The RCMP is the steward of the cluster of programs known as the National Police Services (NPS), created following the Federal/Provincial Conference on Organized Crime in 1966. During the Conference, the Federal Government committed to providing a range of services to the policing and the criminal justice communities free of charge. The service lines created then were the Canadian Police Information Centre, Criminal Intelligence Service Canada, Fraudulent Cheques, Criminal History / Fingerprint Repository, Forensic Laboratory Services, and the Canadian Police College.
Approximately 70 percent of NPS clients are external to the RCMP. In many instances, the RCMP is the sole provider of these specialized police support services. NPS has grown significantly over the years and currently includes:
As well, a number of advisory bodies assist NPS programs by offering strategic and tactical advice and guidance, such as the NPS Advisory Council, the CPIC Advisory Committee and the National DNA Data Bank Advisory Committee.
Since 1990, NPS has been the subject of several studies and reviews. The Office of the Auditor General tabled reports in 1990, 2000 and 2011 identifying the need to review the mandate of NPS as well as to determine what changes in governance, service delivery, funding and stakeholder engagement would be required to ensure the needs of the law enforcement and criminal justice communities are met, today and in the future.