What's the difference between a criminal record check and a police check?

There is no difference between a criminal record check—sometimes called a criminal background check—and a police check.  In short, the term depends on where you come from.  Furthermore, in the USA, there are multiple names for this check.  This arises because there are multiple levels of law enforcement agencies from local, county to Federal.  The National Police Check is the most comprehensive check available in the USA.

Veriton Investigations criminal record check service

Sometimes, it is difficult to obtain a criminal background check direct from a country’s authorities.  Consequently, Veriton Investigations now works with reputable worldwide partner agencies to source data.  Such non-government databases are usually updated through a daily analysis of court records, or, sometimes automatically. 

Veriton Investigations can issue clients with short reports regarding an individual’s check status.  Some of our larger clients recruit internationally. Not surprisingly, this means we have developed expertise in sourcing records from multiple jurisdictions.  To date, we have reported on individuals from countries as diverse as the Philippines to the Pacific island of Palau, and the Bahamas.

Worldwide Checks Available

As a result of a long-standing contract with a major casino, we have researched over 50 worldwide criminal record certificate systems.   These checks are supplementary to our regular individual background check service. 

Typically, we supplement our criminal record check service with ID and travel document verification.

Please contact us with your requirements.

Hong Kong Criminal Background Check
No Criminal Record (NCR)

The Hong Kong Police almost never provide a criminal background check.  In Hong Kong, this is known as a Certificate of No Criminal Conviction (CNCC). There are two circumstances only whereby the Hong Kong Police will undertake such a check:

  • Application for a visa to visit, study or reside in another country
  • Adoption of children
No Certificate Is Provided

The Hong Kong Police do not accept applications for the Certificate for any other purposes.  In fact, the Police do not even provide a Certificate to the applicant.  Instead, the concerned authority receives the check result directly.  For example, this could be an overseas immigration office or an adoption agency.

Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance Certificate IS Provided

However, changes in Hong Kong’s legislation now allow the Hong Kong Police to provide a full copy of the applicant’s criminal record.  The legislation used for this is Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (Cap. 486, Laws of Hong Kong).  Nowadays, a member of the public can enquire of the Police as to whether it holds any criminal conviction records in respect of him/ her.  If you are found to have a criminal record, the Police hand the paper record (a copy) to the Applicant, but if you have a clear record, the Police simply tell you that you have no criminal record.  Oddly, the Police provide nothing in writing.

To further complicate matters, the Police require that “All CCD [Criminal Conviction Data] access requests shall be made in person unless exempted with a valid ground by the Officer-in-charge of the CCD Office.”

Hong Kong Checks for Macau Residents

Applicants from Macau who need a Hong Kong NCR are subject to special rules.  First, the request needs to be in conjunction with an offer of employment.  Second, a representative from the company wishing to hire the applicant must attend the Criminal Conviction Data office with the applicant.  Usually, this is someone from the organization’s Human Resources (HR) department.

Assuming the applicant has no criminal record, the Hong Kong Police inform the HR representative that: “There is no trace of X in our records.”  The HR representative must record this fact for the company.  No paper certificate or other evidence is provided to the applicant.

Hong Kong Sexual Conviction Check (SCRC)

The Hong Kong Police also operate an administrative scheme known as the Sexual Conviction Record Check (SCRC).  This scheme benefits employers of persons undertaking work related to children or mentally incapacitated persons (MIPs).  As such, employers can check eligible applicants to see if they have been convicted of any sex-related crimes contained within a list of sexual offences.  The Police add new offences to the list once they are deemed necessary of inclusion.  

Again, the applicant receives nothing in writing, and, as with the Hong Kong Police criminal background check, the result is sent to the existing or prospective employer.

Macau Certificate of Criminal Record

Macau’s criminal check is called a Certificate of Criminal Record.  It applies to three categories of applicants only.  These are residents or former residents of Macau or persons applying for residency.  They must be more than 16 years old.  

Applicants must state why they need the certificate.  The Macau Government issues a 28-page list of approved uses.  One is for employment.  Other approved categories include the registration of lawyers and accountants.  

Incidentally, the document makes an engaging read if you are that way inclined!  One of the more interesting criteria is for anyone who wants to be a technical chief of a Chinese herbal medicine centre.