How To: Get a Police Check

If you are applying for teaching positions overseas, you will more than likely be asked to supply a Police Check or criminal background check along with your other documentation. Depending on where you are based in the world, you will need to apply for your police check through your national law enforcement authority.

Police Checks are also required for our TEFL Internships in both Vietnam and Thailand. There are different types of police checks so please clarify which one you need before you apply.

If you are based in England and Wales

You need to request a Basic Check through the GOV.UK website. It only costs £25 and usually takes around 14 calendar days to process. All you need to process your request are the following:

  • Proof of identity
  • National Insurance Number
  • Your postal address(es) for the last five years
  • A credit or debit card

If you are based in Scotland

You require a Basic Disclosure through Disclosure Scotland. It costs £25 and takes 14 calendar days to process.

You can complete your Basic Disclosure application online, all you need is the following information:

  • Your postal address(es) for the last five years
  • Proof of current address e.g. mortgage or rent agreement, current bank statement, doctor’s letter or utility bill
  • National insurance number
  • Proof of I.D. such as a passport, driving license or birth certificate


If you are based in Northern Ireland

You can request a Basic Check from NI Direct/Access NI. It costs £26

You will need:

  • your address or addresses for the last five years
  • your National Insurance number
  • three forms of ID (one must be photographic)
  • a valid debit or credit card

Proof of I.D. is required within 14 days of application or you may need to reapply. You can take a photo of the documents on your smartphone or scan them and send them as attachments in an email or send copies by post.


If you are based in Ireland

You require a Police Certificate issued from the Gardaí. These are issued free of charge if they are required for a foreign visa. Applications can take up to 40 days to process so please bear this in mind.

The certificate, which is normally valid for one year, states your name, address, date of birth and also includes information about whether or not you have a criminal record.


If you are in the United States

You require a Criminal Record Check through the FBI or a police check through your local police department. The FBI check can take a long time so please explore the option of going through your local police first. Some US police checks expire after 60 days in which case you will need to leave it as late as possible to apply.

Based in Canada?

You require a Certified Criminal Record Check. Fingerprints are required.


Based in Australia?

A national police check is required (fingerprint check is not necessary). It costs $42 Australian Dollars.


Based in New Zealand?

You require a Criminal Record Check. These are issued free of charge through and can take up to 20 days to process.


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