Criminal History Clearance

Compulsory Requirement

All students in the Division of Health Sciences who, as part of their program, undertake activities where interaction with patients/the public is required, such as in field or clinical placements/visits and in University clinics and gyms, must demonstrate that they have an Australian criminal history clearance which will be current for the duration of that activity.

A criminal history clearance is an assessment of an individual's criminal history and is part of the legislated (Child Protection Act and Aged Care Act) risk management requirement of organisations where children or vulnerable adults may be present. Students must ensure the criminal history clearance will be valid for the duration of their placement.

While the university's requirement is for a clearance once every three years, some placement venues may require a screening to have been conducted more recently. Details regarding the required currency of a criminal history clearance for a specific placement venue are available via the student placement system, or can be verified by contacting field placement/clinical placement staff.

Placement requirements are changing from 2018

From 1st January 2018, all Division of Health Sciences students will be required to have a National Police Certificate (NPC) through SAPOL (or their home state police service) and a Child Related Employment Screening through the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI) Screening Unit.

This requirement may affect your studies in 2017. Impacted students who are required to submit these documents prior to January 2018 will receive further correspondence from the CPU Office.


Applying to the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI) for a National Criminal History Record Check and Screening Assessment

All students undertaking a placement in South Australia are required to hold current Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI) screening checks for:

  • Child-Related Sector Employment
  • Vulnerable Person Related Employment
  • Aged Care Sector Employment

DSCI Screening Online is an organisation-led process. All online screening applications MUST be initiated by an organisation. As a student you will be unable to start a DCSI screening on your own - UniSA will act as the Requesting Organisation for the purposes of submitting a screening application for a student in relation to their placement. 

The DCSI online student form (below) has been created for students enrolled into a program or course within the Division of Health Sciences. Please do not complete this student form if you are not completing a program and/or course within the Division of Health Sciences.

Follow the steps outlined below to apply for an online DCSI screening:

Step 1. Start an application online by completing the Student Form.

Step 2. Once the university has initiated an application, you will receive an email from the DCSI Screening Unit providing login instructions and requesting you to activate your account. Note that this email could take up to 4 weeks and will be sent to the email account that you provide.

Step 3. Activate your account and complete an online application. You will need your login and password details to be able to complete your application using the online portal.

Step 4. When choosing a verification method Division of Health Science students should select only option 1 or option 3. More information can be found here: How to verify your Identity. 
If you are using the print and seek verification option, proceed to the payment section of your online application by selecting PAYMENT OPTION and clicking the 'Pay Fees' button. You can then proceed to print your partially completed application form and take it, together with ORIGINAL copies of your identity documents, to an independent verifying officer.

Please post your completed application to: DCSI Screening Unit, GPO Box 292, Adelaide SA 5001.

Step 5. When you receive your DCSI clearance outcomes, it is your responsibility to provide the clearances to CPU. For details about how to submit/upload conditional evidence documents to the CPU, please refer to your student checklist.

Applicants who meet 'Exceptional Circumstances' provisions can lodge their forms and pay using a credit or debit card at any of the 20 Service SA Centres. A cash option is not currently available.

Students who have not received their DCSI activation email within 6 weeks of applying, are asked to contact the DCSI Screening Unit directly on 1300 321 592 or email DCSI.ScreeningOnline@sa.gov.au.

Additional Information for applicants


Applying for the National Police Certificate (NPC)

From 1st January 2018, all Division of Health Sciences students will be required to have a National Police Certificate (NPC) through SAPOL (or their home state police service). Students who are required to submit this document prior to January 2018 will receive further correspondence from the CPU Office.

Follow the steps outlined below to apply for an National Police Certificate (NPC):

Step 1. Access your home state police service from the state list provided below
            SA | VIC | NSW | QLD | NT | WA | ACT | TAS

  • * Notes: Non-SA students must use the same 'purpose of check' description as outlined below for their state based application form
  • CPU and placement sites do not accept NPC obtained through online 3rd party providers.  

