Criminal record checks (CRCs) are a very important aspect of many Canadian organizations’ hiring and screening processes. A criminal record check helps employers make sure that the workers they hire do not present a risk to the organization. It assists non-profits to enlist trustworthy volunteers, as well as landlords to determine better tenants.
Canada has various types of CRCs, including name-based and fingerprint-based checks. In this blog post, we will explore the different types of CRCs in Canada, their differences, and why they are important.
Types of Criminal Background Checks
A name-based criminal background check is the most used CRC in Canada. It is a search for criminal convictions connected with a person’s name and other personal information, such as date of birth and address. This type of check is commonly used for employment screening purposes, volunteer work, and immigration processes.
Vulnerable Sector Checks
Vulnerable sector checks are a specialized type of certified CRC designed for people who work with vulnerable populations such as children, seniors, and people with disabilities. This type of check requires fingerprinting and includes searching for any pardoned sexual offences.
Other Fingerprint-Based Checks
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Fingerprint-based CRCs are the most complete and thorough background checks available in Canada. You can get fingerprinted by your local police or through a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) approved, private fingerprint company.
Your local police service submits these fingerprints for analysis to the RCMP. Certain occupations require this, such as those working with police, immigration, and national security.
Why Criminal Background Checks are Important
Criminal background checks are essential for various reasons, such as:
Employers must conduct an employment background check to make sure that their workers do not present any risks to the workplace or clients. Criminal background checks help employers make informed hiring decisions and prevent incidents such as theft, fraud, and workplace violence.
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Protecting Vulnerable Populations
Vulnerable sector checks are essential to make sure that people working with vulnerable populations, such as children, seniors, and people with disabilities, do not have a history of sexual offences.
Meeting Regulatory Requirements
Many businesses require particular criminal background checks for regulatory compliance. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in penalties, fines, and legal results. Some other record checks employers might consider are educational background, social media, and driving records (if the position requires driving).
Differences between Name-Based and Fingerprint-Based CRCs
The most important difference between name-based and fingerprint-based CRCs is the level of information received. Name-based checks only provide information connected to a person’s name, date of birth, and address. On the other hand, fingerprint-based checks provide complete and thorough information about a person’s criminal history, including convictions, outstanding warrants, record suspensions, and non-conviction records.
Name-based CRCs are easy to get quickly and are less expensive than fingerprint-based checks. However, they may not reveal all the criminal history information. Detecting a false name in the past or sealed criminal records probably won’t show up in a name-based check.
Best Practices for Conducting a Criminal Background Check
Criminal background checks are necessary for many organizations, and there are certain best practices to follow to manage them. Below are some best practices to make sure that the criminal background check process is effective, legal, and fair:
Employers must get written permission from candidates before performing an enhanced criminal record check. Clearly outline on the consent form: 1) the purpose of the check, (2) the type of check to be conducted, and (3) the potential results of the check.
Use Reliable Sources
Conduct using reliable sources, such as local police records and databases, court records, and credit reporting agencies. Employers should make sure that the sources they use are accurate, up-to-date, and legally cooperative. Using a professional background screening provider takes out the guesswork – let Instant Record Check do the work for you!
Apply Consistent Conduct
Employers should apply consistent conduct when managing criminal background checks to avoid unfair treatment based on skin color, age, religion, etc. Make sure the conduct is job-related and non-discriminatory, and subject all candidates to the same conduct.
An employer is in a position that of authority and must be mindful to leave their personal agenda at home.
Provide an Opportunity for Explanation
Employers should provide the candidate with an opportunity to explain if a criminal background is discovered. Consider the candidate’s explanation in the overall hiring decision.
Protect Personal Information
Employers should protect the personal information collected during the criminal background check process. Sharing personal information should only be on a “need-to-know basis” and you must store it securely. Any breach of information resulting in personal data exposure demands fast and immediate notifications and remediation.
Review and Update Policies
Organizations should regularly review and update their policies related to criminal background checks to ensure that they remain legally compliant and effective. Communicate policies clearly to all employees and candidates.
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