How to Get a Criminal Record Check in Ontario
After months of searching, sending applications, indefinite rounds of interviews – you’ve been offered your dream job.
Before you can start working and wow everyone at your new office, there’s just one more step.
A criminal record check or police information check.
Here we’ve laid out everything you need to know about how to get a criminal record check in Ontario.
But if ever in doubt, contact Instant Record Check and we’ll be able to help you out.
What Are Criminal Record Checks?
Criminal record checks are the most common search conducted during a pre-employment check.
An accurate criminal record check protects an organization’s employees, property, reputation, and customers.
When you apply for a job or a volunteer position, you will likely be asked for a police record check. Your fingerprints might be required to conduct police record checks.
You may also need a police record check for:
- A visa or other international travel document
- A citizenship application
- Immigration purposes
- A suspension application (pardon)
- A name change application
- An adoption application
Types of Police Checks in Ontario
There are three kinds of police records check you can get in Ontario. These are governed by the Police Record Checks Reform Act
- Criminal record check — Shows guilty charges under the federal Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) and criminal conviction charges.
- Criminal record and judicial matters record checks — Shows guilty charges under YCJA and criminal conviction charges. It also includes outstanding charges, discharges, judicial orders, and arrest warrants.
- Vulnerable sector record checks — Shows guilty charges under YCJA and criminal conviction charges. It also includes charges found not guilty because of mental disorder. In some cases, this can include information related to non-conviction charges.
Where to Get a Criminal Record Check Ontario
In Ontario, a police record check can be requested from the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).
You can also use third-party vendors, such as Instant Record Check.
For detailed information on the criminal record check process and where you can get each kind of police check, review the table below.
|Police record checks||Ontario Provincial Police||Third-party vendors|
|Criminal record check||Yes||Yes|
|Criminal record and judicial matters check||Yes||Yes|
|Vulnerable sector record check||Yes||No|
What Do You Need For a police check in Ontario?
To complete a record check for employment purposes, the screening process must proceed in line with the Ontario Human Rights Code.
To request a criminal record check, follow these steps:
Complete the Application Form
Start with the application form. Fill in the corresponding form to the police information check you require:
- The criminal record check application form
- Criminal record and judicial matters check application form
- Vulnerable sector record check application form
Once this is done, submit the form to your local OPP department.
How Much Does A Police Check Cost in Ontario?
The cost of an in-person criminal record check in Ontario begins at $20 but this depends on the type of criminal record check and the city in which the criminal record check is taking place.
Bring Identification (ID)
To obtain any kind of check, two original forms of identity verification are required. At least one of these must be photo identification.
If the applicant is aged 15 and under, a parent or legal guardian must additionally provide two pieces of their own identity.
Acceptable forms of photo identification include:
- Driver’s Licence
- Indian Status Card
- Permanent Resident Card
- BYID – Bring Your Identification
- Canadian Citizenship Card
- Military Employment Card
- Ontario Photo ID Card (issued by the MTO)
- CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind) Card
- Photo Student Card (for aged 15 and under only)
Acceptable forms of non-photo identification are:
- Birth Certificate
- Baptismal Certificate
- Immigration Papers
- Hunting Licence
- Canadian Blood Donor Card
Information Included in the Police Checks
According to First Reference, starting on November 1, 2018, the following information must be included in police record checks.
Criminal Record Check :
- Criminal convictions from the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) and local databases
- Guilty charges according to the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA)
The Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Check:
- Findings of guilt under the YCJA in the applicable disclosure timeframe
- Criminal convictions from the CPIC and local databases
- Outstanding entries such as judicial orders, charges and warrants
- Absolute and conditional discharges for one or three years
Vulnerable Sector Check (VSC):
- Criminal convictions from criminal records and judicial matters or local databases
- Findings of guilt under the Youth Criminal Justice Act
- Outstanding entries such as probation and prohibition orders, charges, warrants and peace bonds
- Absolute and conditional discharges for one or three years
- Not criminally responsible findings due to mental health issues
- Suspensions authorized for release by the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Non-conviction information can only be released when a risk assessment has been completed. This is done to make sure the information is relevant to the position applied for.
Note: To apply for a Vulnerable Sector Check, you need to procure an organization letter. The letter must contain information explaining why you need a VSC.
You’ll also need to provide a detailed job description for the position you’re hired for — even if it’s a volunteer position.
Submit this together with your application.
For certain vulnerable sector checks, your fingerprints may be required.
According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, a VSC can only be completed by the police service of the local jurisdiction where you reside, and these results can only be accessed by organizations located in Canada.
Who has to do a Vulnerable Sector Check?
Everyone working or volunteering with those under the age of 18 and persons with conditions causing them to be:
- Dependent on others.
- At risk of being harmed by persons in authority.
For more detailed information on what is included in each check, go to the Ministry of the Solicitor General.
Know Your Rights
Here is everything to know regarding your rights according to Ontario’s Police Record Checks Reform Act:
- Information not disclosed to the employer — If you were a victim of or a witness of criminal activity, or you had an association with police which was not of a criminal nature.
- The results are given only to you — In case the record provider completes the checks incorrectly. You have the right to confirm that the results are correct and sign an agreement saying they can be released to the employer or relevant organization.
- Inaccurate records — In case of inaccurate records, you can request a correction from the police check provider.
Get Your Criminal Records at Instant Record Check
Get all your criminal check needs taken care of at Instant Record Check.
We offer a reduced timeline and the convenience of applying online. Our checks are done in accordance with the province you reside in.
For any other questions you may have, take a look at our blog, where we cover topics such as What do You Need to Get a Police Clearance Certificate? and Important Reference Checks Questions to Ask.
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