Should I be conducting a police check on my staff?


Thinking of hiring a new employee? It’s worth checking whether you need to run a police check on your potential candidate.

Depending on the industry in which you operate, you may find that you are legally required to conduct criminal history checks under legislative or regulatory frameworks for licensing, registration, or employment purposes. For occupations such as lawyers, teachers, correctional staff, community care workers, the police, correctional staff, and other high risk positions, the likes of bail justice officers, health practitioners, aged care workers and building practitioners, police checks are required to ensure safe working environments.

Before hiring someone to fill roles in one of the aforementioned professions as well as multiple others, do some research to identify if the individual requires a mandatory criminal history check. If a police check is required, make sure to arrange this at priority, as your new hire will be unable to commence the role until and unless a valid police check is presented to you.

Whilst certain roles like the ones referenced above, call for a mandatory police check, your organisation may simply wish to undertake preemptive measures to safeguard itself against potential risks and therefore implement criminal history checks as part of its own strategic risk mitigation efforts.

By taking the steps to conduct police checks for your organisation’s new and existing staff, you can realise a host of benefits such as:

  • Hiring honest and trustworthy applicants
  • Fostering a safe workplace environment
  • Providing security to valuable assets such as your staff, property, and confidential company information
  • Protecting your business’s reputation and
  • Reducing instances of theft

To help you ascertain whether a police check is required for your new hire, consider a risk-based approach to identify the level of risks each role may be exposed to as well as the context within which that role is operating. If an IT worker, for instance, has access to confidential information, conducting a police check to ensure the individual doesn’t have a criminal history of theft and fraud can minimise the risks of this information falling into the wrong hands and being abused.

Assess the level of risk for each position before undertaking a police check

Similarly, if you run a domestic cleaning service, employing staff with a criminal record of theft, rape or other assault charges will damage your brand’s reputation when something goes wrong. This is why, in such instances, it is essential that you conduct a police check on your new and existing staff to ensure the safety of all parties concerned.

Best Practice Guide
Best Practice Guide

Need to conduct a police check for your organisation’s employees? Get started with our Criminal History Screening Best Practice Guide. Download your copy here.