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					    REMOTE HEALTH ATLAS – Section 28: EMPLOYMENT MATTERS                                               CRIMINAL HISTORY CHECKS




                                 CRIMINAL HISTORY CHECKS
               This document is subject to review. Until further notice use the Criminal History
               Check Application form with guidance from the RHB Memo - Changes to Criminal
               History Check Procedures to complete the form correctly. In other respects the
               Atlas item maintains related information.                              May 2009

1.           General Information
The Department of Health and Families (DHF) has a duty of care to take all reasonable steps
to protect clients and staff from harm and to ensure that employees provide services in a
professional manner. In meeting this duty of care, DHF needs to ensure it employs the most
suitable and appropriate persons for positions. As a component of assessing a person’s
suitability for employment 1 , and in accordance with relevant legislation, DHF requires all new
and existing employees falling into positions defined as Category 1 and 2 to undergo a
Criminal History Check (CHC). Category 1 positions will require a subsequent CHC every 2
years and Category 2 positions every 5 years.
A CHC discloses evidence from all jurisdictions in Australia, of whether a person: has been
convicted of an offence, charged with and found guilty of an offence but discharged without
conviction, or has criminal charges pending before a court.
The Department has a CHC Policy and CHC Guidelines, providing the framework for new and
existing employees who have a criminal history to be dealt with consistently, fairly and in a
non-discriminatory manner.
Note: Positions that do not fall into Category 1 or 2 do not require a CHC.

2.           Definitions
Category 1 Positions: where the person is responsible for the care of vulnerable persons;
works in the immediate vicinity; or has regular access to vulnerable persons. For RHB staff,
Category 1 includes:
   - all Nurses                                 - all remote Health Centre Staff
   - all Aboriginal Health Workers              - all Environmental Health Workers
   - all Rural Medical Practitioners            - Top End and Central Australia Managers.

Category 2 Positions: where the person has high level: financial accountability, access to
client information, access to staff information, or access to drugs / medical records. For RHB
staff Category 2 includes:
    - Director Remote Health                        - Program Managers
    - Assistant Director Remote Health              - all Remote Health town based staff.
Vulnerable Persons: includes children, aged persons, persons with a physical or intellectual
disability or mental illness and for DHF, includes persons temporarily incapacitated due to
illness or treatment.
Spent Record: those offences on a person’s criminal record which, because of the passage
of time, are excluded from consideration when determining their relevance for employment
purposes (Category 1 exempt). The criteria for a record becoming ‘spent’ differ between the
various States and Territories.
Relevant Criminal Record: is based on the potential risk in relation to the nature of the work
involved in the position. See CHC Guidelines: Assessment Factors.
1
    Applications, interviews, referee reports and qualification verification form components of the recruitment process
    Developed by: Professional Practice Group                      Page 1        Reviewed: August 2008
    Endorsed by: Director, RHB
    Release Date: July 2008                                                      Next Review: August 2011
REMOTE HEALTH ATLAS – Section 28: EMPLOYMENT MATTERS                                 CRIMINAL HISTORY CHECKS



Prescribed Person: a person who has known the applicant for at least 12 months, eg Health
Centre Manager, Principal of an educational institution, Chief Executive of Local Government
body, Police Officer, Justice of the Peace.

