Process to get an Aviation Security Identification Card in Australia

If you’re looking for a job at an airport anywhere on Australian territory, you will need to get an Aviation Security Identification Card (ASIC). This is necessary for all personnel whose job duties require unsupervised access to sensitive areas of the airport. Basically, if you’re applying for a job as a sales assistant in the duty-free area you probably won’t need one. But, if you’re going to work in secure areas of the airport you will have to go through the complex background checks required to get an Aviation Security Identification Card (ASIC).  

Who needs an Aviation Security Identification Card?

Stringent security checks were introduced at airports to make sure an employee is not a threat to aviation security or is not involved in criminal activity, such as drug trafficking. 

These checks apply to such personnel as Australian border officers, passenger screening officers, security guards, as well as to those involved in the operation of aircraft, including baggage handlers.

If you apply for any of these jobs you will have to consent to a thorough background check in order to obtain your card.

There are various colour-coded ASIC, each giving you access to different secure areas of the airport, depending on your role and job requirements.

How do you obtain an Aviation Security Identification Card?

You or your employer will have to apply for an Aviation Security Identification Card with the Department of Home Affairs’ designated body, the so-called AusCheck.

The AusCheck does the background check on each applicant, determines if they meet the eligibility criteria and informs of the outcome.

What types of background checks are required for an ASIC?

The AusCheck will  ask for a security assessment, typically performed  by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. At the same time, the agency will order a criminal history check by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, the body that oversees the activity of all agencies accredited to perform a nationally coordinated criminal history check

For a foreign national, an immigration check will be performed by the Department of Home Affairs, to make sure that individual has the right to work in Australia.

When deciding whether to issue (or deny) an Aviation Security Identification Card, AusCheck follows the rules established by the Aviation and Maritime Security Division within the Department of Home Affairs, in accordance with the Aviation Transport Security Regulations of 2005. 

What are the eligibility criteria for an Aviation Security Identification Card?

The extensive background checks required for an ASIC do not take into consideration all the convictions an individual might have on his or her criminal record, like drunk driving, theft or traffic offences. Those might be of interest to the employer, but do not influence the decision on whether you get an ASIC or not.

What AusCheck looks for are aviation-security-relevant offences (ASROs).

If you do not have any ASRO on your record, then you will be declared eligible and issued an ASIC, so you can begin working.

If you have one or two such ASROs on your record, but neither carried a prison sentence and are more than 12 months old, the AusCheck will deem you as qualified, which means that you can get an ASIC, but you might be required to meet certain conditions.

People with one or several ASROs on their criminal record, for which they were sentenced to prison will be rejected by the AusCheck, which means they won’t be able to get a job in a secure area of an airport. 

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