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What does a police check look like?

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.

If you have applied or want to apply for the police check, of course, you will want to know what the certificate looks like. Not that it affects the Result on the certificate, but it helps candidates and even employers get an idea of the details on the police check. Knowing the details or format of a Police Check can save you from many troubles, including the possibility of ‘getting a counterfeit criminal history check certificate'.

What is a police check?

Employers, agencies and third parties now demand some background checks to determine how suitable their candidates are. The type of Police Check they request usually depends on their sector and any other legislation requirement for such roles. However, regardless of the type of Police Check, the results are always the same for a candidate.

The police check searches all an individual's records on the Australian Criminal database, including those of other relevant organizations. After the check, the candidate will get a certificate/result that reveals all the findings.

The details on the candidate’s police check result are their Disclosable Court Outcomes (DCOs) under the Disclosure policies of the jurisdiction.

Therefore, what the applicant or any other third party sees of the police check is the Result or certificate issued to the applicant after a successful check. For most cases, the check result may vary depending on the applicant's purpose for the check.

What is the Purpose of a police check?

The Purpose for the police check is an essential field for the Informed Consent application form application. By the selection, the candidate specifies the essence or "theme" for their police check.

The Purpose of the police check usually determines which records may be prioritised on the candidate's police check result. There are four main Purposes for a police check application in Australia, including and not limited to;

What makes up the Australian police check result?

It can be easy to tell a valid police check or the purpose of a valid check by the information it usually contains. A standard police check will show the following categories and data;

  • ✔ The organisation that processes the check

The top left corner of the police check result carries information about the accredited organisation that forwards the application to the criminal database for a result on behalf of the candidate with their informed consent.

While there are three common methods of applying for the police check, online mediums like the Australian National Character Check tend to be the fastest and most convenient.

Your police check can be processed/forwarded through any of these mediums;

  • Accredited Bodies, e.g. ANCC
  • The Australian Federal Police or a State or Territory Police Force
  • Post Office

  • ✔ The details of the check

The essential part of any police check result is the conviction information of the candidate. The Result of a police check can either return as;

  • No-Disclosable Court Outcome; it means there are no releasable records (or no records at all) of the candidate on the criminal database. Most people refer to this occurrence as the candidate “passing” their police check.
  • Disclosable Court Outcome; means there are records about the candidate that can be released. The Result outlines these details, including the history of penalties, fines and other conditions for the Offence.

The Check details for a police check includes;

The Organisation reference number;

Every organisation that processes a police check has a reference number; it can help the employer verify it. The reference number is peculiar to an organisation and cannot be transferred; it is usually the third party's first information under the check details.

The Date of Submission

The police check result includes the date when the NPCS receives the application (begins the check). There may be a slight lag when the candidate completes their application and the NPCS gets the application.

Batch ID

Every police check result also carries a group identification such as the Batch ID. Sorting through police check results or information will be complex unless with a Batch ID that shows the information of a group of applications.


Adjacent to the batch ID comes to the Result on the certificate. As explained above, the Result can either be

  • Disclosable Court Outcome/s (DCO)
  • No Disclosable court outcomes (NDCO)

Match Date

The NPCS compares all information put forward by the applicant through an algorithm. The system algorithm compares the candidate information in a vast sea of the database of criminal records in Australia. The date of this match is included in the certificate as the "Match Date."

Release Date

The date of release from the NPCS to the accredited organisation is recorded on the police check result. This date is usually the day the candidate receives their police check result for an online application.

All these dates help the documentation of the records, especially regarding the candidate or future references.

  • ✔ Type of police check

The police check result carries the information of the "Type" of Check to determine the purpose of the check. A police check can either be for Paid or unpaid activity. For paid activity, the police check carries "Standard AA" information.

  • ✔ Category of the police check

There are various categories for a police check result; it gives helpful information on the "purpose" of the police check. The police check can either be for;

  • Employment
  • Licensing/Accreditation
  • Probity
  • Individual
  • Other purposes

If you need a police check for a paid role, you must specify the “Employment” as a purpose for your police check.

  • ✔ Purpose Details

The Result goes further to specify the peculiarities for the purpose you select for the police check application.

Some of the further information on the Purpose details include;

Position Title/Occupation – Specifies the position, role, function or job the candidate will be carrying out. The information consists of; safety manager, Cashier, Sales representative, Graphic designer, Driver, Receptionist and others

Employer Name/Occupation

The police check result also includes the name of the agency or organisation where the candidate will carry out such roles.

