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On 30 March 2021, the Spent Convictions Act 2021 (Vic) came into effect. The Act brings Victoria in line with other Australian states and territories by introducing a scheme for certain criminal offences to be removed from an individual’s criminal record.
Certain convictions (including convictions for all offences committed under 15 years of age) are spent immediately. Most other convictions become spent after a period of time (five years for a minor and ten years for an adult). More serious convictions (including prison terms over 30 months and sex offences) require a Court Order to become spent.
If an offence is spent, it is removed from a person’s criminal record and does not appear on a police check. However, law enforcement can disclose a spent conviction under certain circumstances, including as part of Working with Children Check applications.
The Act also prohibits discrimination on the basis of a spent conviction. However, in order to create a safe environment, an organisation can refuse an applicant on the basis of a criminal past if the prior offence prevents the applicant from performing the requirements of the position.
We have updated our Screening Guide for Victoria to reflect these changes.
Learn more on our Background Checks webpage.