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Where is my police 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.

There is nothing as tragic as losing a piece of valid information, result or data, especially where such a Certificate is so important in the daily activities in a place. The police check is an essential background check for most sectors in Australia; losing such a Certificate or result can be detrimental to your job application.

But what are your options now that you have lost your police check certificate? Apply for a new one? Explain to the requesting party?

There is an easier way to manage such a situation: to retrieve your police check certificate from the medium/agency you applied through.

Can I retrieve my police check certificate?

If you applied for the police check online, it is possible to retrieve it from the archives of approved service providers like Australian National Character Check (ANCC) by contacting the Support team online.

Usually, online service providers first issue the soft copy of the Candidate's police check certificate and then a hard copy (if hard copy was requested). However, the ANCC still retains a copy (soft) of their Certificate in their archive for a period before finally destroying it. It is this copy that they will make available to you in case your originally issued copy gets destroyed by any unfortunate incidents.

Australian National Character Check retains a copy of the applicant’s police check certificate on their portal before permanently and securely destroying them after 12 months.

Application through other agencies

Depending on their terms and agreement, it may also be possible to retrieve your application from any other agency you applied with. If you applied physically through a Police office, you could reach out to the "Customer service department in the criminal records section" to request the possibility of retrieving your police check.

How long can I retrieve a police check result?

The Candidate cannot retrieve their police check records from the agency after 12 months.

At the end of the twelfth month, the processing agency permanently deletes all records of the Candidate.

Is it lawful for the agency to keep my records?

Approved agencies can keep copies of a candidate’s record for a certain period. However, the agency must keep such records per the stipulations of the Privacy Acts and any other legislation guiding disclosure of personal records in Australia.

So, an agency can keep your records in their archive under the provisions and guidelines of the Privacy Acts and State regulations.

Can I retrieve my police check even when I apply in a different State?

If you relocate to a different state, some of your items (e.g. a physical paper certificate) may get lost or damaged in the move. However, you can still retrieve the Certificate if you have applied through an online service provider like Australian National Character Check.

As long as one year has not elapsed since you were issued the Certificate, you can apply for retrieval from anywhere in Australia after you have been verified by the support team. Note that the certificate can only be sent to the original email address that was on file.

Applying for the retrieval is more convenient on the ANCC platform (only if you initially applied through ANCC). The Candidate only has to confirm their identity and profile as the owner of the record.

Is a retrieved police check the same as a new application?

Applicants wonder if the retrieved police check will bear the date of retrieval (as a re-issue) or the original date of issue. The simple answer is that the police check certificate only takes the date of issue.

There can be no two "original" police check certificates; the retrieved Certificate carries the original issue date.

How old is a Retrieved police check certificate?

Most employers or organisations will not accept a police check certificate that is older than three months. However, these "validity periods" for the certificate organisations accept may vary depending on their internal risk mitigation policies.

It is wrong to think that a retrieved police check certificate is as old as the day it was recovered.

Does my Retrieved police check show my updated records?

The criminal records are constantly updated as they “get active” in the law (convictions and all), and you may be tempted to think changes in their records show in a retrieved police check certificate.

No, a retrieved police check certificate only contains the details in the original Police check. There is no distinction between the initial police check issued to you and the retrieved one regardless of the elapsed period.

What if I cannot retrieve my police check certificate?

There is no need to panic if you cannot retrieve your police check; there are still other options the Candidate can explore before a total renewal.

Check past emails

There is a complete record of all the emails you have ever sent or received on the respective database. If you applied for the police check online, you could scan the "inbox" folder in your Email for the issuance message from the agency.

Your “search” will also be easier if you know the day or time you received the Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check certificate.

What have I forgotten about the application details?

There are a lot of reminders to help you if you have forgotten valuable details of the application. Any of the elements or materials used in the application can help you remember.

For example, The Tax invoice is an excellent repository for all your transactions within a period. Of course, when you pay the police check application fee, your tax invoice will reflect such payment records.

Your Credit/Debit Card or a Bank statement is a good reminder of things you "paid for" in the past.

While all these materials may not retrieve your police check certificate directly, tracing the details back to the police check application transaction will provide you with helpful information for your retrieval.

Help, all means of my police check retrieval does not work

A police check retrieval may not be easy, except if the Candidate made the initial application through online service providers like ANCC.

Where all the suggested steps and materials for retrieving the police check does not work, the applicant must apply for a police check renewal.