Location – The police check result provides details about the location where the candidate applied for and will use the check result. It also includes the State or Territory where the applicant will be carrying out the duties.

Subject details

The police check result includes the information that the applicant submits like;

Name of the candidate, including their basic names and known aliases in Australia.

Other details the police check result reveals about the candidate includes;

  • Their birth date,
  • Gender,
  • Place of birth,
  • All known addresses (including past address)

  • ✔ Details of their conviction

If the police check result returns with a Disclosable Court Outcome, the last section on the Result includes the details of the conviction. This section also includes;

The Source of the record;

The Result shows all outside information sources about the candidate's police check.


The police check result also includes the details of the court that issued the sentence; the information consists of the location and jurisdiction of the court.


The date of conviction will appear on the police check result under information for the Disclosable Court Outcome

The police check result will also include the Offence the person was charged for and the court's final verdict.

For example, the offence subcategory may consist of an ‘Assault Offence’ and the "Result" subcategory will have “found guilty and sentenced for an offence”; including any penalty or punishment the court orders.

This example is for a candidate that was found guilty and sentenced for an assault offence.

What is the difference between the various purposes of the police check?

The importance of adding the "Purpose" in a police check is to theme/conduct the check in a manner relevant to the role.

  • Employment police checks

Applying for a paid role involves lots of assessment and checks, most especially a background check. Employers and organizations include a police check as a requirement and document for review before hiring a candidate for a paid role.

A candidate who has to submit an employment police check cannot replace or switch it with other check. The candidate voids their application if they offer a police check for purposes other than for employment.

The legislation allows organisations independence when interpreting the candidate's Check, yet it must not contradict any laws. Candidates who feel 'wronged" by handling their details can complain through any of the relevant agencies.

  • Licensing police check

There are various kinds of licenses in Australia, most of which require the applicant to submit a police check result. Your application for a license may or not be granted depending on the result/details on your police check result.

For example, applying for a liquor or public driver accreditation license requires the applicant to submit their police check result for assessment.

To apply for a police check used in licensing, select the “License” option on the Informed consent form of your application.

  • Probity Checks

There are special duties, appointments or applications that require the candidate to get a probity check. A candidate applying for a probity check must select the Probity option on the informed consent form.

Probity checks may be required for;

  • Public appointments
  • Financial roles/delegations
  • Special roles and appointments

What shows up in a police check?

The DCO details on your police check result are the approved and permitted conviction records on your Australian criminal records. Your DCO details are usually the same regardless of the Purpose of the police check. However, some records may become more critical.

The DCO details include;

  • ✔ Court convictions in Australia

All convictions issued by an Australian court automatically enter your criminal records if they are not committed for other divisionary programmes. Only a legal court can issue a sentence for an offence in Australia.

There are a wide range of offences per the Crimes Acts/Criminal Codes of the Jurisdictions, including;

  • Sexually related offences
  • Assault criminal offences
  • Stealing and related offences
  • Robbery offences
  • Drink driving or DUI offences
  • Aggravated forms of any of the offences
  • Manslaughter and wilful killing offences

If there is a warrant against you, it is only a matter of time before the State/jurisdiction includes it in your criminal record. The purpose of having arrest warrants in a candidate’s record is to make their apprehension easier.

Any pending warrant on your criminal record appears on your police check until you settle such records.

Finding of guilt

The court can find a person guilty of an offence without a sentence or other punishments. For such cases, the court commits the charge for other programs, depending on the peculiarity/severity of the matter.

However, the finding of guilt is still recorded in the candidate’s criminal records.

Pending Charges

All ongoing or pending charges in court can appear on your police check result if the jurisdiction considers it essential to the purpose of the check. It does not matter that the court has not given a final verdict.

How do you know a Valid police check result?

Electronic copies of police check results mean that the process is now faster and easier than traditional means. However, like the conventional means, it may still be exposed to forgery and other illegal actions.

As a decision-maker or requesting party, you can quickly tell an original police check result through the;

  • Certificate verification number of the police check that can be verified on the ‘Verify a Check’ feature on the ANCC website if the check was obtained from Australia National Character Check (ANCC).

Also, all valid police checks from accredited bodies bear a logo or other marks of identity from that organisation. For example, police check results from ANCC take a unique logo of a blue and green shield.

How can I obtain a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check?


If you are an individual, you can obtain a Nationally Coordinated 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 police 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.

Copyright & Disclaimer

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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