General Q&As On Background Checks

What is a Canadian Criminal Record check?

A Canadian Criminal Record check is a national, name-based criminal records search for any criminal convictions for all of Canada. CSI conducts this search through CPIC,  the National Repository of Criminal Records in Canada maintained by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

All names declared on the consent form will be searched at no extra charge, for example; your current or past surname (i.e., maiden name); any legal name changes; and your alternately used first name, (i.e. your given name is Elizabeth but you’re also known by Liz or Eliza) 

Names requested later and not declared on the original consent will be considered an additional search and will require payment accordingly. 

Please Note: A criminal record check does not include a search of the Pardoned Sex Offenders database, commonly referred to as a Vulnerable Sector Search. However, CSI can provide direction to you. Please call, chat or email for more information. 1-888-818-5251 or 902-450-0697.  

Is my consent necessary before someone can run a background check on me? 

Yes. No searches of the CPIC database can be conducted without the signed informed consent of the individual who is the subject of the search, often referred to as the applicant.

As an employer, am I entitled to do background checks on prospective hires?

Employers are entitled to ask to conduct background checks when the type of employment indicates such a search would be beneficial. However, the role of the employee should be tied to the searches that will be done and the prospective employees must give prior consent to the search. Low level employees with no access to any company funds may not need a credit search completed as part of their background check.

Feel free to ask our knowledgeable staff to recommend what types of searches are necessary.

It is important to remember that applicants are entitled to withhold consent for any searches from any employer. If it is a corporate policy that such checks must be conducted the applicant may not be offered employment but no one must consent to background searches.

What are the steps to give my consent for a background check?

At CSI Background Screening, (and other recognized background security firms) whether you decide to a) print the form for completion, scan it and upload it, or b) you choose the paperless, secured eConsent method, there are four sections that require your attention.

  1. Personal Details: The top section of the consent form is for the personal details of the applicant, including the surname, first name and middle names, maiden or other surnames used.  It also contains areas for place and date of birth, sex and the applicant’s telephone number.

Address: In this area, we are asking for your current address as well as your previous addresses for the last five years. Whether you lived in Canada or abroad, please be specific when citing your past addresses.

  1. Reason for the Criminal Record Verification: This section is for the applicant to indicate if this criminal check is for employment or a volunteer service.  In the first line, labeled Organization Requesting Search, the applicant may fill in the name of the company requiring the search.
  1. Informed Consent

Search Authorization: In this section it is important that the applicant read and understand the consent they are giving. Once read, please date and sign the block at the right of the consent.  If the criminal record check is for employment outside Canada, the applicant must indicate the country of employment in the space provided in the first paragraph.

  1. Identification Verification: This final section is for the witness’s name and signature. In the first line, labeled Organization Requesting Search, the applicant may fill in the name of the company requiring the search.

The second line is for the witness (who may NOT be a family member or share the same surname.) The witness verifies the identity of the applicant by reviewing the two pieces of identification, and by comparing them to the physical description of the individual. One of the pieces of identification MUST be an accepted government issued photo ID. The witness will then sign the document and print their name below their signature. They then list the two pieces of ID beside the witness signature.

It is possible that we might telephone the witness to ensure proper identification was made.

What are the most acceptable piece of identification for background screening?

At CSI scanned, legible copies of two pieces of identification MUST accompany the consent form – one must be a photo ID. If copies are not legible, they cannot be processed and they will be returned.

Accepted IDs you may choose from:

  • Canadian drivers’ licence
  • Canadian citizenship card
  • Firearms Acquisition certificate
  • Firearms Possession certificate
  • Foreign drivers’ licence
  • Permanent residence card
  • Federal, provincial or municipal ID
  • Canadian passport
  • Certificate of Indian status
  • Military Family ID
  • Foreign passport
  • Student ID from a local instituteStudent ID card from a foreign institute
  • Taxi/Livery License, City Employee I.D.CNIB card

Please note that expired identification can not be considered valid.

What does Declaration of Criminal Record mean?

At CSI scanned, legible copies of two pieces of identification MUST accompany the consent form – one must be a photo ID. If copies are not legible, they cannot be processed and they will be returned.

Accepted IDs you may choose from:

Please note that expired identification can not be considered valid.

What is a Vulnerable Sector Search?

A Vulnerable Sector Search is conducted in the Pardoned Sex Offenders database in Canada. 

If a person has been convicted of a sexual offence and was subsequently pardoned, a vulnerable sector search should find this conviction. However, there are many limitations to this search and currently, of the more than 2 million searches conducted annually only .005 searches result in a match or about 100. Of this number, employers are only advised of the match in 60% of those cases dur to a reinterpretation of the database by the Federal Ministry of Public Safety. Additionally, employers should be aware that anyone born after 1986 is not included in the Pardoned Sex Offenders database because legislation was passed in 2012 that eliminated the possibility of a pardon for anyone committing a sexual offence against minors. Employers are encouraged to call CSI Screening to determine what products best suit their needs.

A vulnerable sector search is normally only required for persons who are going to be in direct contact with and have authority over vulnerable people like children or the elderly.

CSI can assist with obtaining a search of the Pardoned Criminal and Sexual Offenders Registry. Please call us for more information at 1-888-818-5251 or 902-450-0697.

Please note that expired identification can not be considered valid.

Where can I get fingerprinted?

CSI Background Screening offers fingerprinting services by appointment. Please call us 1-888-818-5251 or 902-450-0697 (email or chat) or choose a mutually convenient date and time in our online calendar. (add link).

IMPORTANT: Please remember to bring two pieces of government issued ID to your appointment with you.

Please note that expired identification can not be considered valid.

Can I control what happens to my fingerprints after they’re taken? Are my fingerprints destroyed?

The National Repository of Criminal Records in Canada (CPIC) maintained by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police has committed to not retaining the fingerprint records of anyone who has submitted fingerprints for the purpose of employment.

Please note that expired identification can not be considered valid.

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