This can be an unpleasant surprise and put an individual in a very delicate situation, but mistakes on a background check like a national police certificate do happen. When you’re applying for a job, inaccurate information on your certificate might ruin your chances of getting the desired position, and the first thing you need to do is file an appeal and dispute the results.
Why do errors appear on a police check?
In many cases, errors on a police certificate appear when a person has a common name, like John Smith. In such cases, applicants are asked to provide additional information so they can be distinguished from other Smiths. However, if the information provided was not enough errors might appear. Another common cause is human error. Maybe the information was filled in incorrectly by the applicant himself or maybe it was the person processing the request who made a mistake.
How to minimize the risk of inaccurate results
To minimize the risks of human error, it’s best to use a reputable online agency that has a rigorous quality assurance procedure in place and is accredited by the federal government. A good example of one that I recently used in Australia was australian national character check. The agency has a user-friendly interface which makes it easy to upload all the relevant information. This information is used to access all the police databases in the country and verify if there is any disclosable data on court outcomes concerning that person.
Businesses can also use accredited online agencies to ask for a police check on behalf of a job applicant. The whole process is digital, which leaves little room for human error.
Steps to dispute a result
One of the most complicated issues is trying to understand who you need to contact to have your certificate verified and the errors corrected. Different local or state police departments may require varying approaches. If you lodge your dispute with the wrong authority, the process will take a while and in the meantime, the job you’re applying for might no longer be available.
This is where the advantage of using an online agency becomes apparent.
When you order a national police check through an accredited agency, you don’t have to wonder what police department sent the wrong information. All you need to do is contact the agency you’re working with, either as an individual or as a recruiting agent on behalf of your prospective employee.
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First, you need to contact the agency to check if it’s not some technical error involved.
- If this is not the case you need to request a dispute application. You will have to fill in your information and provide any details or documents explaining why you believe certain information on your certificate is inaccurate.
- The agency then contacts the relevant authority on your behalf and they will review your dispute application.
- When the relevant government authority reaches a decision, the agency will notify you.
- A new document with the correct information will be then issued, or the result will remain the same if the authority determines that the original results were accurate and should not be changed.
Some applicants have issues with spent convictions, the less serious federal crimes that are deleted from a person’s criminal record after a certain time, usually 10 years. However, state regulations may vary and if you believe a certain conviction should have been deleted from your criminal record you should contact a lawyer with knowledge of the spent convictions scheme.
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