The National Police Checking Service (NPCS) is currently experiencing an unprecedented use of the system, and due to a number of factors outside of their control there may be significant delays in processing of checks.
Police checking in Australia is a partially manual, name-based process, involving many stakeholders. The NPCS aims to return checks as quickly as possible, however turnaround times are not guaranteed.
There are many reasons as to why some checks take longer than others to process, including:
- the check subject having a common name, or a name that matches with many potential Persons of Interest on policing systems
- the check subject having old police information that requires manual collection and processing of hard copy records
- the relevant police agency having inaccurate or incomplete records which need to be investigated properly before the check can be finalised
- transferring information between the various state and territory police agencies before the information can be vetted and/or released
- workloads within each police agency.
The NPCS facilitates over 5 million checks each year, which may result in over 7000 referrals to police each day. Resourcing constraints within all affected agency, will also likely impact upon the ability to turn around these check results more quickly, particularly during peak periods.
The NPCS completes around 70% of police checks within minutes, providing a result back to the submitting agency. The remaining 30% of checks are referred to one or more police agencies for manual processing. When responding to concerns about timeframes, the NPCS team escalates concerns to the relevant police jurisdiction, however as there is no definitive amount of time it takes to process a police check it is always advisable to allow as much time as possible.
You can help reduce any unnecessary referrals to our police partners by ensuring that application data is submitted accurately and in full.
Thank you for your continued understanding.
Generally, applications take 3-12 weeks to process. This is due to the extensive National Criminal History Check where we look for offences that may indicate a risk to the safety of children. Applications may take less than this time if the Check comes back with no criminal history. In this instance, an applicant passes the Working with Children (WWC) Check. If there is an offence history, we will investigate if there is a risk to the safety of children. These applications will take longer to process.
Please note that if you have a common name, the National Criminal History Check may take longer because there are more possible name matches.
Most applicants can begin child-related work while the application is being processed. There are certain circumstances when an applicant cannot work .
Use the form below to check the status of your application or the validity or authenticity of a WWC Check card. Simply enter in the first 8 characters of your application or card number and your family name. If you forgot your application or card number you can request your application/ card number.
Make sure you spell your name as per your application or card – and enter in all numbers correctly – to get the right application information. If you only have one name, enter it into the family name field.