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Home Resources & Technical Articles Pre-Employment Screening Topics Police Checks What is a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check?

What is a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check?

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.


Australia is usually not short of qualified, credible and certified applicants whenever you make a public call or recruitment in Australia. An establishment/agency will generally not be short of applicants whenever there is an opening; generally, the problem is selecting suitable candidates.

Most of the time, there is no distinct or clear means to determine how suitable a person is for the role unless you conduct a background check. The essence of the background check is to highlight particular qualities or records that may be compromising the candidate's application; it is also a legal means of selection in Australia. And there is no better and popular background check like the Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Check.

What will I find in a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Check result?

At the end of a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Check, the NPCS issues a result to the candidate that details all the releasable records on their criminal history. Any conviction, violation or other offences where the court finds you guilty will appear on your police check certificate; it is called the Disclosable Court Outcomes.

The details of your Disclosable Court outcome include;

  • All findings of guilt

As long as the court finds you guilty, it will appear on the Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Check unless the court immediately gives a suspended sentence. If the court suspends your sentences in conditions, the details will appear on your Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check until such conditions are satisfied.

  • Court convictions

All convictions given by a court (Magistrate/Judge) will enter your Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Check result. The decision-makers often focus on the convictions more than any other details on your Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Check.

  • Court issued Warrants due to a criminal activity

If the court grants a warrant against you in Australia due to a criminal offence, it may be included in your Criminal records, especially if it is a grave matter.

  • Good Behaviour Bonds

Your Good behaviour Bonds will continue to reflect on your Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Check for the entire duration of the bond.

What is a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Check used for in Australia?

Almost no sector in Australia doesn't need the Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Check; even private individuals will find the details useful in their decision-making. However, some significant areas fully employ the Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Check;


  1. Employment Checks

Australia's recruitment and employment sector is a big beneficiary of the Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Checks; hundreds of thousands of Checks are processed each year for employment alone.

An Employment Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Check is not a distinct check; it reveals more details about the candidate regarding the corporate world.

For example, employers will be more interested if a candidate has a record for fraud offences than if they were “ran a red light” (unless it is for a driving role). The employment Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Check cuts through almost all jobs or positions in Australia.


  1. Probity Checks

These are other forms of Background Checks for candidates who apply for specific roles in various scopes. For example, part of the requirement for child adoption will require the candidates to undergo a police check for personal probity.

Generally, the probity check determines how suitable or "eligible" the candidate is for the task. Matters relating to probity checks do not usually need a precedent of academic or any other form of qualifications. The Checks (Probity) are usually the most significant deciding factors on whether the applicants are successful or not.

Examples of cases for a probity check include;

  • Business to business transactions,
  • Board membership,
  • Cases of Mergers and acquisitions,
  • Obtaining Rights for specific operations or commodity
  • Partnerships,
  • Financial dealings,
  • Corporate activities,
  • Taking up a Public role.

  1. Licensing Checks

One of the processes to obtain a license in Australia is to submit a valid Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Check result to the licensing agency. The Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Check for Licensing is a way to prove your eligibility and identity for the license you are applying for.

The Licensing Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Check result will come out tuned to the license the candidate is applying for. Depending on the type of license being obtained, a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Check for a license application may contain details that show if the candidate has ever been convicted of;

  • Assault offences,
  • Robbery,
  • Affray offences,
  • Domestic Violence,
  • Disobeying court orders,
  • other public misdemeanours,

Some examples of licenses in Australia include,


  1. Accreditation by Professional Bodies

Professions that have their higher or exclusive bodies do not usually admit people into their organisation that easily. In most cases, the candidate/professional must provide their Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Check to prove to the employer that they will not be a liability.

For example, a professional body for teachers may refuse admittance to a fellow educator if they have a conviction regarding violence against persons.

Who can apply for the Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Check in Australia?

The PCC is open to all above the age of 18. However, those below 18 should be with their guardian when applying for the Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Check in Australia.

What do you need to apply for a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Check?

The police check process can be tedious if you are applying physically through any of the traditional means. The online method of applying for the police check is the easiest; candidates only have to apply through a secured portal.

However, before applying, the candidates should;

  1. Know the accurate answers to the questions on the informed consent form. It can be detrimental to your application to fill in the wrong detail on the police check application form as your application will likely get delayed until the correct information is provided.
  2. Prepare the Identity document they will be submitting. The National Police Checking Service lists the variants of the required ID the candidate must provide. Also, the ID you provide must prove any of the records you submit in your informed consent form.
  3. The type of police check you need

There are various "Purposes" of the police check application, depending on your needs. The Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Check is based on the "purpose" you select. However, if you select the wrong purpose for your police check, you cannot undo this once the result comes out.

Also, you cannot switch between Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Checks for different purposes. Sometimes the "purpose" of the police check determines the medium you apply through For example, only the Australian Federal Police (AFP) can issue a police check for Immigration and Visa.

How long does a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Check last?

The Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check is not a once-for-all check; it needs to be updated as a person's criminal record continues to change. A Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Check result usually depends on the agreement between both parties (especially the requesting party).

Typically, the employers accept Police checks that are not older than three months. They believe this is a reasonable enough period of grace until a police check renewal. It is at the end of this period most people consider the Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Check to have expired.

So, generally, you may not be able to use the Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Check after three months of issuance.

What roles do I need in a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Check in Australia?

Although the Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Check cuts across various roles in Australia, it is more vital in some sectors compared to others. Anyone applying for the following positions must submit a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Check.

  • Roles in Healthcare and related professionals
  • Work in the Aged care
  • Childcare workers
  • Tutors and Educators
  • Vehicle dealers
  • Civil servants
  • Chef, Cooks, Nannies
  • Fireman services
  • Domestic Staff and Workers
  • Correctional and Prison Staffs
  • Miners and work in a quarry
  • Government Personnel
  • Financial Service workers
  • Legal Workers and other practitioners
  • Liquor sellers
  • Pawnbrokers
  • Real Estate agents
  • Construction workers and contractors
  • Public vehicle drivers
  • Air hosts/hostesses
  • Hoteliers and hotel managers
  • And any other profession that grants the personnel direct or indirect access to sensitive positions or positions of trust.

What won't you find in a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Check?

Most people know what to expect from their Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Check result, especially if they have always been privy to their records. However, most are unaware that not all offences show up in their Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Check.

Some offences are considered "irrelevant" to the certificate or just outside the Australian jurisdiction. For example, overseas convictions are never part of your Check in Australia.

If you have an overseas conviction, they may enter other records outside the Australian criminal database and the Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Check.

An organisation that considers that the overseas records will be essential to the assessment must employ other means in getting such records.

Other records that will never come up in a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Check are;

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 for approval prior to being granted access to ANCC’s business portal.

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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