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  • Home Resources & Technical Articles Pre-Employment Screening Topics Police Checks What information comes up on a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check in Australia

    What information comes up on a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check in Australia

    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.

    Before most organizations/businesses offer employment or admission to applicants, they mostly request the individual's police check certificate. While the police check is an important legal requirement before working in some institutions (Child care, aged care, disabled and vulnerable groups), it is less severe in others.

    However, most organisations conduct a police check before employment to reduce the risk of fraudulent activities or any other damage to their brand through "potential recurring" individual behaviours.

    What is a police check Australia

    A Police check is a record that contains all the disclosable court outcomes (DCOs) or the no disclosable court outcome (NDCO) of an individual. The Police check is authorized and issued by Police authorities in Australia.

    The police check certificate also known as the Police criminal history records is based upon data supplied like;

    • National names Index (NNI)
    • Date of birth of the individual
    • Address and contact information ( residential addresses for the past five years)
    • Fingerprints (if applicable)

    If you have a prior conviction (served or unserved), there is a high probability that it will appear on your police check certificate. And the jurisdiction/laws of the state influence the records that are displayed in your police check.

    It is common to feel quite uneasy when expecting your police check Australia result, even when you are sure that there are no prior convictions to your name.

    Since most organisations now request a police check before offering employment, we have a put up a list of things you can expect from your Police Criminal Check certificate;

    What will show up on my police check Australia

    For all police checks in Australia, there are just two types of possible outcomes;

    A No disclosable Court Outcomes (NDCO): it means that an individual has a clean slate, and does not have any criminal history for release.


    Disclosable Court Outcomes: When issued with a DCO, it usually contains details of the conviction.

    So, if your police check Australia has a DCO, here are some of the charges you can expect to find;

    • All Criminal charges (assault, sexual offence, violence, etc.) including suspended sentences
    • Findings of guilt which has not expired even without a conviction
    • Pending court charges
    • Served sentences/convictions

    How does a police check Australia work

    When you request for the police check certificate (Yes, it is consent-based), you will have to complete an application form. The form can be completed and submitted in-person at a local police station or through secured online connections via services like Australian National Character Check (ANCC).

    You should fill up the entire required field including maiden name, aliases, all previous addresses, and more.

    After submission, your data is compared with information on the Police criminal database. If there are no convictions against your data, the certificate returns as a No Disclosable Court Outcomes (NDCO). Else, it returns with details of your convictions with a result that states Disclosable Court Outcomes (DCO).

    How long does a police check Australia take

    There are two main ways of applying for a police check Australia;

    •   Through the local police authority in your state
    •   Through ACIC accredited agencies like Australian National Character Check

    If you apply through Australian National Character Check (online, easy, fast and efficient), you should get your Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check result mailed back to you within 24 hours. Cool right?

    However, some police check applications are flagged for a “manual review” and this process delays the time an applicant gets their result, by 2 and 15 business days.

    Marking an application for "manual review" is usually the "choice" of the Police authorities. Also, in no way does it signify that an applicant has "failed" their police check Australia.

    Wrapping Up

    People with prior convictions should not be deterred from applying for the job or opportunity they need. Although employers consider the results of the police check Australia before hiring, they retain the discretion of determining how it affects the role the individual is applying for.

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