Online AccessNI Checks

Online AccessNI checks

AccessNI criminal record checks are for people living or working in Northern Ireland.

There are three types of AccessNI Check available:

  1. Basic AccessNI checks
  2. Standard AccessNI checks
  3. Enhanced AccessNI checks

An AccessNI check can only be undertaken on people aged 16 years old or over.  The only exception is for family members of an applicant, under 16, where the applicant is registering as a childminder or wants to adopt or foster a child.

If an employer uses AccessNI checks in the recruitment process, they must have a written policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders. Job applicants and volunteers can ask for a copy of the policy.  To read a sample policy for employing someone with a criminal record, go to:  Sample policy on recruitment of ex-offenders


Mayflower Disclosure Services Ltd is an approved provider (known as a Registered Umbrella Body) for all types of online AccessNi checks. 

We provide online Access NI checks to companies/organisations.  

To use our online AccessNI service please create an account.  It is free and under no obligation

More information about our online AccessNI checking service is provided below

What are the different types of AccessNI check available?

Each type of AccessNI check consists of the following criminal record searches:


Level of check

Unspent Convictions

Spent Convictions

Caution

Relevant Police Information

Barred Lists

Basic 

AccessNI check:

Yes

No

No

No

No

Standard AccessNI check:

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

Enhanced AccessNI check:

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes


Yes

*if Regulated Activity

Our online AccessNI application process:

Our online AccessNI application system is secure, simple and quick to use.

Note: Our AccessNI checking service is available to organisations who need 2 or more AccessNI checks.  To use our service you need to create an account with us, which is free and under no obligation.


Examples of roles needing AccessNI checks:

Below are some examples of roles that need AccessNI checks.

Please note:  This is for guidance only and should not be considered a substitute for legal advice. It is the responsibility of the employer/recruiting organisation to determine if eligibility exists in line with the current legislation.

Nature of work

Legal Obligation

Type of AccessNI Check

Working beyond the passenger security check in an airport (for example, as an airport employee, in a shop or on the runways)

Department For Transport Regulations

Basic

Posts in the Northern Ireland Civil Service and certain other public bodies

-

Basic

A role where it is in the interest of a customer/employer to obtain a criminal record history; e.g: working in a Position of trust, handling cash or working in premises unsupervised.

-

Basic

Visa Applications

-

Basic

Barrister

Rehabilitation of Offenders (NI) Order 1978

Standard

Accountant

Rehabilitation of Offenders (NI) Order 1978

Standard

Actuary

Rehabilitation of Offenders (NI) Order 1978

Standard

Pharmaceutical Chemist

Rehabilitation of Offenders (NI) Order 1978

Standard

Solicitor

Rehabilitation of Offenders (NI) Order 1978

Standard

Veterinary Surgeon

Rehabilitation of Offenders (NI) Order 1978

Standard

Working in a Care or Residential Home with Adults

Department Of Health Standards

Enhanced

Healthcare Professional such as a GP, Pharmacist, Nurse, Dentist, Surgeon Or Specialist Practitioner

Department Of Health Standards

Enhanced

Working in Domiciliary Care with Adults

Department Of Health Standards

Enhanced

Working in a Day Care setting with Children and Childminding

Department Of Health Standards

Enhanced

Taxi-Driving Licence

Road Traffic (Ni) Order 1981

Enhanced, Without A Barred List Check

Fostering Children

Children's Act 1989 Or Children's(NI) Order 1987

Enhanced

Adoption of Children

Adoption (Ni) Order 1987

Enhanced

Working in a School

Department Of Health Standards

Enhanced

Social Worker

Department Of Health Standards

Enhanced

Teacher / Trainer / Tutor / Coach / Instructor

Department Of Health Standards

Enhanced

Our AccessNI Prices:

Our Standard Price List is available for you to view here.

We believe in an open pricing policy and do not have any hidden/other costs. There are NO other charges.  You will only be charged for the applications you submit for processing.  We do NOT charge a setup fee, registration fee, yearly fee, error rates or any other charges not stated, without prior agreement.

