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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.

What an AccessNI check includes

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

  • basic
  • standard
  • enhanced

A check will inform an employer if you have been convicted of a criminal offence.

An enhanced check can disclose non-conviction information or ’soft intelligence’ if the police consider it is relevant to the role you’re applying for. This could be an incident which did not go to court or information about an ongoing police investigation.

An enhanced check also includes a barred list check for anyone applying to do paid or voluntary work which is regulated activity.

Regulated activity

Regulated activity describes jobs which involve working unsupervised with children or closely with vulnerable people. This includes:

  • teaching children
  • giving childcare in a nursery or crèche
  • working in residential care with children or adults

The Department of Health’s leaflet “Changes to disclosure and barring” lists roles which are regulated activity.

Barred list checks

The Disclosure and Barring Service keeps two barred lists:

  • people who are unsuitable for working with children
  • people who are unsuitable for working with vulnerable adults

People on these lists are barred from regulated activity with children and vulnerable adults. It is a criminal offence for someone on these lists to work or apply to work in regulated activity.

What an AccessNI check costs

AccessNI charges a fee for each criminal record check:

Check Amount
Basic £26
Standard £26
Enhanced £33

The person requiring the check usually pays but some employers pay for AccessNI checks.

Jobs and roles which require AccessNI checks

When you apply for certain types of jobs, or want to volunteer in community, church or youth groups, you may be asked to undertake a criminal history record check. You may need an AccessNI check if you apply:

  • to work in close or regular unsupervised contact with children
  • to provide range of personal services to children/adults
  • to work in the Civil Service or other government body or in a government building
  • to work in an airport
  • for a licence to store and manage controlled drugs
  • for a licence to drive a taxi or a public service vehicle (PSV)
  • for a licence with the Security Industry Authority
  • to work in accountancy, law, medical, dentistry or nursing professions

The employer or voluntary organisation will tell you:

  • why an AccessNI check is required
  • level of AccessNI check required
  • the application process for an AccessNI check
  • who pays for the AccessNI check
  • AccessNI application forms

Who is responsible for looking after disclosed information?

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

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