Criminal Record and Vulnerable Sector checks
You may need a criminal record check for various purposes, including: employment, adoption, international travel, volunteer work, citizenship, name change, student placement or to obtain a record suspension (formerly pardon).
You will find below information and links on:
- The types of record checks
- The steps to obtain a criminal record check and verify its status
- The fingerprinting process
- Other useful forms and releases
- Processing fees
- Processing time
- Accredited companies offering electronic fingerprint submission
Effective July 1, 2014, the Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services will only accept electronic fingerprint submissions for civil purposes. This new process aims at improving the service levels and accuracy of your screening.
If you reside in Canada, you simply have to contact one of these accredited companies or your local police service to make arrangements to submit your fingerprints electronically and avoid delays.
Note: Although most police services are able to submit fingerprints electronically, they could also refer you to an accredited third party or only offer this service in specific circumstances. It is therefore recommended that you confirm with them before you show up to have your fingerprints taken.
An electronic fingerprint submission to the RCMP is not currently available outside of Canada. You may contact accredited companies within Canada who will digitize ink fingerprints and submit them electronically to the RCMP.
Types of record checks
A criminal record file consists of an individual's criminal charges, convictions and discharges, as well as fingerprint information. It includes fingerprints if the individual was charged or convicted.
Criminal Record check: This process verifies whether an individual has a criminal record and provides the applicant with the detailed information that can be legally disclosed.
Vulnerable Sector (VS) check: This process verifies whether an individual has a criminal record, as well as any record suspensions (formerly pardons) for sexual offences and local police records for information relevant to the VS check. The information that can be legally disclosed is provided to the applicant.
Individuals applying for employment or volunteer work in positions of trust or authority over children, seniors, or other vulnerable persons may have to undergo a VS Check if requested by the organization responsible for hiring.
This type of record check must be processed by the police service where you live. They will verify that the position is relative to the vulnerable sector. If it is not, the police service will refuse to process your request or offer a regular criminal record check. (Criminal Records Act, section 6.3(3) and 6.3(4))
More information on the fingerprinting process.
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