Sometimes, a national police history check (NPHC) is referred to a police agency for further investigation. Although it may seem alarming to those applying for a check for the first time, a referral is not uncommon.
So why does this happen?
An NPHC is referred to a police agency if your name has a match in their database. This is common as many individuals in Australia have similar names. According to the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, this happens for around 30 per cent of police history checks and it might take more than 10 business days to complete the crosscheck.
What happens if my check is referred to the police?
The police manually process referred checks to work out if the database match is correct. Should they find that the match is incorrect, they will send a police check report that says ‘No Disclosable Court Outcomes’. If the result goes the other way, the report will contain your ‘Disclosable Court Outcomes’ with all details included.
If you want to know what may be disclosed in your police check report, you can run a background check on yourself before applying for a job. When you request an NPHC for employment or allow your prospective employer to conduct a check on you, you will receive a copy of the report to allow you to verify the result and submit a dispute if necessary.
As you can see, you don’t have to worry if your check is referred to the police. Should there be disclosable court outcomes, you will have an opportunity to dispute the report if there is a mistake. If the outcomes are true, at least you have advanced knowledge, so you can prepare an explanation to your prospective employer.