Aged care refers to support provided for the elderly, either in their home or in aged care facilities. Jobs within the aged care sector include but are not limited to registered nurses, enrolled nurses, assistants in nursing, residential support workers, and community support workers. A police check will show an individual’s disclosable court outcomes and pending charges in full. These are sourced from the databases of Australian police agencies.
There are certain exceptions to past criminal convictions, however. The spent convictions scheme annuls convictions for offenders that have not had any further criminal offences after the initial offence for a period of ten years. Therefore, it is possible that not all past criminal convictions will be disclosed on a police check.
A police check is considered a ‘point-in-time’ check, meaning that it has no real expiry date. It is only completely accurate up until the time it is issued. So, it is up to the employer’s discretion to decide how recent your police check needs to be.
Why Are Police Checks for Aged Care Important?
While not all jobs may require a police check prior to employment, jobs within aged care and childcare almost always will. This is because the elderly, as with young children, are more vulnerable than the rest of the population. This can lead to them being taken advantage of and mistreated, as has been reported in the past. For this reason, all employees must undergo a background check before the start of their employment in aged care.
Aged Care Police Check Guidelines
Police check requirements were first implemented in 2007 and reviewed in 2009 as part of the Australian government’s commitment to protecting the health, safety, and overall well-being of aged care recipients. As these recipients are considered vulnerable, police checks complement the recruitment process and ensure that all staff and volunteers are apt to provide aged care. These guidelines are under the Accountability Principles 1998 made pursuant to the Aged Care Act 1997. For more information regarding aged care police check guidelines, refer to the Office of Aged Care Quality and Compliance handbook.
Can I work in aged care if I have a criminal record?
While it is possible to work in aged care with a criminal conviction, this varies greatly depending on the type of conviction and its correlation with the role they wish to undertake. Generally, any conviction involving murder, sexual assault, or other violent offence will render an individual unfit to work in unsupervised aged care.
In all other criminal convictions, the applicant in question will be judged on their individual background and how their criminal history relates directly to the role. Things to be considered are the type of crime that was committed, how much time has passed since the conviction, employment history since the conviction, patterns in the conviction(s), the likelihood of a recurring incident should the individual be employed and more.
While the spent convictions scheme will not disclose past convictions after ten years with no further incident, aged care police checks are exempt from this. Further exclusions apply to the spent convictions scheme for checks that involve relevant offences.
CrimCheck is a non-profit organisation that offers a quick and easy process for both Australian and international police checks. We are experienced in both individual and group police checks, which means we can do police checks for an entire company’s employees. Our process is completely remote, using an online portal and phone calls (if necessary) to complete applications. This means that you will not have to make any in-person appointments or mail any documents in. With our years of expertise and our long list of agreements with various court systems both domestically and internationally, we offer a simple process that ensures you have the correct police checks from approved governmental bodies in a timely manner.