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  • 8 Things To Know About Aged Care Background Checking in Australia

    If you are interested in working in the aged care industry, there are some requirements that you have to accomplish first. The entire aged care background checking process may be gruelling – with all its stringent rules and protocols that you must comply with before you can be hired for the job. But with the help of a reputable national police check provider, you might find the experience smooth and easy.

    We understand that you might be very excited to hop in for a job interview at this point. But hold your horses and make sure you lay out the groundwork first. Before you launch your efforts in applying for a job in aged care, here are some things you should know about aged care background checking:

    1. Police checks are mandatory requirements.

    Police checks are required from every individual who wishes to start a career in the Australian aged care sector. After all, aged care is all about bringing quality care for the elderly and/or disabled individuals. This industry is constantly placed under scrutiny after multiple cases of unethical conducts and harassments. The national government, therefore, saw it fit to implement some safeguards that protect the elderly from abuse and misconduct.

    In response to the bigger clamour for better aged care services, police checks have become mandatory requirements from any individuals who wish to enter the industry. Even aged care organisations are quality tested and inspected to ensure that their services, facilities, and staff are suitable for the elderly individuals that need their services.

    2. Personal information is needed to run the check.

    To obtain a police clearance, applicants must provide some personal information, including their full name, date of birth, identification documents and so on. All of these are mandated federal government requirements to run a national police check.

    Know that the information you share will only be known by the agency and relevant police agencies. Privacy and confidentiality will be observed by the participating parties, but transparency from the individual is necessary to move forward.

    3. All staff members have to submit their police checks.

    From the ground level up to the higher ups of the aged care organisation, no staff member is exempted from submitting an aged care police check. The Australian government’s Aged Care Act 1997 mandates that all staff members over the age of 16, and especially those who are likely to interact with care recipients, must undertake police checks. This is to ensure that everyone in the organisation is rendered fit to serve the care recipients that they take in.

    The act considers individuals contracted through agencies as legitimate members of the staff as well. This requirement is not only applicable to the staff. Volunteers who are over 16 and have unsupervised access to the care recipients are asked to undergo police checks, too.

    4. Police checks must be acquired before employment, not after.

    There have been cases where aged care organisations only cared about their employees’ criminal history after unfortunate incidents happened. This negligence on the part of the organisation comes with grave consequences. Organisations have been brought out of business because of a single misconduct lawsuit, so make sure your policies require police checks before employment commences.

    5. Aged care organisations must keep records.

    Another obligation of aged care organisations is to keep records of the police certificates that their staff members have submitted. But just to be sure, you need to save a copy of those documents for yourself, too. Keep police certificates that are not more than three years old and proof of application for a national police check.

    6. Criminal background may affect your eligibility.

    Even though some states have very strict regulations on using national police checks as a basis for employment, there is still a high chance that you might not get a job if you have a criminal background that might interfere with the nature of the job position you are applying for. Chances get slimmer if, for example, the offences incurred:

    • Happened in the last five years or so,
    • Affected the individual’s level of empathy for the elderly,
    • Occurred repeatedly,
    • Gravely harmed or damaged another individual or property, and
    • Extensive enough to cause significant damage to parties concerned or to vulnerable people in the community.

    There are more factors that need to be considered. To get some clarifications on the matter, you can consult with an aged care professional that you know or enquire from the aged care organisation about their specific policies.

    7. State regulations might require another type of background check.

    Different states have different regulations on background check requirements for aged care employment. For example, in the Australian Capital Territory, working with vulnerable people registration is required for employment where people have direct or indirect access to vulnerable persons in the workplace. Check the rules in your state.

    8. Aged care organisations have several options for compliance.

    Organisations have to comply with the background checking requirement that was mandated in the act. There are two ways they can achieve this. They can either facilitate the police checks themselves through the help of the Australian Federal Police or some other police services. They can also choose to partner up with a federal government accredited (ACIC accredited) agency that can give quicker results.

    Most organisations go for the latter. Whichever channel you choose, know you have to undergo the process as needed. However, there might also be aged care organisations that leave the agency-hunting task to you. If so, then no need to worry for we have got your back with our streamlined online application form.

    Australian National Character Check can assist you!

    Australian National Character Check provides quality police checking solutions to both aged care organisations and aged care applicants. Whether you are interested in joining the industry or perhaps your interests lie in making sure your care recipients stay safe, know that we can assist you with quick and easy national character check services.

    To start a police check application for an aged care role, click here for the online police check application form.

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