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How Long is a Police Check Valid for in Australia for Educators?

Police check. The term makes many of us anxious and petrified. However, it doesn’t mean that you are under suspicion. A National Police Check is a norm in Australia and has its objectives. Edulyte has always endeavoured to help professionals in the field of education. Our experts have brought all the critical information you require on the National Police Check in Australia and its validity, in this blog

Table of Contents

What is a National Police Check?

The AFP explains that National Police Check (NPC), or ‘police check’, involves comparing your details (such as name and date of birth) against a central database to determine if your name and date of birth match others who have police history information. How long is a police check valid for in Australia is crucial for employment.

What is a National Police Certificate?

how long is a police check valid for

A National Police Certificate (NPC) is a document that lists your disclosable court verdicts. It also mentions any pending charges against you, as mentioned in all Australian police services databases.
Certain convictions might not be disclosed depending on the state’s or territory’s legislation and police policies.

What do the police do with the information?

The police will check your name, deciding what information about your conviction may be disclosed. Such a release of information depends on your conviction legislation and the information release policies of the state/territory and the police.

Why is a police check necessary?

A police check cannot harm you or any individual with a police record. Such a process helps in screening individuals applying to various job positions. With the police check, the employers and the public can make informed choices at large regarding:

  • job applications
  • volunteering positions
  • work involving children and vulnerable groups
  • work-related checks due to regulations
  • Australian citizenship and permanent resident status
  • visa applications for working or travelling overseas

Important: A police check cannot be carried out without your consent.

What does a police check involve in the education sector?

As mentioned by the Australian National Character Check the following can be covered in a police check when it comes to the education sector:

  • Convictions/Charges against corporate organisations
  • Sexually related offences/convictions
  • Traffic charges for which an individual is convicted
  • Sentences and Convictions
  • Pending court charges and offences
  • Spent charges
  • Finding of guilt
  • Convictions stated by the regulations
  • Convictions for which a prison sentence of six or more months is imposed*

 

The Police Check for Education purposes will contain all charges and offences.
However, if you have no past offence or pending charge, your Police Check will return as a No-disclosable court outcome (NDCO). It means you have no records on the National Criminal Database and are free to apply for any position you are eligible for.

The education sector in Australia makes criminal background checks on teachers mandatory. In addition, anybody who oversees children must be of good character and trusted to operate a safe working environment for students.

 

Areas of Teaching

There is no specific area of education where the teachers are exempted from getting a police check.  Teachers in the fields mentioned below are expected to go through a police check.

  • Early childhood education teachers
  • Primary/ Secondary school teachers
  • Music teachers
  • Sports teachers/coaches/instructors
  • University and college professors/lecturers
  • School principals
  • Special education teachers
  • Teaching assistant/teacher aide
  • Vocational education teachers
  • Fitness instructors
  • Workplace skills trainers

How do I get a National Police Check done in Australia?

So you are ready to take up your role as an educator with an institution. Chances are, your employer will ask you for a National Police Check. You are wondering: how do you go about getting it? Keep the following in mind:

  • Teaching positions in Australia expects the teacher to be registered with an accredited body. Each state has its regulations and its own regulatory body like an institute or a Teachers Registration Board.
  • You may also require a Working With Children Check.
  • A police check can be obtained from the local police or an accredited body if applying for a police check online.

- Online via accredited agencies

Australian National Character Check (ANCC), a government accredited agency, issues applicants with valid national criminal history checks. You can apply on its online portal for a police check.

- Via the Local Police authorities

You can also apply through the local police authorities by visiting the Police offices. However, this process can be longer and slower than the online method. You will have to complete all the necessary application forms and verification.

How is the background screening conducted?

What documents will I have to furnish for a National Police Check?

You must furnish four identification documents; these include:

  • one commencement document
  • a primary document
  • two secondary documents.

For more information on the documents required Click here

What is the fee for applying for a Police Check?

Police Checks Valid
  • The fee for National Police Checks is $42.
  • When fingerprints are supplied to AFP on application, the fee for a fingerprint and National Police Check application is $99.
  • When the fingerprints are taken and processed by the AFP, the fee for a fingerprint and National Police Check application is $139.

Price may change, you an Check Fee here 

What is the difference between the Working With Children Check and a Police Check?

how long is a police check valid

 

Many teachers confuse the Working With Children Check with a Police Check. These two are very different documents required to be furnished by you when you join an educational institution.

