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Home Other Checks and Registrations Education Sector Police Checks in Australia

Police Checks for the Australian Education Sector

Australian National Character Check (ANCC®) provides national criminal history checks for the purpose of teacher registration, student police checks, work experience for college or university students, work placements and other purposes in the Australian education sector.

Most checks are dispatched to applicants within 24 to 48 hours of completion, with the exception of those that automatically get referred for manual processing.

Checks are dispatched via email with the option to order a hard copy certificate. Applicants can make payment securely via PayPal, credit card or debit card.

Individual applicants can order criminal history checks using the online police check application form.

Universities and other educational institutions can streamline the ordering, tracking and management of police checks via ANCC’s business portal. Registration for the business portal is free of charge and there are no lock-in contracts or hidden fees.

Page Contents

About background checks in the Australian Education Sector

The Australian government shows unwavering support and priority towards the Education sector. All education systems from; child care to the universities and tertiary and advanced levels are supervised via various forms of regulations and Checks.

The requirements/evaluations by the law to become a teacher can either be educational, legal or psychological evaluation.

Educational qualifications test for the applicant’s knowledge, certifications and experience in the chosen field. It depends on the education grade

Some of the educational qualifications are:

Educational requirements

✔ Bachelor’s degree or higher degree; those who teach primary, secondary schools and higher.

✔ Exposed to activities of registered teachers and administrators

Test of English Language Proficiency Test (if applicable)

✔ Where the applicant is a visa holder

✔ The applicant is an overseas applicant (from a non-native English speaking country)

✔ The applicant is from a native speaking country but has not attained the minimum years required.

Skill Requirements

It accounts for most of the psychological evaluation of a Teacher. Some of the evaluations include;

✔ Applicant ability to build a good rapport with students/pupils as a skill

✔ Applicant’s organisation and communication skill

✔ Leadership abilities

✔ Teaching methods and approach

However, for the skill evaluations, there may not be a standard test or tests available. It can be done through physical interviews or pre-teaching.

Teachers Registration

Almost all professions in Australia require a prospective educator/administrator to register with the official body, teachers inclusive. Anyone who aims to teach or has completed the teacher certification must register with their state regulating body

The first stage of registration is as an 'instructor', and then, the individual can be elevated to 'Proficient'.

The registration process will require the individual to produce the results of mainly two checks;

What is a Police Check?

Before gaining employment/admission to most organisations in Australia, you must provide a valid Police Check result. A Police Check certificate contains all releasable convictions of an individual issued by the Australian Police authorities.

An Australian Police Check will include the conviction details, irrespective of the State or Territory where the offence was committed.

One of the registration procedures to become an instructor in Australia in any State is to submit your Australian Police Check results.

What comes out in your Police Check for the Education Sector?

A Police Check certificate contains sensitive details about an individual. If you request a Police Check for Education purposes, here are some convictions that may appear on your Police Check certificate;

Disclosable Court Outcomes; the individual has a past conviction/charges to his records, and some examples are;

An individual may also have to disclose all "finding of guilt". Also, any other category that falls under the section 10 dismissal or other conditional release order.These convictions mean you were guilty, but no criminal conviction was recorded against you.

The Police Check for Education purposes will also contain all spent charges and offences - Spent charges are offences that have been erased from your Police records after some conditions were satisfied.

Offences that are considered "spent" must satisfy these conditions:However, if you have no past offence or pending charge, your Police Check will return as a No-disclosable court outcome (NDCO). It means you have no records on the National Criminal Database and are free to apply for any position you are eligible for.

Some of the “charges” that will not show up in a Police Check for Education purposes are:Checks for the education sector may be for the purpose of teacher registration, a student police check, or other checks in the education sector.

How can I get a Police Check in Australia?

You cannot stress enough the importance of an Australian Police Check. Especially Checks relevant to the position you apply for.

There are two main ways you can obtain your Police Check Australia;

  • Online via accredited agencies

  • Australian National Character Check (ANCC) is a government accredited agency that issues applicants with valid national criminal history checks. Any individual that requires their Police Check as quickly as a day can apply through the online portal.

    Applicants can complete the required process using their Tablets, PC, or mobile devices connected to the internet. Applicants can use secure services such as; payments, form submission, ID verification to get a quicker and convenient service.

  • Via the Local Police authorities

  • Applicants can also apply through their local police authorities by visiting the Police offices. However, this process can prove stressful and slower than the online method.

    The applicant has to complete all the necessary application forms and verification in-person. This may include several trips to get identification documents certified or attested.

    How long is a Police Check valid in Australia?

    If you have applied for a Police Check, you may think it is a once-for-all type of check. A Police Check in Australia is a point in time check. The expiry depends on the internal risk strategies of the requesting party. Most requesting parties do not accept checks that are older than three months.

    However, the government encourages institutions and agencies to request updated Checks at respectable intervals from their employees.

    Working With Children Checks (WWCC) in the Education Sector

    Whether you are applying for an administrative or teaching role in the Educational sector, you must provide a Working with Children Check (WWCC). In essence, any role that involves proximity/services to Children will require the applicant to present a WWCC.

