How Long Does it Take to Process Criminal History Checks in Australia?

Criminal History Checks

Many individuals apply for the NPC or National Police Checks in Australia. There are several reasons to opt for the same. However, some of the common reasons are registry or license purpose, visa applications, and employment purposes. It can appear like a lengthy process. Therefore, it is important that you submit the application for criminal history checks in advance when you need the possession of the certificate.

NPC (National Police Check) also goes by the name as a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check. It serves to be the disclosure of the criminal history of the individual. It essentially serves to be the criminal background check. The given check is a type of search on all police databases from all territories and states in Australia. 

It is not possible to rush a criminal history check. However, there are specific ways in which you can ensure that the application process runs smoothly. You can also take some preventive measures to avoid the overall delays. 

How Long Will It Take to Process the Police Check?

On average, around 70 percent of criminal history checks ensure processing and investigations within a single business day. In some cases, it is also possible within a few hours. In this case, the applicant should submit all personal identification and information documents to complete the process. 

The remaining 30 percent of background checks in Australia might be subject to delays. This can be due to several reasons. For instance, there could be a problem with police clearance or criminal record check or delay could happen by the National Police Checking System.

The given organization is responsible for taking the application for further review and a more detailed check. In the given cases, the delays could be anywhere between 2 & 15 days. In some cases, the delay could be longer. 

It is not possible to predict whether or not your check will be further investigated. Therefore, it is the best solution to allow yourself ample time to ensure any unexpected delays. You should submit your application at least ten days before the given date on which you require the police check certificate. In this manner, you can deal with all unprecedented circumstances or issues in advance.

What is the National Police Checking System in Australia?

NPCS or National Police Checking System also goes by the name of National Police Checking Service. It is a dedicated service that allows people to apply for a police check. 

People usually require checks while applying for jobs in Australia, its citizenship, taking the position involving trust (like that of a teacher or those involving vulnerable groups), and several other licensing agreements. 

NPCS aims at processing your background check as soon as possible. However, there can be some delays that might be out of the control of the organization. This can include unexpected higher volumes of people who apply for background checks, or an increased workload. While the organization always aims at completing the application as soon as possible, there remains no guarantee of the duration of the entire process.

What Can Cause a Delay in the Police Check in Australia?

There are several reasons due to which crime checks in Australia can take longer and lead to delays of around 15 days. Here are some reasons to look into:

  • Outdated information on the involved policing system with respect to the applicant, processing of crime police records, and requiring the collection manually.
  • A common name –in case the individual applying for the criminal history check has a common name, or the name that tends to match with other individuals in the police databases, then this can make the system take more time to ensure identity and eliminate you as the individual of interest.
  • The overall workloads of every police agency
  • Delays during the transfer of records and information between different territories & states of Australia. 
  • Some problems with the police records –the police records can be incomplete or inaccurate on the system. This implies that the information will undergo a detailed examination before finalizing the background check.

What Can You Do to Prevent a Delay?

The process time remains out of your control. Still, there are some preventive steps that you can undertake to ensure that the process is running as smoothly as possible. The most crucial aspect you can consider to prevent the delay in your background check is to ensure that you should include everything for a successful application. This implies providing access to the right documents, correct personal information, and double-checking any expiry date and other vital details on the documents.

You should know that all accredited bodies offer the same access to the police checking system. They also have equal procedures to follow. This implies that you should not attempt to send multiple checks to multiple accredited bodies. 


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