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How long is a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check valid for?

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 it is rare to apply for a job, license, accreditation, contract or similar activities without being requested for a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check. Where such activity subsumes sensitive roles such as care for children, financial roles, vulnerable care, security, and co, it becomes an important requirement to provide a valid police check.

Obtaining a police check has become as easy as ever especially when you can apply online via Australian National Character Check (ANCC). Applicants who complete the online application receive their national criminal history check certificate usually within 24 hours, with the remainder that get referred for manual processing taking longer. The Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check you receive remains valid till you apply for an updated check.

However, not all police checks will be accepted by the employer or whoever has asked you to present the police check. If a criminal history check certificate is passed at a certain age, the requesting party may reject it.

But how do we know the validity period of a police check, given that police checks are;

  • ✔ Point-in-time checks, which remain valid from the point of issue
  • ✔ Don’t have expiry dates
  • ✔ Contain all valid and updated details of a person’s criminal and police history up until the point of issue.

The general validity period of a police check

Although the police check itself has no official expiry date, an organisation can choose the age of the police check certificate they accept. Organisations also make this decision according to their internal risk mitigation strategy.

Generally, most organisations will not accept police checks older than 3 months. However, some organisations depending on the sensitivity of the role may extend this “validity” period to 6 months.

These organisations believe that such validity periods best reflect their internal risk mitigation strategy. That is why applicants are advised to obtain updated police checks before applying for another role.

What if my police check needs to be renewed?

If your police check is rejected based on exceeding the “accepted validity period”, you can apply using ANCC’s online police check application form to begin an updated check. Most checks are dispatched within 24 hours.

Why Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Checks don’t last forever

A police check contains an updated record of an individual's criminal records up until the point of issue. Therefore a person's recent convictions will not show up in a police check if such person receives his check certificate before another conviction. It means the requesting party will miss these current convictions as they are not on the check.

Is a police check a once-for-all?

Even when you have been employed or granted a license, you will still need to provide updated checks at stipulated periods.

Furthermore, if you are convicted of an offence within this "waiting period", you are advised to inform the company and apply for an updated criminal history check.

How long does a police check application take?

When you apply online through ANCC, you will receive your national Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check certificate mostly within 24 to 48 hours.

While most checks are delivered in hours, some may be delayed temporarily. Some applications can be delayed for 2-15+ days. When this happens, it means such applications are flagged for "manual reviewing".

In this case, an official must manually supervise the applicant's check and details. However, this does not translate that the applicant has failed their criminal history check. Manual reviews are usually results from

  • Common name
  • Shared data
  • Frequently changing addresses
  • Further Checking as information corresponds to another state or territory government database.

What offences show up on a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check?

If you apply for a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check, expect all past convictions on the records of all States and Territories in Australia to show up. It is dependent on the State legislations guiding criminal records. A police check can return with a:

Disclosable Court Outcome: Individual has offence(s) that are considered releasable by the State, and are displayed in details.

No-Disclosable Court Outcomes: There are no offences to be disclosed on the applicant's certificate.

Some of the offences that come up in a police check certificate are;

  • Sexually related offences
  • Traffic charges for which an individual is convicted
  • Sentences and Convictions
  • Pending court charges and offences
  • Other convictions stipulated by the court as disclosable on the individual’s check

Offences that do not show up on a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check

Some offences are either considered "not serious" or irrelevant to the purpose of the police check and are not displayed on the results.

  • 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

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.

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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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