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Home Blog How long does a police check take?

How long does a police check take?

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Applying to almost any organisation, roles, licenses and even volunteering positions will require you to provide a valid National Criminal History Check certificate. The interpretation or use of a Police Check is discretionary across different organisations, depending on their internal risk control strategy. Yet, the Australian government mandates that individuals employed (in certain roles like aged care) must have a valid Police Check.

Now, if you are requested to provide a Police Check for any role you have applied for, you should know that;

Applying online through Australian National Character Check (ANCC)

Applicants can apply for a Police Check via their mobile devices, PC or Tablets through the ANCC® website. The application process/forms on the website take less than 15 minutes to complete. Also, applications done via the online portal can be completed anywhere. This makes it convenient for people with tight schedules or physical impediments.

Whenever a Police Check application is filled, we forward them to the national criminal database over a secured network protocol after our internal checking & compliance process is complete. The ANCC system mails the electronic copy to the applicants, with a physical copy to follow if it was requested at payment checkout.

All the procedures stated above are usually completed within 48 hours or even earlier. The quick timing makes this method convenient for applicants who have a limited window to providing a National Criminal History Check certificate.

When Police Checks takes longer than 48 hours

It is not uncommon for Police Check applications to get delayed past three business days. However, when this happens, the most plausible explanation is that such a Police Check application is being flagged for “manual review”.

When a Police Check application is marked for manual review, it doesn’t suggest that the applicant has failed their Police Check or that it is null. However, the flagging could range from further confirmation by a Check official to errors in data filled. Here are some reasons why applications may be flagged for manual review;

When do I get my Police Check if it is delayed?

Depending on why a Criminal Background Check is delayed (from the above), it may take between 2 and 15 working days before your Police Check certificate is ready. However, our system will automatically update you with each progress that is made in your application. We also provide relevant service to any other issues you may have about your application.

Can I influence the waiting period for my Police Check?

Sadly, no one can influence the decisions of when a national criminal history check certificate becomes ready. We advise individuals to apply for their check earlier than they need it. We monitor all applications submitted through the ANCC® online application forms.

Do Police Check agencies know which applications will be flagged?

Unfortunately, all agencies including ANCC® cannot predict which applications will be flagged for "manual review". It only occurs during the automatic checking process via the national criminal database.

However, you don't need to panic when submitting your Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check (NCCHC) application. We only advise that you fill in all details correctly.

What should I do if my application takes longer than 48 hours?

For now, there is nothing any applicant can do about the delay in their check. However, if there is a deadline for you to submit the police check certificate, you should contact the organisation, and relay the issue to them.

Our system automatically dispatches national criminal history check results on the same day they are received (including weekends).

Where is a Police Check valid?

A Police Check is a nationwide document and contains all convictions of an individual within Australia. The check may also be known by a different names such as

Across the different states and Territories, the check remains valid, since it includes convictions from Police/Criminal records from each state and territory. The Police Check Australia is valid in all states and territories across Australia including:

✔ New South Wales (NSW)

✔ Victoria (VIC)

✔ Western Australia (WA)

✔ Queensland (QLD)

✔ South Australia (SA)

✔ Tasmania (TAS)

✔ Northern Territory (NT)

✔ Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

The fastest way to apply for a Police Check Australia

There are two main ways to apply for a Police Check Australia;

Via accredited bodies such as Australian National Character Check (Convenient, Online and Fast).

Via the Local Police Offices in the States and Territories.

When you apply through ANCC’s online application forms, you get a convenient, safe and secure application process completed online.

Why Police Checks are important

It helps organisations reach important recruitment decisions: Employers must protect the assets, life and resources entrusted in their care.

It helps Volunteering organisations: Volunteering, especially in sensitive roles like Child care, vulnerable care, and related positions require the highest form of staff assessment.

It helps individuals: Only those with a Criminal Record Check certificate can factually know their convictions at the criminal records. It includes knowledge about their charges and other DCOs (if any).

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