Questions and Answers
Frequently Asked Questions for Students
Q: How do I apply for a National Criminal Record Check (NCRC)?
A: NSW Students requiring a NCRC need to apply through their local Police station. The application form for a NCRC is available from your educational institution or at the NSW Police website (link). Students are also required to obtain the following documents from their educational institution before completing the application for NCRC:
- Notice to Students Enrolling in Courses Requiring a Placement in NSW Public Health Facilities
- Additional Instructions for Students Applying for NCRC via NSW Police.
Interstate Students - refer to their respective State or Territory police service for information on how to request a NCRC, if not applying through the NSW Police (A list of contact details for all the Australian Police Services is available at NSW Health website (link).
Important Note: You must ensure that the name provided to obtain National Police Certificate matches the name on your Student ID card issued by your Tertiary Institution. If the name on your National Police Certificate does not match the name on your Student ID card, you will not be allowed to commence clinical placement with a NSW Public Health Facility.
Q: Can I apply at any NSW Police station?
A. No. Students must first of all fill in the application online at https://npcoapr.police.nsw.gov.au/aspx/dataentry/Introduction.aspx then contact the NSW Police station nearest to their place of residence or their campus to organise a time and location to submit the completed application form.
Q: Can I apply via mail?
A: No. All applications must be presented in person at a NSW Police station.
Q: Do I have to apply in person?
A: Yes. Applications will not be accepted unless presented to the NSW Police Force in person.
Q: Where can I obtain an application form?
A: Online at NSW Police website https://npcoapr.police.nsw.gov.au/aspx/dataentry/Introduction.aspx.
Q: I am an overseas student. Do I need to obtain a National Police Certificate?
A: Yes. All overseas students are required to obtain a National Police Certificate in Australia.
In addition to the National Police Certificate, overseas students are also required to obtain a Police Certificate (with English translation) from their home country and any country that they have resided in, incorporating any charges the students may have against their name.
If unable to provide a Police Certificate from their home country or any country that they have resided in, students must complete a Statutory Declaration stating that they have no pending criminal charges or convictions from their home country or any country that they have resided in. If you do have such records, you must list date of any offences, the type of offence and the court outcome. This Statutory Declaration form can either be obtained from your educational institution or is available on NSW Health website.
Q: Can I apply for an Australian National Police Certificate whilst overseas?
A: Yes, however you can only apply for it through Australian Federal Police (AFP). Refer to AFP Police website www.afp.gov.au for an application form. When completing the AFP application form you are required to:
- refer to the "Application completion guide"
- enter Code Number 37 in section 1 "Purpose of NPC"
- tick "No" to the Fingerprint check in section 5
- complete all other necessary details, sign and date the application form.
- send a copy of an Australian driver's licence or other acceptable identification (such as passport, full birth certificate, marriage certificate) along with your application. Non photographic id is to be certified by a Justice of the Peace.
- send cheque or money order in exact Australian Dollars only payable to the Australian Federal Police. The cheque must be from an Australian bank or be affiliated with an Australian bank.
Q: Is the "Blue Card" issued by the Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian (Queensland) or the "Working With Children Check Card" issued by the Department of Child Protection (WA) acceptable as a clearance document for clinical placement?
A: No. Only a National Police Certificate issued by the Australian Police Agencies, the Clinical Placement Authority or the Conditional Letter issued by the NSW Department of Health is acceptable as a clearance document.
Q: What are the acceptable types of identification?
A: Students must provide three (3) types of acceptable identification from the list below to prove their identity when applying for a NCRC, one of which must be the Student Identity Card.
Identification must be originals, not be expired and should also include at least one type of photographic ID and identification that contains a signature and date of birth. Applicants must record in the space provided in the application form the identification type (eg Medicare card) and number (if applicable).
