Big changes from the MoJ #2 - All checks are now gold (3 working days)

This May 3 sees the biggest changes to the NZ criminal record checking system in many years.

Today I'd like to cover what to me is the most surprising of these changes and one that will affect many employers.  All checks are now fast, taking just 3 working days.

Yes, you read that right - all self-checks and third party checks now take 3 days. The MoJ have done away with all priorities, including the standard 20 working day turnaround for free checks, and the 3, 10 and 15 day turnarounds for CCH (priority) checks.

Effectively all checks are now gold.

This dramatic speedup will have many NZ organisations rethinking their recruitment processes.

Many companies today are used to dealing with slow results, and so they'll start new employees long before they have their criminal record. The company will typically protect themselves by asking the candidate about their criminal record on their application form. The new employee then commences their new job with a clause like "we can terminate you if you lied about your criminal record" in their employment agreement.

Of course, as everyone has known,  this is obviously not ideal. Someone with a serious history of violence could lie about their record, start with you, and be working alongside workmates and customers for weeks before their past comes to light.

Even then, an HR nightmare can ensue as the new employee must be forced out.

So for many organisations, these new super fast checks are a big deal, and a great way to remove risk in your business. For most companies, it will be easily possible to order someone's criminal record check 3 days before their start date, removing the need to take on new starters with unknown backgrounds.

And because ordering third party checks from the MoJ costs $11, it's financially feasible to start the check even before you've made the final hiring decision.

This is all a very welcome change, and really is a huge step forward in ensuring the safety of your team and your customers.

How come the change? My guess is that the old system involving 20, 15, 10 and 3 day turnarounds was largely artificial, and probably involved the MoJ in a lot of unnecessary administration. This change will have simplified things internally for them.

Next post, I'll talk about some more changes to the process, especially relevant if you are considering relying on self-checks.

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