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Vulnerable Sector Checks

If you will be working or volunteering with vulnerable members of society such as children, the elderly or persons with disabilities, you may need to complete a vulnerable sector (VS) check. Examples of positions that may require a VS check include teachers, social workers, day-care workers, nurses and children’s sports coaches.

A VS check is designed to protect vulnerable Canadians from dangerous offenders by uncovering the existence of a criminal record and/or a pardoned sexual offence conviction and is recommended as part of an overall employment or volunteer screening process. The results of the check can help to determine whether an individual is suitable to work in positions where they will be in close contact with vulnerable people.

Getting a Vulnerable Sector Check

A VS check is initiated by the local police in the jurisdiction where you live. Not all paid or volunteer positions require this type of check, so your prospective employer or organization should tell you what information you need to bring with you for police to start the check.

The police will use the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) system as well as their own database to conduct a background search based on your name, gender and date of birth. If your gender and date of birth match to a pardoned sex offender record, you will be asked to provide fingerprints to confirm your identity. Be assured that:

  • This is not an accusation of criminality: Prints are used to confirm your identity only
  • Your fingerprints will be destroyed after 90 days - when the check is complete. As with all civil checks, the RCMP does not keep your prints on file and they will not be searched for future purposes

Fingerprinting for a Vulnerable Sector Check

If your fingerprints are required for a VS check, the police service can take your prints or may refer you to an RCMP-accredited private fingerprinting company that is able to submit prints electronically.

Electronic Civil Fingerprinting

Electronic processing significantly reduces processing times when there is no match to an RCMP fingerprint holding. Find an authorized police service

Know your options! If your police service cannot submit prints electronically, you can request to have your prints taken by an RCMP-accredited fingerprinting company or by another police service that does have the technology. It’s easy - all you’ll need is a Letter of Instruction from your police service and your identification.

If your fingerprints cannot be submitted electronically, your VS check may take longer. For updated processing times, please visit the Processing Times page.

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