Acceptable types of identification are:
- Current passport
- Current drivers licence
- Birth Certificate
- Citizenship Certificate
- Certificate of Marriage or Change of Name
- Government issued identity card
- Private health care fund card
- Medicare card
- Senior Citizens / Govt. concession card
- Rates notice
- Utility account (eg electricity, gas, telephone)
- Government issued identity card or proof of age card (photo ID)
- Current student identity card issued by Tertiary Institution
- Union/Professional membership card
- Licence issued by a Government authority
- Employee identity card with photograph
Q: What is included in a National Police Certificate?
A: A National Police Certificate lists all "disclosable court outcomes" recorded by Australian police jurisdictions against the applicant's name and/or fingerprints. "Disclosable court outcomes" include all findings of guilt (with or without conviction), released in accordance with state and federal legislation. Outstanding court matters may also be included.
Australian police criminal record information is generally limited to prosecutions initiated by police. Some offences are prosecuted by non-police organisations and details of convictions resulting from these prosecutions may not be included in the National Police Certificate.
Convictions considered "spent" under state and federal legislation will not be included in the National Police Certificate unless the category of employment or purpose of the application is considered exempt from relevant legislation.
Q: How long will it take to process the NCRC application?
A: Students should allow a minimum of fifteen (15) working days for the NCRC to be processed. A National Police Certificate will be mailed to the address provided by the student.
Q: How long is a National Police Certificate valid for?
A: Under NSW Health Policy, the National Police Certificate is valid for a duration of 3 years from the date of issue. Students must ensure that a Police Certificate is valid for the entire period of their clinical placement before their placement commences (e.g. a National Police Certificate expiring on 31 July 2010 cannot be valid for placement period from 15 June 2010 to 17 September 2010)
Q: What happens if I lose my National Police Certificate?
A: If the National Police Certificate has been lost, students will need to reapply for NCRC and obtain a National Police Certificate. Students will be required to pay the appropriate fee.
Q: What if my personal details on the National Police Certificate are incorrect?
A: Where the personal details on the National Police Certificate are incorrect, students should return the original certificate to NSW Police, indicating the details to be amended. NSW Police will issue an amended certificate.
If a student requires an amendment urgently, they should contact the Criminal Record Section of NSW Police Force on(02) 8835 7888.
Q: What if I change my name by deed poll or get married?
A: If you change your name by deed poll or get married and need your National Police Certificate to show your current details similar to your Student ID card, you will be required to reapply through NSW Police and pay the appropriate fee.
Q: What if my National Police Certificate reveals criminal history which does not belong to me?
A: Students who dispute information recorded on the National Police Certificate should complete Form P827 Disputing criminal record information (www.police.nsw.gov.au - type Forms in the search area and click on the link "Forms - NSW Police Force") and forward the completed form to the NSW Police Force, Criminal Records Section, Information Management Team, Locked Bag 5102, Parramatta, NSW, 2124.
Students must specify the offences or information in dispute and be prepared to provide comparison fingerprints. The Criminal Records Section will notify applicants in writing if comparison fingerprints are required. No fee will be charged and fingerprints will be destroyed by the Criminal Records Section upon resolution of the dispute.
Q: What if my National Police Certificate (or Overseas Police Certificate/s and/or Statutory Declaration - for overseas students) reveals a criminal history? Will my criminal history constitute any barrier to clinical placement or future employment opportunity in NSW Health?
A: Each application is reviewed based on the relevance and significance of the type of criminal history (see next question for more information).
However, a person is precluded to work in aged care facility if their National Police Certificate records that the person:
- has been convicted of murder or sexual assault; or
- has been convicted of, and sentenced to imprisonment for, any other form of assault.
Also, if a person is convicted of a serious sex offence, the murder of a child or a child-related personal violence offence or is a Registrable person under the Child Protection (Offenders Registration) Act 2000), the person is prohibited from working in child-related employment.
To discuss this further, please contact Employment Screening and Review Unit on telephone 02 8848 5175 or email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: What steps do I need to take if my National Police Certificate (or Overseas Police Certificate/s and/or Statutory Declaration - for overseas students) reveals criminal history that does belong to me?
