Costs and turnaround times
The cost of an AccessNI check and the time taken to search criminal records and give a disclosure certificate depends on the level of check. Each week AccessNI updates delivery times for all levels of check and lists turnaround times for certificates.
What an AccessNI check costs
AccessNI charges a fee for each criminal record check:
The person needing the check usually pays but some employers pay for AccessNI checks.
If you’re a volunteer in a role which needs a standard or enhanced check, AccessNI will provide the check free to a volunteer who:
“...gives their time in a position in a non-profit organisation, free of charge, doing something for the good of the community or a voluntary group, for which they may get travelling and other out-of-pocket expenses, and which is not for their own benefit or for the benefit of a close relative.”
AccessNI charges for a standard or enhanced check if:
- you are volunteering directly for a statutory organisation
- you are volunteering for a non-profit organisation in a position which delivers statutory services under contract or in a specific project, where that organisation receives government funding to pay for volunteers’ checks
A statutory organisation is an agency established by government. A not-for-profit organisation is a non-governmental body which does not distribute its surplus funds to owners or shareholders.
Processing an AccessNI disclosure certificate
A disclosure certificate gives an individual's criminal history information. The table below shows average turnaround times for processing applications.
But some certificates can take longer. If AccessNI refers your application to the police, the police might need to contact you. To avoid a delay in issuing a disclosure certificate, it's important to respond quickly if police contact you about your application.
Why an application goes to the police
There are certain circumstances when AccessNI must refer an application for a check to the police. They’ll do this because:
- the person has convictions, cautions or warnings
- police holds information about the person other than convictions, cautions or warnings
- the person has applied to do homebased work in their own home such as child minding
- the person lives in or has lived in Ireland within the last five years
Week beginning 27 September 2021
|AccessNI check||Date application was received||Processing target||Average time to issue certificate|
Basic (Direct application by member of the public)
|95 per cent within 14 days||3 days|
|Basic (Application made through Responsible Body)||26 September||99 per cent within seven days||3 days|
|Standard||26 September||99 per cent within seven days||3 days|
70 per cent within 10 days
95 per cent within 21 days
98 per cent within 28 days
Due to Covid-19, where applications are referred to PSNI, there may be a delay in your application as priority is currently being given to return those applications for Health and Social Care positions.
You can track your application for a criminal record check online. Individuals and registered bodies need to log in to their nidirect account and use the tracking facility.
Complaining about AccessNI's service
If you want to complain about the time taken to process your check, you can complain to AccessNI.
If you believe information is inaccurate on your basic, standard or enhanced certificate, you need to tell AccessNI and raise your concern as a dispute.