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Understanding Your Police Clearance

If you know anyone that has applied to work, study or live overseas, you’ll probably have heard that this process can be a very daunting and complicated process.

There’s good reason that it may seem so, especially if you apply via your nearest SAPS police station, or try to apply by sending your application to the SAPS Criminal Records Centre in Pretoria via registered courier.

The main reason for this is that the Criminal Records Centre (CRC) is under extreme pressure in terms of having a huge backlog in police clearance certificate applications, where an understaffed team have to work tirelessly to deal with the thousands of PCC applications they receive every week.

Eskom load shedding continues to hound any system such as that used by the CRC to prepare, register, scan and carry out in-depth crosschecking before they can print and sign off on an approved application.

Still, if it’s the first time you’re going to apply for a police clearance certificate, you may be asking the question; what is the purpose of a police clearance certificate?

Considering the waiting period before you finally receive your police clearance certificate, which could take up to and beyond 2 months or more at this stage, it makes sense to want to understand the importance of a police clearance certificate, for many varied reasons.

What is the purpose of a police clearance certificate?

Due to the thousands of applications received by the CRC, it’s obvious that a large majority of South Africans are applying for and obtaining a police clearance certificate at one time or the other.

The real purpose of a police clearance certificate is to prove whether or not you have a criminal record, which in many countries is called a ‘certificate of good standing’, allowing them to feel confident that they aren’t welcoming a criminal into their country.

A police clearance certificate is also a requirement for people working in high security sectors, and even for people who are applying for employment locally, since many employers now insist on a PCC being part of the employment process.

Here are a few of the reasons you may need to apply for a valid PCC;

If you want to study or work overseas
If you are planning to immigrate
If you’re going to work with children, elderly frail people, as well as physically and mentally disabled people
If you’re seeking employment in the finance industry, such as in banks, the stock exchange and other financial institutions
If you’re seeking employment in the security industry, mining, research and development companies, along with many other industries where a high level of security clearance will be required
As mentioned above, many employers now require a valid police clearance certificate from job applicants, which acts as a form of protection for their company and its reputation, especially if the applicant has been involved in fraud or misappropriation of company time and assets in the past

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Understanding Your Police Clearance

If you know anyone that has applied to work, study or live overseas, you’ll probably have heard that this process can be a very daunting and complicated process. There’s good reason that it may seem so, especially if you apply via your nearest SAPS police station, or try to apply by sending your application to the SAPS Criminal Records Centre

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