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  • How long do police checks last in QLD?

    Even with a criminal history check, you may still be precluded from applying for your dream role if your Check is “too old”.

    There is no set age limit for a Police Check, an approved service provider issues them, and they remain valid until they are considered too old by the person in charge of decision making. However, most organisations in QLD have a rule of not accepting any Police Check results older than three (3) months old.

    When does a Police Check expire in QLD?

    A police check in QLD is a point in time check and therefore it has no set expiry date. However most employers and decision makers in Queensland (QLD) do not accept checks that are older than three (3) months.

    Decision makers can limit the age of the Police Check they receive depending on their internal organisation policies.

    When an approved service provider issues a criminal history check, it contains the details on the criminal records from the Australian Criminal Database. It means the Police Check is valid from the point of issue till whenever the holder decides to update.

    However, since the certificate contains constantly changing records (conviction records), most requesting parties prefer assessing the candidate's recent records. And this is why there is an implied agreement as to the limit for a valid Police Check before it turns obsolete.

    It means that some organisations usually regard criminal history check certificates older than three months as obsolete records.

    Why do employers/agencies reject older Police Check results?

    It is unfair and discriminatory to assess a person based on their "old offences" that may have already been Spent. You also cannot find recent criminal histories or records on an "older" Police Check certificate.

    A Police Check certificate from 2 years ago will have a blank for the two years up till this period. It means the employer or agency assessing the records cannot determine their criminal records for that period.

    What is a Police Check in Queensland?

    The criminal record check in Queensland is crucial; it is not hard to see why applicants are worried about "how long the check results last". Here are some of the everyday use of a criminal history check result in Queensland;

    • Police Check for employment

    There are some applications or tasks that cannot be completed in QLD without a criminal history check. The increasing need for vigilance and employee suitability means that organisations and employers now include a national police history check result as a part of their requirements.

    • Licenses

    It may not be possible to get specific licenses without a Police Check certificate. The process for obtaining a liquor or real estate license in Australia will require you to submit your Check result.

    • Probity Checks

    Some cases arise where a person may have to prove their suitability for a particular duty, license, benefits, or other legal grants. In such a case, the decision makers will request the Police Checks of the person for probity.

    What happens when my Police Check “expires” or gets old?

    If your Police Check certificate falls short of the specifications of the requesting bodies, it is time to renew the Check. It is the same process as obtaining a new Police Check certificate.

    Obtaining a new Check is easy when you apply online through licensed bodies. Most people get worried that an application period may expire before getting an updated criminal record check; this is false.

    The results can be out within hours when you apply online (assuming the application does not get referred for manual processing).

    Where can I obtain a new Police Check?

    There are various ways you can renew or obtain a new Criminal History Check in Queensland. However, it should not be against the preference of the requesting party.

    • Applying online

    This is one of the most popular methods of getting a Check; it includes a completely online application process. Applicants who use this method get their electronic copy of the Police Check result mostly within 48 hours with the exception of those that get referred for manual processing.

    • Applying through an Australian Police Force

    The QLD Police Force issues criminal history check certificates to applicants in Queensland.

    Generally, applicants should allow between 10 and 15 business days to return the certificate.

    • The Australian Postal Service

    The post office can transfer documents between the applicant and the national checking service. It is similar to the in-person application at the Police office.

    Does the source affect the validity of my Police Check?

    No, a nationally coordinated criminal history check is the same and remains valid regardless of where or how it was issued by an accredited body.

    Can a Police Check application take longer than stipulated?

    The Police Check application in most cases takes 24 to 48 hours when you apply online. However, about 15% of online applications usually take longer to complete as they are flagged for "manual processing”.

    • Manual processing

    A Manual review occurs when an official with the National Police Checking Service or a State or Territory police force must supervise the checking process. Manual processing occurs after the system algorithm detects a potential match in a particular application.

    If an application gets flagged for “manual review”, it will delay when the applicant receives their criminal record check certificate.

    What does the Police Check certificate reveal?

    The certificate is a reflection of the convictions on your criminal record. However, not all the convictions on your criminal records are disclosed in the Check.

    The conviction details of your Police Check certificate are called the Disclosable Court Outcomes (DCOs). The DCO consists of all court convictions and sentences that the legislation and State laws deem releasable.

    Your DCOs contains the following details;

    • All Criminal Charges, including suspended sentences,
    • All traffic-related criminal offences,
    • All finding of guilt where the Magistrate issues no conviction,
    • Pending charges,
    • All unspent convictions.

    What if there are no records in my certificate?

    All convictions not disclosable under the law are known as the No disclosable Court Outcome (NDCO).

    Also, your Police Check result may return as an NDCO if there is no conviction against your info on the Australian Criminal Database.

    If your Police Check returns as an NDCO, it means that you have a “clean” Police record.

    What offences do not show up on a Police Check in Queensland?

    The Police Check only reveals convictions given by Australian Courts. Any other conviction or violation does not turn up on your criminal records or the Check certificate.

    In particular, overseas offences do not show up on a Police Check if Australian law enforcement was not involved. However, there are other methods a party or the candidate can apply for their overseas record, including obtaining an interNationally Coordinated Criminal History Check.

    Besides the Overseas records, the Police Check certificate does not disclose;

    • Diversionary Programs,
    • No finding of guilt,
    • Convictions given by Court outside of Australian laws,
    • Spent convictions,
    • Matters settled outside the Australian legal courts.

    What is the Spent Convictions Scheme in Queensland?

    The Scheme allows eligible offences to be removed from a person's criminal records after the crime-free period. Once your offences are spent, you no longer have to worry about them showing up on your renewed or updated Police Checks.

    The Spent Convictions Scheme in QLD erases criminal records after a certain period of time for offenders with certain "minor" offences.

    For Spent Convictions to apply, there is a Crime free period for any offence in a consecutive period where the person must observe Good Behaviour in their community and under Australian laws.

    This period is commonly referred to as the rehabilitation period in Queensland;

    • Five years for convictions in a juvenile court or if convicted as a juvenile,
    • Ten years for convictions in an adult court or if convicted as an adult.

    Also, an eligible conviction;

    • Must not have incurred imprisonment term of or more than 30 months,
    • The offender has settled all other conditions the Magistrate issues about the sentence,
    • The offender must not get another conviction during the rehabilitation period unless it restarts.

    Can a Spent conviction still affect me?

    Although the offender enjoys various legal benefits when their offences are “Spent”, it can still affect them.

    A person’s Spent convictions may be presented in Court as evidence against them. Also, the legislation for specific roles or registrations (e.g. a working with children check in QLD) may mandate to disclose an individual's spent convictions.

    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 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 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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