How is a police check different to screening?


Screening by the Screening by the DCSI Screening Unit involves a risk assessment specifically focused on the applicant's risk in relation to a particular work or volunteer role.  

There is no such risk assessment with a Police Certificate, which is simply a record of the applicant's criminal conviction history.

Screening by the DCSI Screening Unit

Screening by the DCSI Screening Unit additionally involves a risk assessment specifically focused on assessing an applicant's risk for a particular role.  There is no such assessment with a police certificate, which is simply a record of a person's criminal conviction history.

When you apply for screening by the DCSI Screening Unit, you provide your consent for the Unit to undertake a risk assessment that can consider a wider range of relevant information about you, in addition to any criminal history information that might appear on your National Police Certificate.  What is assessed?

Police Checks 

A police check (National Police Certificate) is a summary of a person's offender history in Australia.  Police checks are obtained through police services (such as SA Police) and involve the identification and release of the person's relevant criminal history information, including convictions, findings of guilt or pending court proceedings. 

If you require documentation about your criminal history, it is recommended that you obtain a Police Check.

Spent convictions / non-disclosure legislation and information release policies place some limitations on the information a Police Check can provide. In South Australia the applicable Spent Convictions Scheme stipulates that prior convictions are not to be disclosed where 10 years have passed from the date of the conviction.

Free Police Checks for Qualifying Volunteer Organisations

Police checks for volunteers who work with vulnerable groups such as children, the aged or people with a disability are provided free of charge by South Australia Police, to organisations who are eligible to obtain a Volunteer Organisation Authorisation Number (VOAN).  The VOAN scheme is administered by South Australia Police. Please refer to the VOAN information on the SA Police website for further details.

The Screening Unit is not part of the VOAN scheme;  a fee is charged for all applications that it receives and processes.

More FAQs are available in the FAQ section.