3.       Responsibilities
3.1      Director RHB / Delegate
      Ensure implementation of CHC Policy
      Determine whether a position falls into Category 1 or 2, providing a rationale for the
      decision
3.2      All Remote Health Staff
      Be aware of the CHC Policy and Guidelines
      Authorise a CHC on the appropriate Authority to Release Criminal History Form, as
      required
      Advise the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of charges, convictions or acquittals of an
      offence; regardless of whether the offence relates directly to the duties of a position (Code
      of Conduct 13)
      Manage personal CHC documentation
3.3      Town-Based Line Manager
As for All Remote Staff, plus:
    Be familiar with and implement the CHC Policy and Guidelines, ensuring relevant staff
    have the appropriate CHCs
    Utilise the Criminal History Check Reference List
    Ensure appropriate management for an existing employee with a criminal record which
    precludes employment in a Category 1 or 2 position
3.4      Chairperson of a Selection Panel
      Be familiar with and implement the CHC Policy and Guidelines
3.5      Criminal History Check Central Coordinator
      Advise Managers and employees regarding the process and application of CHCs
      Receive, review and process CHC reports in a timely manner and in accordance with
      Departmental procedures
      Maintain the Criminal History Check Reference List
      Establish a CHC Assessment Panel where there is a criminal record
      Store CHC reports in confidence and in a secure location
      Return CHC reports to the relevant applicant / employee or dispose of reports, in
      accordance with Departmental procedures
3.6      Criminal History Check Assessment Panel
      Ensure assessment of all CHC reports is conducted fairly, consistently and in accordance
      with appropriate legislation
      Ensure application of the principles of Natural Justice, where a CHC report precludes
      employment

4.       Procedure
4.1      Criminal History Check Requirements
         4.1.1    New Staff
All job descriptions, advertisements (including Expressions of Interest) and Letters of
Agreements should reflect the appropriate category requirements for the position. Successful
applicants for positions that fall into Category 1 or 2 must provide either:
 Developed by: Professional Practice Group             Page 2   Reviewed: August 2008
 Endorsed by: Director, RHB
 Release Date: July 2008                                        Next Review: August 2011
REMOTE HEALTH ATLAS – Section 28: EMPLOYMENT MATTERS                                 CRIMINAL HISTORY CHECKS



     - a CHC prior to commencing employment, or
     - satisfactory evidence / proof that a CHC has been undertaken in the preceding 12
       months.
The Chairperson of a Selection Panel should advise the successful applicant that this is a
prerequisite for the offer of employment to be finalised. It is important for applicants to be
advised that having a criminal record does not automatically exclude them from appointment
to a position.
The applicant is responsible for the cost / payment for a CHC to the relevant Police
Department.
When the person is able to provide evidence / proof of a CHC in the preceding 12 months, this
should be sent to:
                            CHC Central Coordinator
                            People and Organisational Learning
                            Department of Health and Families
                            PO Box 40596
                            Casuarina, NT 0811
Temporary employment for a 28 day period may be granted where the applicant is required to
commence work prior to assessment and clearance of a CHC, on provision of a Statutory
Declaration stating they have no relevant convictions, pending charges or acquittals. The Line
Manager should attach the completed Statutory Declaration to the Recruitment Action Form
HE69 offering a 28 day contract to the applicant pending completion of a satisfactory CHC.

                  Note: Applicants for Category 1 or 2 positions:
                   - who refuse to provide a CHC, are precluded from selection
                   - with a relevant criminal record, are not considered for employment


         4.1.2    Existing Employees
All existing employees falling into positions defined as Category 1 and 2 must either:
     - undergo a CHC, or
     - provide satisfactory evidence that a CHC was undertaken in the preceding 12 months.
When staff are able to provide evidence / proof of a CHC in the preceding 12 months, this
should be sent to:
                            CHC Central Coordinator
                            People and Organisational Learning
                            Department of Health and Families
                            PO Box 40596
                            Casuarina, NT 0811
Category 1 positions require a subsequent CHC every 2 years, and Category 2 positions every
5 years.
Where an existing employee transfers into a Category 1 or 2 position, they must undergo or
provide evidence / proof of a CHC as per the CHC Policy, prior to taking up the position.
The Department will be responsible for the payment of a CHC for existing employees,
including those transferring into alternate positions. See Payment for a CHC.
         4.1.3 Non DHF Employees / Services
Any non-DHF personnel, providing services in a Category 1 or 2 position capacity require a
CHC. This includes Agency staff, visiting / specialist Medical Officers, students, contract
employees, CDEP employees, and volunteers. The agency / employer has the onus of
providing the CHC.

