A police check is also known as a national police check, it is a certificate that details any Disclosable Court Outcomes (DCO) and pending charges associated with your name. You may need a police check for specific jobs or volunteer positions.
What is a nationally coordinated criminal history check?
A nationally coordinated criminal history check, also known as 'police check' is a collation of police and conviction history information about an individual that has been determined releasable by Australia’s police agencies.
Information that may be disclosed on an applicant’s police check result may include:
Court convictions, including penalties and sentences
Findings of guilt with no conviction
Good behaviour bonds or other Court orders
Matters awaiting Court hearings
What is a volunteer police check?
A volunteer police check is a police check in support of a volunteer position or role.
Identifying a police check as ‘volunteer’ only determines the price billed – it will not alter the outcome of the police check result.
A volunteer police check must only be requested to us if:
The applicant will:
freely hold the position or perform the role on a voluntary basis and
not be an employee or contractor and will not be entitled to a salary or any other entitlements associated with the position or role, other than payment of out of pocket expenses or
the applicant is a student undertaking a compulsory vocational placement as a requirement of an Australian-based academic institution or training course.
What does a Police Check disclose?
An Australian police check shows Disclosable Court Outcomes (DCO). These include, but are not limited to:
Any charge found proven in court.
Details of the court that heard the charge, the date and any penalty or sentence.
Findings of guilty by a court, even if no conviction is recorded.
Court convictions, even if no sentence or penalty was given.
Good behaviour bonds and similar court orders.
Charges laid by police but not yet proven, or otherwise, in court.
Current investigations in which the subject is a suspect.
Children’s Court convictions and guilty findings.
Traffic convictions and guilty findings.
On-the-spot fines issued by police that ended up in court.
How long is a police check result valid?
There is no standard timeframe for which the results of a police check are valid.
A police check is considered a ‘point in time’ check only. Therefore, the results only reflect police records on the date and time the result is released. It is up to the organisation that requires the police check to determine the timeframe acceptable for a police check result to be valid, based on their own risk assessment or operational requirements.
An urgent priority can only be applied to checks where a delay in results may have a direct impact on the care, safety or provision of essential services within the community
Four general categories exist for urgent checks:
specialist skills or an emergency or disaster situation;
political reasons (including national security – for Australian Government only);
medical reasons; or
child-related process, including adoption and emergency placement.
Some examples include when:
volunteers are needed to provide bushfire relief;
support is needed for an upcoming election;
medical specialists are required for locum work in a remote area; or
emergency foster carers are needed.
Many types of reasons are not considered to be urgent priorities. Examples are when an individual:
is offered employment and is due to start tomorrow;
has an expired police clearance;
cannot work until their check is returned; or
has a professional registration pending a check.
How long does it take to do a police check?
Once the police check is submitted to the ACIC
70% of all BackyCheck applications are completed in real-time*. These are the police checks which result in ‘no potential matches found’ and they have ‘no disclosable court outcomes’.
30% requiring manual process and 95% of those are processed within 10 days. These are found with ‘potential matches against applicant’s details'.
Please ensure you allow yourself adequate time to receive your police check just in case your application requires manual investigation.
*Figures may vary over the time.
Differences with other checks
What is the difference between the Australian Federal Police (AFP) Police Check and the Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check provided by the ACIC through us as one of the ACIC accredited body?
What differs the Australian Federal Police (AFP) police check and the Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check provided by the ACIC is the purpose you are doing the police check for.
For immigration or visa purposes, or employment with the Commonwealth Government you may want to consider the Australian Federal Police (AFP) police check.
An Australian police check (ACIC) is acceptable for all other types of employment in industries such as education, health, banking and finance, and childcare.
What is a working with children check and how to obtain one?
In Australia, people who work or volunteer with children are screened for suitability through a Working With Children Check.
This type of check is separate and different to a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check. A Working With Children Check allows for a greater release of information to ensure the utmost safety and protection of children within the community.
BackyCheck can’t provide you with any working with children check.
If you are looking to get your working with children check done please refer to the table below.
The following state and territory screening units are the only organisations allowed, under legislation, to conduct Working With Children Checks.