Pre-employment checking

Because of the nature of our work and the high standards of integrity and conduct we expect from employees, Corrections carries out a number of pre-employment checks on  applicants for all roles within Corrections. The type of checks depend on the nature of the job you have applied for roles within the Department:

  • referee checks
  • criminal conviction checking - either NZ Police vetting or Ministry of Justice criminal record check, depending on the type of role applied for
  • drug testing
  • proof of identity and right to work check.

For frontline roles where you will be working directly with offenders

The criminal conviction check will involve a Police vetting report and will include checks required by the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Physical fitness test and medical check (for corrections officers and instructors only).

For those roles that involve significant financial risk to the Department:

All information gathered during the job application and pre-employment checking process will be used, stored and disposed of in accordance with the principles of the Privacy Act 1993.

Referee checks

The Department will conduct reference checks prior to a job offer being made. At least one of your referees should preferably be your current manager or someone you have worked for recently.

Police vetting or Ministry of Justice criminal record check

All employees of the Department of Corrections must have undergone either a NZ Police vetting or a Ministry of Justice criminal record check.
NZ Police vetting is required for all frontline roles that involve direct or regular contact with prisoners or offenders. On the Police website you can find more information about NZ Police vetting.

Ministry of Justice criminal records checks will be carried out for all other positions at Corrections before any job offer is confirmed.

About declaring criminal convictions

In your application form you will be asked to declare any criminal convictions, including drink driving convictions. However, the Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004 means those who have had no convictions within the last seven years, and who meet other criteria in the Act, don’t have to disclose any convictions. The exception to this is when the job applied for is exempt from the Clean Slate Act, which is the case for many prison and community probation roles. When a role is an exception, you are required to list any criminal convictions you have had, including drink driving convictions, regardless of when those convictions occurred.

The following frontline roles are exceptions under the Clean Slate Act (i.e. Clean Slate DOES NOT apply).  You must disclose any criminal convictions when applying for these roles:

  • Corrections Officers, custodial staff and management roles within the prison.
  • Instructors (Offender Employment) and Principal Instructors.
  • Probation Officers, Community Work Supervisors and other management roles within probation.

You can find out more about criminal records and the Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004 on the Ministry of Justice website.

Drug Testing

Preferred applicants for all vacancies at Corrections must pass a drug test before they can take up any position.

Our concern is solely with illicit drug use or the misuse of prescription drugs.

The drug test will involve urine screening at an approved centre. During your recruitment process you will be provided with information on the location of the centre and the information you are required to bring along.

Corrections will cover the cost of the test, however you’ll need to any cover travel costs. There are many approved testing centres, and we will make every effort to find a testing centre as convenient for you as possible.

Test results (other than pass/fail advice to the manager of the position applied for) are confidential to the testing centre, our Senior Adviser Health and Safety, and our authorised vetting staff.

You will be asked to sign the consent form (PDF 8KB) at the testing centre, and your signature on the form will be witnessed there.

Proof of identity and right to work check

We will need to see two suitable forms of proof of your identity, typically:

  • your passport or full birth certificate, and
  • your New Zealand driver licence.

You must be legally able to work in New Zealand. If you are not a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, you will need a valid work visa before you can start working for us.

You can now order a New Zealand Birth Certificate online.

Credit checks

Prospective employees for any positions involving significant financial risk to Corrections (including finance, procurement, and payroll staff) will be subject to a credit check.
Your consent for a credit check will be sought after a job offer has been made.

Veda Advantage will undertake credit checking on our behalf. You can find more information about credit checking on the Privacy Commissioner's website.