Criminal checks are done using biometrically captured fingerprints, in line with legislation. Using the AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Identification System), the fingerprints are checked electronically directly against the South African Police Services (SAPS) database.
Can you do a criminal check using my ID number?
As of 1 July 2011, it became no longer possible to conduct criminal checks just using the candidate’s name and ID number.
Will it hurt?
Not at all…the process is quick, easy and painless. It is done using a biometric scanner which is harmless.
How long does it take to get the results?
Once the fingerprints and data have been submitted, the report usually comes back within 24-48 hours. We do offer a “Premium Verification” service at an additional fee where results will come back in 3 – 5 hours.
What does the report entail?
If there are no previous convictions or cases pending, the results on the report will state “Negative”. Should the candidate’s fingerprints be in the AFIS system for any reason, the preliminary report will state “SAPS Verification Requested”. A SAPS police report with details of any pending trials and convictions will be sent within 1-6 weeks.
Will the results be sent to me or the company?
The report is sent via email to the individual or company that requested the check.
Can I get my record cleared?
Under certain circumstances, an application for an expungement can be requested. When an Expungement is granted, the person whose record is expunged may, for most purposes, treat the event as if it never occurred.
The record has been in existence for at least 10 years or more and there has been no subsequent convictions and the candidate was given the option of paying a fine (less than R20 000)
The offence for which one was convicted was of a trivial nature, such as petty theft, shoplifting, fraud, certain politically motivated crimes and crimes in respect of which the punishment is now unconstitutional. Convictions of crimes of a serious nature, such as murder, rape and other sexual offences, armed robbery, and assault with the intention to do serious bodily harm, do not qualify for criminal record expungement unless their name has been removed from the list
One was advised that paying a fine would not result in a criminal record, but have subsequently discovered the existence of your criminal record
An expungement can only be granted by a judge.
What if I have a criminal record, will I get the job?
Whatever you do, do not lie about your criminal record. Section 6 of the Employment Equity Act protects job applicants against discrimination regarding a number of arbitrary grounds, however, don’t think you can lie to cover up your past indiscretions. An employer has the right to carry out background checks (including criminal checks) on potential employees, and should they find out that you’ve lied about your record, you can kiss the job goodbye.
The nature of the crime will certainly impact your job prospects. For example, if the record is related to the job function the person needs to perform, i.e. theft and fraud, the candidate would most likely not be considered for a position in finance of banking. However, if the crime committed has nothing to do with the offense, the candidate should not be discriminated against.
If your conviction included any of the following factors, it may ease the employer’s concerns and make you more hireable:
An old criminal record
A crime that is not relevant to the job you’re applying for
You committed the crime because of a tough time, and have overcome the difficulty
The crime is not as serious as it sounds
The circumstances in which the crime was committed lessens its severity
Do I need to have my fingerprints taken for the other background verification checks?
We offer a number of background checks. The only check which requires fingerprints is the criminal check. Depending on the check, we may ask for other supporting documentation, for example, ID documents, Certificates, Student numbers etc.