News article

AccessNI makes it easy for employers to check criminal records

2 April 2019

The reduction in AccessNI fees and simple online application process makes it easy for employers to check criminal record of new recruits

AccessNI is part of the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland, providing a criminal history disclosure service to citizens and a wide range of employers and voluntary groups.

The AccessNI basic check is available to anyone in Northern Ireland. This check discloses details of an individual’s ‘unspent’ convictions, in accordance with Rehabilitation of Offenders (NI) Order 1978, and is already being used by a number of employers across Northern Ireland to assist in making more informed recruitment decisions.

How does it work?
On receipt of an application, AccessNI runs enquiries on the Police National Computer (PNC). Any unspent convictions found are transcribed on to a disclosure certificate and sent to the applicant. The process is very quick, with certificates for 98 per cent of fully completed applications returned to the applicant within 2-3 days. Certificates are available either digitally or on security enhanced paper.

Why undertake an AccessNI basic check?
There are a number of reasons why an AccessNI basic check is a good idea, including:

  • Most employers in Northern Ireland already ask prospective employees if they have any convictions when they complete the initial job application form. In disclosing unspent convictions, the AccessNI basic check provides you with assurance about the response provided by the applicant on the job application.
  • Employers invest a lot of time, effort and money in seeking to recruit the ideal candidate for any given position. At only £18, the cost of an AccessNI basic check is negligible in respect of these recruitment costs, especially if requested early in the process.

How do I apply?
The online application process is very straightforward; applicants apply online for a basic check and follow the instructions. They will be required to:

1. Create an account
2. Complete the application
3. Pay the fee (£18, using appropriate debit/credit card)
4. Submit the application
5. Send Identity Documentation to AccessNI

In addition to above process, AccessNI would be happy to discuss setting up a responsible body account status for employers likely to submit 20+ basic checks in any 12 month period. Apply online for a basic check through a responsible body.

If you want to know anything further about AccessNI basic checks Tel 0300 200 7888 or email