 Developed by: Professional Practice Group             Page 3   Reviewed: August 2008
 Endorsed by: Director, RHB
 Release Date: July 2008                                        Next Review: August 2011
REMOTE HEALTH ATLAS – Section 28: EMPLOYMENT MATTERS                                            CRIMINAL HISTORY CHECKS



With the exception of volunteers, payment of a CHC is the responsibility of the individual or
employing agency. There is no payment required for a CHC conducted for volunteers where
DHF provides a letter confirming volunteer status.
4.2         Requesting a CHC
A CHC can be obtained by completing an Authority to Release Criminal History Form
(Category 1, which includes spent convictions; or Category 2).
The relevant form can also be obtained from a local NT Police Station or downloaded from the
NTPFES website. Alternately, new staff should be advised they can obtain a CHC from the
State, Territory or country in which they currently reside and should be directed to a local
Police Station to access and authorise an equivalent Authority to Release Criminal History
Form from that jurisdiction.
Regardless of the jurisdiction, when completing an Authority to Release Criminal History Form,
the applicant should ensure:
      - use of an original form only
      - all information is accurate and complete, and printed clearly in ink
      - 100 Point Identification Check is provided – original certified 2 photocopies only
      - the form is signed in the presence of a Police Officer or a prescribed person
         according to the 100 point Identification Check
      - inclusion of the name and postal address the CHC Report is to be forwarded to, ie:
                               CHC Central Coordinator
                               People and Organisational Learning
                               Department of Health and Families
                               PO Box 40596
                               Casuarina, NT 0811
The Authority to Release Criminal History Form and 100 point Identification Check should be
sent to the relevant Line Manager for processing to the NTPFES.
Interstate or overseas forms should be forwarded to the relevant authority in the State,
Territory or country.
4.3         Payment for a CHC
New staff are responsible for the cost of a CHC, and payment to the relevant Police
Department.
For existing staff, including those transferring into alternate positions, the Department is
responsible for the payment of a CHC. On receipt of the Authority to Release Criminal History
Forms and 100 point Identification Check, the Town-based Line Manager should:
     - collate a number of completed Authority to Release Criminal History Forms with
        accompanying 100 point Identification Checks
     - complete the NTPFES Criminal History Checks Requisition Batch sheet with the
        names of applicants and appropriate cost centre/s
     - provide the list of applicants to the regional Staff Administration Coordinator for entry
        onto the regional CHC database
     - send the Authority to Release Criminal History Forms with accompanying 100 point
        Identification Checks and NTPFES Criminal History Checks Requisition Batch sheet
        to:
                               Officer in Charge
                               Criminal History and Warrant Unit
                               PO Box 39764
                               Winnellie, NT 0821


2
    The 100 Point Identification Check documents must be certified by a prescribed person.
    Developed by: Professional Practice Group                 Page 4       Reviewed: August 2008
    Endorsed by: Director, RHB
    Release Date: July 2008                                                Next Review: August 2011
REMOTE HEALTH ATLAS – Section 28: EMPLOYMENT MATTERS                                 CRIMINAL HISTORY CHECKS



