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  • How to get a police check for employment

    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 background 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 Background 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 Background 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 volunteer, 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.

    For example, if you apply for a Volunteer Police Check, it cannot be used for Licensing or Employment. It is the same with any "Purpose" of the Police Check; you cannot use them for a different role than what you select on the application form.

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

    Can I use an Employment Police Check I obtained in another State?

    The Police Check is a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check of the candidate’s criminal history in Australia. It includes all their convictions regardless of the Australian State or Territory jurisdiction they offended. It makes the Police Check a national background Check document in Australia.

    You can use a Police Check certificate obtained in one State for an Employer or organisation in the other States. There are no differences in the details displayed in the National Police Check as far as it is for the same purpose.

    For example, a Police Check obtained in Tasmania can be used in Queensland for the same purpose as the Police Check.

    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 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

    • Current Australian Birth Certificate,
    • Valid Australian Passport, not older than 2 years (if expired),
    • Australian Visa issued by the Federal immigration agency,
    • Australian Immicard – It must prove the immigration status of the candidate in Australia,
    • Certificate of Identity,
    • Document of Identity – given by the Department Of Foreign Affairs and Trade to an Australian citizen or to a person with nationality of a commonwealth country for travel purposes,
    • Certificate of evidence of resident status,
    • Australian Citizenship Certificate.

    One Primary Use in Community Documents

    • Current and Valid Australian Driver's Licenses – it can be a learner's permit, or a provisional license issued by a State or Territory.
    • Australian Marriage Certificate - An Australian Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages must provide it for Marriages (not religious issued certificates)
    • Valid Australian Passport – it must have a valid entry stamp
    • Current Proof of Age o Photo Identity Card
    • Current or valid Shooters or Firearms License
    • Persons under 18 can use a current Student ID with a signature or photo, where there is no other Primary Use in community documents. The student ID must have been issued by an Australian institution.

    Two Secondary Use in Community Documents

    • Photo identity card, and it should be issued by a valid Australian body
    • Maritime Security Identification card
    • Photo ID card; given by the Australian Police force
    • Photo identity card; which is issued by the Australian Defence force
    • Security guard or crowd control photo license
    • Foreign government-issued documents like; driver's license, Passports
    • Certificate of identity issued by a Foreign Affairs and Trade
    • Document of ID issued by the foreign affairs and trade
    • Australian Trade Association cards
    • State/Territory's government rates assessment notice
    • Australian Taxation Office assessment notices
    • Australian utility bill which includes the name and address
    • Australian Secondary Student photo identity document,
    • Australian tertiary student photo identity document
    • Credit reference Check
    • Credit card; that shows the various sources when submitting more than one. The applicant can hide the numbers as long as the expiry date and name on the card is visible.

    How can I obtain a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check?


    If you are an individual, you can obtain a national criminal record 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 criminal history checks.

    ANCC sends an invite to the applicant to complete their criminal record 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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