Will Interstate Convictions Appear on my Police Check Certificate?

Will Interstate Convictions Appear on my Police Check Certificate?

Police Checks are required for a number of applications throughout Australia, from job roles to applying for adoption. Anything which will include sensitive materials or involve working around vulnerable people (children, the elderly, disabled persons) will require a National Police Check, in order to evaluate your character or safety.

Ordering your Police Check online is easier than ever, faster than ever, and you’re likely to receive your certificate within at least one business day. Approximately 70% of applicants through Crime Check Australia will receive their application in 1 business day, or even just a matter of hours, and our customer support team is on hand to help you through every step of the process.

Will Interstate Convictions Appear on my Police Check Certificate?

Yes, if your convictions are not classified as ‘spent’ under the Spent Convictions Scheme or classified as serious (such as sexual assault or murder).

As your National Police Certificate is valid across all states and territories of Australia, any convictions received that are not classified as spent will be shown on your certificate. For example, if you are convicted of a crime in New South Wales and have not met the criteria for having spent your conviction, this crime will still appear on your certificate even if you apply for a Criminal Background Check in Victoria or any other state/territory in Australia.

What Shows Up on a Police Check Certificate?

When you apply for a Criminal Record Check, all your unspent past convictions from any state or territory within Australia will be shown on your national police clearance. Depending on each state’s legislations regarding criminal records, these can return with the following outcomes:

  • Disclosed Court Outcome (DCO): the subject of the police check has offence(s) that are considered releasable by the state and are displayed in detail
  • No Disclosed Court Outcome (NDCO): the individual has no offences to be disclosed on the certificate.

What Convictions Will Appear on my Police Check Certificate?

When applying for a Criminal Record Check, all your past convictions within all States and Territories of Australia will be available to see via the National Police Certificate. Depending on each state’s legislation guiding criminal records, these can return with either a disclosable court outcome, or a non disclosable court outcome.

Offences which can come up in a Criminal History Check can include:

  • Sexually related offences
  • Traffic charges for which an individual is convicted
  • Sentences and convictions
  • Pending court charges

Offences that are considered either irrelevant or not serious are not displayed and can include:

  • Findings of non-guilt
  • Offences outside the jurisdiction of Australian police agencies and courts
  • Convictions outside of the country
  • Diversion programs

Information that is stated on your Criminal Background Check will only be listed if it falls within the Spent Convictions Scheme. This scheme means that information about your conviction(s) will be omitted if one of the following is true:

  • You were an adult when you were convicted and a period of 10 years has already passed since your conviction, during which time you did not re-offend.
  • You were a minor when you were convicted and a period of 5 years has already passed since your conviction, during which time you did not re-offend.

This scheme also states that should the offending party re-offend during the ‘crime-free period’ of your crime, your period will restart. In addition, if a jail term is imposed, the crime-free period will begin after your jail term. Finally, convictions stipulated by the court are to be considered as spent if the individual meets special conditions, such as community work, therapy, or self-quarantine.

How Far Back Does A Police Check Go?

A National Police Check will examine your entire criminal record, from when you are criminally responsible (age 10 in Australia) to the current date of your application. This means any crimes you have committed between then and the date of your application will be shown on your National Police Certificate; however if you have committed a crime and enough time has passed for it to be considered spent, then this will not show up on your certificate.

Can A Criminal Record Be Cleared in Australia?

The process of clearing your criminal record will differ in each state and territory of Australia, however convictions on your criminal record may not show up on your police check. The Spent Convictions Scheme became active across all states in March 2021 when the final bill was passed in Victoria, so any police check which is applied for after this date will come under the scheme.

What Differs Between Each State in the Spent Convictions Scheme?

While this scheme exists in all states and territories of Australia, the details of which may not be interchangeable. Each state may provide different legislation for the scheme, as shown below:

Australian Capital Territory

A conviction becomes spent once the crime-free period has elapsed;

  • 5 years for under 18s
  • 10 years for adults
  • If no sentence of imprisonment is imposed

This period will restart if the individual is convicted again.

New South Wales

A conviction becomes spent once the crime-free period has elapsed;

  • 3 years for under 18s
  • 10 years for adults

This period will restart if the individual is convicted again.

