What is Police vetting?

The main purpose of Police vetting is to protect society’s most vulnerable members, including children, older people and people with special needs. It allows organisations to make informed decisions about potential employees, current employees or volunteers working directly with these vulnerable groups of people. Organisations that provide services to these people can ask to check the criminal records of potential employees, employees or volunteers.

It is recommended that existing employees are Police vetted every two-three years.

Vetting requests cannot be made by individuals. To find out more about registering an organisation so that it can ask for Police vetting read the page Ask for Police vetting.

Information provided by Police vetting

Criminal conviction information held by the Ministry of Justice is accessed by Police under Schedule 5 of the Privacy Act 1993 and is released in accordance with the Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004.

Information released by Police about the person being vetted may include:

  • conviction history
  • driving demerit points or suspension of licence
  • family violence information
  • any interaction with Police, including as a victim
  • information about violent or sexual behaviour that did not result in a conviction. Minimal information about the behaviour may be released or an electronic 'red stamp' may be placed on the request. Electronic 'red stamps' recommend that vetted individuals do not have unsupervised access to children, older people or other vulnerable members of society. A 'red stamp' is issued if disclosing information would breach a Court order or be likely to prejudice the maintenance of the law.  

How vetting results help organisations

Vetting results will help your organisation consider the following when making decisions about potential employees, employees or volunteers:

  • type of offence and its relevance to employment
  • length of time since the crime was committed
  • age and maturity now as compared to when the crime was committed
  • seriousness of the crime
  • circumstances at the time of any violent behaviour
  • pattern of crime; for example a short spate may indicate a 'phase' but a regular pattern may indicate continuing inappropriate behaviour
  • proximity of the person undergoing vetting to any children, older people or people with special needs. For example are they likely to have unsupervised access to these vulnerable people?
  • any explanations the vetted person makes in discussions about the vetting information.