Please note, we offer discounts for companies who expect to submit 50 or more online applications per year.  If this applies to you please let us know your Company name and your expected annual volume via our Contact Us form and we will send you a quote.

Volunteers

Standard and Enhanced checks for volunteers are eligible to be processed at a reduced fee.  See our Price List.


For the purposes of AccessNI checks, a Volunteer is defined as follows:-

 

“A person engaged, or to be engaged, in an activity for a non-profit organisation or person, which involves spending time unpaid (except for travel and other out-of-pocket expenses) doing something which amounts to a benefit to some third party other than, or in addition to, a close relative”


Under the relevant legislation, a non-profit organisation or person is one which does not distribute its surplus funds to owners or shareholders.

 

Volunteers within the two specific and narrowly defined categories set out below, are not eligible for reduced fee Volunteer AccessNI checks:

  1. the delivery of statutory services: where a volunteer is engaged, or is to be engaged, directly for a Statutory Body
  2. funding supplied for defined projects: in circumstances where a sum to include the cost of a disclosure fee in connection with the activity which the volunteer is engaged, or to be engaged, in has been provided out of public funds.

Create an account to use our services:

If you wish to use our services, please Create an Account via the Create an Account page on our website:  http://dbsdirect.co.uk/create-account.php

It is FREE to create an account with us and your are under no obligation. 

Your account will be set-up within 1 working day of receiving your New Account Form. 

On set-up, we will email you login details and instructions on using our online AccessNI application system, so you can create and submit online AccessNI applications straight away.

To complement your online AccessNI checks we also offer:

  1. Standard and Enhanced DBS checks
  2. Basic DBS Checks
  3. Basic Disclosure Scotland Checks
  4. Employee Credit checks
  5. External ID validation checks

Information about each Type of AccessNI check in more detail:

Basic AccessNI checks: 

A Basic AccessNI check is a check for Unspent Convictions and can be obtained for anyone for any reason

Standard AccessNI checks:

A Standard AccessNI check is a check for:

  • spent and unspent convictions

  • informed warnings and other non-court disposals from the Police National Computer

  • Some old and minor convictions and non-court disposals on a criminal record may not be disclosed. Fixed penalty tickets and parking fines aren't included in a standard check.

The Standard AccessNI check is restricted by law and only available where the position or role in question is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders (NI) Order 1978, for example certain specified occupations, licences and entry into certain specified professions.

A Standard AccessNI check is not suitable for roles working with children or vulnerable adults.

The Standard AccessNI check is required for the following roles:

  • Barrister
  • Solicitor
  • Veterinary Surgeon
  • Actuary
  • Accountant
  • Pharmaceutical chemist

Enhanced AccessNI checks:

An Enhanced AccessNI check discloses an individual’s full criminal record, and checks:

  • spent and unspent convictions from the Police National Computer
  • cautions, informed warnings and other non-court disposals from the Police National Computer
  • information held by the police that is relevant to the role applied for
  • information held by the Disclosure and Barring Service (the childrens’ and/or adult’s barred list checks). Note:  only for positions considered as regulated activity)

Note: Some old and minor convictions and non-court disposals on a criminal record may be filtered. Fixed penalty tickets or parking fines aren't included in an enhanced check.

Enhanced AccessNI checks are restricted by law and can only be obtained for certain roles.  

The role will usually involve working closely with children or vulnerable adults.

Regulated Activity:

An Enhanced AccessNI check for a role that involves “regulated activity” will include a check with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

They keeps lists of people who are unsuitable for work with children and vulnerable adults. 

These are known as the childrens’ and adults’ barred list checks.

An employer must:

  1. know if a position is regulated activity
  2. know the level of check required and when to search the barred lists
  3. not employ an individual or engage a volunteer in regulated activity who is on a barred list

If you are not sure, please contact us.

The Enhanced AccessNI check is also available for some other specific positions (but without a check of the DBS barred lists), including those working with vulnerable people (but not in regulated activity) or judicial appointments.