A police check renewal is not entirely a bad or a foolish move; it is often even better than retrieving an "old, obsolete" police check result. Yes, most of the time, the retrieved police check result may not be helpful for much in Australia. Many Australian organisations or employers will not accept police check certificates that are older than three months.

Also, there are many benefits to applying for a police check renewal, such as updated details of your records.

Where can I apply for a police check renewal?

Like an actual police check application, There are three main methods of applying for the police check renewal.

  • Applying Online

Applying online is the most convenient and quickest of all methods, whether it is for an organisation or the Candidate. All procedures can be completed online, which even makes it faster compared to physical methods.

Candidates who have a rigid schedule or hate the stress of physicality should apply online. Applications can also be completed anywhere using a PC, mobile or tablet device.

  • For Businesses

Businesses can also streamline getting a police check through the “Business Portal” of the ANCC. It allows the organisation to manage, track and view the police check result from a single account.

All actions regarding a person’s record are conducted with the informed consent of the Candidate.

Applications filed and completed online generally take less than 48 hours to process and return with their police check result unless a check has been referred for manual processing.

People also prefer to apply online because it is easier to retrieve a lost police check certificate that way.

  • Applying through a State or Territory Police Force

The local police forces issue the police check certificate to all Candidates who apply through the Local Police website. Applying through the local police website may be a physical process due to ID verification.

Applications through the Local Police office generally take 10 to 15 business days before the applicant receives their police check certificate.

If you have lost a police check, contact the "Help/Customer Relations” centre of the criminal records section of the Police.

  • The Post office

Candidates can also apply through the post office in Australia if they prefer. The Post office can forward the Candidate's details (application) to the NPCS and issue the police check certificate.

What do I need to apply for the police check renewal?

Renewing your Certificate is no different from applying for a police check; you need the exact requirements and filling the Informed Consent forms.

If any of your details have changed during the renewal, include an Identity Document that reflects the change. Being as explicit as possible will aid your application and save you from delays.

Does a police check retrieval mean another “check”?

There is no check or comparison process for a police check retrieval, regardless of the person having a new conviction.

The retrieved police check is just like an old police check certificate kept in an agency's archive.

What shows up in a police check renewal?

A renewed police check shows the updated records of the applicant's criminal history in Australia. Besides updated convictions, any other programs that expunge some offences will reflect on the updated police check certificate.

The releasable records on the police check renewal are the Disclosable Court Outcomes (DCOs). These records include;

  • Finding of Guilt without conviction

The Court can find you guilty without issuing a conviction (e.g. a guilty no conviction verdict). Depending on the circumstance around the offence.

  • Traffic Offences

All traffic offences settled in Court, primarily where the person is found guilty and sentenced, will appear on their police check certificate.

  • Offences against corporate bodies

There are a lot of offences a person can commit against a corporate body in Australia; it can range from severe crimes of fraud and stealing to Assault offences against other workers or customers. Your prospective employers are interested in this type of information and will always rely on a police check for it.

  • Sexually related offences

Sexual offenders may be a potential risk in working in some roles; such offenders operating in the vulnerable sector may even draw the ire of the community. Employers who cater to vulnerable or sensitive populations will refuse a sex offender.

  • Fraud offences

Employers in the finance sector have rigid policies when it comes to employment. One of their policies is to run a complete background check on the Candidate, including the police check.

Fraud offences in a candidate's criminal history are always a deterrent to employing the person. If it happens at all, the Candidate will need a strong defence.

  • Pending Charges

Most of the pending criminal court hearings and charges show in an Australian police check. However, the Judge has a big say whether the pending charges will be included in their police check or not.

If the pending charge is in a criminal offence, it will likely show on the Candidate's police check whether they are guilty or not.

What does not show up in a police check renewal?

Generally, offences that are not criminalised under Australian laws or handled by an Australian court will never appear on the police check certificate.

Some examples of records an applicant should never be worried about on their police check include;

  • Overseas convictions; any records/conviction the Candidate got outside of Australia or the Commonwealth is not included in their police check,
  • Diversionary Programs,
  • No finding of guilt,
  • Matters settled on Infringement, Court Notices or Tickets,
  • Offences not on the Candidate's Criminal records,
  • Convictions/sentences given by agencies or groups outside Australia’s legal arm.

How can I obtain a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check?


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.

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.

Need discount police checks? We beat prices!

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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Not sure where to start?

Book in a free consultation with us to discuss your organisation's employment background check needs, or to get an overview of the ANCC Business Portal.