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Do Students Need a National Police Check in Order to Enroll in Australia?

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Enrolling for a new course is exciting. Especially when you plan on studying in a world-class country like Australia. The idea of going to college or university, means you are going one step ahead towards your dream career. Submitting applications for universities can be of a great hassle. Collecting all the needed documents, filling up forms, and whatnot.

Among all these, there comes a necessity to get a national police check as per the university rule. A criminal record check is required from any student who is 18 years and above, looking to enrol in a tertiary level of education.

TYPES OF EDUCATIONAL FIELDS THAT REQUIRE A POLICE CHECK

In many countries, the type of educational institute requiring their students to have a national police check varies. But, majority of the Asian and European countries want a police certificate from the students interested in enrolling in the following fields of education:

  • Health: Rehabilitation studies, Nursing, Podiatric Medicine, Medicine, Chiropractic Science, Occupational Therapy, Health Sciences and Technologies, Nursing, Medical Sciences, Dentistry, Physiotherapy.
  • Social Sciences and Humanities: Youth Work, Children and Family Studies, Welfare Studies, Social Work, Psychology
  • Education: Teaching

In case of applying for any undergraduate courses in the general fields of science, humanities and social sciences, health or education, keep in mind that jobs in many of these fields need the practitioners to get a police clearance certificate. The reason behind this is that as an external placement, student, practicum or as a part of clinical practices, your role will include contact with the people or the public as part of your course.

Outside organizations, for example, government divisions, non-government offices and emergency clinics, may expect you to get a police check before your practicum, clinical practice or external placement. The universities should keep in touch with these outside agencies as they may not always advise them of any change or decision they make.

WILL A CRIMINAL RECORD AFFECT MY EDUCATIONAL CAREER?

Your admission or placement will not be adversely affected for the sole reason that you have committed a crime. All the crimes are not considered “serious”. The institute will also consider if the crime is related to the education sector or will it cause any harm to the institute. Crimes that are regarded as serious are:

  • Offences that led to a jail sentence;
  • Drug dealing or trafficking;
  • Offences that are of sexual or violent nature;
  • Fraud;
  • Crime where the victim was an elderly or below the age of 18 years.

All these illegal acts may significantly affect your career and you will be considered unsuitable for placement or employment in the future.

Information containing child or sexually related matters may be kept as a record in the national database and might be made accessible to some authorities. These data could also be disclosed in the police clearance to the institutes.

The concerned institute (College or university) will furnish you with further insights concerning how to acquire the type of police clearance that is relevant to them. This will be done during the enrolment or will be added to the offer letter. The processing time of the application depends on the time you take to supply them with the police check.

For students wanting to enroll in the health science or education sectors and will be working with kids between 0 to 17 years of age, it is mandatory to undertake a Working with Children Check (WWCC) as part of the practicum. However, a dentistry, medicine, or podiatric medicine students must also undertake the Working with Children Check.

For someone holding a criminal record, a conditional letter will be provided and an assessment will be requested through a specific assessment body or review unit. This must be informed to the respective educational institute. Actions will be taken accordingly depending on the nature of the crime or criminal history.

PURPOSE AND TYPE OF POLICE CHECK-IN EDUCATION SECTOR

The type of police check approved in the education sector must be a national police check. It should include details like the applicants full name, date of birth and address. The name on the national police clearance certificate should be the same as the one on the student’s ID card. Should the name be changed, a change of name or a marriage certificate should be provided. A national police check intended for the aged care is unacceptable in such situations.

POLICE CHECK FOR OVERSEAS AND DOMESTIC STUDENTS

During visa application, anyone interested in studying overseas should get a national police certificate from the country they are residing during the application submission besides getting one from their home country (if their home country is different from their present residing country).

Overseas students studying in Australia would likely be required to provide a current national police check which are similar to Australian federal police checks.

Most study destinations for students are in Australia. According to the Australian law, an international student must obtain a police certificate from all the countries they lived in for more than 6 months, including Australia, from the day they turned 18. If the national police certificate is in a different language other than english, they must be translated into English.

Situations where an applicant is unable to get a National police certificate from their residing country, they should submit a completed statutory declaration signed by a Justice of the Peace (JP), during their enrollment application, specifically in the Health sector. It can be done once the applicant arrives in the state he wants to study. A signed statutory declaration is enough to cover for all the countries resided.

A national police check can be done by anyone who is authorized by the federal government as an agency to provide one.

For domestic students who completed a working experience as part of their secondary school studies from a high school or TAFE in Australia do not need to acquire a national police check. Moreover, it is the same for anyone who is below the age of 18 years and have had their tertiary studies completed in Australia.

THE CONCLUSION

All the information supplied in the declaration should be true. It is a serious offense to intentionally declare misleading or false information. No one deserves to be discriminated against based on any criminal history committed in the past, given a chance to change. But, it is the responsibility of the applicant to provide the institute with what’s right and truth.

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