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Procedure: Background checking

Purpose

To:

  1. inform current and prospective staff of background checking requirements for employment in a new position at the University; and
  2. ensure the University can meet its obligations and responsibilities, requiring current and prospective staff to undergo a background check in relation to any new employment.

The baseline requirements for background checks at the University are completion of an ANU application for employment form, referee/reference checking, Right to Work and a National Police Check.

Right to Work of Department of Home Affairs’ Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) checks are also mandatory for all employees who do not hold Australia citizenship or permanent residency.

Definitions

Background Check: A background check is the process of verifying important job-related information to determine whether a person possesses the qualifications, skills, and experience required by the position and to ensure there are no impediments to them carrying out their role at the University.

Disclosable Outcome: Information gathered in the course of a Background Check that may impact on a person’s suitability to perform the duties of the position. This may include, but is not limited to, information relating to court convictions (including penalties and sentences), charges and bankruptcies.

Working with Vulnerable People Check (WWVP): Established under the Working with Vulnerable People (Background Checking) Act 2011 (ACT), and aimed at reducing the risk of harm or neglect to vulnerable people.

Procedure

  1. The University is committed to upholding a culture that provides a safe environment for our students, staff, visitors and other partners.
  2. University staff are often engaged in sensitive conversations, have access to sensitive data and/or research, or have direct or incidental contact with students and/or vulnerable people. The University must ensure that staff are appropriately risk assessed in line with community standards and expectations.
  3. The University recognises its responsibility with regard to compliance with the requirements of relevant legislation, relevant Government agencies, and Tertiary Education accrediting bodies.

Privacy

  1. The University is committed to the protection and safety of data and information, in line with its legislative obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and consistent with our Privacy Policy.
  2. All background checks are confidential and are not disclosed to any individual, except to the extent necessary for the University to appropriately assess and manage risk, and meet its obligations and responsibilities.

Background checking for new appointments

  1. All prospective or current staff (including casual staff) are required to undergo an applicable Background Check for their new position.
  2. Prior to commencing in the new position, the prospective or current staff member must:
  1. complete all required applications or submit the relevant information to enable the Background Checks to be progressed; and
  2. provide a scanned copy of the relevant registration card or completed Background Check.
  1. All appointments are dependent and conditional upon the required Background Checking being completed, and the relevant supporting evidence provided to the University for records.
  2. Where a prospective staff member may need to commence prior to the completion of the Background Checking process, exemption will need to be provided by the Chief People Officer. No exemption will be provided for current employees.

Background checking for current staff

  1. Over the course of their employment, the University may require current staff to undergo an additional Background Check. A reason for such checks may include, but is not limited to:
  1. the staff member is applying for a new position at the University with different Background Checking requirements to their current position;
  2. the University deeming that such a Background Check is necessary to comply with its obligations under legislation; and/or
  3. a third party with whom the staff member in question deals with in the course of their University duties requiring a Background Check to be carried out, and any associated clearance to be attained, prior to that staff member performing any work with them.

Disclosure outcome

  1. Where a Background Check reveals any Disclosable Outcome, the matter will be referred to the Chief People Officer for evaluation.

Types of Background Checks

Type of Check

Overview

Evidence

Reference Checking

Confirmation of an individual’s performance

and conduct from a current or former employers, and any other determined source, in accordance with the Appointments procedure.

For casual and sessional roles, alternative

information may be ascertained to confirmed suitability.

  • The Manager or Recruitment Partner will undertake reference checking as part of the recruitment process.
  • For internal placements, this should include the staff member’s current supervisor.
  • For casual and sessional roles, the Manager confirms the individual has the skills, experience and aptitude to conduct the requirements of the role.

Working with

Vulnerable People

(WWVP)

Or relevant

state/territory

equivalence for

alternate campus

locations

WWVP registration with the Office of Regulatory Services aims to reduce risk to Vulnerable Persons as established under the Working with Vulnerable People (Background Checking) Act 2011 (ACT) and to ascertain if there is a notifiable outcome which may affect the safety of the campus, campus users or users of online environments.

An exemption is provided for lawyers and health practitioners and psychologists.

  • A scanned copy of the WWVP unexpired registration card.
  • A copy of professional registration and/or license in the case of exemptions is required as evidence.

Professional

Registration

Confirmation an individual is registered with the appropriate registering authority, where the registration is required for the individual to perform the duties of the position.

  • Submission of scanned copies of relevant registration.
  • Local HR team/Shared Services will undertake checking of public registration records as relevant to the position.

Qualifications

Confirmation an individual has completed the qualifications required for the position, or the

qualifications they have declared to have obtained, or the individual has the equivalent relevant academic or professional experience (AQF) per the Recognition of Equivalence in Academic Staff Policy.

  • Submission of scanned copies of relevant qualifications; or
  • Submission of equivalent relevant academic or professional experience.

Right to Work

Confirmation an individual has the legal right to work in Australia, consistent with legislative requirements.

  • Visa checks for the Department of Home Affairs Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) for all those who do not hold Australian citizenship or permanent residency.

National Police

Check

Provides a full national criminal history check for an individual to identify if there are disclosable outcomes which may affect suitability for the role.

  • A scanned copy of a National Police Check less than 3 months old.

Media Checking

An investigation into an applicant’s public claims of achievement, social media, awards; and other publicly available information.

  • Copy of evidence from agreed provider.

