Are you considering a career or volunteer position working with children or vulnerable adults, such as the disabled or elderly? In order to protect these individuals, you will be required to authorize a vulnerable sector check under the Criminal Records Review Act. Whether working directly with children or vulnerable adults or in a position with the potential for unsupervised access to these members of society, the background check is the standard for certain employers and organizations.
What is a Vulnerable Sector Check in Canada?
Vulnerable sector checks are criminal record checks that identify individuals with a record suggesting they pose the threat of physical, sexual or financial abuse of children and vulnerable adults. Offenses including aggravated assault, sexual offenses (even those pardoned), fraud, harassment and trafficking in substance are among those considered relevant. The full list of offenses reviewed during a VS check in Canada is available through the Ministry of Justice.
A vulnerable sector check in Canada is not conducted on everyone. Only paid or volunteer positions working with children and vulnerable adults can make a request and the police or authorized service will verify that the position falls under the Criminal Records Act requirements. Some volunteer organizations can opt into the Criminal Records Review Program.
Who is required to have a VS check in Canada? The following is a sample of positions that must adhere to the Criminal Records Review Act:
- Non-teaching staff, such as administrator, in school
- Daycare employees
- Students working with children or vulnerable adults in a post-secondary program
- Children's sports coaches
- Long term care facility employees
The list above is not comprehensive. Potential employers or organizations will notify you if a vulnerable sector check is necessary.
How are Vulnerable Sector Checks Conducted?
RCMP vulnerable sector checks are conducted through the individual’s local RCMP or police detachment or an RCMP-accredited organization such as Pacific Fingerprint Services. Your information will be run through the Canadian Police Information Centre system and other databases. If your birth date and gender match a pardoned sex offender record you will have to submit your fingerprints. Note that fingerprints are used to confirm your identity and are not an accusation. They are destroyed 90 days after the completion of the check and prints will not be searched in the future or added to the National Repository of Criminal Records.
Pacific Fingerprint Services Can Help
To reduce processing time from weeks to days, electronic fingerprinting is recommended. If your police service does not have the capability to submit prints electronically, you can request to be fingerprinted by Pacific Fingerprint Services. You will simply have to provide us with a letter of instruction from your police service and your identification.
If you are in need of a Canadian or BC vulnerable sector check, contact Pacific Fingerprint Services to get started. We have offices and agents in a variety of locations to meet your needs. We also provide electronic fingerprint submissions with remote cardscan to individuals in an area where services are not available.