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National Criminal History Check

Start a new Police Check

It is common practice for a National Criminal History Check to be requested of you if you have applied for a job or admission to an organisation in Australia. For some purposes, it is even mandatory that the organisation be responsible for requesting Police Checks from every one of their staff.

If you are asked to provide a National Criminal History Check, you can contact accredited agencies like Australian National Character Check to get a national police check online.

What is a National Criminal History Check?

A National Criminal History Check is a record of all recorded criminal activities, police records, and conviction history information of an individual (applicant). Where there is a criminal record or a court outcome against your name on the criminal database and it is deemed disclosable according to the State’s legislation, it will be released by the authorities.

Who can request my National Criminal Check?

Currently, most organisations will require you to present a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check (NCCHC) certificate before granting you employment or volunteer positions. Also, some roles covered under legislation mandates an applicant to present their National Police Check such as;

  • Working in aged care and obtaining aged care police checks

  • Working with vulnerable persons or groups

  • Working with Children/Working as a teacher/teacher’s aide

  • Working with or caring for the disabled

  • Hospital employment

  • Permits for possession of firearms

  • Firefighting/Fire prevention

  • Adoption

Businesses request for National Criminal Checks during the recruitment process as part of the safe acts and procedures. It is also a risk mitigation strategy against damage to business brand and public safety.

What is disclosed in my National Criminal History Check?

A National Criminal History Check will either contain No Disclosable Court Outcomes (NDCOs);

Or

Disclosable Court Outcomes (DCOs), including details of the convictions. Some of the kinds of convictions to expect on a Police Check are;

  • Charges

  • Good behaviour bonds

  • Pending trials and convictions

  • Court appearances

  • Traffic offenses that lead to sentences

  • Warrants or court warnings

  • Finding of guilt with no convictions

What will not be disclosed in a NCHC certificate?

Where the offences are considered spent, non-releasable following state legislation, they are expunged from the certificate (except by special exclusion order)

  • Incomplete or abandoned charges

  • Diversion programs

  • Sentences given abroad

  • Traffic infractions that do not culminate in convictions (cautions, warnings, fines)

  • Penalties from third- party institutions

  • Offences prosecuted by authorities outside the Police Jurisdiction

Spent charges

Spent Convictions will not show up on your NCHC Check record depending on the state legislature where the conviction was given. Spent findings are;

  • Offences older than 10 years (waiting period)committed by an adult

  • Offences older than 5 years (waiting period) committed by a child (3 years in NSW)

  • Also,

  • The offender must not be convicted of a punishable crime during the waiting period

  • The waiting period restarts if there is another conviction

  • If a prison sentence was imposed, the waiting period commences after completion of the term.

Offences not eligible as ‘spent convictions’ (included in your national police certificate) generally include;

  • Convictions for sexually related offences

  • Convictions against corporate organisations and institutions

  • Convictions stated by the regulations

  • Convictions for which a prison sentence of more than six months is imposed

How can I obtain a National Criminal History Check?

Accredited agencies like Australian National Character Check make it easy for both individuals and organisations alike to obtain a valid Criminal Background Check certificate. The entire application and submission process is online and easy to navigate.

In most instances the certificate will be mailed to you within 24 hours of application. All other remaining applications are processed within 3 to 15+ business days.

Though the results on the certificate are issued by Australian police agencies, we make the police check process easier.

Alternatively, individuals can also apply in-person at the local Police stations. It involves completing a paper-based application form. Most people often avoid this method as it is usually time and energy consuming.

Why would my NCHC check take longer than 24 hours?

Once you complete your application for a police check online, the details are sent to the Police Authorities and compared against a national criminal database. If you have lived in other States in Australia, the search algorithm will also request your criminal history from that police jurisdiction. A manual search may have to be conducted in case of any possible matches.

Where the software spots an “anomaly” or a potential match for your details on the criminal database, it might flag your application for manual review. However, this is not a certainty that there is a conviction against your profile; it might be due to items like:

  • Confusing data on your application

  • Shared common names

  • Potential criminal record

When an application is flagged for manual review, it will delay the time you receive your check report between 2 and 15 days.

Applicants should know that Australian National Character Check does not influence applications that are flagged for manual review. We do not know in advance which application will be flagged. However, we encourage all applicants to fill the application forms correctly in the first insurance to avoid any delay or a “request for further information” by our check processing teams.

How long is my National Criminal History Check valid?

The National Criminal History Check does not have a standardized expiry date (point-in-time check). The Check certificate is valid from the point of issue till you are requested to provide an updated check. However, most employers or requesting parties do not accept checks that are older than 3 months.

Employers should also advise staff and volunteers to provide updated checks within respectable periods. However, if you are convicted of a crime within the period, you should apply for an updated police clearance.

Am I old enough to apply for a Check?

Australian National Character Check issues a valid check to the applicant as low as ten years of age. However, if you are under 18 years, you must provide informed consent from your parent or guardian as part of the online check application.

How much does it cost to obtain a Check?

When applying for a National Criminal History Check, you will have to pay the stipulated fee before your application is processed.

The base price for a standard National Criminal History Check costs $48.90.

Organisations can also cover the cost and obtain checks for their employees (with their consent).

During application, you must state the purpose and the type of check you require, as they are hardly interchangeable. If you are requested to provide a National Criminal History Check for visa purposes, you should make proper enquiries on the National Criminal History Check. For purposes such as immigration or visa, the check must be obtained directly from the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

Where is the National Criminal History Check valid?

When you apply and receive your NCHC certificate, it qualifies as a National Police Check certificate and is valid in all states and territories in Australia.

Your Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check is valid as a:

Police check in Queensland

National police check in Victoria,

National police check in NSW,

Criminal history check in South Australia,

National police check in ACT,

National police clearance in Western Australia (WA),

Police check in the NT, and

A National police check in Tasmania.

Information you must provide to apply for a National Criminal History Check

Your information is submitted to the Australian police agencies to find any criminal records relating to you. Some of the information you will provide during the application are;

  •   All names; including aliases, monikers, and maiden names

  •   Residential address (es) over the past five years

  •   Date of Birth

  •   Four forms of Identification documents and a biometric link to your identity

The Procedures for the application

  •   Step 1: Log on to the Australian National Character Check website for Australian Police Check applications

  •   Step 2: After filling up the required field on the application portal, pay using our numerous digital payment options; MasterCard, American Express, Visa, PayPal and co.

  •   Step 3: Verify your application with your IDs

  •   Step 4: Australian National Character Check forwards all applications through a secure portal to the National Police Checking Service system.

  •   Step 5: The applicants' information is compared against a stream of all the entire criminal database in the nation.

  •   Step 6: Result is provided to Australian National Character Check. It either comes out as No Disclosable Court outcome (NDCO) or with a Disclosable Court Outcome (DCO) and the details.

  •   Step 7: The National Criminal History Check is complete and returned to the applicant.

Business and Enterprise criminal history check portal

Businesses and Enterprises can engage Australian National Character Check to streamline their employment national criminal history checks. We provide various solutions like a business portal for police checks, or a pre-paid voucher management system. Contact us today to learn more about our solutions for business, enterprise and government.

Wrapping Up

National Criminal History Checks should not be a basis for organisations to discriminate against potential employees/applicants during recruitments. In some States, the Equal Opportunities Commission defends the rights and treatment of employees against discrimination.

However, where the offence poses a direct risk to the post that the applicant applies for (work with aged, children, vulnerable, finance, and other sensitive posts), the organisation should apply its discretion practice following State legislation and employment policies.

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