Victoria

A conviction becomes spent once the crime-free period has elapsed;

  • 5 years for under 18s
  • 10 years for adults

This period will restart if the individual is convicted again.

However, exceptions to this practice include where the police Check is for;

  • Working with Children
  • Teaching
  • Applications for Firearms licensing
  • Sexually related offences

South Australia

A conviction becomes spent once the crime-free period has elapsed;

  • 5 years for under 18s
  • 10 years for adults

This period will restart if the individual is convicted again.

An offence can also be spent if:

  • The court pronounces the individual guilty but does not record a conviction against them
  • An offence is dismissed by the court
  • A pardon is given
  • The charge becomes invalid

Western Australia

A conviction becomes spent once the crime-free period has elapsed;

  • 5 years for under 18s
  • 10 years for adults

This period will restart if the individual is convicted again.

In order to have your conviction classified as spent, you must apply to the Western Australia Police; this state considered a lesser offence to be one that has an imprisonment term of less than 12 months, or a fine of less than $15,000. Convictions can also be classified as spent through the court sentencing or pronouncement.

Queensland

A conviction becomes spent once the crime-free period has elapsed;

  • 5 years for under 18s
  • 10 years for adults

This period will restart if the individual is convicted again.

These offences will also be removed from the police check if the charges are dropped, or the individual receives a pardon from the court. Convictions that are more than 30 months of sentencing are exempt from the scheme

Tasmania

A conviction becomes spent once the crime-free period has elapsed;

  • 5 years for under 18s
  • 10 years for adults

This period will restart if the individual is convicted again.

Northern Territory

A conviction becomes spent once the crime-free period has elapsed;

  • 5 years for under 18s
  • 10 years for adults

This period will restart if the individual is convicted again.

However these rules are defunct if the conviction is

  • A penalty of 6 months or more
  • A sexually related offence, offence against corporate bodies, and similar offences.

When Will I Need A Criminal Record Check?

There are many situations in which you might require a Criminal Record Check, such as:

  • Working with children (childcare, teaching)
  • Working with the vulnerable (disabled persons, the elderly)
  • Working as a Police Officer or Firefighter
  • Working in a professional aspect such as a doctor role, or lawyer
  • Working in the government sector

You may also require a police check if you are applying to adopt a child, applying for a license, Visa applications, immigration purposes, volunteer work, or if you require a check under Commonwealth legislation.

Where Is My Police Check Valid?

The National Police Certificate is a nationwide official certificate that maintains validity across the different states and territories of Australia. These may also be referred to as:

Some states and territories may call it a different name, however the information provided is the same regardless. Crime Check Australia provides National Police Checks which are valid in the following states:

Please be aware that some organisations may only accept certificates issued by their own preferred provider or the Australian Federal Police. Check with your employer if they have a preferred option, otherwise they will accept a National Police Check from a government accredited provider such as Crime Check Australia.

Should I Get My National Police Check Renewed?

If your Criminal Background Check is older than 3 months and you are applying for a sensitive role or license then your organisation may require you to renew this depending on their application policies.

If your Police Check has been rejected based on its age, you can apply for a new version online through Crime Check Australia; simply click here to begin your application and feel free to contact us if you have any questions about your application. Check our FAQ page to see if we’ve already answered your question to save time on your application!

How Often Do I Need to Have a Police Check?

It is down to your organisation how often you will be required to provide an updated Police Check. A National Police Certificate has no set validity, however it only records your actions up to that point. If you have committed any crimes between that application and the date you are asked (such as 3 years later) then these will not show up on your certificate.

However, at time of writing you are legally required to undertake a Police Check Australia every three years if you wish to volunteer in a Commonwealth Government supported or funded aged care program or facility.

How Do I Contact CCA For Further Help?

If you still have further questions regarding the validity of your Police Check, feel free to check our extensive FAQ section, or contact us with a specific question if you can’t see yours answered.

We have a contact form available for easy contact with our customer support team, or you can email us at info@crimecheckaustralia.com.au.

Our customer support team is on hand to help you with your queries so don’t hesitate to send us your questions!