Where can I acquire a police check?


If your organisation wants to conduct police checks on current or potential staff members, depending on your needs and circumstances, you can source them from one the following:

Australian Federal Police (AFP)

As per their official site, the AFP can provide National Police Checks for:

  • Residents of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Jervis Bay Territory and external Commonwealth territories;
  • People seeking employment with the Commonwealth government;
  • People requiring a check under Commonwealth legislation;
  • Applicants who reside overseas; and
  • Overseas employment

For all other situations, the AFP is unable to provide a police check.

State Police

The police departments of the different states conduct criminal history checks on the residents of their respective jurisdictions.  A generic police check application takes anywhere between 10-20 working days to process and turnaround.  For a police check where further investigation is necessary, the waiting period can be significantly longer.

The State Police is one way of sourcing your police check

If you are an organisation looking to conduct criminal history checks in bulk such as in the case of a company-wide criminal history screening initiative, keep in mind that State Police Departments are not equipped to handle and process a large volume of criminal history checks. They accept and process pre-employment background check applications only on an individual basis, which can be cumbersome if you need this done for several people within a short timeframe.

Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC)

The ACIC is a government body that was formed to provide “investigative, research and information delivery services work” alongside law enforcement to strengthen Australia’s response to crime.

The ACIC has several accredited agencies or brokers that can provide criminal history checks with access to the same database that police departments across Australia use for this purpose. ACIC brokers are not bound by jurisdiction and can provide police checks to residents nationwide.

ACIC brokers, depending on their individual capacity and resources, can provide a relatively quick turnaround on criminal, history checks. They can also accept and process large-volume applications. An efficient broker can process and turnaround a police check to you within one working day (for 60-70% of applications), and within two working days (for up to 80% of applications).

It is worth noting that with organisations increasing their demand for police checks, more and more brokers are starting to provide these services. As such, you should carefully consider whether the broker you choose to conduct your criminal history checks, is reliable and efficient.

You may find it useful to determine the types of capabilities the broker has, their market reputation, and their level of experience.  A good broker should adhere to legislative requirements to turnaround your police check quickly, all whilst ensuring a seamless experience for the employee.

Best Practice Guide

Does an employee in your organisation require a police check? Download our Criminal History Screening Best Practice Guide to discover everything you need to know about conducting police checks for your organisation’s employees.