police check certificate, you can email the result to your prospective employers for their assessment.

It generally takes less than 48 hours to process an online police check application, except in the case if a check is referred for manual processing in which case the check result will take longer. So unless a check is referred for manual processing, you can generally have your police check over to your employer within 24 to 48 hours.


  • The Local Police office

The Australian Police confirm and issue all valid police checks to the candidate after a successful application. However, candidates must apply through any of their regional offices in the State/Territory they reside

However, as this process is paper-based, it takes 10 -15 days before the applicant gets their check. The applicant may have to make frequent visits to the Police office until they complete their police check application and get their ID’s certified or attested.

Even though this method may be a little stressful, comply with it if your prospective Employer stipulates that you apply through this process.


  • Applying through the Post office

The Local Post office also uses its resources as a courier agency to transfer candidates' applications to the National Police Checking Service. The candidate must complete the application form and deliver it to the local Post office.

How Do I Apply for an Employment police check?

The application methods for the various agencies are quite different even though it is the same distinct agency that processes all the police checks in Australia.

When applying through the Police, the candidate must physically visit the Police office or the Police force website to "Start an application". Also, depending on the State or Territory, this process may be primarily paper-based; it may require your physical presence at the Police office.


Online application process via ANCC

  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 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 as a paid employment, or other roles. The police check certificate varies slightly depending on the purpose of the check.
  5. 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
  6. If the check is processed for a wrongly selected purpose, you may have to re-apply for another police check.
  7. Make payments via any of the online options; PayPal, Debit/Credit card, and co. If the other party is sponsoring it via the ANCC business Portal, you will get an "invite" to complete the police check application and will not need to pay for it.
  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 police check application. It allows you to manage the parties that you grant access to the information released on your police 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.


Applying through the Local Post office (may be a physical process)

  • ✔ Obtain the Informed Consent Form (can be printed off the Internet),
  • ✔ Fill the required filled,
  • ✔ Tick the preferred options in the selection tables,
  • ✔ Attach copies of your Identity Documents (IDs),
  • ✔ Send the completed application and IDs online to the Post Office portal or visit the post office in person,
  • ✔ Wait for the police check certificate to be delivered.

Is the Employment police check different from other police checks?

The police check is conducted related to the "Purpose" the applicant selects on the Informed Consent Form. This selection is essential as you cannot switch the purpose and use it for a certificate in Australia.

So, the Employment police check is only different from other purposes depending on the offences they prioritise in the certificate.

Can I do a police check on my own?

It is primarily the candidate that needs the police check that applies for it in Australia. The application process is more straightforward since accredited service providers opted to go the "online application" process. This process makes the application clear, easier and generally faster.

Any person above 16 can apply for the Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check using any of the mediums discussed. However, the applicant must correctly fill the blanks or select the correct options on the form.

Applicants will also have to complete their application process by submitting the required ID for the check.

If the candidate has all these materials/documents ready, they are already halfway to obtaining a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check certificate in Australia.

Can an Employer do a police check for a candidate?

Some employers fear improper or fraudulent actions in receiving the police check certificate from the candidate and wonder if there is a way to apply for the police check on behalf of the person.

Yes, employers can apply for a police check on behalf of a candidate as long as they grant their consent. National privacy principles on handling of criminal records mean that employers must be cautious when handling candidates' private information.

Australian National Character Check provides a Business Portal service that allows employers to streamline police check applications. By this service, an employer or organisation can manage, initiate, monitor and view the police check result of the applicant.

However, the employer or organisation must apply for approval on the ANCC portal before granting them this service.

Can an Employer complete the police check application?

No, the only thing the employer can do is to initiate the police check process for the applicant. They can do this by sending out “Invites” to the applicant’s email address that links them to the ANCC police check application portal.

An employer is not permitted to fill any document for the candidate unless with their permission. A police check application may be initiated and paid for by a third party, but the applicant must complete it.

Is the police check application a paid service?

Yes, the online police check application costs $48.90 in Australia and a further $9.95 for a hard copy of the certificate.

The candidate must pay this base fee before completing their application and ready it for the checking process.

Can I get a free Employment police check?

Unless the employer caters for the cost and all expenses for a police check application, the candidate must pay the required sum.

Although specific roles or circumstances may grant discounts to the candidate, it remains a paid/sponsored service. There is no way of getting a free police check in Australia.

What Identity Document do I need for a police check?

The reason for providing an identity document for a police check is for the accredited service provider to verify all the personal information you give efficiently.

Furthermore, not all the Identity documents are requested or required for the police check; the NPCS gives a list of documents that are acceptable to complete the police checking. Those documents include;


One Commencement of ID document

  • Australian birth certificate issued by the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages (Australian Government Unit) - not an extract or birth card
  • Australian Citizenship Certificate
  • Australian visa (supported by a foreign passport) current at the time of entry into Australia as a resident or tourist
  • Australian passport (not expired; however, if the Document Verification System (DVS) is used to verify the passport, it may be up to 3 years expired)
  • ImmiCard issued by the Department of Home Affairs

One Primary Use in Community Documents

  • Australian passport (not expired; however, if the Document Verification System (DVS) is used to verify the passport, it may be up to 3 years expired)
  • An Australian driver licence, learner permit or provisional licence issued by a State or Territory, showing signature and/or photo
  • ImmiCard issued by the Department of Home Affairs to assist visa holders to provide evidence of their Commencement of Identity in Australia
  • A passport issued by a country other than Australia with a valid visa or valid entry stamp or equivalent
  • Proof of age or photo identity card issued by an Australian government agency which shows the name, date of birth, photo and signature of the individual
  • For persons aged under 18 years with no other Primary Use in Community Documents, a student identity document issued by an Australian government agency or Australian school only.

Two Secondary Use in Community Documents

  • Medicare card
  • Enrolment with the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC)
  • Working with children or vulnerable people card issued by an Australian state or territory government unit;
  • Tax File Number issued by the Australian Taxation Office
  • Bank card, credit card (without recording the payment card number/s)
  • Australian secondary or tertiary student photo identity document
  • Certified academic transcript from an Australian university
  • Foreign government issued driver licence. Documents in languages other than English must be accompanied by a NAATI accredited translation
  • Firearms licence
  • Security Guard/Crowd Control photo licence
  • Evidence of right to a government benefit (DVA or Centrelink)
  • Police Force Officer photo identity card
  • Australian Defence Force photo identity card
  • Aviation security identification card
  • Maritime security identification card
  • Credit reference check
  • Trusted referees report

How can I obtain a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check?

Individuals

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 of approval prior to being granted access to ANCC’s business portal for the purpose of police checks.

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.

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