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How do I obtain a police check?

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.


These days, the best way for any organisation or institution to assess your suitability for a role is to request your background check (police check). In most cases, the requesting party is not usually picky or specifies where you must get the check, they are most interested in the credibility and the contents of the nationally coordinated criminal history checks.

There are mainly two ways of obtaining a police check;

Through Accredited Bodies;

The growing demand and procedures for police checks in Australia mean the traditional methods are usually ineffective or less accessible to the applicants. Therefore, most people favour applying through third party accredited agencies like Australian National Character Check (ANCC).

When you apply through the portal of online based agencies, the process and procedures are generally easier and more convenient.

Here are some of the benefits of applying through the Australian National Character Check (ANCC) online portal;

    ✔ Get your background check delivered mostly within 24 hours unless the check gets referred for manual processing.

    ✔ Apply through a mobile device, Tablet or PC

    ✔ Complete all application process online (within 12 mins)

    ✔ The process fits into your schedule

    ✔ Scan and submit verification ID documents for the check online

    ✔ The check is valid as that of any other agency

    ✔ Get both a soft copy delivered to you instantly upon results becoming available and a hard copy delivered to your mail should you request it.

Through your local police department

The local police office in every State and Territory in Australia issues valid checks certificates to applicants. However, this process usually requires ID documents to be verified or attested and may require several trips to your local station.

Some people may find this method tiresome, as it does not fit naturally into a rigid employee’s schedule. Applying through the local Police office also means that the application may be partly paper based, and it may take a while before you receive the results certificate as it may require manual postage.

Is there any difference between criminal history checks issued by a local police station and those by an accredited agency?

All Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Checks in Australia are sanctioned and conducted by a central government body using a standardised procedure which also includes vetting by Australian police agencies where the search algorithm shows a potential match. The certificate incorporates resources from the Criminal database and Police records of all State/Territories the individual has ever lived.

Therefore, a valid Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check for the purpose of employment, licensing or accreditation issued by ANCC does not differ from that issued by local police authorities.

However, if the requesting party specifies the issuing agency, you should abide by the request.

Do the contents differ depending on the police check issuing agency?

A Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check certificate is your record of all outstanding charges, warrant information, criminal findings, convictions, a plea of guilt, and other convictions by an Australian court found against you.

The information displayed on your background check is done by comparing the application data you provide against the data in the Police/Criminal records of every State/Territory in Australia ever lived.

If you are convicted of a traffic offence in Victoria, it will still show in your police check for the state of Tasmania.

Offences that are disclosed in a nationally coordinated criminal history check are called Disclosable Court Outcomes (DCOs), and some of them are;

  • Convictions/Charges against corporate organisations
  • Sexually related offences
  • Traffic charges for which an individual is convicted
  • Sentences and Convictions
  • Pending court charges and offences

No-Disclosable Court Outcomes; These offences are not displayed on a check certificate depending on State legislation, and so on.

These offences are;

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

How long does it take to obtain a nationally coordinated criminal history check?

When you apply through Australian National Character Check, you will get your police check application returned to you mostly within 24 hours unless the check gets referred for manual processing. The results are dispatched instantly via email as they become available.

However, some applications may be marked for “manual review”, which will need an official from the check database to supervise the process.

An application marked for further review is not usually the conclusion of a finding of guilt or a disclosable court outcome (DCO). It may signify an error with the check software or in the applicant’s data. If an application is delayed due to manual review, it will delay the issuance of the certificate by up to 15 business days.

How to apply for a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check via ANCC

Step 1:

Log on to the Australian National Character Check Portal for the Australian police check application

Step 2:

Verify the email address and make payment

Step 3:

The applicant must select the true purpose of the check (Employment, Probity and co.).

Step 4:

Complete the required field on the application portal, and verify the provided IDs

Step 5:

The Australian National Character Check forward all applications through a secure portal to the National Police Checking Service system through a secure server

Step 6:

The applicants' information is compared against the stream of the entire criminal database in the nation.

Step 7:

The result is sent to the Australian National Character Check (it either comes out as No Disclosable Court outcome (NDCO) or with a Disclosable Court Outcome (DCO) and the details

Step 8:

The Australian police check is completed and returned to the applicant.

Who can apply for a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check?

The police check application is open to all persons who seek employment or probity within Australia.

  • All of those with a valid Australian work permit
  • All of those who seek accreditation, employment and other licenses
  • Applicants below the age of 18 should get the written consent of their guardians/parents.

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.