Background Screening

Sharmans > Services > Background Screening


Sharmans provide detailed Background and Due Diligence reports to numerous corporate clients across multiple industries. Our team of investigators can profile the histories of individuals and corporations, providing information such as, but not limited to:

  • Confirmation of Individual Identity (Fraud Prevention)
  • Business Associations, including direct and indirect affiliations.
  • Financial Performance including individual financial circumstances and performance of associated business.
  • Location of encumbered or unencumbered assets.
  • Court History (Civil)
  • Criminal History
  • Conflict of Interest assessments
  • Property Ownership
  • Professional Licence confirmation/Identification
  • Confirmation of Professional and Education Qualifications

The application of our reports, usually as a part of a client’s Risk Management process, can include, but are not be limited to:

  • Profiling a company including its directors, for the purpose of a merger or acquisition.
  • Profiling a company for Administrators and Liquidators during the external administration process.
  • Obtaining information on an individual or company for the purpose of a trade partnership or franchise agreement.
  • Screening of Candidates prior to executive appointments.
  • Pre-Litigation Asset Assessments
  • Fraud Prevention.

Our team of investigators have more than 30 years of combined experience in providing detailed Background and Due Diligence reports. For advice regarding our Background and Due Diligence service contact us directly in our Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne office.

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    What is a background check? When should a background check report be conducted?

    A background check is a cohesive investigation process that investigates (or “vets”) an individual’s background, in order to uncover undisclosed information such as criminal, commercial or financial records. Further, these checks can help to verify employee information, such as licences and certifications, and education.

    As employers are legally liable for what occurs in the workplace, background checks are often conducted before a job offer in order to ensure the suitability of a certain candidate for a role. The background check process should be communicated to applicants in order to ensure consent.

    Why are background checks important?

    Background checks are important for multiple reasons, however primarily, they help organisations to ensure safety practices by verifying the information on job applications in order to minimise the potential for criminal activity, violence, or workplace harassment.

    What shows up on a background check report?

    Background checks can be used to verify a variety of information, including criminal records, credit checks, identity checks, personal and professional references, certification, training and education checks, and illicit substance use checks. The information that appears on background check reports should always be strictly applicable to the role or capacity to undertake the role.

    Do I have to go after the candidate for the required details for the background checks?

    While it is not necessary to get all required information from an application, the background check process should be clearly communicated in order to ensure consent. The amount of information needed is dependent on the kind of check that your organisation wishes to undertake, however should be able to be conducted with information from an applicant’s resume, forms and application.

    How to Conduct a Criminal Background Check?

    A criminal background check can be conducted by following these steps:

    1. Determine what type of background check you need (e.g. national, state, or county-level).
    2. Obtain written consent from the individual being checked.
    3. Search online databases, such as government websites or private background check companies.
    4. Check public court records.
    5. Obtain records from law enforcement agencies.
    6. Verify the information found with the individual being checked.
    7. Note: The methods and information available may vary depending on the jurisdiction and type of background check.

    How to Conduct Employee Background Checks?

    To conduct an employee background check, you can follow these steps:

    1. Get written consent from the job applicant.
    2. Determine what type of check is needed (e.g. criminal, credit, education, or employment history).
    3. Use online databases, such as government websites or private background check companies.
    4. Verify information with previous employers, educational institutions, and references.
    5. Check public records for criminal history, if needed.
    6. Comply with all applicable laws and regulations, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
    7. Note: The scope and methods of employee background checks may vary depending on the jurisdiction and the type of job being applied for.

    Why Background Checks on Tenants Are Important?

    Background checks on tenants are important because they provide landlords with valuable information about a potential tenant’s financial stability, criminal history, and rental history. This information can help landlords make informed decisions about whether to rent to a particular tenant and can help reduce the risk of rental property damage, unpaid rent, or other tenant-related problems. By conducting background checks, landlords can increase the likelihood of finding reliable and responsible tenants who will meet their obligations and treat the rental property with respect.

    How to check tenant credit and background?

    1. Obtain written consent from the tenant.
    2. Use a tenant screening service or run a credit check through a credit reporting agency such as Execscreening.
    3. Verify rental history by contacting previous landlords or using a tenancy database service.
    4. Check criminal records, if applicable, by searching the Australian Federal Police database or using a private investigator.
    5. Comply with all applicable privacy and consumer protection laws, such as the Privacy Act 1988 and the Australian Consumer Law.

    Note: It is important to ensure that all checks are conducted in accordance with relevant laws and regulations to avoid potential legal issues.

    What does a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check certificate show?

    A Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check (NCCHC) will show all of the Disclosable Court Outcomes (DCOs) of any one person. DCOs are legal outcomes that result in a conviction including sexual and violent offences, traffic offences, penitentiary sentences, guilty convictions, and pending court cases.

    What is an AFP check? What is it for?

    An AFP check, or Australian Federal Police check, is a process conducted by the Australian Federal Police. In this process an individual’s details are compared with a central index of names to determine if the individual;s information aligns with the AFP’s historical information. This check will further confirm if there is any information that needs to be disclosed such as a past conviction.

    This process can occur when applying for certain roles or volunteer positions, working with children or vulnerable individuals, applying for a visa or overseas employment and applying for Australian residency or citizenship.

    What is the difference between a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check and an Australian Federal Police check (AFP)?

    There is not a formal difference between an NCCHC and an AFP. In 2018 the Australian government decided that background checks should be referenced as NCCHC, however the information contained during these checks has not changed.

    What is a red flag in the report?

    There are multiple red flags that could appear on a report; past criminal convictions, industry specific criminal charges, illegal working status, and so on.

    An example of a red flag in a report would be an undisclosed criminal proceeding that affects a candidate’s ability to safely undertake the tasks required for a role. For example:

    Your organisation has undertaken an NCCHC for a potential candidate who would work in a position with vulnerable individuals. The NCCHC comes back indicating that they have an undisclosed conviction for assault. This may indicate that they cannot safely meet the requirements to work with vulnerable individuals.

    Should Disclosable Court Outcomes (DCO) automatically disqualify a candidate from a role?

    In Australia a DCO cannot automatically disqualify a candidate from a role in some cases. It is against the law to discriminate against an individual based on their criminal record, if that record indicates that their crime was unrelated to the role or sector they have applied for. An employer must establish that a potential employee’s criminal history would directly impact their ability to safely undertake the role.

    What is a Financial Probity Check? Why is it important?

    A financial probity check, or FPC, is an investigation that aims to discover the financial background of an individual in order to understand whether they meet the necessary criteria to work within a certain industry, such as finance and banking.

    FPCs are important for organisations, as they help to ensure that your business and all employees meet the regulations and laws of the industry in which it operates. Further, it protects your business from fraudulent behaviours, thus minimising financial and people risk.

    What are AML, CTF and Sanctions List checks?

    These three checks – Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Counter-Terrosim Financing Rules (CTF) and Global Official List (Sanctions) – are used to assist organisations in identifying potential safety and security risks of individuals. These risks could include involvement in past financial crimes, terrorism or terrorism financing, wanted criminals, or politically exposed persons.

    Who needs an AML/CTF check?

    While it is important for any organisation to conduct a background check, it is vital for high risk organisations to assess the need for AML, CTF or Sanctions checks. These specific background checks are often required under AML/CTF legislation for businesses working in the financial, gambling or bullion dealing sectors in Australia.