Compulsory requirements

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

Criminal history and background checks are an assessment of an individual's criminal history against a variety of state and national databases. These are part of legislated risk management requirements for organisations where children and/or vulnerable adults may be present. Students must ensure their clearances will be valid for the duration of their placement.

The University's requirement is for each clearance to be undertaken every three to five years, depending on the type. Details regarding the required currency of each clearance can be found on the student checklists. However, some placement venues may require one or more specific screening checks to have been conducted more recently. Details regarding the required currency of a clearance for a specific placement venue will be communicated via InPlace and/or email from the Clinical Placement Unit. You can also clarify these requirements by contacting the Clinical Placement Unit.

All students are required to have:

  • A National Police Certificate (NPC) through SAPOL (South Australian Police) or their home state police service 
    OR an International Police Clearance through Fit2Work

  • A Working With Children Check through the Department of Human Services (DHS) Screening Unit

  • A Disability Employment Screening through the Department of Human Services (DHS) Screening Unit.

Applying for a National Police Certificate (NPC)

All students are required to have a National Police Certificate (NPC) through SAPOL or their home state police service. 

To apply for your NPC, please follow the steps outlined below.

When applying for your NPC, please allow a minimum of 10-15 working days from the date that you apply. The process may be further delayed if information is required from interstate jurisdictions pertaining to the national name search.

Please note: if you have had a certificate issued previously that contains the Category of ‘Child/Vulnerable’ and Purpose of ‘Health/Aged Care Uni Placement’, your certificate will still be accepted by the Clinical Placement Unit.

Applying for an International Police Clearance (international students)

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 fit2work, an external background check provider. fit2Work is the only third 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 could take up to two 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).

Applying to the Department of Human Services (DHS) for a Working with Children Check and Disability Employment Screening

All students undertaking a placement in South Australia are required to hold a current Department of Human Services (DHS) screening check for:

  • Working With Children Check (valid for five years)
    AND
  • Disability Employment Screening (valid for three years).

DHS 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 DHS 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 DHS online student form has been created for students enrolled into a UniSA program or course. Please do not complete this student form if you are not completing a program and/or course at the University of South Australia.

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.

Download statutory declaration form

Relevant legislation

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 and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 replaced the Children's Protection Act 1993. 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.

Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017

Disability Inclusion Act 2018