Criminal Records Check UK and for Overseas Relocation

Consideration for education & teaching positions will involve a criminal records check UK or with you’re countries police department, where the employer asks permission to conduct a criminal record background check on your past.

You can also apply yourself for a police clearance check.

As a mandatory requirement for other countries teaching abroad, all teachers, lectures, classroom assistants and support staff the criminal background check reassure all parties that you are an appropriate person.

Below are UK, Australia, South Africa, Canada, Philippines, New Zealand, Ireland and USA information on where to apply for police clearance documentation on your background.

Includes Acro Police checks for UK residents for certain countries teaching abroad.

Apply for the correct police check for the country you wish to teach, work visa and resident permit.

Criminal records check

Schools, colleges, universities, education providers and such places for sport require to reassure themselves that you as a school teacher in the classroom, for instance, has no adverse record of inappropriate behaviour or criminality recorded against you.

Parents and learners are other groups that expect you to be an appropriate acting adult around children and vulnerable adults.

What is a criminal background check

As the title refers to the criminal records check is a background check into you’re past for previous convictions that are unspent and spent in some cases.

The background check is conducted mainly through the police national computer system, teaching councils and other agencies to check for any previous history, for such offences with children, violence and dishonesty.

Records and list checks

  • Police records.
  • Social work.
  • Teaching council.
  • Bared teachers list.

For a person in contact with children, a background check is conducted by the police involving checks against other agencies database information.

Acro Police checks UK for certain countries

You must obtain a police criminal background document from Acro Police check for a number of countries for teaching and education jobs abroad.

Certain countries only accept this form of criminal check. from the UK   Countries include for UK citizens:

United StatesSouth AfricaAustralia
New ZealandThailandBelgium
Cayman IslandsTaiwanCanada


Criminal Record police check

Disclosure Scotland is the organisation that formally conducts comprehensive checks on people looking for a new or updated criminal background check.

When a teacher or nurse applies for an employment position in Scotland a “PVG Scheme Record” from Disclosure Scotland, which is the country criminal records checking service run by the Scottish government must be obtained.

PVG scheme record

This record check enables a school, for instance, to ask the agency to run an extensive background check into your past.

Level of checks

  • Unspent and relevant spent convictions.
  • Membership status,  General teaching Council Scotland.
  • Unspent cautions.
  • Consideration status.
  • Court order and sex offenders list notification requirements.
  • Other relevant information and agencies/bodies.

A social worker can intervene and provide information for good character or adverse information in relation to considering a person suitable for teaching.

Who applies for my Disclosure Scotland

  1. Employer such as a college, council, hospital, sports centre, university or school is able to apply for a PVG scheme record on your past, either direct to Disclosure Scotland or through an umbrella company authorised to act as a third party.
  1. You apply yourself through an umbrella company that have the authority to apply for you.

Highest full complete check available for teaching and education in Scotland (PVG scheme)   Best one

Good enough for many countries           Enhanced Disclosure full criminal check

How much does it cost

The cost is covered by a school for a teaching position in the UK, Should be! paying yourself  £45-£70 with an umbrella company.

What documents and evidence are required

3 forms of identification that state your address, name, date of birth and present address

Official government issued identification

One document of either a passport or driving license.

One bank statement, utility bill.

Who completes the form

The employer completes their section and you would complete the other relevant sections that are applicable to you. Generally, you would be given a form to complete.

Good idea to attend the meeting at the school or employers place with all relevant information, including past addresses for at least 5 continues previous years.

How long does my PVG Scheme record check take

The majority of checks are completed within 14 days.

Website Address: Disclosure Scotland

England & Wales

police background check

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

In Wales’s & England, if you are intending to work in vulnerable organisations such as teachers, you are to provide a DBS Check. DBS stands for Disclosure and Barring Service, a government organisation run by the Home Office that checks a person’s background.

A DBS Check is required for working in schoolscolleges and similar education establishments, and anywhere with children and vulnerable adults.

In England & Wale’s the process of obtaining a DBS Check is very similar to the Scottish process, although is applied for through the Disclosure and Barring Service as an employer or through an umbrella company.

