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Home Resources & Technical Articles Pre-Employment Screening Topics Police Checks Steps to Get a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check for Driver Accreditation in Australia

Steps to Get a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check for Driver Accreditation in Australia

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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.

Commercial drivers in Australia have tough roles to fill. Being on the road for hours on end is no piece of cake after all. But the rewards and benefits are great once you break into the profession. If you have been thinking about taking your driving skills to a professional level, then you have probably heard of applying for driver accreditation. You may have also heard about needing national character checks for it.

On the off chance that you have zero idea on the matter, then we are here to guide you. In this article, we are going to answer some questions you might have about driver accreditation. Most importantly, we will also take you through the steps to acquire the driver accreditation. First, we have to answer why you need it in the first place.

What is driver accreditation in Australia?

Driver accreditation in Australia is a state and territory based scheme. The purpose of driver accreditation schemes is to inform passengers and transport booking service providers that a driver meets Australian safety standards and is a fit and proper person to operate a vehicle in the industry. It is essentially a vetting process that is carried out by state based road transport departments for the purpose of ensuring community safety.

Why do you need driver accreditation?

Anyone who plans on taking on a role as a commercial driver in Australia must have an Australian driver’s licence. This state-wide scheme informs the public that the driver meets the many safety standards set to operate commercial passenger vehicles (CPVs). Commercial driver accreditations are also crucial to prove that the individual is fit to drive any specific vehicle – whether they are qualified to take on the wheels of a taxi, hire car, public bus, courier vehicles, or others.

There are many checks required to be accredited. From your medical check to criminal history check, almost every aspect will be documented and scrutinised to determine if you are truly fit for the job. The speed of approval will highly depend on how good your record is.

To help you get there, here are some steps you should take to better prepare for when you apply for your driver accreditation:

Step 1: Study your state laws.

Each state has different legislation regarding driver accreditation. States like Queensland, for instance, require a separate operator accreditation if they wish to be the operators of their own passenger service. Meanwhile, bus drivers in Victoria are required to hold a driver accreditation certificate, which allows one to drive bus-type vehicles.

Driver accreditation has many types and it pays to learn about all of the options available. The accreditation process can also take days and even weeks, so to save time, remember to read up on your state’s driver accreditation laws first.

Step 2: Check the public register.

There are times when you might not need to apply for a new driver accreditation if you have already attempted to apply before or if you already hold driver accreditation in another state or territory. However, you must check for mutual recognition first. Other states might not recognise your driver accreditation from another territory, so as suggested, study up!

You also do not need to file a new application if you have an expired accreditation. You simply need to have it revived. You might also want to check your state’s public register on commercial passenger vehicles. Victoria, for instance, has made their register available for public viewing online. Perhaps the same is also available for your own state.

Checking with the public register can help you determine if you really need to apply or not. If you do need to apply, then proceed to step three.

Step 3: Know which licence type you need.

As mentioned, there are different driver licence types to choose from when applying for your driver accreditation. There’s a different driver accreditation for passenger cars, public vehicles like busses, taxis, hire cars and rideshare, motorcycles, heavy trucks, and many others.

Step 4: Prepare the basic requirements.

Every state has its own set of rules on driver accreditation. The same is true when it comes to the application requirements. Fortunately, some non-negotiables are the same across all states and territories. In general, applicants must hold a valid full driver’s licence for a minimum of 6 months (but the number of months may vary depending on the state.)

Other common requirements include the submission of the driver or traffic history check, medical history certification, and criminal history. In some states, you might even be required to submit an insolvency check from the Australian Financial Security Authority as part of the accreditation application. To know which documents you will be needing for sure, contact your state’s road transport authority and ask.

Step 5: Brace yourself for the fees.

Applying for driver accreditation is not cheap, but it’s not bank-breaking expensive either. There are expected fees that you have to prepare for. On average, the application for driver accreditation might cost you somewhere between $50 to $80, depending on your state’s requirements.

Step 6: Obtaining your Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check

One of the most important requirements for driver accreditation application is your Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check. This document contains information on an individual’s complete disclosable criminal outcomes, previous and pending cases, and so on. Nowadays, getting your national police certification is easier than ever. You can simply apply online and get the official certificate dispatched straight to your email.

When you are applying for your Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check online, make sure you are aware of what your state or territory Road Transport Authority requires you to input for your “Proposed Position Title, Occupation, or Entitlement”, and your “Level of Contact with Vulnerable People” on the application form. For example, your Road Transport Authority may require you to input Public Vehicle Driver Accreditation as your “Proposed Position Title, Occupation, or Entitlement” and Unsupervised Contact With Vulnerable People as your “Level of Contact with Vulnerable People” on the police check application form.

These requirements may vary in different Australian states and territories. As the applicant, it is your responsibility to ensure you enter the correct information on your police check application form which will be suitable for your purpose and acceptable for the Road Transport Department in your state or territory.

Under which circumstances can an application for driver accreditation in Australia be disqualified?

Under Australian law, applications for driver accreditation can be disqualified based on the following circumstances:

  • An applicant’s working with children check (WWC) indicates that the applicant is prohibited from working with children in Australia.
  • A nationally coordinated criminal history check contains severe disclosbale court outcomes (DCOs) like murder, assaults, etc.
  • The application for driver accreditation will not be considered by the relevant road transport department in case the nationally coordinated criminal history check is not issued for the purpose of “Driver Accreditation / Licensing”.

Step 7: Apply online and get your photo taken.

Once you have prepared all the documents and other requirements, it’s time to finally submit your driver accreditation application. Much like the application for Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Checks, getting your driver accreditation can be done online now! This convenient and easy option is available in your respective state’s websites for driver accreditation. Don’t forget to have your photo taken for the Driver Identification Card!

Once you have completed your online application, all that’s left to do is wait for the approval.

Step 8: Maintain your accreditation.

If you have reached this step, then congratulations! You have successfully applied for a driver accreditation and finally got approved. Now, you might be thinking about all the responsibilities that come after like renewal of accreditation and whatnot. You will be pleased to know that there’s no need for renewal. All you have to do is pay the monthly dues and stick to the instructions that your state mandates.

Need help with a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check for driver accreditation?

If you want quick and easy Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check processing, work with Australian National Character Check today. We can help you complete your requirements for your driver accreditation. Get in touch with us to learn more.

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