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I’m interested in becoming accredited

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.

About accredited bodies

What is an accredited body?

An accredited body is an organisation that we have assessed and approved to request a police check on behalf of individuals. ACIC accredited bodies are entrusted with direct access to the our National Police Checking Service Support System (NSS) to submit applications and retrieve police check results for consenting applicants.

Having direct access to police check results supports organisations to determine the suitability of applicants in an efficient and timely manner. However, this comes with a greater degree of responsibility to protect the personal information the accredited body has access to.

Who can become an accredited body?

Accredited bodies include Australian federal, state and local government agencies, private sector businesses, not-for-profit organisations and screening units for working with children or vulnerable people. These organisations have a direct relationship with the police check applicant or the applicant’s employer.

We have accredited more than 240 organisations as ACIC accredited bodies.

Who can accredited bodies submit checks for?

Your organisation may be able to perform police checks for a variety of people and for different purposes, depending on your organisation’s function. Generally, there are four service models that you can apply for. Your organisation may wish to apply for more than one service model.

You may wish to:

  1. Perform checks for individuals (as members of the general public) and charge a fee for your service.
  2. Perform checks on behalf of other organisations who are your customers (including private, not-for-profit and government entities) and charge a fee for your service.
  3. Perform checks on your organisation’s potential and current employees (including consultants, contractors and volunteers) to assist with employment screening.
  4. Perform checks for individuals for a specific legislative, licensing or registration scheme that your organisation is required to undertake.

As part of the application process you will be asked to identify who you want to perform police checks for and why.

Integration into your business

How does an accredited body participate in the Service?

You will be required to incorporate a number of processes and capabilities into your business to ensure full integration and compliance with the Service. The diagram below summarises the process your organisation must undertake to participate in the Service.

What are the compliance obligations to access the Service?

If we assess you organisation as suitable to become accredited, you sign a contractual Agreement (known as the Agreement for controlled access by duly Accredited Bodies to Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Checks) with the ACIC, as we govern access to the Service by accredited bodies under Section 46A(5) of the Australian Crime Commission Act 2002.

By executing the Agreement, you confirm your understanding and commitment to comply with the:

  1. Australian Crime Commission Act 2002 (Cth)
  2. Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)
  3. Australian Privacy Principles
  4. Spent conviction schemes
  5. Agreement.

All accredited bodies must accept and sign the Agreement before we grant access to the Service. The Agreement remains in force for five years (standard term) unless lawfully terminated earlier. You must be familiar with all conditions in the Agreement and strictly comply. You are responsible for staying up-to-date on any amendments we may make to the Agreement or any changes to relevant legislation.

We will monitor your organisation’s compliance through a formal program comprising:

  • data quality monitoring
  • investigations following referrals alleging non-compliance
  • periodic reviews of accredited bodies and/or legal entity customers
  • ongoing suitability assessments.

If your organisation cannot meet your obligations, we may review your organisation’s accreditation and suspend or terminate the Agreement if necessary.

What legislation do accredited bodies operate under?

We administer access to police checks under the ACC Act. We abide by all relevant Commonwelath, state and territory legislation relating to the collection, use and disclosure of information for police checks.

As an accredited body you will be entrusted to collect and store applicants’ personal information. In some cases, you will need to disclose police information to a third party. As such, your organisation must comply with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and the Australian Privacy Principles.

What are the information security requirements?

In addition to the privacy requirements outlined above, your organisation must practice under a written information security policy in order to comply with security standards to protect sensitive information. Compliance with these standards may require your organisation to implement a higher level of security and introduce new procedures and protocols into your business.

More information about the security requirements is available in the Agreement.

How do accredited bodies submit police checks and retrieve results?

As an accredited body, your organisation will have direct access to the National Police Checking Service Support System (NSS), which allows users to request police checks, monitor progress, access reporting, respond to requests for further information and retrieve results.

Depending on operational requirements, IT capability and the quantity of police checks, your organisation can choose which of the following methods to use when submitting police checks:

  • log into NSS directly and manually enter police check data
  • log into NSS directly and upload a file containing a batch of police check data
  • transmit police check data system-to-system via messaging, using either WebSphere MQ or Web Services.

We provide more information on these options and technical connectivity through the application process.

What are the staff resourcing requirements for accredited bodies?

