Criminal history checks
Criminal history checks are a routine part of the pre-employment screening process carried out by Queensland Health. Rigorous policies and procedures are in place to safeguard the public and employees.
Criminal history checks are undertaken by the Queensland Police Service in accordance with the Public Service Act 2008 (Qld) and include checks of the criminal history records in all States and Territories of Australia, and New Zealand.
Employment applicants are required to give consent for a criminal history check prior to appointment.
If an applicant has a reported criminal history, this is further assessed by the Queensland Health Criminal History Assessment Panel (CHAP), to determine their suitability according to the inherent requirements of the job for which they are recommended for appointment.
CHAP meetings are scheduled weekly. The membership includes legal and senior human resources representatives.
CHAP recommendations are based on factors including:
- legislative requirements;
- relevance of the offences recorded on an applicant’s criminal history to the person’s role with Queensland Health;
- the nature and seriousness of the offences recorded on an applicant’s criminal history – often reflected in the Court outcome;
- the frequency of the offences recorded on an applicant’s criminal history;
- the time lapsed since the last recorded offence;
- the applicant’s age and personal circumstances at the time of the offence/s;
- whether the nature of an appointee’s criminal history may conflict with Queensland Health’s values and the Public Service Code of Conduct, or erode public confidence.
To ensure applicants are afforded natural justice and procedural fairness, applicants will be given an opportunity to respond to adverse information identified in their criminal histories.
The centralised arrangement ensures consistency in decision-making and protects the community interests.
In the interests of transparency, and to promote better community understanding and confidence in the process, future de-identified Minutes of CHAP meetings will be made available on this site.
- Under S181 of the Public Service Act 2008 (Qld) current employees are required to give notice if they are charged or convicted of an indictable offence.
- Under S170 of the Public Service Act 2008 (Qld) the Police Commissioner and the Director of Public Prosecutions are to inform a department when a person charged or convicted with a relevant offence is a public service employee. This includes Queensland Health. Depending on the nature of the offences recorded on the applicant’s criminal history the department’s response can range from taking no action to management action or even termination of employment.
- Queensland Health has more than 80,000 employees.
- Between January 2012 and April 2013, 0.25 per cent of (197) applicants with previous criminal convictions began employment with Queensland Health. This is includes departmental staff and employees of Hospital and Health Services.