When to Run an Online Police Check
There are certain situations where you might find yourself in need of a police check or to run one on someone else.
We have compiled a few example scenarios when these record checks may be required, so let’s dive in.
Perhaps you’re a business owner getting ready to bring in new employees or a landlord who needs to screen potential tenants.
Or maybe you might need a police record yourself.
What Defines a Criminal Record Check?
A criminal or police record check in Canada encapsulates all of the individuals’ criminal infractions, as managed by the police service or RCMP (the Royal Canadian Mounted Police).
A police record checks are available through the CPIC (Canadian Police Information Centre), the local police, various law enforcement officials and authorized record check agencies like Instant Record Check.
What Personal Information Does the Criminal Record Check Contain?
A criminal record holds all information about someone’s offences, convictions, and the resulting sentence served. Alongside that, the following police record information is also available:
- Height and weight
- Eye and hair colour
- Identifying marks (birthmarks, scars, tattoos, etc.)
- Known aliases
- Social security number
- Fingerprint classification
- State and federal identification numbers
Now, let’s run a few scenarios you might encounter that warrant background checks.
When Should Employers Run Online Police Record Checks?
Employers should incorporate and run a CRJMC (criminal record and judicial matters check) on potential employees to protect their business from eventual financial loss through theft or fraud.
Because every business owner has a responsibility to:
- Protect sensitive data and business assets.
- Protect the company image and reputation.
- Retain and attract a top-quality workforce.
- Uphold company morale and culture.
- Ensure an efficient recruitment process.
- Maintain a cost-effective training process.
A police record check is also a helpful way to prevent businesses from breaking any laws by hiring those:
- Ineligible for employment.
- Lack a birth certificate, permanent residency card or citizenship card.
Privacy Statutes and Police Record Checks
There are four jurisdictions in Canada that all have particular privacy legislations, unitedly known as “privacy statutes” — these are put in place to regulate the authorization of criminal record checks on potential employees or in any other instance.
Important note: Although they differ by jurisdiction, some similarities are significant to point out:
- You have to get written consent before performing a police record check on potential employees.
- You can only access data that is directly relevant to the position you are hiring for.
- You must ensure that the criminal record and judicial matters data is recent and complete.
To dive into this subject further, take a look at How to Run a Background Check on a Potential Employee.
Vulnerable Sector Records Check
If you’re running an organization that involves hiring volunteers or employees to work with vulnerable persons, such as:
- Older people,
- People dependent on others, or
- People at risk of being harmed by caregivers,
You will need to run a vulnerable sector records check, which is a reference check of all the information in a criminal record and judicial matters check.
Important note: A vulnerable sector records check can include criminal convictions and records of being charged with a crime that you were not found criminally responsible for (due to a mental disorder).
This includes “non-conviction” data — information about exceptional crimes even when a person was charged but not convicted and police record checks about pardoned convictions (for example, sex offences).
An exception occurs if you’ve received an absolute discharge for the above-mentioned cases.
Secure your business and provide a safe environment for those in your care using Instant Record Check — your employee and volunteer screening process will be swift, efficient, and cost-effective.
When Should Landlords Run Online Police Records Checks?
If you’re a property owner, it’s wise to perform an online record check on potential renters. That way, you can avoid tenants with a record of violent crimes, domestic abuse, or who appear on sex-crime registries to protect your property and other tenants.
This is also an excellent way to screen so-called “professional tenants” who have a history of bad credit and not paying rent — as they can cause severe financial ruin.
How to Avoid High-Risk Tenants
A common practice that landlords use is a rental application for all potential tenants before entering a lease. The application may include questions about the applicant’s criminal history or request permission to perform a criminal records check.
Although the tenant may provide documents that prove no existence of a criminal record, there are cases where high-risk tenants counterfeit documents and target unsuspecting landlords — creating substantial financial losses.
That’s why we advise landlords to always acquire permission from potential tenants to perform police record checks and use Instant Record Check for a quick and easy vetting process.
Be sure to implement this simple safety measure that will grant you peace of mind and an immeasurable return on your investment today.
When Should I Run an Online Police Record Check on Myself?
Having a criminal record (and even non-convictions) can and will change essential aspects of your life in Canada. For one thing, your name will appear in police records.
It may come up during an identity verification screening process regarding:
- Employment and volunteer work
- Buying or renting a property
- International travel
Even though there are laws in place (Canadian human rights laws) to prevent discrimination in (e.g.) the hiring process, employers aren’t breaking any laws by not hiring someone with a criminal record. The same goes for landlords refusing tenants.
Important note: An exception to being profiled as a liability for having a criminal record and subsequently not getting hired is possible when the crime committed is unrelated to the current line of work or if your record has been pardoned.
To learn more, take a look at How a Criminal Record Affects You.
What Are the Benefits of Running an Online Police Record Check on Yourself?
Running a police information check can help you:
- With applying for a job or a tenant screening process — by preparing all the information, you can address any issues beforehand.
- Correct any irregularities found in your record.
- Save time and money — do it all at once using Instant Record Check rather than individually gathering various personal records.
- Compile documents that report your record history and any additional information you may need.
How Can I Perform a Police Record Check for Free?
If you want to quickly and efficiently perform a free background check in Canada, here are three crucial tips:
- Know what information to look for.
- Know what platforms to use.
- Conduct a credit check
To get a more detailed understanding of this subject, 3 Tips to Getting a Free Background Check in Canada will clarify all the how’s — so be sure to give it a read.
Important note: Important note: Conducting a police service criminal record check is costly but often necessary. For an affordable and easy alternative, try out our Instant Record Check Service.
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