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What is a Police Check and why do you need one before moving abroad.



ACRO Police Clearance Certificate

This is the most common type of police clearance certificate to be legalised for UK citizens moving overseas. They are the most internationally recognised by employers for legalisation purposes. These are acceptable for all job roles and sectors.

ACRO certificates are issued by the Criminal Records Office and detail any previously spent or pending convictions. When using an ACRO for legalisation purposes to apply for your visa, you will be required to provide the original document for legalisation.

An ACRO can be requested online – you must apply for this yourself and upload a series of documents and an ID as part of the process.

International Child Protection Certificate (ICPC Certificate)

The Criminal Records Office also issues the ICPC aimed at those applicants who will be working directly with children. This report details the same previously spent or pending convictions as the ACRO certificate, in addition, it provides an assessment of available intelligence which is relevant in the safeguarding of children. This includes information that does not relate to any officially recorded convictions.

Any offences committed overseas will also appear on this certificate, provided they have been communicated and recorded by the UK Police or other law enforcement agencies.


Criminal Records Bureau Check. (CRB)

This is a search of the Police National Computer (PNC) for your criminal history. It is then the decision of the employer, client or organisation to make a recruitment decision based on what information the certificate presents

Any offences committed overseas will also appear on this certificate, provided they have been communicated and recorded by the UK Police or other law enforcement agencies. These are normally used domestically in Britain and not specifically designed to be used abroad for visa applications and/or government security checks.

Which type of Police Clearance Certificate should I apply for?

The ACRO is usually acceptable for visa purposes. If you are working directly with children, it would be best to check with your employer directly whether they prefer.

Recently, we have had customers who are taking up teaching positions in China submitting both an ACRO and an ICPC at the request of their employers. This is generally for higher trust positions, such as headteachers, but is becoming a more common practice across the board. This is to cover both child protection concerns and a more general criminal background check for those in more managerial positions.


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