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Three Different Types of police checks

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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.


Different situations call for different types of police checks. But how can you distinguish one from the other? How can you even know which type you will need? If you are one of the people who do not even know what police checks are, then you have come to the right place.

In this article, we are going to touch on some important points about national character checks. But most importantly, we are going to take a careful look at the three different types of police checks and when they are needed. For better comprehension, it is best to start with the basics first like what police checks are.

What is a police check?

A police check, or in this context, an Australia-wide Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check means exactly what it sounds like – it is a report containing a person’s disclosable convictions. Each person either has no ‘disclosable’ convictions or has one or a few, and the report will show all of the latter.

These convictions are those that have been recorded by the court. Some questions pertaining to privacy might already be popping up in your mind, but the Criminal Law Act 1986 and Crimes Act 1914 state that police checks’ security purposes override their aspect of confidentiality. Organisations that request police records should have an adequate privacy policy in place to protect sensitive information.

There are many reasons why people might need police checks. The most common of which is for employment. But there are other types of police checks and these different types vary in purpose as well. In Australia, there are three types of police checks.

Types of police checks:

1. Name Only National Crime History Check

‘Name Only’ National Crime History Checks are conducted using a person’s name and other information as requested on the police check application form. This is the most commonly used police check throughout Australia. This information will be searched against the national criminal history records kept and protected by police services all over Australia. Accredited police checking agencies have access to those records, and so, using an individual’s name and completed police check application form and informed consent, they can pull a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check on them. A name only police check is the most fastest and efficient way to obtain a reliable pre-employment screening check. The Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check can be completed online and most results are dispatched in 24 hours.

What is it used for?

This type of police check is most often used to comply with pre-employment policies. Companies often partner with police checking agencies who offer ‘Name Only’ National Crime History Check services to run a quick background check on their applicants.

Other institutions that commonly use this kind of police checks include insurance companies and travel agencies. They use this to ensure that anyone who signs up for their services are clear of any offences that disqualify them from receiving services.

2. Name with Fingerprints Police Certificate

Just like the previous type, this type of police check also uses the name of a person. Together with the person’s name, their fingerprints are also searched against the criminal history and fingerprint records in police services in Australia. This check can only be conducted at an Australian police station.

What is it used for?

‘Name with Fingerprints’ Police Certificates are most often required for Australian visa applications. These applications specifically refer to working or residing in another country. This type of police check is also the preferred type among many adoption facilities. So, if you’re planning to adopt a child, prepare yourself for the process of getting a ‘Name with Fingerprints’ police certificate.

3. Name Only with ASIO Security Assessment-Ammonium Nitrate Police Certificate

This type of police check is based on a search of a person’s name against criminal records. In addition to running the name, this check also involves an ASIO security assessment that aims to find any history of politically-motivated violence.

What is it used for?

Absence of any history of politically-motivated violence can clear a person for employment in security-sensitive companies that deal with Ammonium Nitrate (e.g. mining, and many others). Before you can work in those facilities, you have to deal with the stringent aspects of this police check since, among all of the types mentioned, this one is perhaps the most thorough. This check can only be conducted at an Australian police station.

Tips on Getting a police check

If you have to apply for a police check there are some dos and don’ts that you must observe. Here we have some tips for all the people out there who will be applying for the first time. Take note!

For Easy Processing, Apply Online

Things are so easy to access right now especially with the help of the internet. If you are pressed for time and only have a few moments to spare to apply for a police check, apply online! Many police checking agencies are already offering their full police checking services online. Just pick out from their list of options and voila! You will have your police check results mostly within 24 hours. There are exceptions for crime check applications that get referred for manual processing which will take longer.

Always Check Your Information

For faster police checking, always make sure to check the information that you have typed into the fields. It does not matter if you are applying online or not, the important thing is to go back a few times and review the fields. Any inaccuracies on your part can lead to delayed results, or worse, your police check request might not run at all!

That would be a complete waste of time (and money). So, when you are busy filling out the fields in a police check application form, remember to slow down and review. Check it three times if you have to!

Work with Reputable police checking Agencies like Australian National Character Check

Australian National Character Check™ provides police checking services to individuals and organisations alike. We are accredited to provide these services Australia-wide. We pride ourselves in smart and convenient police checking solutions. That is why you can easily access our services completely online.

Whether you are on your smart mobile devices or laptop, as long as you are connected to the internet, then you can reach us. Plus, you get all these services for competitive rates too.

If time is your concern, then no need to worry. With our innovative record-keeping tech, we will be able to deliver results in no time. Contact us to learn more.

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.

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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'.

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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.

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ANCC is amongst the highest rated employment background check providers. Refer to ANCC's Google Reviews and Product Reviews.

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A nationally coordinated criminal history check is valid in all States and Territories of Australia.

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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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