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How to do a Background Check on Someone in Canada

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How to do a Background Check on Someone in Canada


What is a Background Check?

Background checks in Canada exist to help determine whether or not to hire a candidate, and to help decide on promotions or salary increases for current employees.

Landlords just about to rent out an apartment often want to know if the potential tenant can afford the rent and if they’ll live harmoniously with others renting out the space.

There are a host of other reasons why you might want to investigate the background of a Canadian citizen. But, how do you go about conducting a background check in Canada?

We’ve created a simple process that you can follow.

Let’s get right to it.

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Step #1: Know What Information to Look for

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Employment History

As an employer, you’ll want to know:

  • If the potential employee actually worked for the companies he or she specified on their resume.
  • How the potential employee interacts with colleagues.
  • That the potential employee is highly productive and delivers on their work.

Education History

More and more employers are using education as a screening tool. A university degree has become essential in qualifying for most jobs — even those that don’t necessarily require one to perform the role.

As such, 41% of Canadians are lying about their education history on their resume.

Therefore, it’s critical to determine if a potential employee or volunteer has the education qualification required for a position.

Criminal Records

You’ll be interested in checking an employee’s criminal background, especially if they’re applying for a position in the vulnerable sector.

Furthermore, as a landlord, running a police check on a potential tenant helps you confirm that they have a clean criminal background — something specifically important if the apartment complex they’ll live in also houses families.

Driving Records

If you’re hiring a public transport driver or a heavy-duty trucker, you’ll be looking to get someone with a clean driving record as it will be in line with your public safety goal.

You’ll want to find out if the driver:

  • Has been involved in any accidents.
  • Has been prohibited from driving a heavy vehicle.
  • Has received a DUI in the past.

Credit Report

If you’re getting a business partner or hiring a candidate for a cash-based position, you’ll want to look into their credit report.

An investigation conducted on a credit report will reveal:

  • How well the person manages his or her money.
  • If the person is in any kind of financial distress.
  • If the person pays for his or her loans frequently and doesn’t borrow more than is necessary.

Social life

A person’s social life gives you insight into how well they deal with other people in different situations.

As such, you’ll want to find out:

  • The social activities your potential business partner is interested in.
  • How the person handles heated discussions.
  • Where they spend most of their time.
  • The groups, especially on Facebook and LinkedIn, that they frequent.
  • The forums they contribute to.

Step #2: Know What You Need

When conducting a background check on someone, you should have some basic personal information to help make your search easier and quicker.

Here’s the information that’s essential for a background check in Canada:

  • The person’s first and last name.
  • Their date of birth.
  • Their last known address.
  • Employment history.
  • A photo of them.

With this information in hand, you can then move on to the next step.

Step #3: How to Do a Background Check in Canada

There are countless ways to investigate someone’s background, from verifying their personal information (name and date of birth) to criminal record checks with a reputable company like Instant Record Check. Please note that Instant Record Check cannot perform a criminal record check on behalf of someone else, as they must consent and fill out the application for their own online criminal record check.

Institution-Based Checks

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When conducting a background check into the education and work history of a potential employee or business partner, you need to confirm the credibility of the information they provide with the institutions they attended.

Discover Education Qualifications

You can call the college or university the person credits to confirm that they not only attended, but graduated with the required course.

Look Into Their Employment History

You can call a former company of the potential employee to find out:

  • If the candidate worked for that company and their reason for leaving.
  • How he or she did their work — you may want to answer questions like, “Did the candidate finish their work on time? Did he or she deliver work as expected? How well does he or she follow instructions?”
  • How well he or she related to other employees.
  • For a managerial position, you may want to know if the potential employee displayed any leadership qualities.

Institution checks are very straightforward. As long as you have pertinent information — like the person’s full name and the institution they attended — it becomes easy to conduct the screening.

Credit Report Checks

In Canada, you can do a credit report check online through Equifax or TransUnion.

Besides the person’s full name, date of birth, and address, you may need their Social Insurance Number (SIN).

It’s important to note that a tenant doesn’t need to provide his or her SIN to a landlord. However, you can make it a requirement for your business partner.

A social insurance number will help you verify that the credit report you generated using a person’s name does, in fact, belong to the person you’re interested in. This way, if two people with the same name live at the same address, such as a father and son, you’ll easily find the right credit report.

Now, the credit report you receive will not be very detailed, because, as a third party, you’re not privy to so much private information. That said, you’ll get enough information to help you make an informed decision.

The information you can view will be limited to:

  • A list of the person’s loans, credit card accounts, and mortgages.
  • Missed payments.
  • Consumer proposals or bankruptcies.
  • Liens on properties the person owns.
  • Delinquencies.
  • Any judgments against the person of interest.

Social Media Background Checks

Background checks on social media can be conducted using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. You can also use search engines like Google or Bing to get the information you need.

Make an entry on each social media platform using the person’s name to find their profile. The person’s photo will help you find the right person if a search using their name brings up countless people with the same name.

Alternatively, you can make site-specific entries on search engines to find the social media profiles you’re interested in, especially if the person has a common name. A site-specific entry looks something like this:

site:linkedin.com “Jane Doe”


site:facebook.com “Jane Doe”

If the person has set their social media pages to private, the information you find may be limited.

However, if you know the companies the person has worked for, you can learn more about their work history through social media. This entry should look like:

“Jane Doe” PWC

Criminal Record Checks

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Source: Pexels

Before conducting criminal record checks on someone in Canada, you’ll need to get their consent. Further to that, the law states that, as an employer, you cannot discriminate against a Canadian national if they have a criminal background unless the person is applying for a position in the vulnerable sector.

With the person’s consent in hand, you can conduct a criminal record check in any of the following ways:

The CPIC Criminal Record Check

Use the Canadian Police Information Center database to conduct a criminal record check on a Canadian national. For this type of criminal record check, you can use:

  • The standard CPIC screening to search only for convictions.
  • The premium CPIC screening to get information on convictions, any pending or withdrawal charges, and any other non-conviction data.

To access a person’s criminal records with the CPIC check, you’ll need to key in the person’s name and date of birth.

Using the CPIC check is the fastest way to get criminal record results, as you receive them within a week.

The RCMP Criminal Record Check

Use the RCMP database to get a certified criminal record check for a minimal fee.

The RCMP is the most trusted resource in Canada to use for criminal background checks, because you get information on the exact Canadian citizen you want — because, for this check, you use their fingerprints.

Once the person’s fingerprints have been taken, you’ll receive the check’s official results within four to six months.

For the RCMP check, use a renowned company like Instant Record Check to determine if a person has had any convictions in the past.

Simplify the Background Screening Process

There are various ways to conduct a background check on a Canadian national. The processes we’ve provided make it much easier and quicker to get results.

Start by knowing the results you’re aiming for with the background check. Then, acquire some basic personal information to start your searches, like the person’s full name and their last known address.

With this information in hand, conduct the screening process — confirm their education and employment history with institutions in Canada. Do a credit report check to figure out if your potential business partner or tenant is financially stable.

And, finally, use a reputable company like Instant Record Check to look into the RCMP database to help you get the official criminal records you need.
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