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Who needs a 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.

The police check certificate is a common background Check in Australia for all those seeking various roles across the industry. The Australian police check reveals details about a candidate's criminal history that is sourced from the State records/database.

It is simple to say everyone needs a police check, yet that may not necessarily capture the need for the police check in Australia. The police check certificate was made to cater for several needs of both;

  • Employers,
  • Agencies,
  • Candidates

If you plan to earn, work, or get a licence in Australia, it is likely that you will need to obtain a police check.

Cases where you need a police check

Although every organisation adopts the industry standard of getting a police check for some background information, some cases make it critical. The Australian government/industrial policies mark some sectors as sensitive "red zones" where people must obtain a police check before engaging in service or work.

These people/candidates must obtain a police check for employment purposes before working in such regions. The certificate is also prepared so that it fits into the role the person seeks with the organisation.

These include;

All these police checks have the same basic structure but are applied in different means depending on the needs.

Police check for employment

Employers now request all applicants to submit a police check that is custom to their status as "applicants". There is not much difference between the Employment police check and other kinds of police check, except it is optimised for Employment roles.

The Employment Police check will prioritise details like;

  • The candidate’s history with previous corporate organisation, Fraudulent practices and Finance related matters
  • Work-place related convictions and misdemeanours
  • Breach of Contract and Intellectual theft
  • Other related convictions

There is no exception to applicants that need this kind of Check, including;

  • Educators, Teachers,
  • Health care workers, Doctors, Nurses, and related professionals,
  • Truck drivers
  • Mining and Construction workers,
  • Retailers, Merchants and other Tradespeople,
  • Cleaners,
  • The gaming industry and associated roles,
  • Taxi drivers and car-hailing services
  • Students looking for an internship
  • Factory Workers,
  • Pawnbrokers,
  • Rural Fireman roles,
  • Liquor sellers,
  • Lawyers and other legal services provider
  • Freelancers working in proximity

Police check for Immigration and Visa

People who apply for any form of services with the Australian immigration service must get a police check via the Australian Federal Police (AFP). It provides helpful information to the agency about the current legal status of the applicant.

For example, a person may be servicing a restriction order which will prevent them from travelling outside the State or Territory. If the agency finds this on the candidate’s profile, they will refrain from issuing them with the Visa or travel grants.

Also, the Australian immigration service uses the police check to determine who passes Australian borders. A convicted international trafficker will be searched keenly and with less liberty than others.

However, an essential condition is that these kinds of police checks are only issued by the Australian Federal Police (AFP). No other agency can issue such Checks to the candidate.

Accreditation and Licensing

There are lots of professional bodies that now request the police check as a criteria for any hopefuls. For example, the professional body for educators in a Territory usually requires the candidates to apply for a police check for Accreditations.

Also, a police check is a significant and essential requirement for those who want to apply for specific licences like;

  • Public Vehicle Driver Licence,
  • And any other roles in sensitive areas or regions requiring a licence.

Most agencies will not grant your licence unless they can assess and recommend you based on the police check result.

What shows up on your police check certificate?

Of course, people are usually interested in what the police check contains, and it is much in demand from organisations. Most even attribute the police check to the single most deciding factor about who gets employed or not. However, this is not so, and the police check is just one out of the many background checks an employer should submit during the application.

The police check is a background check that contains details of a candidate's criminal history on the State's criminal records. Some details of the police check for general-purpose include;

Who can apply for a background check?

The background check is open to all persons in Australia who seek any paid roles. Those below the age of 18 must obtain a written consent form from their legal guardian or parents.

However, before applying for a police check, you must possess certain base identification documents like;

  • Commencement ID
  • Primary ID
  • Secondary ID

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.

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.