Why an Australian National Police Check might be delayed

Why was my police check delayed?

To retrieve your National Police Check history records, the police computer system tries to find any records in the police database that belong to you. Sometimes the computer is unable to make all of the decisions automatically.

In this case, the system refers your check for manual (human) review. This review is done by the police (not CVCheck).

Why couldn’t the computer finalise my records?

The computer uses your name, sex and date of birth to try to identify which records (if any) belong to you. Sometimes your details might be similar to someone else in the database who does have records.

If any records are found that could belong to you (or someone whose details are similar to yours), the system might not be able to automatically assign these records. To make sure this is done correctly, police will manually vet these records to make sure you get the right result.

How long will it take to get my police check?

Manual reviews are usually processed by the police in 1 – 15 business days. It depends on the reason for the referral and how busy the police (who do the manual checks) are.

As stated by ACIC the typical timeframes are:

  • 70% of all checks are returned within 1 day
  • Another 25% are completed within 10 business days
  • The last 5% may take 15 business days or more (depending on the complexity of the check)

We follow the progress of all referred National Police Checks closely, and our automatic system will let you know the minute it is returned to us.

How do I speed the process of my police check?

Vetting the police records is a manual process that is done by the police. There is nothing that we (or you) can do to speed things up.

We understand that this is frustrating – especially if you need your check urgently. However, the police won’t release your result until they are confident that your certificate will show exactly what it is legally supposed to show.

Is this delay because I ordered through CVCheck?

You can be confident that the delay has nothing to do with CVCheck’s systems or because your order was placed through CVCheck. We are accredited by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) to process police checks and the matching algorithm runs exactly the same no matter where your check was ordered.

Our platform is linked directly to the police and we check for updates on your order every 60 seconds, non-stop, until the police finish their work. Once your result is finalised by the police, we’ll have it ready for you in less than a minute for you to download. We’ll email you as soon as it’s ready.

What if I need my police check urgently?

We understand that there are lots of reasons you might need your result urgently. We wish there was more that we could do.

There are thousands of police checks done every day and the police will not consider escalating your check until it has been in progress for at least 15 business days. If you call us we will be sympathetic, but there isn’t anything that we can do. The delay is wholly within the police system and not in our control.

What are the most common reasons that Australian National Police Checks are referred?

The most common reasons an Australian National Police Check gets referred depend on whether you have a criminal history or not.

If you don’t have a criminal history:

A combination of your personal details (name, gender, date of birth or address) are the same or similar to someone who does have a criminal record.

Depending on what that record is, there are a number of factors that will affect how long it takes to eliminate any potential matches:

  • How similar your details are to the person who does have a record,
  • When the offence was committed (how old is the record?),
  • The state in which the offence occurred.

If you do have a criminal history:

If you know you have a criminal record that may appear on your National Police Check, your Police Check will be referred for manual verification.

Depending on the year and state that the conviction occurred, certain records may need to be retrieved from storage before they can be properly checked. The police then decide whether each record is disclosable, and the type and amount of information that is to be released.

This is based on the reason that the check was ordered, which spent conviction legislation is to be applied and/or the relevant information release policy.

Once this processing has been completed, your Police Check moves into the Final Vetting stage for review and is then returned to us so we can provide it to you.

How are Australian National Police Checks conducted?

After you’ve provided your consent and ID documents, your details (name, date of birth, gender and address history) are sent via secure electronic connection to the police systems where they are automatically checked against the national police database for possible matches.

There are two possible outcomes of this automatic search:

  1. ‘No Disclosable Court Outcomes’, or
  2. A potential match with someone in the database

Every police check in Australia is processed in the same fashion through this automatic matching process. This means that the outcome of this automatic search is the same regardless of where you order your National Police Check.

If a potential match is identified, your National Police Check will then be referred for manual vetting and processing by the police to ensure the result you receive is accurate.

What happens next?

  1. The police may find the match is wrong, or that there is no police history information to be released. The outcome will be ‘No Disclosable Court Outcomes’, or
  2. The police may confirm the match and find that there is disclosable police history information. If this is the case, your police check report will include details of all ‘Disclosable Court Outcomes’.