You’ll be given a form to complete by your organisation, so you can provide all relevant information on you’re name, date of birth and present address.

The school or college needs to look at your documents, such as a passport/driving licence, utility bill, bank statement to check the identity of an applicant.

Cost: The application fee is paid by the education establishment or buy yourself through umbrella company Basic DBS check £23.00,  Standard DBS check £23.00,  Enhanced DBS check £40.00. Umbrella company will add a service charge.

DBS checks on you

The type of DBS check for a teaching position is an Enhanced Disclosure with Lists. 

The level of disclosure enables a full background check with a number of agencies, including courts, General Teaching Council, Police and other relevant agencies.

In addition, a Bared Lists check is completed to see if you are on any list barring you from teaching or working with children and vulnerable adults.


  • Police national computer.
  • Sex offenders list.
  • Courts.
  • Unspent convictions and relevant spent convictions.
  • Other agencies.

When will I receive my certificate

You will receive your copy of a DBS Check on you in less than 30 days.  The employer also receives a copy.

Website Address: Disclosure Barring Service Check

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland has they’re own criminal records checking body that conducts comprehensive checks on people working and in contact with children.

Name of background Check: Access Northern Ireland

The process is very similar to other background checking agencies in the UK.  As a teacher, your employer would submit a background check application on your behalf.

Documents required: Passport/driving license, utility bill, bank statement that must be shown to your employer as evidence of your identity and present address.

Name, address and date of birth must be on the supporting documents.

Normally you and the employer will receive a copy of your criminal background check before 30 days.


Changing employer

Recent changes have resulted in background checks being portable in relation, you as a prospective teacher or lecturer do not require to obtain another report.

Reports have no expiry date, although every school, college or university will only accept a criminal background check that is under 6 months old, and will request an application to be completed for an up to date police clearance report be conducted.

DBS checks

What if I disagree with the background check

Should you receive you’re teachers criminal background check and there is information you think should not be on the report then you can appeal to the body that issued the report.

An appeal would be conducted through you and the employer.  Evidence would require to be supplied and a detailed account of what is not correct.

2013 seen a change in relaxing some of the criteria of criminal records check UK in a teacher’s background. Previously a teacher’s background check would require “Nothing Found” under each heading of the report.

Recently the UK government and other parties have relaxed the rules slightly to discount minor offences in the past that would show up under the spent conviction heading.

Applying from other countries police background checks


You require an FBI police criminal check for most countries for a lecturing or teaching jobs overseas.  See here for information and application procedure.

Fingerprints are taken that can be proceed at a local police station. No hiding place for you then!

Official state department website guidance    and FBI request records page information.


Australian Federal Police Check/National Police Check is required for securing a visa, work permit and teachers jobs abroad in education.


Citizens and residents need a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Federal Police) check for a work permit, residency and education jobs abroad

South Africa

Residents in sunny South Africa should obtain a Clearance Certificate from the Criminal Record Centre in Pretoria.

More detailed information        Legalisation of South Africa documents


Irish residents require a police check from Garda Central Vetting Unit for teaching and and education jobs overseas.

Specific application procedure on the Garda website

Garda Central Vetting Unit
Racecourse Road Thurles
Tipperary, Ireland

Tel: +353 504 27300 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting  +353 504 27300 FREE end_of_the_skype_highlighting/+353 504 27300
Fax: +353 0504 27373

New Zealand

The New Zealand Licensing and Vetting Services Centre is the authority for residents in the country wish to teach abroad.


As you know National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) provides criminal records check for Filipina residents that are going abroad to teach.

You know better than me.

Looks like you register Online application nbi-clearance see here 

This website provides details guidance on and applying for nbi clearance.

National Bureau of Investigation Head Office:

Mailed Clearance section
3rd Floor, NBI Clearance Building
UN Ave., Ermita, Manila, Philippines 

For more information please visit the National Bureau of Investigation Web site or call 523-8231 loc 5465.Certificates must have a thumbprint and with a dry seal.

Green NBI Clearance certificate annotated for travel abroad is the correct certificate. NBI Clearance certificate is in English. Certificates can be picked up in person will be mailed.

Education Tay
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