Securing a national police clearance check

An increasing number of Australian companies are performing background checks on future employee candidates and existing staff; CV checks, reference checks and the most sought after, the National Police Clearance Check.

A National Police Clearance check, sometimes known as a National Police Certificate, is a document that lists a person’s criminal record, showing any court outcomes and pending charges obtained from the combined databases of all Australian police jurisdictions. The national police clearance is commonly used for new employment purposes or an ongoing compliance requirement of an existing role.

Employees wanting to work with government bodies, volunteers at not-for-profit organisations or even individuals applying for travel Visas to certain countries are required to apply for a national police clearance. While it is already common place for new candidates to require a National Police Clearance certificate in application processes, an increasing number of companies are requesting the same check for existing staff to verify their records and suitability in their current roles.

As a business grows in size, the likelihood and absolute cost of employee fraud increases. According to data researched by the Australian Institute of Criminology, the estimated cost of fraud in Australia totals at $8.5 billion annually and is suggested by Ernst & Young that 50% of Australian businesses experience economic crime. According to a KPMG Fraud & Misconduct Survey, around 61% of lost funds are unable to be recovered so in addition to the loss of trust and confidence in the business, the financial impact to business owners is huge.

With 60% of fraud cases said to take over 3 years to detect, it’s not only new staff but also existing employees that should be reviewed. A National Police Clearance check on potential employees can help you detect fraud early, or give you the peace of mind that your current staff are the trustworthy and qualified people you always knew.

The requirement to obtain police checks has been growing in recent years and according to CrimTrac, a 5.88% increase in the total number of police checks processed in Australia was recorded between 2014-15. Over this period, a total of 3.9 million national police clearance checks were conducted across all states and territories.

The national police clearance check provides information to the concerned employer or authority to assist in their candidate assessment. While prospective employees can add fraudulent details in their CV hoping they can wing it, the national police clearance is one document you CANNOT mess with.

What you may not know

When you apply for a national police clearance, you are asked to certify that the personal information you have provided on the application form is correct. If it is discovered that you have provided false or misleading information, or have forgotten to provide information that resulted in the application being false or misleading, you will have committed an offence against the Criminal Code Act 1995 and you may be prosecuted.

Traditionally, National Police Certificates are obtained through participating Australia Post outlets, requiring a 100 point ID verification and also encounter delays on receipt as they are delivered physically via post. Through Cited you can expect a 1-2 day turnaround in approximately 80% of cases. The official document is then emailed to you so you can then print or share it as you require.

CrimTrac was founded in 2000 as a collaborative partnership between Australia’s police, law enforcement and national security agencies across the Commonwealth, states and territories in an effort to combat crime in Australia. CrimTrac is an officially recognised government service that is made available to Australian police and wider law enforcement agencies.

As an official Government accredited gateway provider, you can be rest assured that the quality and authenticity of Cited National Police Certificates are completely accurate and valid.

Why the National Police Clearance is Important

Not everyone understands the importance of a national police clearance check. Here are a couple of reasons why getting a national police clearance check is advisable:

Lower employee turnover rates: Imagine hiring someone without a national police clearance check and after a few months, you discover they have a history which impacts their ability to work for your business. Since a significant investment in time is involved in the hiring and training process, it would certainly be an inconvenience to search for another candidate to fill the position. Having already requested a National Police Clearance check, you can ensure that you avoid this situation, saving time and money.

Minimise employee fraud and wider risks: As a business grows in size, the likelihood of employee fraud increases. A National Police Clearance check on potential employees as well as current staff will assist the company in detecting fraud or someone who has a history of committing fraud, ensuring the adequacy and competency of their role. Incompetent staff in roles of significance have the capacity to cause issues not only to the company but also to the wider community.

Building trust (and security): If you are in the business of child minding, a national police clearance check is part of the process of obtaining a Working with Children’ card. This is an important requirement that reassures the safety and security of children in the care of others. This adds value to the business reputation, with customers knowing they can trust the company and the sitter that will be looking after their children.


Whether you are an individual applying for a new position or an organisation looking to verify the legitimacy of new hires and existing staff, a national police clearance check helps organisations make smarter decisions and minimise employee fraud in the workplace.

Bright People Technologies the company behind Cited has been offering workforce verification services and compliance solutions to the world’s leading companies since 1998. Conducting over 500,000 verification checks per year has established the company’s position as one of the leading companies in the industry.

What are you waiting for? Let us help you secure a national police check online.