What are the components of a robust police check policy?


If you want to incorporate police checks into your organisation’s criminal history screening process, you should consider developing a comprehensive written policy first. The advantages are numerous.

A transparent, company-wide police check policy reduces any risk of your new and existing employees feeling personally targeted or discriminated against. A well-documented policy clarifies any misconceptions about the criminal history screening process, as thorough and thoughtful information is readily available and always on-hand. Given that criminal history checks could reveal sensitive information about a person’s past, it is always better to make sure your employees don’t feel ambushed or anxious about the process.

As a rule, your police check policy should be in writing, published, and contain the following components:

      • An official statement from your organisation, vowing to adhere to all your legal obligations in this regard – including the relevant labour laws, privacy laws, as well as laws governing the disclosure of past convictions;
      • A statement of commitment to comply with industry-specific legislation, if applicable;
      • Honest and detailed information about the protections that employees or job candidates are entitled to;
      • A statement of purpose explaining your company’s risk-mitigation goal for conducting company-wide police checks;
      • Elaborate procedural information about police checks, including how they are conducted, what they reveal, which staff members would have access to such information, and how the data is stored;
      • Information about your internal determination process, including what steps your organisation would take when it learns about an employee’s criminal record, and your criteria for assessing whether a particular record is relevant to a position; and


      Develop criteria to assess the relevance of a criminal record

    • An outline for available employee grievance mechanisms in this regard.
    • If possible, consult widely with your employees, and involve them in the process of developing this criminal history check policy. It will help foster a positive and inclusive culture, where they also feel committed to the company’s risk-mitigation goal, and not like they’re in the line of fire. It would also give you a chance to review the criminal history screening policy to hear about what works and what doesn’t, making the process more user-friendly and comfortable.

    • Do you want to create or refine your organisation’s police check policy? Download our Free Police Check Policy Template and reduce your employment related risks today.