Undertaking an international police history check

international police history check, police check, criminal records check, international police check, 1517
Follow this procedure when an individual is required to request an international police history check (international police check) from Australia Post.

Document ID number 1517, version 1, 24 May 2023.

This procedure describes how international police checks can be obtained. The decision to seek an international police check must be approved by a CPP5 or above.

An international police check must be undertaken for individuals being assessed as a carer or are a usual household member when they have lived overseas for six months or more. This includes New Zealand citizens residing in Australia.

An international police check may also be considered to support an assessment of protective concerns when endorsed by a child protection practitioner (CPP5 or above).

International police checks, as described in this procedure, can only be undertaken where the individual is residing in Australia.

Unlike a national police check, Child Protection is unable to directly apply for international police check. Instead, Child Protection will need to request the individual, for whom the international police check is required, obtains the international police check and provides the results to Child Protection. 

An international police check is obtained through Australia Post. The international police check process is an online process and cannot be undertaken over the phone.

While most countries are covered under the international police check process, it is important to check the countries covered under the international police check process is relevant for the individual.  

An international police check will provide information about an individual’s offence history in international jurisdictions, this includes identifying felony and/or misdemeanour level conviction records and arrests pending adjudication.


Case practitioner tasks

  • Seek endorsement from a CPP5 or above to request an individual undertakes an international police check, and endorsement that the department will cover the cost.

All individuals, and other usual household members who have lived overseas for six months or more must complete an international police check when they are being assessed as a kinship carer.

Consider if an international police check is required when assessing protective concerns.

  • Request the individuals undertake an international police check, and agree to provide Child Protection with the results.
  • Inform the individual that the results of their international police check will be recorded in CRIS.
  • Confirm to the individuals that as Child Protection is requiring the individuals to complete the international police check, the costs will be paid by the department.
  • Support the individuals to undertake the Australia Post international police check process through Australia Post (as detailed below) as required.
  • Wherever possible, sight proof of identity documentation for the subject that includes at least one type of photo identification plus the subject’s address, previous names/alias or change of name details, signature and date of birth. Take a photo or photocopy of the identification. Enter a case note on CRIS noting that you have sighted the photo identification.

This identity documentation should already have been sighted as part of the kinship assessment and the same information can be used for this purpose.

  • Request a copy of the certificate and upload a copy into CRIS case note. Where no certificate is available record that the online results have been sighted. A photograph should be taken of the certificate and uploaded to CRIS using the case note heading ‘International police check certificate - <name of applicant>’.
  • Consult your supervisor if the international police check reveals any disclosable offences. Assess the risk of the individual subject to the check having contact with a child. Refer to Categorisation of offences which categorises the seriousness of offences into three categories and provides advice to assist assessment. Refer to procedure Undertaking a National Police history check detailing case practitioner tasks when disclosable offences are received.

Process for applying for an International Police check through Australia Post

The child protection practitioner will need to advise the individual consenting to undertaking the international police check of the following requirements:

  • The individual should complete the international police check process through Australia Post.
  • They will need an Australian or foreign passport to apply for their Australia Post International Police Check.
  • All documents must be hardcopy originals (digital copies are not accepted) and must not be expired.
  • They must check that all their details across their identity documents match what they have provided in their application. If their maiden name or previous name does not match, they will need to provide change of name documentation (contact their local registry office or foreign embassy).
  • They will need to upload a copy of their Australian or foreign passport (as a gif, png, jpg, jpeg or pdf under 5MB).
  • They will need to provide a valid mobile number and email address to access their certificate.
  • An Australia Post International Police Check will take between 5 to 15 working days to be ready. In some cases, it will take longer, depending on the processing times of government agencies coordinating police checks in each country.
  • Australia Post will notify the individual by e-mail when their Australia Post international police check results are available. Australia Post will send an email link and corresponding SMS code for the individual to securely download their check results.
  • Some countries will make an international police check certificate available, while others will not. The individual will be notified via email when their international police check results are available.
  • If the individual has not received their Australia Post International Police Check after 15 business days, please instruct them to contact Equifax fit2work on 1300 525 525 or email support@fit2work.com.au if they have any questions regarding their certificate.