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About AccessNI

AccessNI is a criminal history disclosure service in Northern Ireland. By law some employers must check your criminal history before they recruit. When asked by these employers, AccessNI supplies criminal history information about job applicants, volunteers and employees.

Criminal history disclosure

A criminal history check is also known as a disclosure. AccessNI searches your details against UK criminal records and police information. These searches may disclose any criminal history to certain employers and organisations. AccessNI produces a disclosure certificate for every check.

AccessNI checks

An AccessNI check is a criminal history record check which provides different levels of information about an individual. There are three levels of check:

  • a basic check contains details of all convictions considered to be unspent, or states that no convictions were found
  • a standard check contains details of all spent and unspent convictions and relevant cautions
  • an enhanced check contains the same information as a standard check as well as a check of police records held locally and, for positions working with children and vulnerable adults, may include information held by the Disclosure and Barring Service

Find out more about the different AccessNI checks, including what information is disclosed and what roles require AccessNI checks at the following nidirect pages.

Applying for AccessNI checks

Individuals can apply and pay for a basic check. Only registered bodies can request standard and enhanced checks. Apply for AccessNI checks and find out more about the role of individuals and registered bodies at the following pages.

Who is responsible for looking after disclosed information?

Registered bodies which apply for checks must keep to AccessNI’s code of practice. AccessNI monitors how organisations receive and store disclosure information. Employers who receive disclosure certificates from registered bodies must keep to data protection rules.

Valid checks

Your disclosure certificate is valid during the recruitment process for a specific role or job. Information about your criminal record history is accurate on the day the certificate was issued. A disclosure certificate should not be transferred from one role to another.

Find out more about reusing AccessNI checks on the following nidirect page.

Reprinting a disclosure certificate

AccessNI can reprint a disclosure certificate if it is 90 days or less since the original certificate was issued. A reprint is free.

If 90 days have passed a fresh criminal history check will be required for a new disclosure certificate. You or your employer will need to pay for the second check.

Complaining about information on your disclosure certificate

If you believe information is inaccurate on your disclosure certificate, you can write to AccessNI and dispute the information disclosed.

Find out more about AccessNI

Information about AccessNI and the application process for both individuals and registered bodies, including employers, is contained on nidirect. To find out corporate information about AccessNI, including relevant legislation and publications, visit the Department of Justice website.
AccessNI (Department of Justice website)

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