       - send a copy of the NTPFES Criminal History Checks Requisition Batch sheet to:
                            Criminal History Check Coordinator
                            E-mail: dhcschccoordinator@nt.gov.au
                            Phone: 08 8922 7107
                            Fax:    08 89227277
The NTPFES will process the CHCs and detach the Batch Sheet and send to DHF Finance for
payment from the appropriate Cost Centres.
4.4      Criminal History Check Reference List
The CHC Coordinator maintains a central database of all DHF staff having completed a
Criminal History Check. The Criminal History Check Reference List provides information on
the current status of staff CHCs. This list enables staff to know when their next CHC is due
and managers can monitor the current status of satisfactory CHCs of their staff. Information
included in the Reference List includes:
      - Surname and Given Names
      - CHC Category
      - Date of the CHC
      - Date the CHC is due for review.
4.5 Criminal History Check Report Assessment Process
The CHC Central Coordinator receives all CHC Reports and determines whether there is / is
not a criminal record. Where no criminal record exists, the CHC Central Coordinator advises
the Director RHB of the outcome and recruitment action or employment continues.
Where there is a criminal history, the CHC Coordinator will convene a CHC Assessment Panel
to consider whether the criminal record is relevant to the inherent duties of the position.
Assessments are dealt with consistently, in a non-discriminatory manner and with strictest
confidence. The CHC Assessment Panel ensures the applicant is afforded a fair hearing, in
that the applicant has the opportunity to respond and provide additional information, before the
panel makes an impartial decision.
Where the criminal record is assessed as being not relevant to the position, the CHC
Assessment Panel will advise the CHC Central Coordinator that recruitment / employment can
continue. The CHC Central Coordinator will advise the Director RHB of the outcome.
Confirmation of employment must not occur until the assessment and clearance of a CHC has
been received.
Successful applicants will be precluded from employment, where the criminal record has been
assessed as relevant to the position. The Director RHB will be notified of the outcome and
should provide this information on the Interview Selection Report. The delegate should advise
the Chairperson of the Selection Panel of the outcome in order to progress further suitable
applicants or recommence recruitment.
For existing employees, where the criminal record has been assessed as relevant to the
position, the CHC Central Coordinator will advise the Director RHB of the outcome and
appropriate action will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Potential outcomes may
include:
      - transfer to a suitable alternative position
      - remain in position but subject to conditions
      - reduced financial delegations
      - termination (subject to legal advice).
The Director RHB in consultation with the Line Manager is responsible for determining these
subsequent actions and ensuring the employee has the opportunity to respond. Human
Resource Services and the CHC Assessment Panel are able to provide support in determining
the appropriate action.
 Developed by: Professional Practice Group             Page 5   Reviewed: August 2008
 Endorsed by: Director, RHB
 Release Date: July 2008                                        Next Review: August 2011
REMOTE HEALTH ATLAS – Section 28: EMPLOYMENT MATTERS                                 CRIMINAL HISTORY CHECKS



4.6 Review
An employee has the right of review if dissatisfied with the CHC assessment. This can be
pursued through the Office of the Commissioner for Public Employment (PSEM Act Part 9
Appeals and Review, Section 59 Review of Grievances), or further advice sought from the
Anti-Discrimination Commission.
4.7 CHC Report and Assessment Documentation
CHC Reports are not placed on personnel files or provided to a third party, such as the
Selection Panel. Following notification of the CHC outcome to the applicant / employee, the
CHC Central Coordinator retains the CHC Report in confidence for 60 days in case of dispute.
If there are no reviews or appeals, the original CHC Report will be sent to the applicant /
employee and certified copies destroyed.

5.       Forms                               This document is subject to review. Until further
                                             notice use Convictions (Category 1) Application
Authority to Release Criminal History – Including Spentthe Criminal History Check (PF166)
                                             form with guidance from the RHB Memo -
Authority to Release Criminal History (Category 2) (PF165)
                                             Changes to Criminal History Check Procedures
Recruitment Action Form (HE69)               to complete the form correctly. In other respects
                                             the Atlas item maintains related information.
Payment / Refund Approval Form
                                                                                       May 2009
Statutory Declaration
NTPFES Criminal History Checks Requisition Batch

6.       References and Supporting Documents
Related Atlas Items:
       Recruitment and Employment of Local Staff
       Recruitment and Employment of Local AHWs
Criminal History Check Policy
Criminal History Check Guidelines
Criminal History Check Reference List
Categories for Criminal History Check
Information Sheet - 100 Point Identification Check
Relevant Legislation:
       Northern Territory Anti-Discrimination Act – s20, s19 (q), s26, s37
       Public Sector Employment and Management Act
               - Employment Instruction Number 13 Code of Conduct s 13
Criminal Records (Spent Convictions) Act - parts 2 & 3
Public Sector Employment and Management Act Regulations (3 (b))
Information Act
NT Police Fire and Emergency Services




 Developed by: Professional Practice Group             Page 6   Reviewed: August 2008
 Endorsed by: Director, RHB
 Release Date: July 2008                                        Next Review: August 2011

				
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