    What is a Working with Children Check?

    A Working with Children Check is an ongoing assessment of an individual that shows their eligibility to work/volunteer with Children. It is enforced by the Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012.

    The main aim of a Working with Children Check is to protect the Child from potential abuses and promote their welfare and rights. It is a criminal offence for a Teacher/Administrator who handles minors not to possess the required clearance and WWCC certificates. In the ACT and Tasmania, the check is referred to as a working with vulnerable people check (WWVP).

    A Work with Children Check differs from a Police Check Australia in the following ways;

    ✔ It includes all offences including, Spent convictions

    ✔ Non conviction charges

    ✔ Disciplinary records

    ✔ All offences against minors including, abuses, assaults and improper conducts

    Where is a Working with Children Check (WWCC) valid?

    Unlike an Australian Police Check certificate, the WWCC is not transferable between States. It means that the check is only valid in the State in which you request it.

    If you are moving to a new state and want to take up positions that involve proximity to children and minors, you will have to request a new Working with Children Check

    If you want to become a member of the Educators board in Australia, you will have to present both your Police Check and a Working with Children Check.

    What are the States’ regulations on requirements for Education?

    Although the Australian government stipulates the conditions that every educator must meet to become a licensed member, they may be subject to further laws in the different states.

    The registration requirements may vary slightly by states, and some of them are;

    Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

    To become a registered teacher, the applicant must register through the Teacher Quality Institute. It was initiated on the 8th of November, 2012. The program has a compulsory minimum of required Checks, including the Police Check and the WWCC.

    New South Wales (NSW)

    The Education Standards Authority oversees the regulations and accreditation of teachers in NSW. It also stipulates the required levels of certifications for all aspiring educators. The NSW WWCC is a compulsory document for this purpose.

    Northern Territory (NT)

    If you relocate to NT and plan to continue or start a career as a teacher, you must register with the Northern Territory Teacher Registration Board. The body improves and oversees all educators within the State.

    Your registration begins by providing a National Criminal History Check. To teach, you must hold the NT Working with Children Check (Ochre Card) for employment purposes.

    Queensland (QLD)

    The Queensland College of Teachers is the regulating and registration platform for all teachers in Queensland. It also contains the evaluating, governing and reviewing body for all teachers in Queensland. When applying to this body, a Police Check and a WWCC are important certificates.

    South Australia (SA)

    All prospective and current teachers must register with the Teachers Registration Board. Consequently, the applicant must complete the required credentials and mandated training courses (e.g. Child abuse and neglect). The individual must also consent to a Nationally Coordinated Criminal Check conducted by the board.

    All teacher registration applicants must present a WWCC. All current members mustpresent updated checks when they renew their registration.

    Tasmania (TAS)

    The Teachers Registration Board of Tasmania handles all registration and accreditation purposes in the state. The applicant must provide their Working with Children Check and Police Check.

    Victoria (VIC)

    All teaching and related roles are regulated by the Victorian Institute of Teaching. The basic requirements are to have an Initial Teacher Education (ITE) qualification before applying. The applicant will also agree to a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check conducted on their behalf by the VIT. Both The NCCHC and WWCC are required for registration and renewal.

    Western Australia (WA)

    If you want to teach in the Western Australian State, you must register with the Teacher Registration Board of WA. The board recognizes four categories of registration. The requirements include a criminal background check.

    National Criminal History Check in Australia

    States in Australia require Police Checks to admit an individual as a registered educator in their respective State regulating body. A Police Check may be referred to with other names depending on the region or territory. It means the same as a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Checks (NCCHC), Criminal Background Check, and National Police Check (NPC) amongst others.

    A check issued by ANCC is valid in the following states and territories:

    ✔ New South Wales (NSW)

    ✔ Victoria (VIC)

    ✔ Western Australia (WA)

    ✔ Queensland (QLD)

    ✔ South Australia (SA)

    ✔ Tasmania (TAS)

    ✔ Northern Territory (NT)

    ✔ Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

    What happens if I fail my Criminal History Check?

    If you have some disclosable offences (DCOs), Spent Charges or have failed a Working with Children Check, you don't have to give up. Some applicants are granted the positions they apply for even after failing one of their checks. However, the individual may have to undergo more rigorous background checks and assessment.

    Still, background check requirements for the education sector are strict and nothing is certain. If you hope to work with Children or in Education related roles, criminal history will likely hold you back from doing so due to strict laws when working with the vulnerable.

    Steps to apply for the Australian Police Check

    The Australian Police Check is based on the National Name Index comparison. It compares the data you provide, with the information on the Police records and National Criminal Database. This is why you must verify and re-check the details you have provided in your online application form.

    The information you will need to provide are;

    ✔ All names; including aliases, monikers, and maiden names

    ✔ Address (es) of all residential places ever stayed over 5 years.

    ✔ Date of Birth

    ✔ Four forms of identification documents.

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