Background checks in the foreground at ANU

Back in March the university introduced background check system for present and prospective staff before starting new jobs

Standard stuff, working with vulnerable people, qualifications claimed, criminal records, money-laundering, that sort of thing.

What wasn’t routine was the administration of the checks. “Unfortunately, there have been some challenges in rolling it out as easily as we had hoped, and so HR is revising the checking processes over the next few months,” Vice Chancellor Brian Schmidt told staff in April.

The challenges appear to continue, with the campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union, expressing concerns on issues including privacy, potential discrimination, record security and burdensome process.

“We fully support the university’s goal of providing a safe environment for working and studying. However, this goal should not come at the cost of administrative and financial burden nor should it be used to green-light discriminatory employment practices,” union branch president Simon Copeland states.