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  • Home Resources & Technical Articles Pre-Employment Screening Topics National Police Checks Is there any difference in the legitimacy of a check issued by Australian National Character Check (ANCC) and a police agency?

    Is there any difference in the legitimacy of a check issued by Australian National Character Check (ANCC) and a police agency?

    Some people who want to apply for a nationally coordinated criminal history check (ncchc) are sometimes unsure about whether a legitimate Police Check obtained through an accredited service provider will be suitable for their needs. So, they will rather take the longer means by applying in-person via the police authorities.

    Unfortunately, they usually stress for nothing.

    Criminal history checks issued by the police or via an accredited service provider like Australian national character check (ANCC) are valid and authentic everywhere in Australia.

    When applying for a police check for the purpose of employment, volunteering or various accreditation schemes, there is no difference in the legitimacy of a police check issued by Australian national character check (ANCC) and the local police force of your State or Territory. Both access the same central government database to retrieve results. Applicants may notice small differences in the formatting of the certificate or the certificate layout, however both are equally valid.

    Applicants that apply for their police check online via ANCC generally do however experience the substantial differences in the speed and efficiency of obtaining their national police check online, as opposed to lodging paper forms or getting identification documents certified or attested at the post office or a police station.

    Are there different Police Checks issued?

    No, background checks for employment and volunteering purposes there is only a single type of check, and it comes from a central (federal) government database.

    All criminal history checks delivered to applicants via ANCC are issued by the central government database which is also the source of checks for the local police authorities. If a check gets referred for manual processing, state and territory police agencies are also involved in “vetting” the check before the results are released. IMost people prefer to go through the ANCC because of efficient delivery, safety and convenience of being able to apply anywhere in Australia as long as you have an internet connection.

    What are the methods for obtaining a national criminal record check?

    While criminal record checks in Australia are a singular nationwide individual checking scheme, there are various ways for individuals to access it. Although the results issued are all the same, the applicants may for personal reasons choose any of the following means;

    • Apply through Australian National Character Check (ANCC)

    This is considered by many to be an easy, safe and efficient method of obtaining an ncchc police check in Australia. The application process is 100% online, including verification and payments.

    Applicants who make use of the online portal usually receive a result sent to their email within 24 to 48 hours with the remaining that get referred for manual processing taking up to 15 days. The agency understands the packed schedule of most applicants and precludes some inefficiencies involved in paper-based registrations.

    Anyone can apply for a check via the portal of the ANCC using either a PC, Tablet or mobile device, anywhere in Australia or internationally.

    • Apply through the Local police authority

    Applicants can also obtain a crime check certificate when they apply in the Police offices near them. However, this process may not be as efficient as applying online as identification documents may need to be certified or attested and the procedure may be partly paper based.

    However, no matter which method a person chooses to apply, the national police check issued is equally valid and authentic in all States/Territories in Australia if the purpose is for employment or volunteering. It should also be noted that checks for the purposes of visa, immigration or employment with the Commonwealth must be obtained via the AFP and not an accredited service provider like Australian National Character Check.

    Are there differences in the convictions disclosed in checks from different providers?

    Since all criminal checking gets their source from the same central government database, there can be no difference in the contents. A check obtained from the local police office/accredited agencies will contain all releasable court outcomes (DCOs) of the individual according to the State's legislation.

    The contents of the result do not change irrespective of how/where you applied for the document. Some examples of the convictions released in a Police Check document are;

    • Convictions/Charges against corporate organisations
    • Traffic charges for which an individual is convicted in a court
    • All Sentences and Convictions
    • Sexually related offences
    • Serious convictions like assault or battery
    • Pending court charges and offences
    • Other offences not under the Spent convictions scheme

    The State where you apply and the purpose for a Police Check determines the convictions that are released. However, spent convictions will not be disclosed in a Police Check; these convictions are either considered “lesser offences” or the offender has satisfied prescribed conditions.

    The popular convictions for these offences are;

    • Ten (10) consecutive years of the waiting period has elapsed since the person was convicted of the crime (in an adult court).
    • Five (5) consecutive years of the waiting period has elapsed since the person was convicted of the crime (in a youth court/as a juvenile). If you are applying for a NSW national police check, the rule is three (3) years for juveniles.

    It also follows that;

    • The individual must not be convicted of any punishable offence during this waiting period, or the period restarts
    • If a jail term is imposed, the crime-free period begins after the jail term
    • Convictions stipulated by the court to be considered as Spent if the individual meets Special conditions (community works, therapy, self-quarantine, and co.)

    Yet, some offences are never considered “Spent”. These offences are too “serious”, and will be revealed in the Police Check results no matter how old. Some of these offences are;

    • Sexually related convictions
    • Convictions against corporate organizations and institutions
    • Convictions stated by the regulations/Court sentencing
    • Convictions for which a prison sentence of six or more months is imposed

    Offences not disclosed in a Police Check result are;

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

    Where are the Criminal offences sourced from?

    Every valid Police Check result originates from the central criminal database of the Australian government. This way, a person cannot hide a past conviction just by switching State/Territories or Check agency.

    This is why a Police Check result obtained both online and in-person is valid in all States/Territories.

    Where is my Police Check result valid?

    What do you need a National Police Check for?

    A Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check document is not only a useful and standard check to ascertain individual suitability for a role, it is now mandatory for some purposes.

    A hopeful volunteer in a child/vulnerable/aged role must submit an updated check. Drivers, nannies, Healthcare workers, Teachers, and co must also provide a valid criminal record check.

    Here are some purposes for which you need a police check document;

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