Regulated Activity with Children:

This is a role where an individual works unsupervised with children:

  1. once a week or more or intensively (four days in a row or overnight), and
  2. in a specific role or a specific place.

For example role which:

  • teach, train, instruct, care for or supervise children
  • provide advice/guidance on well-being to children
  • drive a vehicle only for children
  • work in a school, children’s home or achildcare premises with the opportunity for contact with children
  • provide personal care, for example washing, dressing or healthcare to children
  • are a registered childminder
  • are a foster-carer

Regulated Activity with Vulnerable Adults:

For the purposes of AccessNI check, Vulnerable Adults are people who are 18 years or over who are receiving treatment or care. 

Roles considered as Regulated Activity with Vulnerable Adults are roles that:

  • give healthcare as a GP, pharmacist, nurse, dentist, surgeon or specialist
  • give personal care such as dressing or washing
  • provide social work
  • help with general household work such as handling cash, shopping or paying bills
  • help manage personal affairs such as legal papers
  • bring an adult in a vehicle to receive personal care, healthcare or social care

Additional Information relating to AccessNI checks

Checking an Applicant's ID

An employer/Organisation should verify each individual's identity.

This involves checking proof of their:

  • full name
  • date of birth
  • permanent address on a utility bill (gas, electric, landline telephone)
  • photographic ID on a current passport or driving licence

Full Guidance on checking an applicant's ID is available here:

The full List of ID that can be used for AccessNI checks can be found here

To read guidance for checking a British passport, go to:

Protecting sensitive information

When an employer/Organisation receives an AccessNI certificate disclosing an individual’s criminal record, they are responsible for protecting this sensitive information.

Employers/Organisations must follow AccessNI’s Code of Practice and handle disclosure information safely and securely.

AccessNI checks and job offers

If an AccessNI certificate shows results that make an applicant unsuitable for the post, an employer can withdraw a job offer.

An employment contract exists when:

  • the applicant has accepted a job offer
  • all conditions under which the offer was made have been satisfied

If they start work before the AccessNI check has been received, the employer should tell them the offer is dependent on satisfactory checks.

Employing someone with a criminal record

Employers should treat fairly job applicants and volunteers who have criminal convictions.

If an employer uses AccessNI checks in the recruitment process, they must have a written policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders. Job applicants and volunteers can ask for a copy of the policy.

To read a sample policy for employing someone with a criminal record, go to: Sample policy on recruitment of ex-offenders

If a job applicant’s criminal conviction is disclosed, an employer should consider its relevance to the job. A conviction should not automatically disqualify someone.

If the applicant is on a barred list, they are breaking the law if they apply to work or volunteer with vulnerable groups in regulated activity.

Employing someone who is on a barred list

It is unlawful and a criminal offence for an individual who is on the barred lists to work with children or vulnerable adults, or to apply to work/volunteer in regulated activity with those groups.

If an employer knows the individual is barred and employs them in regulated activity, the employer is also breaking the law and committing a criminal offence.

Employing people with conflict-related convictions

There is guidance for employers on recruiting people with convictions which occurred during Northern Ireland’s troubles:

Employers' guidance on recruiting people with conflict-related convictions (external link opens in a new window / tab)

How long an AccessNI check is valid

If criminal convictions are revealed on an AccessNI certificate, the information is valid on the date the certificate is issued.

An employer should check the date the certificate was issued to decide about getting a new one.

In certain employment sectors, a new AccessNI check might be needed at different times. For example, to renew a taxi driver’s licence or to get a licence to work in the security industry.

Employers shouldn't take or keep photocopies of an applicant’s certificate.

If there is a reason for keeping a copy, for example there is a dispute or complaint, the employer must explain the reason and get the applicant’s permission. 

Employers should not keep an AccessNI certificate for longer than six months.

Disputing an AccessNI certificate

If an individual thinks the information is inaccurate on their AccessNI certificate, they can raise a dispute:

Disputing an AccessNI certificate (external link opens in a new window / tab)

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The information provided on our website is for guidance only and should not be considered as a substitute for legal advice.

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