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Aviation and Maritime Security Identification Card schemes

AusCheck conducts background checking for the Aviation Security Identification Card (ASIC) and Maritime Security Identification Card (MSIC) schemes. Anyone who needs regular access to secure areas of Australia's airports or seaports is required to hold a relevant ASIC or MSIC.

ASIC or MSIC holders have an obligation to self-report convictions for all security-relevant offences within seven days of being convicted.

Do I need an ASIC or MSIC?

An ASIC or MSIC may be required if:

  • a person has an operational need for unescorted access to the secure areas of security controlled airports and the security zones of security regulated ports, security regulated ships and offshore oil and gas facilities; or
  • a person performs a specifically prescribed security-sensitive role.

An ASIC or an MSIC confirms the holder has a valid background check and is not a threat to aviation or maritime security.

For more information about who requires an ASIC or MSIC and how to apply, visit the Office of Transport Security website.

Background checking

Australian transport security regulations require AusCheck to background check all applicants for an ASIC or MSIC. This is to identify individuals who are not eligible to access secure areas of airports or seaports.

AusCheck does this by:

  • coordinating background checking on each applicant
  • applying the eligibility requirements for each scheme
  • notifying the applicant and their issuing body of the outcome of the background check.

AusCheck obtains information from its checking partners to fulfil its background checking requirements.

The ASIC and MSIC background check comprises:

  • a security assessment by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation
  • a criminal history check by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission
  • an immigration check (if required) by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, to confirm an applicant's right to work in Australia.

Decision making process and considerations

For AusCheck to begin a background check, you will have to provide your issuing body with all the information required by section 5 of the AusCheck Regulations 2017. Once this information is received, AusCheck will contact its checking partners. AusCheck cannot complete a background check until it has received all relevant information from checking partners.

Once AusCheck has received all relevant information from its checking partners, an assessment of the applicant's criminal history information can be conducted to determine whether that individual is eligible to be issued with an ASIC or MSIC.

AusCheck does not set the eligibility criteria for the ASIC and MSIC schemes or decide whether or not to issue an applicant with an ASIC or MSIC. Eligibility criteria are set out in regulations administered by the Office of Transport Security within the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.

ASIC

The criteria for offences that are considered to be aviation-security-relevant offences (ASROs) are set out Regulation 6.01 of the Aviation Transport Security Regulations 2005. An explanation of the application of this criteria can be found in the below table:

Finding

Definition

Eligible

The criminal history has no ASRO, or one ASRO without a sentence of imprisonment.

Qualified

The criminal history has two or more ASROs, neither of which has a sentence of imprisonment nor occurred in the last 12 months.

Adverse

The criminal history has one ASRO with a sentence of imprisonment, or two or more ASROs, neither of which has a sentence of imprisonment however at least one occurred in the last 12 months.

MSIC

The criteria for offences that are considered to be maritime-security-relevant offences (MSROs) are set out in Schedule 1 of the Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Regulations 2003. An explanation of the application of this criteria can be found in the below table:

Finding

Definition

Eligible

The criminal history has no MSRO, or one or more MSROs without a sentence of imprisonment.

Adverse

The criminal history has one or more MSROs with a sentence of imprisonment.

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Some of the factors and considerations in the background checking process are detailed below:

Convictions

Where someone is found guilty of an offence, the court can decide not to record a conviction for the offence.

In accordance with the Crimes Act 1914, all findings of guilt are viewed as convictions, whether or not a conviction is recorded by the court.

Spent convictions

In certain circumstances, a conviction can be considered spent if the convicted person does not re-offend for a particular period. Spent convictions are excluded for the purposes of AusCheck's background checking.

However, for the purposes of AusCheck's background checking, there are certain types of offences that AusCheck is able to take into account even though they may normally be spent. These offences are listed in the Crimes Regulations 1990.

Our privacy policy has more information on how AusCheck deals with spent convictions.

Multiple charges

A single penalty on a criminal history certificate can relate to more than one criminal act. This is indicated by the number of charges, which is usually shown in brackets on a criminal history certificate.

AusCheck is required to treat each charge as a separate conviction for the purposes of determining whether someone has a qualified or adverse criminal history.

Imprisonment

If someone is found guilty of an offence, the court has the option of suspending the prison sentence.

However, for the purposes of AusCheck's background checking, all sentences of imprisonment are considered relevant, even if they are suspended. Imprisonment includes a range of different forms of imprisonment, including periodic detention, home-based detention, and detention until the rising of the court. It does not include obligations to perform community service.

Restraining orders

A restraining order (including a Violence Restraining Order, Domestic Violence Order or Intervention Order) will be imposed where a person is subject to actual violence or is fearful of potential violence. The conditions of an order are designed to remove this fear.

This means that any offence for a breach of such an order is considered to necessarily involve violence or a threat of violence.

Processing times and outcome notification

The background checking and decision making process is usually completed within six weeks, but can be longer in some cases. Delays to processing times can be caused by inaccurate or incomplete information provided at the time of application. To check the status of your application, contact your issuing body.

Once the background check and the decision making process are complete, AusCheck provides advice to both the applicant and the issuing body on the individual's eligibility to be issued with an ASIC or MSIC.

If AusCheck becomes aware that advice was inaccurate or incomplete, they will provide new and updated advice.

Discretionary card

If an ASIC or MSIC application is unsuccessful because the applicant has an adverse criminal record, they or their issuing body can apply to the Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development for a discretionary card.

A discretionary ASIC or MSIC looks and operates in the same way as a regular card and it allows the same access to security zones. However, a discretionary card may be subject to some conditions, for example, it may only be issued for 12 months.

Unlike AusCheck, the Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development is able to take into account individual circumstances and other factors about whether an applicant can be issued with an ASIC or MSIC.

If an applicant is notified that they have an adverse criminal record, AusCheck will provide them with further information about the discretionary card process and information about how to apply through the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development. If an applicant or issuing body applies for a discretionary ASIC or MSIC, they are consenting to personal details and information being disclosed to the Secretary for the purpose of the review.

To apply for a discretionary ASIC or MSIC, visit the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development website.

For more information about the discretionary card application process, you can contact the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development on 02 6274 7748 or via email idsecurity@infrastructure.gov.au

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Appeals process

You can seek review of an AusCheck decision by applying to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

Your application will need to include:

  • your name, address and telephone number
  • the name of the department that made the decision - in this case, it is the Attorney-General's Department, which AusCheck is a part of
  • the date of the decision
  • a copy of the letter that AusCheck sent to you
  • brief reasons why you think the decision is wrong.

The AAT usually charges an application fee. For more information, visit Administrative Appeals Tribunal website.

Right to access documents held by AusCheck

To apply for access to information held by AusCheck, contact the Attorney-General's Department Freedom of Information Officer at:

FOI Contact Officer
Attorney-General's Department
3-5 National Circuit
BARTON ACT 2600

Email: FOI@ag.gov.au

For more information visit the freedom of information page.

Obligation to self-report

As an ASIC or MSIC holder, you have an obligation to self-report convictions for all security-relevant offences to your issuing body or directly to AusCheck. This information must be provided in writing within seven days of the conviction. Failure to provide this information is a criminal offence and could result in prosecution with fines of up to $9000.

The following forms can be used by ASIC or MSIC holders to self-report:

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