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  • How to do a police check

    There is a nationwide document in Australia with unrivalled credibility; it has become an indispensable requirement for many organisations. Most will not accept a volunteer, employee, contractor or even agent without a national police check result. This is leading to an increase in individuals applying for national police checks.

    Applying for a police check is not as difficult as some may paint it. However, it depends on the method or agency through which the person applies.

    Applicants can get their police checks online via Australian National Character Check. Most results are dispatched within 24 hours with the remaining that get referred for manual processing taking up to 15+ days. Further information on how to apply for police checks and their options is given below.

    Where can I apply for a Police Check?

    Anyone who wants to apply for a national criminal check certificate has three major options for application. People who have a stricter schedule or want to receive their check quicker usually apply online.

      Online via ANCC

      Most approved service providers like Australian National Character Check (ANCC) offer online application procedures. With your PC, Tablet or mobile device, you can “start your application” using the online application forms.

      You can complete the online application within 12 minutes, together with payment.

      Candidates with successful applications will receive electronic copies of the criminal record check results mostly within 48 hours if the check does not get referred for manual processing.

      Both ANCC and Australian police agencies access the same central government database to retrieve national criminal history check results.

      State or Territory Police Forcess

      Individuals can also apply via the local police office to get their crime check certificates. The procedures for the application may be partly paper-based and may require a physical visit to the local police office for ID verification and submission.

      Applicants that apply via a local police force should allow at least 10 business days to get their results delivered.

      Post Office

      Applicants may also submit and complete the applications and ID verification through the local Post office. This procedure may also require a physical visit to the post office to get identification documents verified.

    What are the requirements for starting a police check?

    The Australia National Character Check portal provides an easy police check process of applying for your updated criminal history check.

    However, before proceeding, you must submit the following details:

    • Your full name
    • Date of Birth
    • Purpose of the check (e.g. job role that you are applying for and your place of work).

    The IDs required for verification are;

    1. One (1) Commencement of ID document;
      • ✔ Valid Australian Passport,

        ✔ Full Australian Birth Certificate,

        ✔ Valid Australian visa,

        ✔ Immicard,

        ✔ Document of identity, and co. per request

    2. One (1) Primary Use in Community Document;
      • ✔ Australian Marriage certificate,

        ✔ Current overseas passport,

        ✔ Current firearms license,

        ✔ Valid Australian driver’s license, and co. as requested on the online forms.

    3. Two (2) Secondary Use in Community Document;
      • ✔ Medicare card,

        ✔ Trade association card

        ✔ Bank statement,

        ✔ Credit reference check,

        ✔ Trusted referees report (via approved template),

        ✔ Australian utility bill,

        Australian Taxation Office Assessment Notice, and co. as requested on the online forms.

    How to apply for a criminal history check online via ANCC

      Step 1

      Click the green “Start a new Police Check” option on the website of Australian National Character Check


      Step 2

      Fill out the application form provided with accurate details of the examples listed above


      Step 3

      Fill in all contact details and extra information required on the forms. Cross-check previous data you entered.


      Step 4

      Select and fill the purpose of the Police Check application; volunteer, employment, and so on.


      Step 5

      Complete payments via any of the online options; PayPal, Debit/Credit card, and co


      Step 6

      Provide the requested Identification documents by

      • Taking photos
      • Scanning and uploading
      • Mailing copies (in the case of a physical application)

      Step 7

      Review all uploaded IDs before you can finally submit the application


      Step 8

      Sign the informed consent online before submitting the application


      Step 9

      Use our “Track a Check” option on the website to track the status of the application. The certificates are also downloadable in PDF format


      Step 10

      Get an electronic copy of the result. It is sent to the submitted email address on your application.

      If you request the hard copy, it will follow your submitted postal address.

    When should you apply for a check?

    Most people wait till they are in urgent need of a criminal record check report before applying for one. It can have its consequences, especially when applications are delayed for "manual review".

      Manual Reviews

      A manual review for criminal history check applications occurs when an official with the national check agency may need to supervise an application. Even though it is not uncommon (about 15% to 20% of Police Check applications are flagged), it can delay an application for additional 10 -15 working days. It, therefore, trumps the plans of the applicant if they need it urgently


      Numerous States and Territories

      The police background check is a nationwide scheme and compares the applicant data with information already on the police and criminal database of every State and Territory in Australia.

      An applicant who has lived in different States or Territories will have their data compared with the entire criminal database of the country. Also, the various spent convictions legislations in these areas may influence their results and the disclosable court outcomes (DCOs) that are released.

      Therefore, applicants can even apply for their criminal background check preemptively or 1 month early.

    What offences does my result reveal?

    The result shows all the convictions and legal misdemeanours of an individual convicted by a court. All these offences it categorises as Disclosable Court Outcomes (DCOs).

    • Convictions/Charges against corporate organisations
    • Sexually related offences
    • Serious offences where there was a conviction
    • Traffic charges for which an individual is convicted in a court
    • All releasable Sentences and Convictions
    • Pending court charges and offences
    • Other offences not under the Spent convictions scheme

    Offences not disclosed on a police check

    However, not all “offences” are considered disclosable – asides from the spent convictions or legal convictions.

    Some offences are not considered “serious” or lack the jurisdiction standing to be included in your DCOs.

    These offences are, and are not limited to;

    • Convictions outside the country.
    • sDiversion programs.
    • Spent Convictions
    • Punitive measures by third party institutions or other professional bodies/unions.
    • Offences outside the jurisdiction of Australian police agencies/courts.

    Wrapping Up

    Applying for a police background check is as easy as ever when you apply online. Every person above the age of 16 in Australia can apply for a check. Candidates under 18 can apply with written consent from their guardian/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.

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