|There are only two ways for an employer to obtain a criminal background check on an applicant or an employee. In Canada, before a police agency can conduct a criminal records check on anyone, they must obtain signed informed consent from the individual. Your employer cannot conduct a criminal check without your consent. Neither can your father-in-law to be or your new bff.
Only you can give signed consent to have a criminal records search conducted on your behalf.
Employers can have their employee attend a local police station for a criminal records search and have the applicant provide a copy of the results to their HR department, or they can have the criminal records search conducted by a third party background screening agency.
So while there may be two ways, there is only one right way and that is using a third party background screening agency.
First and foremost, employers should not allow their applicant to have an opportunity to change the results. Scanners, printers and readers have become very sophisticated pieces of equipment – they are even used to print counterfeit currency! It is not difficult to manipulate a document particularly when there is nothing unique on the form such as a protected watermark or a hologram. The results issued by 98 per cent of police agencies are very open to manipulation.
And before you think it can’t happen here, it already has. We are aware of several cases where the applicant turned in a result to their employer that was not the original issued by the police agency. In particular we are aware of a case in Cape Breton where an applicant changed the result to show they did not have a criminal record when in fact they did. This applicant went on to obtain employment for several months, during which time they committed a criminal act while at the workplace. In most cases the manipulation is not discovered until it is too late, with catastrophic results.
Third party background screeners obtain results directly from the police agency and provide the results directly to the employer, not the applicant, so the applicant never has an opportunity to change the results.
Often we find employers receive the results but are then unsure what to do about it. At CSI we are always ready to discuss the results, what they mean and provide any guidance we feel can assist employers with making a decision. And when you call us a real human will answer the phone!
Additionally, we make it easy for you to receive your results, delivered directly to your web portal and stored there for easy access when it’s convenient for you.
Finally, there are pricing advantages to going with a background screening agency. Because we are dealing with police agencies in volume, we can often negotiate better pricing, which means better pricing for the employer.
So for better prices, convenience, accuracy and the comfort of knowing you always have a friend to give you help and advice, you know where to turn.