Anti-Money

Laundering

Checking

A check that confirms the identity of a person across multiple databases including electoral rolls, driver licence registers and Medicare cards.

  • Copy of check from appropriate authority.

Medical clearance

A pre-employment medical check can improve safety via ascertaining whether an individual can meet the physical demands of a position; or where there has been a disclosed medical condition which requires further checking.

  • Copy of medical evidence from a certified practitioner.

Required Background Checks

  1. The cost for all background checks is borne by the University.
  2. The baseline requirement for all staff at the University is set out in the table below. From time to time this table may be amended to reflect changes to legislation and University requirements.
  3. The completion of a Working with Vulnerable People check (WWVP) will be required for staff engaged in roles that may have regular contact with vulnerable people in a regulated activity, as defined by the Working with Vulnerable People (Background Checking) Act 2011 (ACT).
  4. The WWVP checks will not be required in the following circumstances:
  1. The staff member is not engaged in a role that has regular contact with vulnerable people in a regulated activity;
  2. the staff member is engaged to work at the Kioloa Campus or Siding Springs Observatory and they are required to complete a New South Wales Working with Children Check (WWCC); or
  3. the staff member has been engaged by the University as a registered health practitioner or lawyer;
  4. where a staff member is not eligible for a WWVP or Working with Children Check (WWCC) due to living or working outside of the Australian Capital Territory or New South Wales, in which case the Chief People Officer will approve the necessary checks completed based on the location and work to be undertaken by the position holder.

Working with Vulnerable People check

National Police Check (Not required where WWVP is completed)

Reference checking

Professional registration

Medical clearance

Right to work Australia

Qualification checking

Retrospective media checking

Anti-Money Laundering/Counter Terrorism

Character reference for Temporary Skill Shortage visas

Members of the ANU Executive Team

As required

As required

As required

As required

Senior Management (SM2 and above)

As required

As required

As required

As required

As required

As required

Financial Delegation over $100,000

As required

As required

As required

As required

As required

Casual sessional academics, lecturers and tutors who teach to first year students

As required

As required

As required

As required

As required

As required

Student administration staff

As required

As required

As required

As required

As required

As required

As required

Residential accommodation staff

As required

As required

As required

As required

As required

As required

As required

Maintenance staff and cleaners who access residential areas

As required

As required

As required

As required

As required

As required

As required

Registered Professionals (accountants, psychologists, lawyers)

Exempt

As required

As required

As required

As required

ANU Medical School registered practitioners

Exempt

As required

As required

As required

As required

All other academic staff

As required

As required

As required

As required

As required

As required

Relevant HR, Finance and IT staff

As required

As required

As required

As required

As required

As required

Positions with identified health requirements

As required

As required

As required

As required

As required

As required

Hospitality staff

As required

As required

As required

As required

As required

As required

As required

All other employees

As required

As required

As required

As required

As required

As required

As required

Mandatory requirement.

* Where a position meets two or more of the descriptions in the left hand column, then all Background Checks identified for each relevant description apply to that position.

Review of a Disclosable outcome

  1. For prospective employees, the Background Checking Review Committee is only convened following a review by the Chief People Officer who determines that the Disclosable outcome may have a material effect on the fulfilment of the inherent requirements of the role.
  2. For existing employees, the Committee will assess a Disclosable Outcome on the recommendation of the Chief People Officer where an unfavourable outcome could have potential impact on an employee’s employment at the University.
  3. The Background Checking Review Committee is comprised of the following officers (or their nominees): Chief Operating Officer, Chair, Chief People Officer, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), the Registrar (Division of Student Administration and Academic Services) and General Counsel.
  4. Until the Committee has assessed the case:
  1. prospective staff should not commence employment at the University;
  2. current staff should not commence a new appointment; and/or
  3. where a staff member's continued presence on campus presents a serious risk to the University, its staff, students and/or visitors, their employment may be suspended.
  1. The University will provide written notification to the prospective or current staff member to notify the disclosable outcome is under review and that the recruitment process will be suspended until that review is completed.
  2. Further information may also be obtained from the delegate of the work area regarding the duties of the staff member or position being offered.
  3. For prospective and current staff, the Committee will consider the disclosed outcomes; and the risk to the University against the duties and inherent requirements of the position, and will make a recommendation for the management of the prospective staff member and/or their duties, or termination of the recruitment process with the prospective candidate with no offer or appointment to proceed.
  4. The University will confirm the outcome of the assessment undertaken by the Committee to the prospective or current staff member, the Selection Committee and or hiring manager in writing.

Information

Printable version (PDF)
Title Background Checking
Document Type Procedure
Document Number ANUP_6311242
Version
Purpose To inform current and prospective staff of background checks required to confirm employment at the University
Audience Staff, Prospective Staff, Staff-Academic, Staff-Professional, Staff-Academic-Research
Category Administrative
Topic/ SubTopic Staff - Employment of Staff
 
Effective Date 16 Jan 2024
Next Review Date 15 Jan 2029
 
Responsible Officer: Chief People Officer
Approved By: Chief Operating Officer
Contact Area Human Resources Division
Authority: Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013
Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014
Australian National University Act 1991
The Australian National University Enterprise Agreement 2023-2026
Delegations 123-127, 132-154

Information generated and received by ANU staff in the course of conducting business on behalf of ANU is a record and should be captured by an authorised recordkeeping system. To learn more about University records and recordkeeping practice at ANU, see ANU recordkeeping and Policy: Records and archives management.

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