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Home Blog How to find employment with a criminal record in Australia

How to find employment with a criminal record in Australia

When you have a criminal record, it is easy to disqualify or be sceptical of your chances when seeking admission, employment into an organisation or agency.

For most people, applying for a role they are passionate and competent about can become a real internal struggle when they factor in their "criminal records" or police history. In recent times, the Australian government has become more stringent in upholding the legislations that guide recruitment, and internal risk strategy.

What is a Criminal Record?

A Criminal record contains all the releasable convictions or offences of an individual stored in a National Criminal Database. The police check can be issued by Australian police authorities and in most cases is issued by federal government accredited agencies like Australian National Character Check which streamline the national police check process and provide applicants a 100% online process via secure software systems that are aimed to improve community safety by the provision of timely and accurate national criminal history check information.

Most organisations, companies and institutions now request an updated National Criminal History Check record or a National Police Check before employing or admitting applicants to any roles. And for some “sensitive” roles, it is a mandatory employment requirement; examples include but are not limited to;

Having a criminal record should not be an impediment or a barrier to landing the job you want, except where it is stipulated by a court/legislation. This does little to assuage the fears and scepticism in job applicants when they fail their criminal history record check.

So, here are a few tips to help you overcome the self-imposed "stigma" of having a criminal record, and applying for a job;

What you should know if you have a Criminal Record

Having a criminal record can be bearing on the mind, but it doesn't mean you should close the door on your career. If it is your dream to work for a big corporation, it can still come to fruition with careful, smart and intentional practice.

If your Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check (NCCHC) comes out with Disclosable court outcomes (DCOs), here are things you should know;

Wrapping Up

Most companies request criminal history checks or records to protect their brand, staff and resources from harm or damage. They also want to avoid serious, punitive actions from the government or regulatory authorities for defaulting on recruitments policies. However, this should not be the red light for you to apply for your dream job especially when the conviction is unrelated to the role.

Although applying for a role as a person with a criminal history may be difficult, it is not impossible. There are cases where organisations have accepted and defended their action of employing persons who fail their criminal checks.

In most Australian States other than Western Australia (WA), if you apply for a Police Criminal Check, all the offences that may qualify for leniency (Spent Charges) are reviewed, and then expunged from your criminal record. Individuals, businesses and enterprises can apply for Australian police checks through Australian National Character Check.

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