Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency

International criminal history checks

A new approach as of 4 February 2015

As of 4 February 2015, National Boards and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) have implemented a new procedure for checking international criminal history.

This new approach requires certain applicants and registered practitioners to apply for an international criminal history check (ICHC) from an AHPRA approved vendor, who will provide the ICHC report to the applicant or registered practitioner, and directly to AHPRA.

Applying for an ICHC

Please follow these steps when applying for an ICHC:

Who needs to apply for an ICHC

Certain applicants and practitioners applying for registration or renewal as of 4 February 2015 will need to apply for an ICHC. See criteria below:

New applicants

  • All new applicants seeking registration as health practitioners in Australia, if they:
    • declare a criminal history outside Australia, and/or
    • have lived, or been primarily based in one or more countries other than Australia for six consecutive months or longer, when aged 18 years or more.

Registered practitioners

Currently registered practitioners who:

  • are seeking to renew their registration or applying for a change in registration type, if:
    • there has been any change to their criminal history in one or more countries other than Australia since their last declaration to AHPRA.
  • at any time of the year, inform the relevant National Board that they have been:
    • charged with an offence outside Australia that is punishable by a sentence of 12 months imprisonment or more, or 
    • convicted of, have pleaded guilty to or are the subject of a finding of guilt by a court for an offence, outside Australia, that is punishable by imprisonment.

Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition (TTMR) registrants

  • Practitioners who have been registered under Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition (TTMR) from 4 February 2015 if they:
    • declare a criminal history outside of Australia; and/or 
    • have lived, or have been primarily based in any one or more countries other than Australia for six consecutive months or longer, when aged 18 years or more.
  • These practitioners will be required to complete an ICHC form sent to them by AHPRA.

Important information for ICHC applicants

Applicants must:

  • State the same legal name, previous names, alias names, email, phone, etc as the AHPRA application. 
  • State the same country name as selected from the approved vendor’s country list on the AHPRA registration form (this will assist in identifying changes to country names over different periods of time) 
  • Complete the vendor consent form to allow AHPRA to receive an international criminal history check report. 
  • Provide AHPRA with the ICHC reference page (that contains the vendor’s name, check reference number, list of countries, date of request and consent).

Please note:

  • ‘International Criminal History Check’ may also be referred to as ‘International History Police Check’. 
  • Offences in some countries are not offences under Australian law. For example, some countries have established offences for political activity which do not exist in Australia. There are also countries where the criminal justice system is less robust and a conviction may be made on the basis of questionable evidence or the applicant may make a claim of persecution. International criminal history checks will still be done for these countries. However, the National Boards’ criminal history registration standard explains how the Boards will take these issues into account when considering an applicant’s international criminal history.
  • The approved vendor will advise both AHPRA and the applicant of the results when they are available.
  • Do not send your ICHC results to AHPRA, as AHPRA will receive it directly from the approved vendor.
  • If your required country is not listed on the approved vendor’s website you will need to:
    • Contact the vendor to check if your required country has been listed under a different name. If not, for: 
      • Online applications - please select ‘Other’ and manually type the required country name (a check reference number will not be required). 
      • Paper application forms - please write the following:
        • your required country name, 
        • ‘ICHC not available for this country as advised by the vendor’, (you will need to initial or sign next to this), in the country field 
        • ‘N/A’ in the ‘Check reference number’ field.

Fact sheets

Page reviewed 5/02/2015