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  • How to streamline pre-employment screening for student placements

    Organisations mainly demand a background check result to Improve the safety process and reinforce their internal policies. Also, the Australian laws stipulate in many cases how organisations must take the extra steps to screen and vet the candidates they hire when working with the vulnerable.

    Recently, most organisations now apply these processes for students seeking placement and internships in their organisation. It is common for applicants to obtain or do these Checks and submit the result to the organisation for an assessment.

    However, employers or student placement officers that prefer a coordinated and centrally managed process can opt to streamline the application process.

    Employers and student placement officers can streamline employment screening checks by signing up to the ANCC Business Portal. Using the ANCC Business Portal, approved organisations can order, track and manage criminal history check results for their candidates.

    Below we discuss further options for streamlining pre-employment checks for student placements.

    Employers and placement officers streamlining the process

    There are various reasons for employers to streamline the pre-employment process, the most common being to ease the process for both parties. If the employer streamlines the application process, the candidate will only fulfill the requirements without the other hassles.

    When employers streamline the Pre-employment checks, they can manage, view, track, and access the check result from their accounts. However, streamlining a Pre-employment Check can be difficult through traditional means. Most employers streamline the required Checks through approved online service providers like Australian National Character Check.

    What kind of Checks can employers streamline?

    Before you streamline/request the pre-employment Check, you must determine which background checks are relevant to your organisation. Knowledge about the vacant space and the roles the candidate will be performing will help you decide on the pre-employment checks you need.

    For example, if you want to employ for a finance-related role, the following pre-employment checks should be paramount;

    It does not matter whether it is a paid, volunteer, or internship role; some checks are essential to the pre-employment screening. It may even count as "discrimination" against candidates if you evaluate records/checks that do not correlate with the vacant position or placement.

    What are the standard pre-employment Checks for student placement?

    The Check for pre-employment will vary depending on the role or position the candidate/student is applying for. However, some checks remain essential regardless of the sector or industry the employer operates in.


    1. The National Police Check

    The NPC is a nationally coordinated criminal history check search of a candidate’s record across the criminal database of all Territories and States. It involves all the court convictions, sentencing, finding of guilt and other records on their criminal history under the popular category of “Disclosable Court outcomes (DCO)”.

    Only when the applicant does not have a releasable conviction against them will their NPC return with a No Disclosable Court Outcome (NDCO). When assessing the NPC, employers usually favor candidates that have no convictions, or if there were convictions, it is not related to the role.

    What does the NPC result tell the employer?

    The NPC result contains information especially relevant to the placement or role in question. For example, placement in the health institution, the NPC result will show if they have;

    • A conviction for an assault offence against a person
    • The offence of neglecting a person leading to their death
    • Urging a person to commit suicide
    • Offense that shows their recklessness towards health
    • Other related offences as may be handed down by an Australian Court

    Likewise, for placement in the financial sector, the NPC result will prioritise the student's history of finance-related or fraud offences (if any).


    1. Working with Children/Vulnerable Checks

    If the role you are recruiting interns for involves them being in proximity with children, they may have to do a working with children check (WWCC). Some health and personal care sector positions require a WWCC from the interns or other student volunteers.

    A working with children check or working with vulnerable people check is a deeper and broader background check compared to the NPC. It includes information that may be beyond the NPC but related to a specific subject/group. Depending on the State or Territory you are in, it is referred to as a WWVP or a WWCC and the purpose will vary depending on the type of work being performed.


    1. Education qualification Check

    Most employers have a qualification benchmark for the students they offer placements. Of course, employers expect the education providers (institutions) to verify and attest to the students' results or certificates.

    However, employers can still request;

    • A personal attestation or report from the institution in writing,
    • Official copies of the results issued directly from the institution over a secured and private network.

    There are other background checks equally important for placements; however, they depend on the role or position the candidate seeks placement in. Some examples of these Checks include;


    1. Immunity Checks

    Prospective Students or interns in a clinic or health facility must prove their immunity from infectious diseases. Although the various jurisdictions may have different requirements, an immunity check is a primary requirement for all roles in the health sector.

    Also, the immunity checks can be broader, deepening on the health departments the candidate will intern in. For example; Dental, Medical, midwifery students must undergo tests for the common Blood Borne Viruses and diseases like;

    • Human Immunodeficiency Virus; HIV
    • Hepatitis C Virus -HCV Antibody
    • Otherwise, the prospective student intern must show proof for any of these results;
    • Records of vaccination from an accredited provider,
    • Serological confirmation of protection

    1. Credit History Check

    It is unlikely that organisations or employers will recruit a student intern for a sensitive finance role, yet they may still need a Credit History Check. The credit history check provides valuable information about the candidates dealing with their finances, including;

    • Credit cards debt,
    • Student loans,
    • Finance frauds,
    • Spending information and volume
    • Issues with finance institutions.

