How do you obtain criminal history information?

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The DCSI Screening Unit obtains information about the relevant criminal history of screening applicants through the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC).  The Unit receives this information in the form of electronic relevant criminal history reports.  The information obtained is considered during the screening process  to assess the applicant's suitability for employment or appointment to positions of trust.  

What is the ACIC's role in the screening process?

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) provides a National Police Checking Service, through which police services and accredited organisations, such as the DCSI Screening Unit, can obtain relevant criminal history information. This service was previously provided by the CrimTrac Agency.

Names search: The screening applicant's details are submitted electronically to the ACIC, for checking against a central database of names (by name, date of birth and gender) to find potential matches with people with relevant criminal records.  Then:

  • If the applicant has no relevant criminal history information, or none that can be released to the DCSI Screening Unit, the applicant's result will show 'No Disclosable Court Outcomes'
  • A potential match may be found if the applicant or someone with similar details to theirs is on the database. The relevant police agency will then manually process the check to determine if the applicant's details are a match or not. If not, the result will come back as 'No Disclosable Court Outcomes'.
  • If there is a match of the applicant's name against the National Names Index, the ACIC forwards the applicant's details to the relevant police jurisdiction for further checking.  If criminal history results are located for the applicant, the relevant police jurisdictions will identify and release criminal history information (subject to relevant spent conviction legislation, non-disclosure and/or information release policies, which vary from state to state). The ACIC receives the results and forwards this information onto the Screening Unit for assessment.

If the applicant does have police history information that can be released to the Screening Unit, their result will be shown as 'Disclosable Court Outcome/s'.  The applicant's disclosable police history information will be listed on the result and may include:

  • charges
  • court convictions, including penalties and sentences
  • findings of guilt with no conviction
  • court appearances
  • good behaviour bonds or other court orders
  • matters awaiting court hearing
  • traffic offences.

The type of police history information that is released depends on the purpose/type of check being conducted, and any relevant spent convictions legislation and information release policies.

The time taken for the ACIC to provide these results to the DCSI Screening Unit can vary.  Around 30% of police checks are referred to one or more police agencies. Sometimes this process takes longer than 10 business days.  This can in turn impact on the time taken by the DCSI Screening to complete the screening process.

For more information about the ACIC and the services it provides, go to: www.acic.gov.au.