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National police checks

The role of the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission’s (ACIC) National Police Checking Service (NPCS) is to manage the system that Australian Police Agencies and Accredited Organisations use to submit National Police History Checks. It is important to know the ACIC does not directly receive application forms or submit police checks on behalf of individuals.

Important notice: The National Police Checking Service is not currently accepting new applications for accreditation while we undergo significant changes to our business processes. We anticipate the application process will open again in early 2018. However, there are a number of activities organisations can undertake in preparation to become an ACIC accredited body during this period. For more information, please contact the NPCS team.

What is the National Police Checking Service (NPCS)?

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) partners with Australian police agencies to provide the National Police Checking Service (NPCS). The service facilitates controlled access to disclosable police history information of an individual from all Australian police jurisdictions.

The NPCS is critical to helping organisations make informed decisions with regard to suitability of applicants for positions of trust. In 2015/16, the NPCS facilitated more than 4 million checks (equating to 17,400 checks on average, per working day).

Police jurisdictions also use the NPCS for law enforcement and administration of justice purposes. For example, a police check may be used to help determine if an individual may be suitable for jury duty.

About the National Police Checking Service (NPCS)

A National Police History Check, commonly referred to as a police check, involves processing an individuals’ biographic details (such as name and date of birth) in a central index of names which then uses a  name matching algorithm to determine if the name of that individual matches any others who have police history information. The name will then be vetted by police personnel to determine what information may be disclosed, subject to relevant spent conviction legislation and/or information release policies.

A police check may be used to help screen and make informed decisions about individuals within the Australian Community for a host of roles, including but not limited to:

  • recruitment and job applications
  • volunteer and not for profit positions
  • working with children or vulnerable groups
  • licencing or registration schemes applications
  • work-related checks due to legislation or regulations
  • Australian citizenship and visa applications
  • adoption applications.

Information for individuals

For information on how to apply for a police check and other frequently asked questions, please visit the Information for individual’s page.

Information for organisations

If an organisation is interested in submitting a large number of police checks; can comply with the Australian Privacy Principles, and can meet the ACIC IT security requirements, they may be eligible to become an NPCS Accredited Organisation. 

To learn more about becoming an Accredited Organisation, please visit the Information for organisations page.


Any questions about the status of a police check should be directed to the Accredited Organisation or Police Agency that lodged the police check with the NPCS. If the Accredited Organisation is unable to provide an answer, the query may be passed onto the NPCS Support team for further clarification.

Last updated
3 October 2017