How Long Does an AFP Police Check Take?

By  //  September 20, 2021

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If you’re applying for a new job in Australia, you’ve probably been asked to provide a national police check. It has become a common scenario as most institutions require police checks when dealing with unknown individuals. So, you will probably need one sooner or later. 

Fortunately, it only takes a maximum of 48 hours for your AFP police check to be processed and posted in most cases. However, it may get delayed on rare occasions, depending on certain factors. Let’s get into the details. 

The Usual Processing Time of Police Check

To make the process faster, the Australian Federal Police utilizes an automated computer system. 

When you apply for a police check, a sophisticated computer algorithm runs a check on you using the information you’ve provided. 

It thoroughly compares your information against the existing info in the central database. The computer pulls out any history that you may have with the police. 

The whole thing takes a very short time to be completed. If everything proceeds smoothly, your national police certificate will be posted within just 48 hours. 

About 70-80% of the applications are processed within a day or two. However, the processing time may vary depending on the complexity of the application. 

The AFP asks for 15 to 30 business days to process everything for you, but it doesn’t take nearly as long most of the time.

What Causes Police Checks to be Delayed?

The automated computer system is what makes the police check process so quick. But sometimes, the applications can be too complex for the computer to handle. When that happens, manual processing is needed, which delays the process. 

For instance, if your provided information matches that of another person, the computer will mark it for manual reviewing. That can happen due to having similar names or providing inaccurate information. 

Complicated addresses caused by frequent moving around can also make the process harder for the computer.  

Your police check will also be delayed if you’ve submitted fingerprints for forensic examination. 

Having a criminal history is another reason that causes police checks to take longer. Your application will be marked if the computer detects any offense and send it for verification. 

It will take some time for the police to decide whether the offenses should be disclosed or not. 

Don’t worry if your application seems to be taking a lot longer than expected. While it’s not common, it does happen sometimes. 

Check out the National Crime Check if you’re looking to get a police check without any hassle. It’s an ACIC accredited agency that aims to make the whole police check process faster and seamless.

Final Words

Getting an AFP police check is relatively easy. Organizations often give you a timeframe within which you must submit the police certificate. 

That may not always be possible if your police check process gets delayed. When that happens, it’s best to communicate with your employer and make them understand.