Police Check FAQ

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Police Check FAQ

About police checks

What is a Police Check?

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
  • Court appearances
  • Charges
  • Findings of guilt with no conviction
  • Good behaviour bonds or other Court orders
  • Matters awaiting Court hearings
  • Traffic offences

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.

Lodging police checks

How to apply for police check

Go to the Backy Check website at backycheck.com.au/background-check-services

  • Select the check you want. You can also bundle with other checks you may need - for example as the VEVO check.
  • Once you've completed your purchase you will receive a link to finalise the application online by verifying your identity online, and upload the required documets.
  • We will then notify you once your check is ready.

What ID do I need to prepare?

ACIC requires you to provide 4 documents from 3 categories, as below:

  • ONE Commencement of ID Document
  • ONE Primary Use in the Community Document
  • TWO Secondary Use in the Community Documents

In all instances, the combination of identity documents must contain at minimum your full name, date of birth and a photograph.

If you have provided identity documents using a former name, such as a maiden name, you must provide evidence of the name change in addition to the four identity documents.

The nature of the documents in each of the categories is summarised below:

Commencement of ID

ONE (1) is required

  • Australian birth certificate or authorised record of birth (not an extract or birth card)
  • Australian citizenship certificate
  • Australian visa current at time of entry to Australia as a resident or tourist, supported by a foreign passport, which is needed for verification
  • ImmiCard issued by Department of Home Affairs that enables the cardholder to prove their visa and/or migration status and enrol in services
  • Current Australian passport not expired, (it may be up to 2 years expired)

Primary Use in Community Document

ONE (1) is required

  • Current Australian passport not expired, (it may be up to 2 years expired)
  • Current Australian drivers licence, learner permit or provisional licence issued by a state or territory, showing a signature and/or photo and the same name as claimed
  • ImmiCard issued by Department of Home Affairs that enables the cardholder to prove their visa and/or migration status and enrol in services
  • Australian marriage certificate issued by a state or territory (church or celebrant-issued certificates are not accepted)
  • Current passport issued by a country other than Australia with a valid entry stamp or visa
  • Current proof of age or photo identity card issued by an Australian Government agency in the name of the applicant, with a photo
  • Current shooter or firearms licence showing a signature and photo (not minor or junior permit or licence)
  • For persons under 18 years of age with no other Primary Use in Community Documents, a current student identification card with a signature or photo.

Secondary Use in Community Document

TWO (2) are required

  • Certificate of identity issued by DFAT to refugees and non-Australian citizens for entry to Australia
  • Document of identity issued by DFAT to Australian citizens or persons who have the nationality of a Commonwealth country for travel purposes
  • Convention travel document secondary (United Nations) issued by DFAT
  • Foreign government issued documents (for example, drivers licence)
  • Medicare card
  • A relationship certificate issued by a state or territory Births, Deaths and Marriages
  • Enrolment with the Australian Electoral Commission
  • Security guard or crowd control photo licence
  • Evidence of right to an Australian Government benefit (Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs)
  • Consular photo identity card issued by DFAT
  • Photo identity card issued to an officer by a police force
  • Photo identity card issued by the Australian Defence Force
  • Photo identity card issued by the Australian Government or a state or territory government (this may take the form of a Working with Children/Vulnerable People Card or a government occupational licence);
  • Aviation Security Identification Card (ASIC)
  • Maritime Security Identification Card (MSIC)
  • Firearms licence
  • Australian secondary or tertiary student photo identity document
  • Certified academic transcript from an Australian university or a registered higher education provider;
  • Trusted referees report
  • Bank card, credit card or bank statement (without recording the payment/card number/s)
  • Australian tax file number
  • State/territory government rates assessment notice or Australian Taxation Office assessment notice;
  • Australian utility bill showing name and address;
  • Australian private health insurance card;
  • Australian trade association card

Learn more about the documents required for a police check.

When can I apply for a urgent police check?

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 Backy Check 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.

Backy Check 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.