A criminal background check is a process used to assess an individual’s criminal history. It can be used for a variety of purposes, such as employment and volunteer screening, security clearance, and tenant screening. It may also be required for certain types of immigration or visa applications. Individuals and organisations that may be interested in obtaining a criminal background check include job applicants, employers, landlords, government agencies, financial institutions, volunteer organisations, and law enforcement agencies.
As a premier provider of criminal background checks, Crim Check is dedicated to helping individuals and employers navigate the application process. Continue reading for more information on when a background check is required, and the laws and regulations surrounding these checks.
What is a Criminal Background Check?
As aforementioned, a criminal background check is a process used to assess an individual's criminal history using records at the local, state, and federal levels. It typically involves submitting the name, date of birth, and fingerprints of an individual to an Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) accredited agency, like Crim Check. The individual’s details are then used to verify their identity and check for criminal records. The generated report will include all disclosable information about convictions for offences and pending charges across every state and territory in Australia.
It's worth noting that some states have laws that restrict the type of information and the length of time certain offences can be included in a criminal background check. Some records may be sealed or expunged.
How can I check my own criminal background?
In Australia, an individual can check their own criminal background by requesting a National Police Check (NPC) for individuals from an ACIC accredited agency. If you’re looking to apply for an NPC, you will need to complete an application form, provide proof of identity, and pay a fee. At Crim Check, this process can be completed online here.
You may have to apply for an NPC for individuals if you are applying for a job or volunteer position, license or permit, visa or citizenship.
In Australia, the laws around criminal background checks are governed by the Privacy Act 1988 and the Crimes Act 1914. These laws provide individuals with certain rights, including the right to access their personal information and the right to request the amendment of incorrect information.
How can I check an employee's criminal background?
There are several occasions where an employer may need to check the criminal backgrounds of their employees, either during the job application process or after hiring. The purpose of criminal background checks for businesses is to ensure the safety of all employees and customers, and in some industries (such as the childcare and aged care industries) it is mandatory for all employees.
An employer can check an employee's criminal background by requesting an NPC from an ACIC accredited agency on behalf of the employee. The employer will need the employee's consent to disclose their personal information, and will also need to pay a fee. Similarly to a criminal background check for individuals, the laws around employee background checks are governed by the Privacy Act 1988 and the Crimes Act 1914, which gives employees the right to seek redress if they believe their privacy has been breached.
To apply for a criminal background check for your employees through Crim Check, you can contact us to create a business account.
Can you take out a criminal check on someone else?
In Australia, an individual can apply for an NPC on someone else, but they will need the consent of the person they are applying for in order to disclose their personal information, such as their name, date of birth, and fingerprints. It is illegal to conduct a background check on someone else without their knowledge or consent, and can be considered an invasion of privacy or a form of harassment.
Looking for a police check?
Are you looking to verify the background of a potential employee, tenant, or volunteer with a criminal background check for businesses? Or are you aiming to enhance your job or rental application with a criminal background check for individuals? Crim Check is here to help. Contact us to create a business account or request an NPC today!
You can also learn more about Crim Check and what we do, and our customers’ frequently asked questions.