One of the most common questions we get asked by students in our security courses is about police checks. So, in this short blog, we’ll be unpacking SLED requirements, particularly for anyone who has lived overseas in the last 10 years.
The Security Licensing & Enforcement Directorate (SLED) carries out background checks on anyone who applies for a NSW security licence. This involves the checking of criminal records plus other information held by NSW and interstate police.
If you’ve lived overseas during the last 10 years, since the age of 16, you will require an overseas police check from every country where you spent more than 12 months. This requirement applies to everyone: Australian and New Zealand citizens, permanent residents, and visa holders.
Your official police clearance certificate must be:
Here are a few living examples that will help you work out if you need an overseas police clearance.
EXAMPLE 1: Jane is a New Zealand citizen and went to England to visit her family as a tourist. But COVID lockdowns forced her to stay in England for 13 months. If Jane wants to apply for a NSW security licence she will need a UK police check.
EXAMPLE 2: Mick is an Australian citizen and went backpacking around Europe and Asia for 3 years. He visited lots of different places but never stayed for more than 3 months in one country. Mick does not require an overseas police check.
EXAMPLE 3: Faheem is a citizen of Pakistan and has lived in Australia on a special visa for the last 10 years. Although Faheem is not yet an Australian citizen, he does not require a Pakistan Police Clearance Certificate, as he has lived in Australia for the last 10 years.
EXAMPLE 4: Dova is an Australian citizen who works for an international aid organisation. She is deployed to sites all over the world and during the past 10 years spent 12 months in the Philippines, 8 months in Vanuatu, and 14 months in Haiti. Dova will require a police clearance from both the Philippines and Haiti. She won’t require anything from Vanuatu because she was there for less than 12 months.
If you are living in Australia, it can be tricky to get an overseas police clearance, and we recommend immediately contacting the country’s embassy, consulate, or high commission in Australia for advice.
TIP: to find the official organisation online, Google search ‘[country] embassy in Australia’ eg, Bangladesh embassy in Australia.
The website of the consulate, embassy, or high commission may already have information about obtaining a police clearance (eg, the High Commission for Pakistan has information for NSW residents on their website). If they do not, you can find their contact email, address, and phone numbers.
Embassy officials will know the procedure for getting the police clearance and may be able to provide you with factsheets, portal links, and application forms.
It is important to remember that an embassy can provide you with information and guidance, but you will still need to obtain the police clearance yourself. The embassy has no control over clearance applications received by overseas police authorities and the process can take a long time. Sometimes 3-6 months. Please be patient.
Once you have the police clearance in your possession you will need to have the document verified by the country’s embassy, consulate, or high commission.
We recommend doing this without delay as the police clearance must not be older than 12 months when you apply for your NSW security licence.
Each country will have a different verification process so you should phone or email the embassy and ask for the proper procedures.
If you’re keen to become a licensed security guard this year, why not browse the training requirements here on our website. We provide the face-to-face courses you need in RSA, first aid, RCG, and security operations. Check them out today.