Many Australians were surprised when they were told they needed to undergo a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check (NCCHC) as part of the pre-employment screening process. This NCCHC sounds more serious than the National Police Check they were used to, but the truth is there is no difference between the two. All that changed is the name. 

When did the National Coordinated Criminal History Check appear?

The decision to rename National Police Checks was made in July 2018 by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC). In case you didn’t know, ACIC is in charge of police checks nationwide

Why do they use National Coordinated Criminal History Checks now?

The decision to change the name of the regular criminal background check was made because the term National Coordinated Criminal History Check better describes the process. 

The term police check was considered to be a bit vague as it led some to believe that the criminal record check only refers to offences committed in a certain Australian state and territory where the request is made. This is not the case, however.

What does a National Coordinated Criminal History Check look at?

When you apply for a police check in order to get a job, a firearm licence, or for immigration and visa purposes, your entire criminal record will be looked at. 

In practical terms this means that no matter where you live in Australia, your name will be searched in police databases in all the other states and territory. If you have committed a criminal offence anywhere on Australian territory it will show up on your criminal record. Spent convictions will not appear, however.

How do you apply for a National Coordinated Criminal History Check?

The procedure is the same. Whenever you need a criminal background check you can go down to your local police station and apply for one.

In recent years, however, most businesses prefer to work with online character check agencies.

The reason for that is that doing things online is way easier and there’s less red tape involved. There are no long forms to fill in and no time wasted going to the police station and waiting in line.

What could once take hours, now can be done in a couple of minutes by using the services of an online agency.

It’s not just businesses that work with online agencies, private citizens have also switched to this modern method. Most agencies have their own apps and you can request a National Criminal History Check even on your mobile phone. All you have to do is fill in your basic identity information and upload a selfie you can easily take on your phone.

The results come back in a couple of business days and they are sent by email, so once again you don’t have to bother to go anywhere.

One thing you need to know is that online police checks are just as thorough as those done at the local police station. This is because all online character check agencies are accredited by ACIC and have very high standards to maintain in order to be allowed to operate. 

Next time you need a National Coordinated Criminal History Check just look up a national character check agency and see how easy it is to get one.