A Working With Children Check is not a one-time verification but an ongoing assessment of your eligibility to work with children or volunteer with children. The assessments will be based on your known criminal history and past disciplinary information. A Working with Children Check is valid for five years unless suspended or cancelled.

Whereas a Police Check is not an assessment or investigation. It is a list of offences from a person’s criminal history which can be disclosed currently.

Validity of Police Checks across Australia

how long is a police check valid Australia

How long is a police check valid for NSW?

Most industries require a new police check every five years. Educational institutions also need a Working With Children Check.

How long is a police check valid for VIC?

A police check has no expiry date in Victoria. Most organisations in Victoria (VIC) don’t accept a police check certificate that is older than three months. You should check with the requesting party about how old your police check certificate can be for them to accept it.

How long is a police check valid for QLD?

A police check in Queensland is a point in time check. Organisations don’t accept a criminal history check older than three months. However, you must keep in mind that the timeframe may vary depending on your employer.

How long is a police check valid for SA?

Employers generally request a police check in SA. Typically, a police check certificate older than 3 months is not accepted.

How long is a police check valid for NT?

The police check in the NT is valid up until the day of issue, and most organisations or institutions will not accept Police Check certificates older than 3 months.

How long is a police check valid for WA?

The check can be requested by an employer or decision-maker who makes the police check certificate valid as long as the organisation deems it suitable.

How long is a police check valid for ACT?

The requesting authority alone can request when to provide an updated ACT. Generally, most organisations refuse Police Checks older than three months.

How long is a police check valid for Tasmania?

A TAS police check has no precise date for expiration.
However, several organisations in Tasmania turn down a Police Check certificate that has been issued for longer than three months.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a National Police Check?

The AFP explains that National Police Check (NPC), or ‘police check’, involves comparing your details (such as name and date of birth) against a central database to determine if your name and date of birth match others who have police history information.

Can you become a teacher with a criminal record in Australia?

The good news is that having a criminal record does not necessarily mean that you cannot work as a teacher in Australia. However, your career as an educator is highly dependent on the nature of the offence. Please refer to the local police authority for information regarding this.

How long is a police clearance valid?

A National Police Check should be applied for when applying for a new teaching job because it is valid up to the date that it is issued. Any offences or charges that occur after the certificate has been released will not be included.

Why is a police check necessary?

A police check cannot harm you or any individual with a police record. Such a process helps in screening individuals applying to various job positions. It is necessary so that employers and the public can make informed choices at large regarding:

  • job applications
  • volunteering positions
  • work involving children and vulnerable groups
  • work-related checks due to regulations
  • Australian citizenship and permanent resident status
  • visa applications for working or travelling overseas

Important: A police check cannot be carried out without your consent.

How long does it take for an Australian police check?

Australian National Character Check also provides official criminal background checks online. Most checks are conducted and returned to the applicants within 24 to 48 hours of submission online.
Applying in person for a Criminal Background Check takes a longer time, and you receive your certificate via post.

What is a National Police Certificate?

A National Police Certificate (NPC) is a document that lists your disclosable court verdicts. It also mentions any pending charges against you, as mentioned in all Australian police services databases.
Certain convictions might not be disclosed depending on the state’s or territory’s legislation and police policies.

Are National Police Checks transferable?

The National Police Checks are mandatory to safeguard the people of Australia. Due to this, Police Checks are not transferable between organisations.

Can I use my certificate for more than one purpose?

You may use your National Police Certificate more than once for the same purpose, like working as an educator or teacher.

What does a police check involve in the education sector?

As mentioned by the Australian National Character Check, the following can be covered in a police check when it comes to the education sector.

  • Convictions/Charges against corporate organisations
  • Sexually related offences/convictions
  • Traffic charges for which an individual is convicted
  • Sentences and Convictions
  • Pending court charges and offences
  • Spent charges
  • Finding of guilt
  • Convictions stated by the regulations
  • Convictions for which a prison sentence of six or more months is imposed

Is Working with Children Check (WWCC) valid throughout Australia?

The WWCC is not transferable between the Australian States. So if you are moving to a new state and wish to work there with students and children, you will have to request a new Working with Children Check.

The information in this blog is for education purposes only. Please check with relevant agencies and perform your own due diligence before acting on this information.