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How to do 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.

There is a nationwide document in Australia with unrivalled credibility; it has become an indispensable requirement for many organisations. Most will not accept an employee, contractor or even agent without a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check result. This is leading to an increase in individuals applying for Nationally Coordinated Criminal History 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 Nationally Coordinated Criminal History 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 Nationally Coordinated Criminal History 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 Nationally Coordinated 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;
    • ✔ Australian birth certificate issued by the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages (Australian Government Unit) - not an extract or birth card
    • ✔ Australian Citizenship Certificate
    • ✔ Australian visa (supported by a foreign passport) current at the time of entry into Australia as a resident or touris
    • ✔ Australian passport (not expired; however, if the Document Verification System (DVS) is used to verify the passport, it may be up to 3 years expired)
    • ✔ ImmiCard issued by the Department of Home Affairs

  2. One (1) Primary Use in Community Document;
    • ✔ Australian passport (not expired; however, if the Document Verification System (DVS) is used to verify the passport, it may be up to 3 years expired)
    • ✔ An Australian driver licence, learner permit or provisional licence issued by a State or Territory, showing signature and/or photo
    • ✔ ImmiCard issued by the Department of Home Affairs to assist visa holders to provide evidence of their Commencement of Identity in Australia
    • ✔ A passport issued by a country other than Australia with a valid visa or valid entry stamp or equivalent
    • ✔ Proof of age or photo identity card issued by an Australian government agency which shows the name, date of birth, photo and signature of the individual
    • ✔ For persons aged under 18 years with no other Primary Use in Community Documents, a student identity document issued by an Australian government agency or Australian school only.

  3. Two (2) Secondary Use in Community Document;
    • ✔ Medicare card
    • ✔ Enrolment with the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC)
    • ✔ Working with children or vulnerable people card issued by an Australian state or territory government unit;
    • ✔ Tax File Number issued by the Australian Taxation Office
    • ✔ Bank card, credit card (without recording the payment card number/s)
    • ✔ Australian secondary or tertiary student photo identity document
    • ✔ Certified academic transcript from an Australian university
    • ✔ Foreign government issued driver licence. Documents in languages other than English must be accompanied by a NAATI accredited translation
    • ✔ Firearms licence
    • ✔ Security Guard/Crowd Control photo licence
    • ✔ Evidence of right to a government benefit (DVA or Centrelink)
    • ✔ Police Force Officer photo identity card
    • ✔ Australian Defence Force photo identity card
    • ✔ Aviation security identification card
    • ✔ Maritime security identification card
    • ✔ Credit reference check
    • ✔ Trusted referees report

How to apply for a nationally coordinated 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; probity, 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 Nationally Coordinated Criminal History 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 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.

    Therefore, applicants can even apply for their Nationally Coordinated Criminal History 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).

Offences not disclosed on a police check

However, not all “offences” are considered disclosable

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.
  • 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 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.

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.