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Home Blog Will interstate convictions appear on my police check?

Will interstate convictions appear on my police check?

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People often get confused about the offences or "specifications” for offences that get disclosed on their national police checks. Some even wonder if the police authorities "handpick" the convictions it discloses on a police check certificate. We can assure you that this is certainly not how it works.

A nationally coordinated criminal history check or ncchc police check in Australia is a record of a person's pending charges, sentences, orders by courts, and findings of guilt by a law court. Therefore all offences you have committed in Australia and within the commonwealth jurisdiction will appear in your ncchc or police check certificate.

Are interstate convictions disclosed?

YES, all interstate convictions within the commonwealth/Australian legal jurisdiction will appear on your police character check certificate. However, all interstate offences will appear on your check following the State's/Territory's legislation on police checking and the Spent Convictions Scheme

The Police Check is a nationwide checking and legal document. In other cases, they may refer to as a

No matter the name it is given in your local territory or State, it generally all means the same when used in the context for employment roles, volunteering roles of licensing and accreditation schemes. The document remains as valid as it is anywhere within Australia.

What is an interstate conviction?

If you have a conviction in Tasmania and relocate to Queensland, you will likely find that conviction in your Police Check obtained in Queensland. However, depending on individual state laws, some offences may be expunged in cases like;

Offences that registers as an interstate conviction

There are no special rules that qualify an offence as "interstate". However, the subtle difference in State legislation or their Spent convictions scheme may remove some offences from a person's Police Check (who has lived/lives in multiple states).

All "serious" offences, however, are disclosed in the person's background check. The State cannot "compromise" on such offences. These offences are either potentially injurious or an assessment for an individual in certain roles/discipline.

Some of these Disclosable Court Outcomes / information shown on police checks are;

What are Spent Convictions?

Some offences are usually expunged from an individual’s criminal background check by;

Irrespective of the reason, these offences will never show up in the individual’s background check certificate. Some of the processes for an offence to qualify as a spent charge include;

Following that;

Do all offences qualify for the Spent Convictions scheme?

No matter the process; the time elapsed, or the State in Australia, some offences can never be "spent". These offences are usually considered as "Serious" offences and of potential threat to people/organisations.

Some of them are;

What will not show up in an interstate Police Check?

In addition to all offences classified as "Spent", some offences do not make it to a person's police background check certificate. Some various reasons and classifications make these offences "less serious" or obsolete in a legal court.

Some of these are;

Where is a NCCHC background check in Australia valid?

Some people may get confused with a ncchc background check when they don’t find the “interstate” or “national” tag to it. However, you should know that a check is issued by comparing the individual’s criminal records with all criminal/police databases in all State/Territory jurisdictions.

A check issued by ANCC is valid in the following states and territories:

Who needs an interstate criminal record check?

A valid check will remain so in Australia irrespective of the State you obtained it from.

If you are hoping to get a volunteer role in another state, you can apply for the check in your current state of residence or the future State.

Other roles or job requirements that need a criminal background check are;

How long is a background check valid for?

Since criminal background checks are not invalidated by a Change of State/residence within Australia, you may wonder what it does.

Funnily, a check never actually officially expires. Yes - It is a point-in-time check that remains valid from the point of issue till the decision maker or requesting party requests an updated check.

However, most companies usually refuse a background check result older than 3 months.

Why are some offences/convictions interstate?

Some people think it unfair for a past conviction to haunt a candidate in different states. However, a background check is not only a record but also a document of assessment.

A criminal record check helps an employer to assess the applicant’s suitability (sometimes legally e.g. criminal record checks used in aged care) for the role. It will be just as heinous to employ a recent child offender as a nanny or private teacher.