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Home Resources & Technical Articles Pre-Employment Screening Topics Police Checks How to get a police check in the Australian Capital Territory

How to get a police check in the Australian Capital Territory

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.


Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Checks in Australia have become part of the risk mitigation system of most organisations, especially for “sensitive” roles

Following the latest amendments to the guides on employments and risk management; an employer can refuse a role even though you are qualified for it if you have a “related” conviction which can impact the expected outcome of a job role.

However, many people including those that apply for Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Checks still find it difficult to apply for a nationally coordinated criminal history check result often thinking of the many “paper works” and validity requirements.

How should I apply for a police check?

There are three common ways of applying for a police check. Depending on the method you choose, you may get your results earlier or a little later. Yet all of these methods produce the same details on the police check results.

  • Online application method
  • Using a PC, Tablet or mobile device, candidates can log "start an application" through any of the accredited service providers that offer online services. Australian National Character Check (ANCC) returns most complete applications with a valid result within 48 business hours. Processing times for Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Checks tend to be faster when completed online. The remaining (around 15% of all applications) which get referred for manual processing take longer to process.

    The process is safe, fast, and convenient. You can complete all the application processes, including payments online.

  • Local police stations (AFP stations in Canberra)
  • The police authorities in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) issue applicants with their national police history check certificate upon completion of the checking process. Candidates can start an application on the police force website.

    Most successful candidates will receive their check results by mail within around 10 days of applying (unless the check is referred for manual processing which will take longer).

  • Local Post Office
  • Applicants can also “start a new" application at the local post office. Also, in some instances they must submit all hard copies of their ID verification documents in person.

    The Post office then forwards all applications to the National Check agency for checking.

Are there differences in the police record check result issued?

Applicants should know that all Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Checks are valid and are issued per the State laws on Criminal offence and disclosure. There is no difference in the legitimacy of a police check result issued at the; local police office and that issued at the post office or online by an accredited service provider.

However, applicants who apply online will receive a digital copy of their Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check which saves on postage time and verifying the identification documents needed for a police check.

Will an offence in another State show up in my police check?

A Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check result obtained will contain the details of the conviction you got in the State and other convictions in other states.

If the candidate has lived in multiple states before applying for an ACT Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check, their records will be compared in the various databases of all the States and Territories.

What information will I need to submit to begin a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check?

The national check agency compares a stream of information on the criminal records and State and Territory records against the applicant data.

To complete a nationally coordinated criminal history check, the agency needs;

  • Your full name, including aliases
  • Date of Birth
  • Address(es)
  • A verifiable photograph
  • The correct identification documents

All this information must be verifiable through any of the ID documents you will provide.

These documents are divided into four categories.

The four categories are;

Commencement IDs

It can include any one of the following;

  • ✔ 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

Primary Use in the Community Documents

  • ✔ 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.

Two Secondary Use in the Community documents

  • ✔ 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

Can I apply for a nationally coordinated criminal history check if I have one already?

A Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check certificate is a point-in-time check. It discloses the conviction history of the applicant up till the point when they receive their police record check.

If the candidate gets another conviction while holding a police check, it does not reflect on the result, until the candidate applies for an updated check.

That is why most employers prefer police checks that are not older than 3 months.

How long do Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check applications take?

When applying for a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check online, you can complete all application processes within around 12 minutes, including payments and submission. Agencies like Australian National Character Check make their application easy through the software for online application forms.

Applicants must then fill the required fields; data, and other related questions.

Applicants must submit the entire requested ID documents fields to help the checking agency verify all the data they provide.

All applications require the candidate to remit a fee for the Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check process. You can pay through any of the numerous payment options including; Paypal, Credit/Debit cards

Select the submit button only after you have completed all fields and are sure of the outcome.

Why do you need a police check?

A police record check is important to both employers and ACT residents. It represents an upgraded method of an internal risk plan of the organisation. In some circumstances and for particular job roles like aged care, the Australian government also requests that employers (especially in the sensitive sectors) request updated police check results within respectable periods.

Within the ACT, the police history check is such an important document that in some circumstances it will not be possible to make job admissions without the check.

It should also be noted that in certain roles, applicants are required by law to obtain a working with vulnerable people check (WWVP) registration and not a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check.

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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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