Your organisation must assign sufficient staff to ensure full integration of the Service into your business. As part of the application process, your organisation will be asked to nominate the following personnel:

  • Authorised officer (1 person)—this person accepts responsibility for operation of the Service within your organisation, including all contractual issues. Their contact details are registered with the ACIC National Police Checking Service (NPCS) team.
  • NSS users (number of staff depends on operational requirements)—these staff have access to the National Police Checking Service Support System (NSS) to handle the submission, monitoring and retrieval of police checks and other administrative tasks such as downloading reports.
  • NPCS contacts (up to four staff, including the authorised officer)—these staff are the only personnel authorised to contact the ACIC NPCS team to discuss police check and result enquiries, applicant disputes and requests for further information.

Your organisation must ensure all personnel are of good fame and character and act in a fit and proper manner in relation to all personal and police information they have access to.

What are the fees for police checks?

There are fees associated with submitting each police check through the National Police Checking Service Support System (NSS). The current fees are:

  • $23 (GST exclusive) for each standard police check
  • $7 (GST exclusive) for each volunteer police check.

A volunteer check must only be used if an applicant:

  • will freely perform the role identified on the application and informed consent form on a voluntary basis
  • will not be an employee or contractor and will not be entitled to a salary or other entitlements associated with the position or role (other than payment of out of pocket expenses)
  • is a student undertaking a compulsory vocational placement as a requirement of an Australian-based academic institution or training course.

Becoming an accredited body

What are the eligibility requirements to become an accredited body?

Your organisation must:

  1. be of good character and able to demonstrate a contribution to community safety through delivery of the Service within your business
  2. be a registered Australian business with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) or the Australian Business Register (ABR)
  3. be able to achieve a minimum volume of police checks (500 over a five year period)
  4. be a legal entity for the purposes of contracting with the Commonwealth of Australia, with particular emphasis on the ability to participate in the delivery of a statutory service [1]
  5. adequately demonstrate, through the conduct of business and/or services, the appropriate compliance under the Agreement for access to the Service.

In assessing these criteria, we consider whether your organisation, including your Directors and key personnel, has ever been: 

  • bankrupt, applied to take the benefit of a law for the benefit of bankrupt or insolvent debtors, colluded with their creditors, or assigned their remuneration for the benefit of creditors
  • disqualified from managing corporations under Part 2D.6 of the Corporations Act 2001
  • identified as persons of interest to police and law enforcement agencies
  • subject to criticism, discipline, disqualification or removal by a professional or regulatory body, including the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner or equivalent state/territory authority, or Court.

[1] Where a prospective organisation is a Commonwealth entity, assessment of access suitability is considered under a memorandum of understanding (non-legally binding) arrangement.

What is the process for accreditation?

There are seven steps in the accreditation process:

Step 1Determine eligibility

To determine your organisation’s eligibility to become an accredited body, please complete and submit the ACIC eligibility questionnaire.

Step 2Complete an application form

If your organisation is deemed eligible, we will provide you with an information pack that includes an application form you need to complete and submit.

The accreditation process is run in cycles throughout the year. Each cycle represents a 10-week period:

Cycle 1

Cycle 2

Cycle 3

Cycle 4

1 March –
16 May 2018

17 May –
1 August 2018

2 August –
10 October 2018

11 October 2018 –
28 February 2019

Applications received during this cycle will be processed as part of Cycle 2.

Applications received during this cycle will be processed as part of Cycle 3.

Applications received during this cycle will be processed as part of Cycle 4.

Applications received during this cycle, will be processed in 2019.

We do not process new applications between December and January.

Step 3Assess suitability

We assess your application form and business operations to determine your organisation's suitability and readiness to become an ACIC accredited body.

Step 4Approve application

If your organisation is deemed suitable, we recommend to the ACIC Chief Executive Officer that your organisation be approved as an accredited body. We notify your organisation of the approval in writing, and begin the process of drafting the Agreement with your organisation.

If your organisation is deemed unsuitable, we inform your organisation of the reasons for denial. Your organisation has the opportunity to resubmit an application once you can successfully demonstrate you have remedied any concerns raised.

Step 5Sign agreement

We work with your organisation to finalise your Agreement and ensure your organisation effectively executes the Agreement.

Step 6Test and train

We set up secure connectivity for your organisation and staff to use the National Police Checking Service Support System (NSS), and provide training. We conduct an accredited body preparedness assessment before providing full access to the Service and its systems. This test evaluates your organisation’s understanding of your compliance obligations.

Step 7Submit checks

Your organisation can start submitting police checks into the system.

What is expected during the accreditation process?

To become accredited, your organisation:

  • must comply with all requirements of the accreditation process, relevant legislation, policies and procedures
  • should seek independent legal advice with respect to accessing the Service and contracting to the Commonwealth
  • must actively participate in the full accreditation process.

Where a prospective organisation is a Commonwealth entity, assessment of access suitability is considered under a memorandum of understanding (non-legally binding) arrangement.