Police Clearance

Information about the Police Clearance


A police clearance is a certificate of an individual’s criminal record check. It can be obtained by applying through either an Australian police station located in your state or territory, or through a government accredited provider such as Checked. The Australian police clearance is a specific, official document listing any disclosable criminal offences. The process of requesting and providing one is designed to help protect the Australian community. For more information on what may be included in a copy of your police clearance, please see this link.

A police clearance may also be referred to as a national clearance certificate, national police check and a national criminal history check. There are two types of purposes for a police clearance check: employment and volunteer. It is important to note which type of clearance you are required to provide, as you may need to undergo another application to provide the right one. 

How do I get a police clearance?

The government does not directly accept applications for a criminal background check. To obtain a copy of your police clearance you will need to apply through either an Australian police station in your state or territory, or via an accredited agent. Checked is an accredited agent authorised to accept and submit individuals’ application. Our online process has been designed to offer you a streamlined and fast-tracked application experience.

We offer applicants an online form which can usually be completed within 5 to 10 minutes, assuming you are familiar with online forms and have ready access to the information you may be asked for. Utilising VerifyID™ we can verify your identity documents through the use of a scanner or camera. The entire application can be completed in one sitting online. Your certificate is emailed to you upon release and you can opt to have it posted as well.

We also offer our clients access to an express service which can release your police clearance in as little as an hour when it’s submitted and processed within business hours. However, in approximately 30% of cases, an individual’s application may be flagged for what is known as a ‘manual review’. This occurs when a partial or whole match of information provided matches with information in the criminal history database. A manual review must occur before the check is released to allocate the information correctly. If this happens in your case and you have opted for the express service, then the express service fee will be refunded to you. Your application may take between 1 and 15 business days to be finalised in this instance.

The alternative method for obtaining your police clearance is directly through the police in your state or territory. For example, you can obtain your national police clearance in WA by applying through your local Western Australian police. It still covers all states and territories even though you have lodged your application through a state provider. The same applies for applications processed in SA, NSW, QLD and VIC. The police clearance check is a nationally coordinated criminal history check so it will include a complete history of disclosable offences obtained all over Australia: Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania, the Northern and Australian Capital Territories, Western Australia and South Australia. 

When you choose to submit your application with your local police agency you may have to fill out paper-based forms and you will not have access to Checked’s express service. You could potentially be waiting weeks for your police clearance. 

Our Australian police check process is completed online and the express processing option aims to have your application returned to you in as little one hour. 

How long does a police clearance last?

A national police clearance will include information related to your criminal record up to the issue date of the certificate. If you are required to provide a more recent police clearance certificate, then the organisation or individual who has requested one in the first place will be able to tell you how often you should provide an updated copy.

We offer organisations a streamlined and innovative police check process which can be integrated with leading HR and ATS platforms to reduce administration time like data entry and chasing individuals up for their clearance certificates. Contact us for more information on how we can ensure your police clearance compliance process is simple, intuitive and streamlined. 

How much is a police clearance?

A police clearance for volunteer purposes is slightly lower than the price of a standard application. It is important to choose the correct application type before you pay for application fees. If you select a volunteer application and your employer will not accept it, then you may need to re-submit your application and pay the appropriate fee. 

It is also important to note that a police clearance certificate or Federal Police Check issued by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) is not the same type Checked provides. If you have been asked to provide a police clearance certificate for immigration related processes, please double check exactly where you need to obtain that certificate with the requesting organisation.

Can I apply for a police clearance online?

When you choose Checked to lodge your police clearance application, you are choosing a completely online application process. We offer our applicants an online form which can be completed in their own time. You will need access to the internet and your identification documents to complete the form. We use Verify™, an online application which uses your camera or scanner to verify your identity documentation saving you time and hassle.

It can take most individuals 5 to 10 minutes to complete and submit your online application. If you are unfamiliar with online forms or internet portals, then it may take longer to complete your application. Express processing service is offered on top of the application fee. Should your application be flagged for a manual review, then your express fee will be refunded to you. Please note that manual reviews occur in roughly 30% of cases but we have no way of knowing whether your application will be flagged before you submit it. In these instances, your application may take between 1 and 15 business days to finalise.

Save time and hassle with Checked. Get your national police clearance online in as little as one hour by choosing our express smart, streamlined and entirely online application process.

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