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I need a check on myself

To help protect the Australian community, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) works with Australian police agencies and accredited bodies to deliver the National Police Checking Service. The Service allows people to apply for a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check, commonly called a police check.

How do I get a police check?

The ACIC does not accept applications or submit police checks on behalf of individuals. We control access to the National Police Checking Service under a cooperative outsourced model that allows accredited bodies to access the Service on behalf of individuals and/or other organisations.

To get a police check, you can either:

Why might I need a police check?

A police check helps organisations make informed decisions about the suitability of applicants for a range of employment, registration or licensing entitlements, including:

  • recruitment, job applications and pre-employment screening
  • volunteer and not for profit positions
  • working with children or vulnerable people
  • immigration and citizenship
  • visa applications
  • adoption applications
  • occupation related licensing
  • firearm licensing.
What is the process for getting a police check?

You have a requirement to obtain a police check to assist an organisation make a decision about your suitability.

  1. To submit a police check, you need to contact an ACIC accredited body or an Australian police agency who can submit a police check on your behalf.
  2. You need to complete the accredited body or police agency’s application form; this application might be on-line or in paper form. You must consent to the police check – known as ‘informed consent’.
  3. With the completed application form and informed consent, you will provide your identity documents to the accredited body or policy agency. You must follow a linkage process to establish your identity. 
  4. The linkage process might take place in-person or through an on-line digital communications tool (such as webcam). The accredited body or police agency then verifies your identity.
  5. Your police check is lodged into the National Police Checking Service Support System (NSS), the national IT system owned by the ACIC. Police then assesses your criminal and conviction information (if applicable), and determines what information about you can be released, based on the purpose of the check and relevant spent convictions legislation.
  6. Your police check result is returned to the accredited body or police agency you submitted your police check through.

See How the service works for more information.

What information do I need to provide on my application?

You will be asked to provide your personal information, identity documentation and informed consent. Providing informed consent means you understand and agree to your personal information being submitted for the police check, and the subsequent use and disclosure of any national policing information relevant to you.

You will be asked to outline the purpose of your police check, including details about:

  • the position title, occupation, volunteer role, or entitlement for which you require a police check
  • your proposed place of work or volunteer role (the name of organisation or the type of workplace or industry, For example the name of the school, or employer)
  • the location of your work (town and state/territory)
  • whether or not you will have contact with vulnerable groups and whether this will be supervised or unsupervised).
What identity documents do I need to provide?

You will need to provide four identity documents to verify your identity; one of these documents must be a ‘commencement of identity document’.  A commencement of identity document will normally be a:

  • full Australian Birth Certificate—not an extract or birth card, and not a commemorative certificate
  • a current Australian Passport
  • a valid Australian Visa (which may be in the form of a Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) record or printout)
  • an Australian Citizenship Certificate
  • an official immigration record or document issued by the Department of Home Affairs or the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

If you are a New Zealand citizen or on a Special Category Visa you can request your VEVO details from the Department of Home Affairs via their website.

You will also need to provide a ‘primary use in the community document’.  A primary use in the community documents may be a:

  • current Australian driver licence, learner permit or provisional licence
  • a current foreign passport (with an accompanying Australia Visa)
  • a current proof of age card or photo identity card issued by a government agency
  • a current shooter or firearm licence (not a minor or junior permit)
  • if you’re under 18, a current student identification card that has your photo and your signature.

The accredited body will also ask you to provide two ‘secondary use in the community documents’.  There are a range of documents that fit within the secondary use category, which your accredited body will provide you information about. As a guide, you could provide:

  • your Medicare card
  • evidence of your enrolment with the Australian Electoral Commission
  • a foreign government issued document—such as a drivers licence, or marriage certificate
  • a government agency issued photo identity card
  • your Aviation Security Identification Card, or Maritime Security Identification Card
  • a bank card or credit card (the accredited body does not need to collect or record the number of your bank card or credit card and you should ask how this information will be removed if you provide a copy as part of your application).
What do I do if I have a change of name?

If you cannot provide all identity documents in your primary name you must provide a linkage document. A linkage document will be:

  • an Australian marriage certificate issued by a State or Territory (this does not include a church or celebrant issued certificate)
  • a revised and reissued Australian Birth Certificate that shows your change of name.

Your accredited body can provide more information about what linkage documents you will need to provide.  Please contact your accredited body to discuss your circumstances.

What do I do if I cannot provide all of the required identity documents?

In rare circumstances, we recognise that some people may not be able to provide all of the required identity documents.  If this occurs, your accredited body will assess your circumstances and provide you with alternatives.  Except in extreme cases of hardship or inability, you will be asked to contact the relevant issuing body (such as Births, Deaths and Marriages or the Department of Home Affairs) and obtain the required documents.

Please contact your accredited body to discuss your circumstances.

How does the ACIC handle my personal information?

Every effort has been made in the design of the Service to protect your privacy. While the ACIC is exempt from the Privacy Act, we maintain the confidentiality of information and ensure all accredited bodies comply with Australian Privacy Principles. These principles set out the rules about how accredited bodies must safely:

  • collect personal information
  • use or disclose personal information
  • store and manage personal information
  • dispose of personal information.

Accredited bodies must publish a privacy policy, which outlines how they will handle your personal information. Contact the accredited body or police agency you submitted your police check through if you would like to learn more.

What if I want to remove identifying information from my police check result, such as my gender?

If you want some inessential identifying information removed from your police check result, such as your gender, or previous names, please contact your accredited body.

You cannot ask for any police information to be removed from your result. 

You cannot ask for the primary name in which your result has been issued to be removed.

Who should I contact if I have a question about my police check?

The ACIC does not accept applications or submit police checks on behalf of individuals. We control accredited bodies that access our Service under commercial contract.

If you have questions about the status of your police check or results, you must contact the accredited body or police agency you submitted your police check through.