There are important changes to police check procedures coming into effect next week, which may impact your aged care business, writes Geoff Stockton.
The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) is the Commonwealth Government department responsible for processing all police checks in Australia. As of the 1 July this year, the way police checks are conducted will change.
This is a whole-of-government change to the way that people are identified. The change is being done in order to reduce identity theft.
Many aged care organisations use an accredited agency to process their police checks. If the accredited agency is up to date with the changes, the effect upon aged care businesses will be minimal. Your accredited broker can accomplish many of these changes in the background.
Whilst the changes will be many, the most important one directly affecting people submitting police checks will be that the previous 100-points-ID is no longer valid. It is being replaced by the applicant providing four documents from three new categories.
For some people, this new proof of identity may be more difficult than the previous process, so aged care organisations will need to be prepared for the changes or they may find that employees do not have a valid police check.
You will also find there is a new contract that you must sign before your accredited agency is permitted to provide you with police check results. This new contract is about 30 pages long and puts more responsibility on your organisation to ensure the identity of the employee.
Another responsibility for employers is that they must ensure the documents provided are legitimate documents and not fakes. Australia is awash with fake driver’s licences, passports and other IDs so it is imperative their authenticity is checked.
The Commonwealth Department of Home Affairs has a document verification service (DVS) available to accredited brokers. This is used to check that various government-issued documents such as passports, driver’s licences, visas, birth certificates, are indeed legitimate.
ACIC now recommend the DVS be used to satisfy yourself the documents being provided for the police check are valid. You will need to check with your provider to see if they are able to offer this service.
There are many police check providers that are accredited agencies of ACIC. Some of these organisations have already indicated the new terms and conditions of operating as an accredited agency are too onerous and will cease accepting police checks.
It is imperative that you check with your police check provider to see if they will be compliant with the new procedures and if they will still be conducting police checks in the future.
Remember, if your employees do not have valid police checks, this may severely impact upon your business.
Geoff Stockton is managing director of PharmacyID (formerly known as The PRM Group).
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