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Our integrity checks

Find out about our pre-engagement integrity checks and what's involved when working at the ATO.

Last updated 19 January 2023

Pre-engagement integrity checks

We conduct pre-engagement integrity checks (PEIC) for all candidates engaged as Australian Public Service (APS) employees or contractors.

We do this because we have an obligation to the community we serve. We need to ensure that our people and others who access our information and premises are suitable to work for us and uphold a high level of integrity.

If you are engaged as a non-ongoing or casual employee, we will ask to renew your check every 3 years. If you are engaged as a contingent worker, we will also need to renew your check periodically. We will notify you if this is required.

We cannot engage you, or we may terminate your contract or services, if you fail to:

  • engage in this process
  • supply personal information
  • satisfy our PEIC.

Pre-engagement integrity check process

Media: The ATO Pre-engagement Integrity Check process Link (Duration: 05:42)

Watch our video to understand why we conduct pre-identity checks before we engage you, and what is involved. Get tips on how to prepare and what identification documents you require.

When undergoing checks, you'll need to supply personal information that allows us to complete them.

Identity and citizenship check

We will check your:

  • proof of identity, including any name changes
  • Australian citizenship (for APS employees)
  • Australian work rights and residency status if you are to be engaged as a contingent worker and are a non-citizen.

National police records check

You will need to give your consent to undergo a national police records check, and give us details of:

  • your drivers licence, firearms licence and passport (if you hold any of these)
  • any criminal charges, convictions or pecuniary penalties
  • your full continual address history of the past 5 years, including time you have lived overseas.

If you have lived overseas for a total of 12 months or longer in the past 5 years, we will ask you to give us:

  • a national police check from the overseas countries you resided in, and
  • evidence of your overseas addresses.

If you have spent the majority of the past 5 years outside Australia, you may not be eligible for employment with us.

Compliance, conflicts and diversity

We need to know:

  • that you're compliant with your tax, superannuation and registry obligations. This is an ongoing expectation during your ATO engagement, to model the behaviour we expect of the community we serve
  • if you have any conflicts of interestExternal Link, for example, if you are a registered tax or BAS agent, tax financial adviser or SMSF auditor. We'll advise you when you need to cancel these types of registrations
  • if you have any other financial or personal interests, including if you're undertaking work outside the ATO that may conflict with (or be seen to conflict with) your work with the ATO.

If you're being engaged as an APS employee with us, we'll also need to know:

  • that you're medically fit to undertake the requirements of the position either with or without workplace adjustment
  • details of any workplace adjustment or modifications you need to ensure your workplace is safe and to enable you to successfully undertake the duties of the position
  • have received a redundancy payment from an APS agency or the Australian Parliamentary Service within the last 12 months.

Additional checks we may require

If you're applying for an APS 6 role or above, or a position that has been identified as higher risk, we will do additional checks to:

  • verify your employment history with your current and previous employer within the last 5 years, including your behaviour, conduct and performance and the reasons for your separation
  • search the bankruptcy register
  • search the Tax Practitioner Board register
  • review your digital footprint check, which involves an internet search to review your publicly accessible social media and online presence.

Some roles within our organisation require a security clearanceExternal Link that is in addition to the PEIC. This security clearance process is managed by the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA). We'll notify you if we need you to undertake a security clearance.

What you need to do

We recommend you gather the following documents so it's faster and easier if you are successful and offered a position. When we are ready, we will contact you with details of how to lodge them online.

Proof of your identity and citizenship

You'll need to give us 4 identity documents, one from each of the following 4 groups:

Group 1 commencement of identity document

You must give us a copy of either:

Group 2 photo ID document issued by government

You must give us a current copy of one of the following:

  • your Australian passport
  • a licence or permit issued under a law of the Australian Government, a state or a territory. For example, an Australian drivers licence (and the back of the licence if it includes address details)
  • your Proof of Age card
  • Australia Post Keypass identity card
  • your Department of Home Affairs (DHA) ImmicardExternal Link.

Group 3 evidence in the community

You must give us a copy of one of the following:

  • your current Medicare card
  • a current identification card issued by the Australian Government, a state or a territory as evidence of entitlement to a financial benefit. For example, a Services Australia Health Care Card
  • a current security guard or crowd control licence
  • a tertiary identification card
  • a private health care card
  • a current credit card or bank card
  • a bank account statement.

Group 4 proof of current address document

You must give us a copy of one of the following, showing your current residential address:

  • your signed property lease or rental agreement
  • an account or notice from
    • a utility (such as electricity, phone or gas)
    • superannuation or insurance
    • your motor vehicle registration or land rates notice
  • electoral roll registrationExternal Link – you can
    • go online to check or update your address details on your state electoral role online
    • use the confirmation email or screen message as evidence.

Additional proof of citizenship

If you were born in Australia on or after 20 August 1986, you must give us a copy of one of the following (if not already supplied):

  • your Australian passport issued in your name on or after 1 January 2000 that was valid for at least 2 years
  • an Australian citizenship certificate in your name
  • documents that prove you're a citizen by birth. To prove you're a citizen by birth, you must give us one of the following
    • a parent’s Australian birth certificate
    • a parent’s Australian passport that that was issued before your birth
    • a parent’s certificate of Australian citizenship issued before your birth
    • proof of a parent’s permanent residency at the time of your birth. For example, a passport showing a permanent entry stamp into Australia before your birth.

If you can't give us any of these, you must apply to the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) for a certificate of evidence of Australian citizenshipExternal Link.

Change of name documentation

You must give us official name change documentation for each and every name change.

Give us one of the following documents to substantiate your change of name:

  • Australian marriage certificate issued by the state or territory Registry of Births, Deaths and MarriagesExternal Link with the identification or registration number clearly visible
    • we can't accept marriage certificates from your marriage ceremony as they don't include identification or registration numbers
    • if you don't have a certificate issued by the relevant state or territory Registry of Births, Deaths and MarriagesExternal Link, apply for one from the relevant registry
  • overseas marriage certificate issued by official authority
  • decree nisi or decree absolute (that is, formal evidence of divorce)
  • deed poll
  • re-issued birth certificate with name change documented
  • an official name change document issued by the state or territory Registry of Births, Deaths and MarriagesExternal Link.

If you use another name that is different to the name on your official documents, you need to complete a statutory declaration stating why your name is different. For example, where you have not changed your name legally by marriage, divorce or deed poll.


After we receive all your complete and correct documentation, it can take up to 20 working days to process your PEIC. If we identify any issues with any of the checks, this may take longer. If there are any issues with the documentation you provide, we will contact you by email or phone.

Ongoing integrity

We may also conduct further integrity checks during your engagement.

During your engagement with us, you must demonstrate the following standards of integrity and ethical behaviour:

  • always complying with your personal tax, superannuation and registry obligations, as we take this seriously. You'll need to model the behaviour we expect of the community
  • upholding your declaration of secrecy
  • following the APS code of conductExternal Link including actively managing conflicts of interest.