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How far back does a police check go in Australia?

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.

It is harder for a conviction to escape being listed on a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check result, except where special State legislation applies. In most circumstances, police check reports return complete with a comprehensive list of all the pending charges, court convictions, finding of guilt and sentencing of the applicant.

What does a police check result contain?

A result contains all finding of guilt, sentencing and other convictions of an individual. This report is unlimited by the State/Territory where the offence or when the crime is committed. Therefore, a criminal check result can go as far back as possible as long as the individual is found guilty of the offence.

Furthermore, other conditions can make older convictions reflect on your police history check result. Some of them are;

  • The purpose of the police check is for Child/vulnerable roles;
  • Where the person is applying for a role in the sectors considered to be "sensitive" positions in Australia, certain offences relating to the role will be released on the check.

    A candidate applying for a role in the financial sector will have convictions of theft, misappropriation or conspiracy displayed on their check if it is in their police/criminal records.

    Other roles that will prompt certain convictions to be released on a police check result are;

    • ✔ Teachers
    • ✔ School bus drivers
    • ✔ Nanny
    • ✔ Child Doctors and other health services
    • ✔ Other Child and vulnerable workers

  • A repeat of such offences;
  • Any applicant thinking there cannot be a re-feature of a conviction on their criminal background check result is wrong. Older convictions are generally released in an applicant's background check result if the applicant repeats such an offence.

    There is no limit to how many times an offence is displayed in a check. It will report an updated list of all the applicant's convictions deemed releasable by the State and Police authorities.

How do I know the convictions on my police history check?

You cannot be sure of the convictions on your record without obtaining it. The surest way of planning with your criminal records in consideration is by applying for a background check. However, applying is not as hard as it seems.

Are police checks issued by the Police authorities? Yes, they are issued by a central government database and in some instances are vetted by state and territory police agencies if referred for manual processing.

Must you visit a local Police branch to obtain it? No

A convenient method to obtain a criminal check is; applying for a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check online via Australian National character Check (ANCC).

The process is 100% online and takes less than 12 minutes to complete from anywhere as long as there is an internet connection.

Applicants who go via the online method get their result delivered to their email mostly within 24 hours unless the check gets referred for manual processing by the central government database.

What convictions should I except on my police check normally?

Convictions that will generally always show up on a police check result, include:

  • Convictions/Charges against corporate organisations
  • Sexually related offences
  • Traffic charges on the background check
  • All Sentences and Convictions
  • Pending court charges and offences


Section 85ZV of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) -

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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?


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'.


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.


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.


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.