Where To Get A Police Check in Australia?
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Have you been asked for a police check by a prospective employer but aren’t sure where to get one?
More and more businesses and organisations require police checks before a prospective candidate starts employment.
A police check (also known as Police criminal history records) is an authorised record issued by Police authorities. It allows prospective employers or specific organisations to review criminal record information as part of their background check and see if an individual has pending charges against their name or was convicted of certain criminal acts or offences in Australia.
So, to help you navigate the police check process, we’ve detailed below why, how and where to apply for your police check.
Why Do I Need A Police Check?
One of the most common reasons for needing a police check is for prospective employers. They’re usually a precaution to reduce the risks of theft or fraud. Also, in some specific industries where employees are in contact with vulnerable people, such as the disability or the childcare sector, police checks are vital as they allow employers to rule out past offenders.
If you’re applying for an Australian visa, you’ll need to provide a police check as part of the application process.
If you’re asking for guardianship of a child living abroad, you’ll be required to provide a police check. This is done to keep the child safe from anyone who could potentially be a threat to them.
How & Where To Apply For A Police Check?
The Australian Federal Police Force
You can apply for your police check through the Australian Federal Police Check for the reasons included below:
- Residents of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Jervis Bay Territory and external Commonwealth territories
- People seeking employment with the Commonwealth Government
- People requiring a check under Commonwealth legislation
- Australian immigration purposes
- Where the applicant resides overseas
- Overseas employment
- Overseas adoption
- Visa applications for overseas travel
This police check will cost you $42.
State Police Services
If you’re applying for another reason, you should check your relevant state police services as listed below:
- NSW Police Check: your check will usually be completed within an hour and released within ten business days.
- WA Police Check: your document will usually be released within one to 15 business days.
- SA Police Check: SA authorities recommend allowing at least 15 business days for the police check to be issued.
- QLD Police Check: you should allow at least ten business days for your document to be issued.
- Victoria Police Check: similar to the NSW and QLD police checks, it’s recommended that you allow a minimum of ten days for your Victoria Police Check to be issued.
- Tasmania Police Check: the Tasmania Police Check will be issued within ten business days (minimum) after applying.
- ACT Police Check: you should allow at least 15 business days for your ACT Police Check to be issued.
- NT Police Check: you should allow ten business days for your NT Police Check to be issued.
With Australia Post, you can apply online or directly in-store at your local post office.
If you apply online, you’ll be given the option to either start a completely new application or reuse data stored on your account. This will only work if you’ve applied for a national police check through Australia Post before and saved your details.
Applying for a police check with Australia Post will cost you $52 if you’re an employee or $30 if you’re a volunteer. If you’ve completed your application correctly, you should receive your digital police check within two hours after it has been processed. However, the standard processing time is one to two business days. You’ll find more information on the Australia Post website.
And you’re all set!
If you’re looking for cheaper options, beware of some third party organisations. While there are reliable third-party organisations that provide this service as well, we’d recommend sticking to these official websites. And if you’re an independent contractor or a business owner working in contact with vulnerable communities, you may also need to consider public liability insurance or professional indemnity insurance. Check out our instant quote generator to get an estimate on market-leading insurance for your occupation in seconds.