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.
About accredited bodies
An accredited body (sometimes known as an accredited provider) is an Australian organisation or business that has been assessed and approved by the ACIC to have access to the Service to request Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Checks on behalf of individuals. ACIC accredited bodies are entrusted with access to the National Police Checking Service Support System (NSS) in order to submit applications and retrieve check results for consenting applicants.
Having access to check results supports organisations to determine the suitability of applicants for positions of trust in an efficient and timely manner. However, this comes with a greater degree of responsibility to protect the personal and police information the accredited body has access to.
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 check applicant or the applicant’s employer.
We have accredited more than 170 organisations as ACIC accredited bodies.
Organisations may be able to perform checks for a variety of people, for different purposes, depending on the organisation’s function. Generally, there are 4 service models and the organisation may be considered for more than one service model.
Accredited Bodies may:
- submit checks for individuals (as members of the general public)
- submit checks on behalf of other organisations (including private, not-for-profit and government entities)
- submit checks on organisation’s own potential and current employees (including consultants, contractors and approved volunteers) to assist with employment screening.
- submit checks for individuals for a specific legislative, licensing or registration scheme that the organisation is required to undertake. This is generally restricted to Government licensing bodies who are bound by legislation that mandates the requirement to conduct Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Checks for the purposes of issuing licenses.
Accredited Bodies undertake their role in the Service with strict rules and legislative requirements as part of contributing to community safety.
Different accredited bodies have access to different types of checks, with some able to submit checks for volunteers, others just for employment. Only specific government agencies can submit working with children and vulnerable people checks.
Expectations of Accredited Bodies
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.
If we assess your organisation as suitable to become accredited, you enter into a legally binding contract (known as the Agreement for controlled access by duly Accredited Bodies to Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Checks with the ACIC).
The ACIC governs access to the Service by accredited bodies as part of its functions provided by the Australian Crime Commission Act 2002.
By executing the below Agreement, you confirm your understanding and commitment to comply with the:
- Australian Crime Commission Act 2002 (Cth)
- Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)
- Australian Privacy Principles
- Spent conviction schemes
- All terms and conditions of the Agreement, including any guidelines or directions issued by the ACIC throughout the life of your contract.
All accredited bodies must accept and sign the Agreement before we grant access to the Service and accept the liabilities and conditions therein. The Agreement remains in force for five years (standard term) unless lawfully terminated earlier. You must follow all conditions in the Agreement and strictly comply. You are responsible for staying up-to-date on any amendments or guidance 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 access to the Service or terminate the Agreement if necessary.
We administer access to Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Checks under the ACC Act. We abide by all relevant Commonwealth, state and territory legislation relating to the collection, use and disclosure of information for checks.
As an accredited body you will be entrusted to collect and store applicants’ personal information. Your organisation must comply with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and the Australian Privacy Principles and all other relevant Laws.
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. In the life of your contract you will also be asked to provide evidence of your compliance with relevant areas in the Australian Government’s Protective Security Policy Framework and the Information Security Manual. More information about these requirements can be found at www.protectivesecurity.gov.au
More information about the security requirements is available in the Agreement.
As an accredited body, your organisation will have direct access to the National Police Checking Service Support System (NSS), which allows users to request Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check, monitor progress, access reports, respond to requests for further information and retrieve check results.
Depending on operational requirements, IT capability and the quantity of checks, your organisation can choose which of the following methods to use when submitting checks:
- log into NSS directly and manually enter check data (Manual Input)
- log into NSS directly and upload a file containing a batch of check data (Batch Upload)
- transmit check data system-to-system via messaging, using either WebSphere MQ or Web Services.
Due to the significant investment required to access these submission methods, accredited bodies may be required to demonstrate regular check volumes to the NPCS and may not be able to access these submission methods right away. Your organisation should be prepared to use the Manual Input submission method initially until Batch Upload, WebSphere MQ or Web Services submission method becomes available to your organisation.
We provide more information on these options and technical connectivity through the application assessment process.
The organisation must assign sufficient staff to ensure full compliance with our expectations as stated in the Agreement. Accredited Bodies are expected to have personnel nominated to undertake the following roles:
- Authorised officer (one person)—this person accepts responsibility for operation of the Service within the organisation, including all contractual issues and approving requests for access to the National Police Checking Service Support System (NSS). Their contact details are registered with the ACIC National Police Checking Service (NPCS) team. This person should be easily contactable and accessible and is not linked to a specific level or delegation (for example this person is not required to be the CEO).
- 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 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 check and result enquiries, applicant disputes and requests for further information.
The 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.
There are fees associated with submitting each check through the National Police Checking Service Support System (NSS). The current fees are:
- $23 (GST exclusive) for each standard check
- $7 (GST exclusive) for each volunteer check (where approved).
A volunteer check must only be used if: an applicant:
(a) The applicant will:
i. freely hold the position or perform the role on a voluntary basis for the common good; and
ii. not be an employee or contractor and will not be entitled to a salary or any other entitlements associated with the position or role, other than payment of out of pocket expenses; or
(b) the applicant is a student undertaking a compulsory unpaid vocational placement as part of a training course requirement of an Australian-based educational institution.
Accredited bodies may apply to the ACIC for approval to submit volunteer check types. For further information about how to apply to be approved to submit volunteer checks, please contact the NPCS Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Becoming an accredited body
The ACIC is not assessing any new applications for accreditation at this time. Interested parties will be advised through the ACIC website when future accreditation arrangements are in place.