Police checks are a crucial part of the hiring process. They give employers insight into an applicant's criminal history, which then enables them to make sensible hiring decisions. Routine criminal history checks are becoming more and more common. This is largely because a police check is only accurate up to the point the check was performed. This means that any convictions after the initial police check will not be reflected. So, routine police checks allow employers to stay updated with their employees’ criminal histories.
86% of Australian employers have potential employees undergo police checks. It is important to have the most up-to-date police check possible so the employer can accurately decide whether an applicant is suitable for the role they are applying for. How recent a police check needs to be is up to the discretion of the business or organisation.
How Long Do Police Checks Last
Technically speaking, police checks have no set expiry date. Instead, a criminal history check is considered a point-in-time check, which means it is current as of the date it was issued. This also means that a police check has no official validity period. This is because your police check is always valid and accurate up until the date it is issued. Any disclosable court outcomes from five years ago will still be found on a police check you do now. The only difference is a new police check would be required to see if any further convictions are on your record.
The Validity of Your Police Check Is Up To Your Employers
How will you know if your police check is current enough for an employer with no set expiry or validity date? The truth is until the employer tells you directly, you won’t know. It is entirely up to the employer to decide how recent your criminal history check needs to be. Because of this, the rules vary from employer to employer. Some employers may want one that is as current as possible, while others may be more relaxed. Furthermore, certain employers may not ask for a background check at all.
Typically, any role within the industries of childcare, aged care, or any occupation that involves working with vulnerable persons will require a police check. This is partially to do with the laws in certain states that may require every employee to undergo mandatory screening, but it also has to do with the safety of the vulnerable populations. There have been incidents in the past that involved vulnerable people being mistreated and taken advantage of. So, police checks were put in place to help find suitable employees and combat this mistreatment.
Police checks are a way for employers to know more about the people they are employing and since there are no set validity or expiry dates on police checks, it is up to the employer to decide how recent a police check must be. Employers also have the responsibility of disclosing this information to potential employees so that they can satisfy this requirement.
Looking for a police check?
Crimcheck offers individual police checks for potential employees and police checks for businesses. Through our client portal, businesses can easily track and manage the police checks of their employees. Most reports can be returned within 24 hours and require no in-person meetings. Contact us today if you or someone you know is in need of a police check.