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Police Background Checks

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Benefits of Working With Your Local Police

Third-party companies that provide police employment screening checks may not be providing you with full information. These companies contract with smaller police services throughout Canada to conduct CPIC queries of their client applicants. A CPIC query will only reveal if the subject of the query has one or more of the following:
  • A record of criminal convictions across Canada for which fingerprints were taken;
  • Any charges currently before the courts that have not yet been resolved;
  • Conditions, restrictions or prohibitions imposed on the subject that are currently in effect

While this may be useful and sufficient for many employers, there can be additional information in police databanks that is not accessed or available to these third-party companies, and which may be of significant importance or relevance to a potential employer.

Municipal and provincial police departments offer the same CPIC checks, but also additional levels of screening that can provide more comprehensive results, including but not limited to:
  • Local criminal convictions for which fingerprints were not taken (these are not captured on CPIC);
  • Police contact information involving criminal activity that led to charges but not convictions, or that may not have led to charges;
  • Involvement in disputes, disturbances or other non-criminal activity that may be of relevance to particular employers

For example, a person may have been involved in numerous domestic disputes where police intervention became necessary. Although no criminal activity may have taken place, this could be highly relevant information for a mentoring or fostering agency that would be placing children in the home, or otherwise exposing children to potentially combative and stressful situations. It could be taken into consideration and given weight as part of the vetting process to determine if this home is a suitable environment for their vulnerable clients.

In order to ensure all potentially relevant information is made available for consideration, agencies and employers should consider utilizing local police departments to conduct screening checks on their volunteers and employment applicants. The absence of these queries may not be clearly communicated by third-party companies who do not normally have access to this information. Know the types of information you will be getting - as well as what you might not be getting. It could be very important!