Step 2. When completing your application for a South Australian National Police (SAPOL) Check, you must include the following descriptor under the heading:

PURPOSE OF CHECK/OCCUPATION: Health/Aged Care Uni Placement

CATEGORY:      "Working with Children/Vulnerable Groups"

CHECK TYPE:   Full Time Students select "Individual Concession (IC)",

Part Time Students select "Individual (I)"

Step 3. When you receive the NPC clearance outcome, it is your responsibility to provide the clearance to CPU. For details about how to submit/upload conditional evidence documents to the CPU, please refer to your student checklist.

Step 4. Submit a completed  Consent & Authority to Release Form with the date corresponding to your NPC clearance to the CPU.

Students undertaking placement in a state other than SA. Please allow a minimum of 10-15 working days from the date that you apply for your NPC. The process may be further delayed if information is required from interstate jurisdictions pertaining to the national name search.

Additional Information for applicants

International Students - International Police Clearance equivalent to a National Police Certificate

An international criminal history check is required in circumstances where a student declares that they have resided in a country other than Australia, for a period exceeding 12 months when aged 18 years of age or more, or if a student has declared a criminal history in a jurisdiction outside of Australia.

International criminal history checks are to be conducted by external provider ‘Fit2Work’. 'Fit2Work' is the only 3rd party provider approved to conduct this clearance.  

Turnaround times do vary. Checks are typically returned within 15 business days; however, some results will take longer depending on the processing times of Government Agencies coordinating checks in each country searched. This can be up to 2 months in some cases.

If you fit the category outlined above, please access the fit2work website to read more about and initiate your application. If you have any queries regarding this process, please contact fit2Work's helpdesk on 1300 575 575 or email: ichc@fit2work.com.au.

The International Police Clearance certificate is valid for 12 months; following this, students are required to obtain a State Issued National Police Certificate (NPC).


Aged Care Requirements

Additional requirements of aged care organisations as a result of Department of Health and Ageing compliance standards

People who have lived in a country other than Australia for any period of time after the age of 16 must provide a statutory declaration stating they were not convicted of murder or sexual assault, and not convicted of and imprisoned for any other form of assault during their time living overseas. Any such criminal record would exclude the person from working with, or being placed within, an aged care service if they have unsupervised access to care recipients. In addition to the statutory declaration, which a Justice of the Peace can assist with, the person must also have a criminal history clearance to cover the time (after age 16) that they have lived in Australia.


Additional Information

Types of Criminal History Clearance

Criminal history clearances are conducted in a variety of ways and are titled differently depending on which organisation conducts them. Placement organisations may have specific requirements around which type of clearance they require. Information about any special requirements is in the Student Placement System.

For placement in South Australia, the University will accept only the National Criminal History Record Check (NCHRC) conducted by the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI), (previously known as the Department for Families and Communities).

From 1st January 2018, all Division of Health Sciences students will be required to have a National Police Certificate (NPC) through SAPOL (or their home state police service) and a Child Related Employment Screening through the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI) Screening Unit.

Interstate placements

Students who will be attending placement interstate will require the National Police Certificate (NPC).

How long is a National Police Certificate valid for in Victoria?

Victoria Police does not have an expiry date for validity of National Police Certificates. The police certificate is the result of a check of police records only up until the day it is issued. It is up to each organisation (in the absence of any legislation applicable to their industry/profession) to determine how often they require a new certificate to be issued. Some areas do have either direct legislation or licensing requirements which require a police check be conducted at certain intervals. The best source of information in regard to this is the professional or industry governing body which relates to the area. To apply for a National Police Clearance in Victoria, see the Victoria Police website.

Students from other divisions within UniSA or other universities

Students from other divisions or universities who enrol in Division of Health Science courses where a clinical or field placement is a requirement are required to comply with the criminal history clearance requirements outlined on this website.


Children's Protection Act (SA) 1993

In response to concerns of those in positions of trust, abusing or misusing their trust, to sexually, emotionally, and physically abuse and neglect children (that is, people under the age of 18) and vulnerable adults, the Children's Protection Act (SA) has been revised and strengthened.

This legislation requires all health care venues and all education venues to address this by policies that include police checks for students prior to their being accepted by the placement venue for field/clinical placement.