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The Importance to conduct police checks when hiring



When applying for a new role, it is common practice for a potential employer to request to perform a police check on you. Here are some notes to help you better understand what a national police check is and why it’s important that they are conducted.

So what is a national police check?

A national police check search involves identifying and releasing any relevant Australian Federal Police information subject to relevant spent convictions, non-disclosure legislation and information release policies. Each of these police checks can only be undertaken with the informed consent of the person being checked. In Australia, you can obtain the following police checks based on the current state you living in:

The national police clearance process involves:  

  • searching a central index containing the names of persons of interest to police;  

  • possible matches referred to the relevant police services for evaluation of their records; and

  • issuing a national police certificate 

Why should an organisation conduct police checks?

By carrying out national police checks, an organisation is showing due diligence and care. It exemplifies that the company values their reputation, team culture and clients.

Corporate respondents in the 2016 PwC Global Economic Crime Survey stated the greatest organisational damage they experienced as a result of economic crime was damage to employee morale. 

  1. Protect assets and data of the organisation

  2. Protect the safety of staff and employees

  3. Protect company’s reputation 

  4. Safeguarding the Organization's Culture 

  5. Attract and retain high performing workers

What does a national police clearance include?


A national police certificate provides a summary of a person’s criminal record in Australia and usually includes: 

  • court appearances 

  • court convictions, including any penalty or sentence 

  • findings of guilt with no conviction 

  • good behaviour bonds or other court orders 

  • charges 

  • matters awaiting a court hearing 

What does a police clearance certificate not include?

National police checks do not contain information about spent convictions. A spent conviction is a criminal conviction that has been removed from a person’s criminal record because it has lapsed after a period. Whether a conviction is spent will vary on state and federal legislation, but generally a spent finding is a criminal offence older than 5 years if convicted as a child, or an offence older than 10 years in any other case.

Where does a company get police check forms from? 

Police checks serve to protect an organisation’s employees, productivity, performance, resources, clients, culture and reputation and are an integral part of the background check process for potential employees. Therefore, it’s important that organisation’s partner with an accredited police check provider that has access to the national police checking service to ensure they receive reliable and timely results. A police check application can be found online. When an organisation is considering agencies to conduct police record checks, they generally keep the following things in mind: 

  • Have a fast turnaround, so they don’t miss out on top talent.

  • Be accredited by the Australian Federal Government and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission

  • Have an easy-to-use interface, so that they aren’t wasting time. 

  • As they are dealing with sensitive documents, they’ll want to find a reputable and trusted provider to conduct the police check for them.