    1. Reference Checks

    References are effective tools and aids in the corporate world; one powerful reference can send you to the top of your career. Employers mainly assess how a candidate will fit into their system through references from their past organisations (an educational institution in this case).

    Reference checks should come from the body directly to the organisation without interference from the candidate.

    How does an employer streamline a pre-employment process?

    Generally, the pre-employment process can be stressful for employees as they have to receive and evaluate various checks and documents. However, with a streamlined process, they can manage, retrieve and view the Checks from a central account.

    Online agencies are the best mediums to streamline a Police Check due to their ease, availability and speed. For example, applications through the ANCC are completed and distributed mostly within 24 hours of completion.

    The employer can streamline the background check process through any of the following steps.


    • Create an account with ANCC

    Whether it is a traditional or non-trad medium, you must have an account with the agency you want to complete a Police Check process. All organisations that want to streamline a Police Check will have to verify their status as a credible body in Australia.

    Creating an account also means verifying your business and operations on the ANCC business portal. Of course, the Australian Privacy Act prevents the disclosure of sensitive data about an applicant to unregistered entities or third parties. The registration and verification are done to confirm the legal status of the requesting party.


    • Add prospective Students/applicants

    If your business portal account gets approved, you must include/add the students or candidates you want to conduct a background test on. The ANCC prompts the organisation to provide the contact address of the candidate (with their permission). It is through these contact data that ANCC will reach out to the candidate.


    • Invite the candidate for the Police Check

    Even when you streamline the Police background check, the candidate still has to grant consent to how you use their data. The employer or agency can never access the candidate data unless it is granted to them with proper consent.

    Therefore, the only thing a third party can do in directing a Police background check is initiate the process. The student will then have to complete the application through the link the ANCC sends to their email and continue the Check.


    • Track and Monitor the Check process

    Organizations can monitor the entire Police background check applications through their business portal account. Tracking a Check provides information about;

    • The current progress of the Background check,
    • If more information is required to complete the Check,
    • How long does the Checking last, and how long is remaining

    • View and access the background check results

    When the Check is complete, the organisation should view the completed check result through their account. Most organisations keep the results of the background checks for up to 12 months as allowed by privacy principles.

    There are many benefits to streamlining pre-employment checks, especially through approved online agencies like ANCC.

    Where can I streamline a Police Check for student placement in Australia?

    It can be tough to streamline the pre-employment screening without a medium that can efficiently coordinate the process. Australian National Character Check handles all background check applications either for candidates or organisations.

    Since ANCC uses an online platform to coordinate all background Checks applications, the process is more convenient and faster for candidates to get their background check results. Online applications for a Police Check generally take 24 to 48 hours to complete unless the check is referred for manual processing.

    For a personal criminal history check application, it requires just an internet-connected device to complete the application.

    Besides the online method of applying for the Police Check on behalf of a candidate, organisations can also conduct a background check on the students/interns using the traditional method of applying for a pre-employment assessment.

    How should I assess a pre-employment screening check?

    Even when you streamline a pre-employment check, you should still take more time to assess the Check results.

    The Australian Human Rights Commission details essential factors for employers who want to assess a candidate's background checks;

    • The relevance of the record to the role

    Decision-makers should prioritise the relevance of the student's (ill) records to the role rather than the amount of records. Of course, it will be challenging to determine the connection between the record and the position if you group students' records.

    • How recent the conviction is

    Recent convictions should take more precedence than when the offence occurred long ago. Usually, offences that occurred long ago even qualify for specific leniency programs like the Spent convictions scheme.

    • Extenuating factors in the records

    Some sentences have extenuating factors that even the court considers during sentencing; Employers may also consider these when assessing the candidate’s records.

    • The severity of the offence

    Aggravating circumstances to an offence can make it more appalling and difficult to hire the candidate due to increased risk. Most employers usually consider candidates with less severe offences.

    In all instances, criminal records should be assessed in accordance with the inherent requirements of the job role and any sort of discrimination based on a criminal record should be prevented.

    How can I obtain a national criminal history check?

    Individuals

    If you are an individual, you can obtain a national criminal history check online via Australian National Character Check’s 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’ police 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 background 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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