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The details of your employer or a prospective employer need to be provided when applying for screening by the DCSI Screening Unit. This is because screening is an employer-driven process, related to the duty of care organisations have to provide safe environments for vulnerable people, such as children and people with disability.
Screening is a risk assessment conducted on behalf of the employer or prospective employer for the purposes of determining your suitability for the job or volunteer role in which you are (or expect to be) working. The employer acts as the "requesting organisation", for the purposes of your application.
An exception is if you are a sole trader and have an ABN (Australian Business Number), in which case you act as both the applicant and requesting officer when submitting your screening application.
What if I don't yet have an employer? If you are applying for work, and therefore cannot yet provide the details of an employer in your application, you can in the following circumstances nominate a representative to act as your requesting organisation:
- If you are a university student: University students (with the agreement of the university concerned) may be able to nominate their university as the requesting organisation.
- Prospective employees or volunteers of the Department for Education and Child Development (DECD): For more information, please refer to DECD's website Apply for a Relevant History Screening page
- Recruitment agency staff: Applicants may request the permission of their recruitment agency to nominate the agency as the requesting organisation.
Unless the exceptions above apply to you, it is recommended that you wait to apply for your screening until required to do so by an employer or potential employer.
It is recommended that you keep your clearance letter in a safe place.
The DCSI Screening Unit does not issue replacements for lost, stolen or misplaced letters.
If you lose your clearance letter you may be required to lodge another screening application to obtain a new clearance.
Cleared applicants should check their letters as soon as possible when it is received in the mail, to ensure that their full name is correct and that it is spelt correctly, and that their date of birth is correct.
If any of these details provided on the clearance letter are incorrect, the applicant should contact the Screening Unit as soon as possible by email addressed to: DCSIScreeningUnit@sa.gov.au.
Please request a corrected letter, and ensure you provide your screening reference number, correct names and date of birth in the email request.
Letters advising of a screening clearance are sent separately for each different type of screening.
Some types of screening require more detailed assessment than others, and therefore take longer.
Will an offence be taken into account during screening, even if it occurred more than 10 years ago?
If the offence occurred a long time ago (e.g. more than 10 years ago) there is a possibility it is now considered to be 'spent', due to the passage of time. Convictions that are considered "spent" will not be included in a criminal history report that is considered during screening by the DCSI Screening Unit (unless the category of employment, or purpose of the screening application is considered exempt from the workings of any applicable Spent Convictions scheme).
Spent convictions schemes have been introduced to provide some protection for persons from unreasonable discrimination based on minor or old convictions, after a period free of re-offending. The information that can be released by police agencies about a person's criminal history may vary between the various Australian States and Territories, and will depend on any Spent Convictions laws or policies in each case that apply. For more information about Spent Convictions Schemes in Australia refer to our Spent Convictions Schemes Fact Sheet (DOC 102.0 KB).
Exemption based on type of screening
Child-related employment screening and spent convictions: The DCSI Screening Unit can access and take into account spent convictions information from sources Australia-wide, specifically for child-related employment screening only.
This capability is provided through an intergovernmental agreement for the National Exchange of Criminal History Information for People Working with Children (ECHIPWC).
In 2013, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to a permanent inter-jurisdictional exchange of criminal history information for screening people working with children (‘the Exchange’). The Exchange increases the range of criminal history information shared between jurisdictions and is an important measure in protecting children from harm.