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  • Can I get a free Criminal History Check?

    If you apply for a license, a job opening, a volunteering role or other work appointments, you will likely be asked to submit a Criminal History Check. In some cases, it even becomes a mandatory requirement if what you apply for falls under the "sensitive" activities like care of vulnerable, aged, financial roles, child-related roles and co.

    The Criminal History Check certificate has become an important document in Australia. It improves the decision making of employers and keeps society safer for the vulnerable. Therefore, most potential applicants must provide valid and updated copies of a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check when applying for a position.

    Can I get a free Criminal History Check?

    Criminal history checks go through a compulsory process where after submission, the application form is firstly checked for compliance from the agency where you apply. It is then forwarded to the national criminal database for a result. In some cases, an official from a state or territory police agency will need to manually vet an application if it has been referred for manual processing.

    This process takes time and resources of the agency where you apply and also from Australian police agencies who maintain criminal records and release results in accordance with the purpose of the check and Australia’s spent convictions scheme.

    Due to this resource intensive process, it is important to note that all criminal history check requests in Australia come with a fee. It is therefore not possible to obtain an authentic criminal history check that is free.

    How much do criminal history checks cost?

    • Criminal History Checks for Employment/Licensing/Probity/Accreditation
    • If individuals bear the cost in full

      The most common way of applying for a Criminal History Check is by doing it yourself. Individuals can apply online or in person. When individuals apply for a Police Check, they bear the total cost.

      Prices may vary depending on how you apply for the check (for example, in person or online).

      Applicants generally prefer to apply online due to the convenience of completing the check anywhere using a mobile, tablet or PC device, and the speed of obtaining their results when applying online.

      Applicants can obtain criminal history checks online from Australian National Character Check (ANCC) at a cost of $48.90 (base price) per check request.

      Individuals can obtain a criminal history check online by the using the following link: Start Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Application Form

    • For corporate bodies and agencies;
    • Organisations may bear the full/part cost for their applicants, however that is purely at their discretion.

      It is not uncommon for organisations to request a valid criminal history check from an employee and ask them to go through a service like Australian National Character Check (ANCC). They often do this to preclude authenticity issues that arise from the applicants presenting their own Criminal History Check.

      Organisations can also apply for police checks on behalf of their staff through ANCC’s business portal. However, when organisations apply for a Criminal History Check on behalf of their staff, the invitation to complete the check is sent directly to the applicant and the process is completed with the applicant’s informed consent.

      When corporate institutions apply for a Criminal History Check on behalf of a person, they may bear the full cost depending on the arrangements.

    • Criminal History Checks for volunteering Purposes
    • If a person applies for a Criminal History Check for a volunteering purpose (non-rewards), the fee may be subsidised through some criminal history check providers. However, the applicant must state the purpose of the Check clearly during the application. A volunteer check through ANCC is the same as a standard employment check and there is no subsidy for volunteer checks.

      Applicants can get more information about police checks for volunteering purposes using the following link: Police Check for Volunteering

    Applying for a Criminal History Check online

    A convenient way to apply for a Criminal History Check is through the online portal of the Australian National Character Check.

    All applications completed on our portal are transferred to the national criminal database over a secure server. We return Criminal Check certificates to all applicants mostly within 24 to 48 hours with the remaining that get referred for manual processing taking longer.

    Individuals can apply on our portal via their PC, Tablet or mobile device. And the application procedures only take about 12 minutes, including verification of IDs and payment. It removes the stress of visiting the post office.

    Who can apply for a Criminal History Check?

    Anyone who wishes to obtain employment, volunteering, licensing or accreditation in Australia can apply for a Criminal History Check. All those who seek employment especially in sensitive roles should apply for a Check. Some of these roles and purpose include;

    • Roles that involve the care of children
    • Care of the old and vulnerable
    • Teachers/professors
    • Rural Fireman Service
    • Medical care
    • Financial roles
    • Solicitors, welfare reps, and many others

    Others include;

    • Volunteer roles
    • Licensing (Firearms, CPV, Operators, Real Estate, and co)
    • Checks for the purpose of immigration or visa must be obtained via the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

    Persons under 18 years of age can also apply for a Criminal History Check with the written consent of their legal guardians or Parents

    What shows up in a Criminal History Check?

    When you apply for a Criminal History Check, you should know that not all the offences you committed may show up in the document. Some of these offences do not lead to charges or summons and are not part of your conviction history. However, these convictions show up in your Criminal History Check;

    • Traffic offences that lead to conviction (drunk-driving, no license)
    • Pending court charges and offences
    • All convictions and Charges that do not qualify as “Spent convictions”
    • Any Sexual assault or related offences
    • Offences against corporate bodies

    What does not show up in my Criminal record Check?

    Depending on the State's legislation on Criminal records, and spent charges, some offences are either expunged or irrelevant in your Criminal records. The offences are;

    • Findings of non-guilt
    • Convictions outside the country
    • Diversion programs
    • Spent Convictions
    • Punitive measures by third party institutions or other professional bodies/unions
    • Offences outside the jurisdiction of Australian police agencies/courts

    What happens if my Criminal History Check takes longer than 48 hours?

    All successful Police Checks applications via ANCC’s online portal are usually returned to the applicants within 24 to 48 hours. However, a few percentages of applications (< 30%) may be delayed due to a "manual review" from Australian police agencies.

    Applications flagged for manual review requires an official to manually vet that particular application. This manual supervision could result in the application being delayed for a further 3-15 days.

    Also, we do not (neither do any other agency) know beforehand which applications may be automatically referred for a manual review.

    Wrapping Up

    Due to the extensive processes involved in providing an authentic criminal history check, applying for a Criminal History Check anywhere in Australia will require paying a stipulated fee for the Checking process. Applicants may be reimbursed for the check by the requesting organisation however that is at the discretion of the organisation.

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