Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024

Many people have applied for a National Police Check (NPC) in Australia. There are various reasons for doing so, but it is usually for employment purposes, license and registration, or visa application. For some people, it might seem like a long process, but you won’t have any problem if you submit your application ahead of the time you need to have the certificate.   

When it comes to police checks, you cannot rush the process. However, there are several measures you can undertake to smoothen the process and avoid delays. So here is a guide on how you can ensure that the process goes smoothly without any delays. 

How Long Is The Processing of A Police Check? 

On average, 7 out of 10 police checks are processed within a day. It is usually done within a few hours, providing that there are no issues with personal information and all identification documents are in order. The remaining three applications may be delayed for various reasons, such as issues with criminal record checks, police clearance, or within the National Police Checking System (NPCS). 

With the NPCS, the police will take the application to a higher level as it will involve a more complex check. The delays in the application could range from 2 to 15 business days or even longer. It is hard to determine whether your police check will be delayed for further review. 

For this reason, it is best to give yourself enough time when applying for any unexpected delays. Allot at least 10 days before the date you need your police check certificate. 

Why Do The Results of Police Checks Get Delayed? 

As mentioned, New South Wales police check could be delayed up to 15 days due to various reasons, which could be any of the following: 

  • Common Name. Sometimes your name matches another name on a police database. The system will still have to check whether you are a person of interest. 
  • Outdated Information. Sometimes your personal information is not updated in police records. It must undergo manual collection and processing, leading to further delays.  
  • Problems with police records. Sometimes the police records are inaccurate or incomplete in the system. This means the records must thoroughly examine before the police check is finalized. 
  • Delays in the transfer of information and records between states and territories 
  • The workload of each police agency.

What Steps Can I Take To Avoid Delays? 

While the processing time is beyond your control, there are some steps you can take to ensure the smooth processing of your police checks. On your end, ensure that you provide the correct personal information and proper documents, and double-check expiration dates and other pertinent details on your documents. 

Don’t send multiple checks to different accredited bodies as much as possible, as this will further slow down the process. All agencies have access to the same checking system and follow the same procedures. By sending multiple checks, you will only waste time. 

Finally, you should upload a photo of yourself clearly showing your face while holding an identification card. Make sure your face and photo ID are visible, which will be cross-checked on the system. 


Police checks can be processed quickly if everything is in order. Keep in mind possible delays and apply for police checks in advance. 

By Manali