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Different Types of Police Checks


Australian flag representing different types of police checks in Australia

A police check is like a backstage pass that helps employers and organisations make sure you’re a perfect fit for the role. In this blog post we cover the different types of police checks in Australia – we’ve got you covered with all you need to know!

Employees looking at different types of police checks in Australia

Different Types of Australian Police Checks

In Australia, there are different types of police checks. They are:

  1. Standard ACIC Police Check, also known as the Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check (NCCHC); 
  2. Volunteer ACIC Police Check; and
  3. AFP Check, also known as the National Police Check

Standard Police Check

Formally known as a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check (NCCHC), a standard police check or ACIC police check is a nationwide criminal record check across all Australian states and territories. This check, conducted by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), runs your name against existing Australian police records to identify disclosable information on criminal history, including any court convictions and pending court matters, charges, findings of guilt without conviction, traffic offences, and good behaviour bonds at the national and state/territory level. 

This type of check is primarily used for employment purposes. A standard police check isn’t suitable if you’re seeking employment with the Australian Commonwealth Government or under Commonwealth legislation.

The average turnaround time for the majority of standard checks is 1 to 2 business days. However, some circumstances can lead to a longer turnaround time.

Reasons to get a national police check:

✔ Overseas employment purposes
✔ Immigration and visa purposes
✔ Commonwealth employment purposes
✔ Firearms licences
✔ Other approved purposes as stipulated on the AFP website

The average turnaround time for national checks is 5 to 15 business days. 

Volunteer Police Check

A volunteer police check or volunteer ACIC police check is a nationwide criminal record check across all Australian states and territories. This check, conducted by the same Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) who manages standard police checks, also runs your name against existing Australian police records to identify disclosable information on criminal history, including any court convictions and pending court matters, charges, findings of guilt without conviction, traffic offences, and good behaviour bonds at the national and state or territory level. 

As you can tell, it’s similar to a standard police check but may have reduced or waived fees for volunteers. The volunteer police check is intended to support organisations in ensuring the safety of their volunteers and the people they serve.

A volunteer police check is designed for individuals seeking volunteer positions such as:

  • Volunteering with an Australian or overseas charity or not-for-profit; 
  • Volunteer foster carers; 
  • Students undertaking a compulsory student placement (this doesn’t include unpaid work experience or internships); and
  • Volunteering with a community organisation, such as a school, religious organisation, community sports group, or government council (including volunteer board members).

National Police Check 

A national police check is a comprehensive criminal history check conducted by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) that provides information about your criminal record from all states and territories across the country. It’s often required for employment and immigration purposes. This check runs your name against existing Australian police records to identify disclosable information on criminal history, including any court convictions and pending court matters, charges, findings of guilt without conviction, traffic offences, and good behaviour bonds at the federal and state/territory level.

Reasons to get a national police check:

✔ Overseas employment purposes
✔ Immigration and visa purposes
✔ Commonwealth employment purposes
✔ Other approved purposes as stipulated on the AFP website

The average turnaround time for national checks is 5 to 15 business days. 

Australian Police Check FAQs

What do you need to run a police check in Australia?

When applying for a police check, you need to provide certain personal information, identification documents, and pay a processing fee. The check is then conducted by the relevant police agency, and the results are usually provided in the form of a certificate or report.

What comes up on a police check Australia?

Australian police checks show:

  • Pending court matters
  • Charges
  • Court appearances
  • Court convictions
  • Traffic offences 
  • Good behaviour bonds
  • Findings of guilt without conviction

Can I get a job with a criminal record?

According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, an employer can only reject you if your criminal record makes you unable to perform the “inherent requirements” of the particular job.

How long are police checks valid for?

Timing is key. Think of these different types of police checks as your backstage pass for a limited time. Employers may accept checks run within the last few months, but police check results are considered “a point in time” results and you usually need a current report. Make sure you check with your employer and time it right to avoid any last-minute surprises.

How to Get a Police Check

In a world where trust is key, different types of police checks are like your golden ticket to exciting opportunities. Through our subsidiary Certn-InterCheck, we’re accredited to provide official police checks across all states and territories within Australia.

Our service also includes several validation steps to help ensure that all of the information that the ACIC and AFP needs to process your check is collected to minimise delays. Simply enter your personal information, pay using our secure checkout, and you’ll have your certified results by email.

Click the link below to get started now. 

Click here if you’re looking to run background checks on candidates, employees, or tenants. We work with businesses of all sizes.