Frequently Asked Questions

A word about New Zealand “Police Checks” and “Police clearances”

In New Zealand, there is no such thing as a “Police check”, “Police clearance” or “Police certificate” and yet there are companies claiming on their websites to offer this – invariably foreign-owned companies or private investigators.

“Police clearances” and ”Police Certificates” simply do not exist and you should exercise caution in dealing with any company that claims to offer them, because they are not being truthful, and if they can not be truthful on their website, why would you trust them?

The New Zealand Police do provide a vetting service but it is only available to approved organisations that employ people who will be working with vulnerable members of society, like children or the elderly.

If you require a criminal records enquiry, contact us and we will arrange for one to be undertaken by the Ministry of Justice and have our report back to you in 5-6 working days.



How long does PVL take to complete a background check?

You can expect to have our report, including our professional opinion and assessment, within 6-8 business days.

Some foreign criminal records enquires can take about two weeks to be returned, commonly the UK and European Union countries.

For enquires in the former Soviet Union countries and the Middle East, please allow up to three weeks. Our reports always include translations into English, of all enquires undertaken in non-english speaking countries.


Why should I choose PVL?

1. Our Experience

PVL’s founder has been continuously involved in employee screening assessments in New Zealand since 1996.

We constantly analyse and report on significant employee fraud and false CV's, with updates added to our web site "News" pages every week, often daily.

We are the only background screening company committed to raising awareness and educating businesses by freely sharing and publishing our insights and assessments in the evolving nature and inventiveness of employee fraud in New Zealand. No other screening provider does this.

And when a major employee theft or fake CV case is exposed (like Mary-Anne Thompson's CV fraud, or the Stephen Wilce case or Michael Swann's $17 million theft, the media turn to us as the recognised experts in New Zealand, for informed comment .

TV3's "Campbell Live" nightly current affairs show featured out clinical Polygraph Examination service in mid 2014.

And during the 2014 General Election campaign we were asked to forensically analyse the e-mail produced by Kim Dotcom to support his claim that the Prime Minister knew about him much earlier than the Prime Minister claimed. We assessed the e-mail as a fake. This is the same forensic service we offer our clients when assessing the veracity of claims in CV's.

Call us if you would like transcripts or DVD's of our appearances and interviews on TV One, TV3, Campbell Live, CTV8, TVNZ 7, Radio NZ, Newstalk ZB, RadioLIVE, Radio Rhema, magazines Employment Today and Safeguard, or our speeches on background screening presented at LexisNexis HR and Employment conferences and New Zealand Security Association conferences.


TV OneTV3Campbell LiveRNZCTV8ZBRadio LiveTV7NBRNZ HeraldEmployment TodayNZSALexisNexisstuffWester_Leader


2. Craig Gubbins

PVL was founded and is operated by a former Manager of the New Zealand Government’s own Security Vetting programme.  In choosing PVL for your CV verification requirements you benefit from the wealth of security experience that Craig has developed in his 26 year career in intelligence and analysis with the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service. This makes PVL the most experienced background screening company in New Zealand.

Why settle for anything less than this level of experience and expertise for your employee background screening needs?


3. PVL also offers online Integrity Assessments

PVL is the only pre-employment screening service in New Zealand able to offer this test to assess personal integrity.  In a unique process,  the system “learns” about the candidate in real time and tailors the computer-based questions to individually generated responses.  It also weighs the responses depending on the applicant’s individual work experience.  This means that the more work experience,  the more weight is given to past behaviour,  the less work experience,  the more weight given to implicative questioning.

This test has reached an extremely high level of validity in predicting an applicant's propensity toward dishonesty - 0.92 in comparative testing with a polygraph test on each of the individual constructs examined – theft, bribery, gambling, substance abuse, loyalty and accountability.

This 20 minute test is in use around the world with more 12,000 administered every month for pre employment screening purposes. In New Zealand, this test is only available from PVL.


4. PVL is the only Polygraph Examination company in the North Island of New Zealand.

We offer a full a polygraph lie detector examination service - all issues are available for testing and examinations are undertaken by PVL's Principal, Craig Gubbins B.A (Psyc), the only US-trained Polygraph Examiner in New Zealand, and the only certified Polygraph Lie Detector Examiner in the whole of the North Island.


5.  PVL utilises SCAN (Scientific Content Analysis).

Craig is the only certified analyst in New Zealand in private practice.  By using PVL you gain access to a level of forensic analysis that is not available anywhere else in the country.  Since 1999, Craig has been using SCAN to assess the truthfulness of statements made in relation to murder,  blackmail,  corruption, extortion and employment investigations.

6. No candidate fully screened and cleared by PVL has ever subsequently defrauded or stolen from their employer; or found to have lied on their CV; or been dismissed for misconduct.

Screening by PVL is the best insurance you can have about who you are hiring.


Are you licensed Private Investigators?

No.  Most companies in New Zealand that offer pre-employment screening are licensed Private Investigators because their core business is private enquiry work (e.g. insurance, theft and fraud claims).  This work is to some extent clandestine which is why a licence is required. 

There is nothing surreptitious about what we do.  There is no need to undertake that type of enquiry (and it is unlawful anyway) because what we are interested in is whether the subject is telling us the truth,  the whole truth and nothing but the truth. 

Job applicants feel unfairly treated when a screening provider (like a Private Investigator) goes behind their back to obtain information about them, and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner continues to receive and uphold complaints about such behaviour.

We examine and assess public records, what the candidate tells us, and what their nominated referees and past employers tell us.  The subject is fully informed about what we are going to do, knows that what they tell us will be investigated to ascertain its veracity, and must sign a written consent.  Should they not wish to engage in the process, we can draw an inference from that decision.


If your question is still left un-answered, please get in contact with us