Background Checks

The Police Recruitment Branch undertakes background checks for all applicants seeking employment with the NSW Police Force as a police officer.  Background checks are part of the professional suitability process.

Background checks include baseline clearance in line with the Australian Government Protective Security Policy Framework and include providing the Police Recruitment Branch with supporting documentation such as personal documents, to confirm identity and background.

Background checks include:


Vetting is information used in determining whether an applicant is suitable for future appointment as a member of the NSW Police Force.  Section 96B of the Police Act 1990 (NSW) provides the authority for vetting prospective police officers.

What are Vetting Checks?

Criminal History

Applicants who have prior criminal convictions or who have otherwise come under adverse attention would not be assessed as professionally suitable.

Associated People

This includes providing information about family members, partner/s, sibling/s or associates.

Any declarable associations with groups, gangs or known criminals may result in your application being rejected.

What are Declarable Associations?

Australian Driving History

To meet minimum driving offence history standards applicants must have no driving offences recorded against their license/s for a period of twelve months (12) months prior to lodging an on-line application and continue to remain offence free throughout the recruitment process.  If this is not the case, minor offences may be reviewed and your application may be considered further.

All other traffic offences and driving behaviour issues outside the twelve month period will be taken into account and may result in an application being rejected.  

Serious driving offences will generally result in an application being rejected.

Overseas Police Certificate

Applicants who have resided in another country for more than twelve (12) months whilst over the age of 16 are required to supply a certified overseas penal certificate or an overseas police check as they are sometimes known.

To access information on how to get an overseas penal clearance certificate, please visit the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection website for more information.

Residential History

This includes providing mandatory information and supporting documentation on an applicants address history for at least 5 years from the time their on-line application is submitted.  This includes interstate and overseas residential addresses.

Addresses include:

  • Places resided for work / study
  • Any other places such as share houses, family homes, university residence and temporary accommodation.

Employment History

This includes providing information and supporting documentation on an applicant’s employment and if applicable, unemployment history for 5 years from the time their on-line application is submitted.

The NSW Police Recruitment Branch will contact all current and previous employers.

Employment includes:

  • All paid employment
  • Self-employment / family business
  • Work experience / internships
  • Unpaid employment / volunteer work

Unemployment includes:

  • All gaps / breaks between employment
  • All gaps between education

Military service or previous applications with other law enforcement jurisdiction

Military service includes:

  • Compulsory
  • Conscription
  • Military training
  • Voluntary
  • Professional

Applications with other law enforcement jurisdictions

This includes providing information about any previous or current applications (and outcomes) for employment with other law enforcement jurisdictions.

Field Based Interview

This process includes local police visiting applicants and conducting an interview.  This usually occurs at the applicant’s home residence.

Fingerprint & DNA Checks

DNA KitFinger and palm prints are obtained and compared with information held in the National Automated Fingerprint Identification System (NAFIS).

All applicants are required to supply a DNA sample by way of a Buccal (mouth swab) sampling kit.  After analysis, the genetic sample is destroyed.

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