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Does a police check cost money?

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.


Police checks are becoming increasingly popular in Australia. Now, every institution, agency, organisation and private business requests for one before admitting a person. In cases where the roles fall under the “sensitive” sectors;

  • Child-related services
  • Health care services
  • Financial roles
  • Vulnerable care, and so on,

For such roles, workplaces mandate a nationally coordinated criminal history check certificate as a requirement and the individual must not have a conviction in a related role.

What is the cost of a police check?

Just because a police check is a nationwide scheme does not mean it is free for all kinds of applications.

However, the cost may vary depending on the channels or method of applications.

When applying for a check, you are required to pay a certain amount or a base fee. It is only to start an application at the national checking agency.

Depending on the purpose of a police criminal check and the medium you apply through, it can cost between $41 and $100 in Australia per check.

The base price of a police check is $48.90. Applicants can apply on the Australian National Character Check (ANCC) website. Majority of checks are dispatched within 24 hours with the remaining that get referred for manual processing taking up to 15+ days.

Can the cost of a police check be subsidised?

It is not uncommon also for other private organisations to request for a police record check from a candidate. Many organisations want to avoid "re-verifying" a nationally coordinated criminal history check result and would rather request the check themselves via an accredited service provider like Australian National Character Check (ANCC).

All checks must be conducted with the “informed consent” of the individual.

What happens if I don’t pay the base fee?

When completing an application online, you must pay the base fee required. For online applications via ANCC, this can be paid via PayPal, Credit/Debit cards, or other online payment methods. Service providers like ANCC make the payment methods easier and more secure for applicants.

However, without payment of this base fee, your crime check application will not be completed.

Non-Paid/Generic/Public method

The other non-paid method is the Generic or Public method. This method is not common but can be suitable for roles where the person's past offences are not damaging. This method is mostly employed to get more knowledge of the individual from free resources. You may be able to obtain a free background check on someone using less credible methods (e.g. social media).

Some of the examples are;

Using Search Engines

The internet is home to trillions of information from millions of blogs, articles, websites, posts, ads, videos, public discourse, seminars, and so on. It is getting harder to hide our social lives each day. Search engines have the pull and resources to creep into any online activity ever posted.

However, it can be a very exhausting and worthless venture. The plethora of information makes a simple search return countless unrelated materials, and you are left to sort through. A search on David Roost can bring out an overwhelming amount of information (most, useless to your search).

This venture may provide a lot of information but is also similar to the "Needle in a haystack" idiom

Social Media platforms

Bigger than the craze for gold is the race for data. You will be surprised by the amount and value of data each social media site "controls" on its platform.

A simple search on a popular platform like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram can provide data like;

  • Past events
  • Affiliates
  • Family
  • Recent activity
  • Location
  • Social History
  • Pages and portfolios
  • Other affiliate links

In most cases, this is even more information than you need for background knowledge of the person.

Other useful Social Media links to run a background check can be;

  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Google business and so on.

Request for any legal documents

A simple request for a legal document can set apart legal from illegitimate workers in Australia. Hiring an illegitimate worker (e.g. someone who does not have legal work rights in Australia) can have disastrous consequences, especially if they provide freelance/personal services to you.

Some documents you can demand are;

Employers can also determine the residency status of an individual by requesting;

  • Certificate of residence with photo ID
  • VEVO service to check passport validity
  • Drivers license, Tax ID, or Medical insurance card

Public Criminal Databases

Various free sites can offer limited but useful information about people. This information may either be publicly sourced, privately investigated, and so on. However, it is not a legal background check in Australia, but it is usually worth the information. Some of them are;

  • Familywatchdogs
  • Zabasearch
  • Truthfinder, and co

Financial History checks

For the very likely event that a person has applied for credits or loans successfully or not, that person will have his credit reports available.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission can help you with information on people who have applied for credits including basic work history, properties, projects and related financial information.

Public records

There are lots of public records in the general public archives. The various records depend on the institution holding them. Some of them are;

  • National Archives of Australia: You can get information about a family history
  • Australia Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  • Department of Social Service
  • Australia Birth, Death and Marriage
  • Victoria Public Record Office

Some of these records run far back into the 20th century, including immigration and citizenship details.

Wrapping Up

When making use of free background check services, keep in mind that the information may not be completely accurate, and there might be information gaps. It should not be taken as a legal background check - for that visit Australian National Character Check.

For more specific information about an individual’s life and work, a criminal check should be in order. Where "vulnerable people", safety and care is concerned, criminal backgrounds should take precedence.

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?

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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'.

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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.

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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.

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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.