A criminal history check is a consent-based police check that is conducted by many employers across Australia before they hire an employee.
A criminal history check is also mandatory for any work involving contact with children in Australia.
What is a Criminal History Check?
It lists any criminal history an applicant may hold. People living in Australia, citizens or immigrants, can apply for the check for different purposes.
Conducting a National Police check for employees or volunteers is a part of a rigorous recruiting process. To reduce the risk of fraud, stealing or any other criminal activity, Police Checks are conducted by organisations.
Fulfil the Requirements of Employment
Anyone looking for a job can obtain a National Police Check. If an employer needs a criminal history police check as a part of the recruitment process, they need to take the consent of the applicant prior to conducting the check. Usually, if they are conducting the police check online, then the applicant can provide their consent through electronic signature.
Though the check is not legally required in every industry, it is required for people working with children, Aged Care Industry, disabled or other vulnerable groups. However, maximum organisations are now including it as an integral part of the recruiting process after the recommendation by the government of Australia.
How long are National Police Checks valid for? The validity of the NPC depends on the particular employer or industry the applicant works in. If the job role/industry demands an updated record, one may have to obtain checks frequently, sometimes every 1 or 3 years.
What Kind of a Result is Released?
Generally, there are 2 types of results released:
A “No Disclosable Court Outcomes (NDCO)” result, which simply means the applicant does not hold any criminal history, or a “Disclosable Court Outcomes (DCO)” result.
Upon the completion of the check, the certificate is issued with details on the “Disclosable Court Outcomes (DCO)”
- The convictions for criminal offences which are not spent. It may contain traffic violations, such as driving under the influence of alcohol
- Findings of guilt without conviction which is unexpired
- Criminal charges
- Criminal court proceedings which are not finalised
One of the frequently asked questions is if an expired bond for finding guilt with no conviction comes under Disclosable Court Outcomes (DCO)? The answer is, it usually does not come up in the certificate of National Police Check.
However, there are exceptions to the general rule of spent convictions. Certain convictions can never be ‘spent’ or lapsed. It includes;
- More than six months’ prison sentence is imposed
- Any sexual offences or assaults
- Put on corporate bodies
- In case of the regulation states otherwise
In a Police check certificate, the outcomes recorded in another name such as an alias name may be disclosed as well. In the Police checking process, it is mandatory that applicants have to provide any maiden, previous or alias names while filling the application. Failing to mention all names may result in the delay of the police check, as the police agencies will enquire about any possible additional names the applicant may hold.
The certificate may not show records if in case the information is yet to be recorded in the National Names Index (NNI) because of the time delay between court outcomes and updating of the NNI or prosecution by non-police organisations did not submit the details to NNI.
What is a Spent conviction?
In a spent conviction, the information need not to be disclosed by the applicant, and it does not show up on a National Police check certificate.
Finding guilt without a good behaviour bond can be spent immediately. Finding guilt with a good behaviour bond can typically be spent when the bond expires.
Otherwise, a conviction is spent after the completion of a relevant ‘crime-free’ period. For people above 18, the period is ten years. In which;
- The person must not get convicted in a punishable offence
- The person must not have been in prison because of any conviction
Under the Criminal Records Act 1991, a person who has access to records of convictions kept by or on behalf of a public authority and who, without lawful authority, discloses to any other person any information concerning a spent conviction is guilty of an offence. The fine could be a six months’ prison or up to $5,500 fine.
Working with Children Check
A Working with Children Check, which is required for supervised or unsupervised contact with children, can reveal more information than a regular Criminal History Check.
That is the reason organisations prefer that the candidate who is willing to engage themselves in child-related work must conduct a Working with Children Check.
How to Apply for a National Police Check
An applicant can easily apply for a police check certificate from KONCHECK. The application form takes an average of 5 minutes to fill. The price is affordable and it ensures a secure process. It is a fully online process that takes 1-2 business days to deliver the certificate in 70% of the cases. To know more, click to Apply Now National Police Check.