Why Every Business Should Be Conducting Police Checks to Stop Wasting Time and Money


As an employer, you are well advised to be acquainted with the legal history of a job candidate and whether they have any historical conviction records in any state in Australia. A National Criminal History Record Check, also known as a police check, will give an account of the criminal records for an individual across all states of Australia. If you are specifically concerned with traffic related offences it is valuable to note that this information may not be listed as part of a police check. There is a separate traffic records check for each state in Australia to order these records. Each state has legislation specifying how and when convictions can be ‘spent’ or dropped from the public record.

If an individual has not committed subsequent offences for a certain minimum period it is possible to have some offences removed from the police report as ‘Spent Convictions’. Different time-frames are in effect in the various states in Australia with the shortest time-frame being just 5 years and the longest time being 10 years. The mechanism for applying to have a conviction spent is different from state to state as well – this process occurs automatically in some states while in other states an application must be made for the convictions to be spent. Not all convictions are eligible to be spent under the legislation and only lesser convictions will be dropped in any case. Serious crimes are maintained as part of the public record  National Police Check Australia permanently.

Individuals should not be concerned that their employer will purchase a criminal background check without their consent as police checks cannot be obtained without the consent of the person concerned. Written permission including the individual’s signature and a full 100 point identification check will be required before a police check can be carried out. For employers and individuals who need a police clearance promptly, checks can now be ordered on the web via secure web-based technology. This provides the same set of information that would be listed in a normal written report with the improved turnaround time and convenience of universal access from any location around the globe.

Police checks are valuable to employers due to the numerous legal or financial considerations associated with employing any person. You need to take active steps to protect your business by knowing precisely who you are employing and whether there may be a history of legal issues in their background. If you are conscious of an person’s background, including any mistakes that they have made in their past, you are more able to have a sincere discussion about their history and make a call as to the fitness of the candidate for the position.

While it is necessary and sensible for you to instigate physical security measures for your organisation such as intrusion detection, electronic and computer protection, these systems are calculated to shield your organisation from an external danger – not somebody within your business. An employee in a place of trust is often part of the security system making ‘social engineering’ one of the most effective avenues to dodge your security systems.

Ironically, someone within your organisation with a secret past might be forced into committing a crime against you simply because they worry they will lose their job if that history is revealed to you by a third party. Knowing about an employee’s past lapses of judgement brings this information out in the open and establishes a situation where trust can be established based on full and frank disclosure of the truth.

Ordering a police check is a straightforward process with most results available in less than a day. Access to the national police database is only possible via paid searches but this expense is inconsequential in comparison to the damage that a mishandled employment decision can do to your business and the expense of this disruption.

Depending on the industry that your organisation belongs to, the position you are filling and the roles and duties that pertain to that position there are a variety of supplementary checks that we would also recommend to ensure that your latest employee is a good fit for your organisation. Nonetheless, we uniformly suggest to every client that they introduce a strategy that includes police checks as part of all hiring decisions.

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