Answers – Jobs in Australia that mandate criminal record checks

In Australia there are several domains where job applicants must submit to a background check before they can be hired. Mandatory national police checks are imposed to ensure public safety and protect vulnerable people. Let’s have a look at the type of jobs where you can expect to be asked about your criminal history and what you can do about it.

What type of jobs require criminal record checks?

Education and child care

If you’re looking to work with children in any capacity you will have to get a Working With Children Check, which is a comprehensive background check. The legislation was introduced to make sure dangerous people with a criminal record are not allowed to get in a position where they might harm children in any way.

The jobs that fall under this requirement include education, childcare, child entertainment, etc.

The same regulations apply to people seeking employment as sport coaches for children, or even to volunteers working with children in community services and other settings.


Doctors, registered nurses in Australia and other types of personnel working in healthcare must all submit to national police checks prior to their employment from approved services like the ANCC. The law is meant to protect patients who are in a vulnerable position and forbid access to sensitive data to people with a criminal past.

Aged care / Disability care

All personnel employed in care homes for the elderly or institutions catering to people with mental disabilities must pass a background test as part of their pre-employment screening.

Legal services

Those who administer the law should be the first to obey the law. This is why people seeking employment in roles that have to do with the legal services, such as courthouses, must submit to a background check before they can be hired.

Financial services

Background checks are mandatory for many jobs in financial institutions to make sure they were never convicted for any money-related offences, such as theft, fraud, embezzlement or fraudulent bankruptcy.

Government and defense jobs

Not surprisingly, people wishing to work in a position of authority with the state or federal government must pass a character check, which includes a national police check. The regulation applies to all jobs in the government, military or police forces that require a security clearance.

What can you do if you have a criminal record?

Does this mean that people who have disclosable history on their Australian police checks cannot access any of the above mentioned jobs?

Not necessarily. Most of the time, applications are assessed on a case by case basis.

Obviously, a person convicted of a sexual offence will never be allowed to work around children or vulnerable people. What about someone with an old driving offence? Won’t they be able to find employment in a care home? They most probably will.

However, if you know you have one or more convictions or findings of guilt without convictions on your record, you should order a background check on yourself. This can be easily done by ordering one from an online character check agency. Such agencies deliver police checks via email in 2-3 business days and you’ll get to see what your criminal record looks like at present.

With minor offences, chances are they have become spent, meaning they will no longer be disclosed so you won’t have any problem with your future employer.