A: Where the Police Certificate/s, either Australian or Overseas and/or Statutory Declaration lists any offences, students are required to apply for an authority to undertake clinical placements within NSW Public Health Facilities. Students must provide:
- a certified copy of the National Police Certificate (certified copy of Overseas Police Certificate/s and/or Statutory
- Declaration - for overseas students)
- a certified copy of their Student ID
- the Student Risk Assessment Form http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/resources/jobs/student_clearance/Appendix_3_S7_pdf.asp
- the relevant supportive documents to the Employment Screening and Review Unit (ESRU).
A Clinical Placement Authority (CPA) or a conditional letter will be issued by ESRU if the student is deemed suitable for placement following a risk assessment. Students are required to present a valid CPA or a conditional letter instead of the Police Certificate whenever they attend a clinical placement in a NSW Health facility. Additional information and the Student Risk Assessment Form is available on NSW Health website http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/jobs/student_clearance/index.asp .
Where a Conditional Letter is issued, students must disclose the conditions to the University Clinical Placement Coordinator / Facilitator, who must then liaise with the NSW Public Health Facility before the clinical placement to determine whether the conditions imposed on the student can be met by the NSW Public Health Facility. The NSW Public Health Facility may refuse a student for clinical placement with conditions if it has not occurred or the Health Facility is not able to manage the student with the conditions imposed.
Q: Can I be declined for a clinical placement in NSW Public Health Facility?
A: If you are deemed as an unacceptable risk to NSW Health, or you have not provided the required documentation, NSW Health may decline your application for authority to undertake clinical placements. You will be informed of this decision in writing and will be required to inform your educational institution's Clinical Placement Coordinator or Facilitator.
Q: How long is my Clinical Placement Authority/Conditional Letter valid for?
A: The Clinical Placement Authority and the conditional letter is valid for the duration as determined by ESRU. Students must ensure that their Clinical Placement Authority or the conditional letter is valid for the entire period of their Clinical Placement before their placement commences (e.g. a CPA or a conditional letter valid to 31 July 2010 cannot be valid for placement period from 15 June 2010 to 17 September 2010).
Q: What happens if I lose my Clinical Placement Authority?
A: You have to complete a Request for Clinical Placement Authority - Replacement /Amendment form and send it to the Employment Screening and Review Unit – NSW Health. Please note that a fee of A$33.00 (as at 2010 or current fee) applies.
Q: What happens if my Clinical Placement Authority card is stolen?
A: You are still required to complete a Request for Clinical Placement Authority - Replacement /Amendment form and send it to ESRU along with the Police Event Number. There is no fee incurred for the process.
Q: How do I get an urgent Replacement/Amendment of Clinical Placement Authority?
A: Please send the request to ESRU via Express Post and also enclose a self-addressed Express Post envelope.
Q: What if the information on my Clinical Placement Authority is incorrect?
A: You have to complete a Request for Clinical Placement Authority - Replacement /Amendment form and send it to the
ESRU. There is no fee incurred for the amendment.
Q: What happens if I am charged with an offence after I have received my National Police Certificate or Clinical
A: You must contact the Employment Screening and Review Unit on 02 8848 5175, within 7 days of being charged or convicted. If you are subject to criminal charges or convictions, you must not attend any clinical placement in NSW Health facilities until you have been subject to a risk assessment by the Employment Screening and Review Unit – NSW Health.
Q: How can I obtain further information on NCRC (NCHRC) or Clinical Placement Authority (CPA)?
NSW Students - Further information on NCRC is available at www.police.nsw.gov.au or through the NSW Police Force Criminal Records Section on (02) 88357888.
Interstate Students - should refer to their respective State or Territory police jurisdiction, if not applying through NSW Police (A list of contact details for all the Australian Police Services is available at NSW Health website.)
A: Clinical Placement Authority
Further information on CPA is available at http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/jobs/student_clearance/index.asp or through the Employment Screening and Review Unit on (02) 8848 5175 or email@example.com.