Canadian Association of Professional Background Screeners



Q)  How do Third Party Companies have the authority to access the CPIC database?  I thought all Police Record Screening had to be done by the Police.

A)  All Police Record Screening in Canada must be done by the Police.  Only the police department and other Government Bodies may access the CPIC (Canadian Police Information Centre) database.  All Third Party Companies must partner with a Police Department having Level I clearance, in order to obtain Criminal Record Checks on behalf of their clients.  Third Party Companies must have current MOU’s (Memorandum of Understanding) with our Partner Police Departments, outlining strict Standards and Procedures which must be followed at all times. 


Q)  What is the difference between the reports offered by Third Party Companies and reports completed by my local police department?

A)  CPIC Criminal Record Checks are completed through our Partner Police Stations.  The CPIC Database is a National Repository, to which all Police Departments report incidents in Canada which have been formally investigated.   Information accessed by one of our Partner Policy Departments through the Canadian Police Information Centre is the same as the information accessed by your local police station.  In addition to the information on the CPIC Database, the reports completed through a Local Police Department MAY include a search for further information through a Local Indices Check, which is a review of local police files and occurrence reports in the area where the individual resides, that could provide supporting or additional information to the CPIC Criminal Record Check.  

 Q)  Can Third Party Companies provide us with a CPIC Criminal Record Check on individuals without a signed Consent Form and Identification?

A)  No.  Due to the Privacy Act, we must have the express written consent of the individual being screened and photocopies of 2 pieces of Identification, with one piece being Government Issued Photo Identification.


Q)  I have been asked to provide copies of 2 Pieces of Identification.  What ID is acceptable?

A)  In order to process a request for a CPIC Criminal Record Check, our Partner Police Departments must be in receipt of two (2) pieces of Identification for the individual being screened.  Both pieces of ID must be clear and legible, with at least 1 piece being Government Issued Photo Identification, and include the Applicant’s name, date of birth, and signature.  Both pieces of Identification must show the same information.  Examples of acceptable Photo ID: 

 - Canadian Driver’s Licence

 - Foreign Driver’s Licence

 - Canadian Passport

 - Foreign Passport

 - Canadian Citizenship Card

 -  Permanent Resident Card

 - Certificate of Indidan Status

 - Canadian National Institute of the Blind (CNIB) Identification Card

 - Federal, Provincial or Municipal Identification Card

 - Military Family Identification Card


NOTE:  Canadian Health Cards and Social Insurance Number (SIN) are not acceptable for identification purposes.


Q)  Can Third Party Companies provide us with a CPIC Criminal Record Check on individuals under the age of 18?

A) No, due to the Youth Criminal Justice Act, the Police Departments are prohibited from releasing information that may or may not appear on a youths’ criminal record.  In the event you are hiring a youth as staff or volunteer, we would suggest you obtain a minimum of 2 reference letters from persons in a position of authority, who personally know and have regular contact with the youth – such as the Principal of his/her school and/or a local Pastor.


Q)  If a report comes back showing that the individual must be fingerprinted in order to positively identify a record as being theirs, can the Third Party Company do the fingerprinting for us?

A)  No.  If the police department cannot positively identify an individual from the information provided, and therefore cannot indicate positively that the individual has a clear record, they will indicate that fingerprinting is required.  At this point, Fingerprints may be taken by your local police service or by an accredited private fingerprinting company. More information on this process can be found on the Civil Fingerprint Screening Services website at -

Q)  We have always required the individuals to provide us with the original police report.  You only provide us with a copy – don’t we require the originals?

A) No. Typically organizations which have required originals in the past, only required originals as a layer of protection against the individual altering the police report.  Third Party Company processes eliminate the chance of the individual altering their report, as they never have access to it before the Contact Person(s) at your organization. 

Q) I have to get my name checked by the police and even though I don’t have a criminal record, I am being asked to provide fingerprints. Why?

A) There are many people on the criminal records data base with names and dates of birth that are identical or similar. When the query of the criminal record data bank indicates that there is a record for someone with a similar name and date of birth, the applicant is requested to submit fingerprints. The requirement to submit fingerprints is done for the protection of the individual and should not be construed as an indication a person has a criminal record. This ensures that when criminal records are disclosed, they pertain to the correct person.

Q) How long does it take the RCMP to process fingerprint based requests for criminal record verifications?

A) If a criminal record is encountered during the verification process, the turnaround time could exceed 120 days. Paper-based fingerprint submissions require a great deal of manual processing and it is not uncommon for a criminal record verification to take an average of 120 days to complete for individuals who don’t have a criminal record and have never been fingerprinted for a criminal offence in Canada. If a criminal record is encountered during the verification process, the turnaround time could exceed 120 days. In an effort to process criminal verification requests more quickly, the RCMP is implementing the Real Time Identification (RTID) Project to modernize these processes and promote electronic fingerprint submissions. The goal of Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services (CCRTIS ) is to respond to 85% of civil requests (those that do not require manual processing) submitted electronically within 72 hours.

Q) What is a Vulnerable Sector check?

A) Vulnerable people are considered to be individuals who are at greater risk of being harmed than the general population because of their age, disability or other circumstances, whether temporary or permanent. An organization with paid or volunteer persons who are responsible for the well-being of children or vulnerable people may request a Vulnerable Sector check for any of those employees/volunteers who are in a position of trust. This check is conducted in addition to a criminal record check. A database is checked to see if the subject has received a pardon for a criminal offence of a sexual nature. This requires the prior written consent of the applicant and can only be conducted by the police, at this time. The results can only be first released to the applicant by the police. If a record exists, it must be confirmed by the submission of fingerprints. If the record is confirmed or there is no record and the applicant chooses to divulge the results to the organization, the police agency may only release the information to the organization with the prior written consent by that individual.

Q)  Can I obtain a Vulnerable Sector Check through a Third Party Company? 

A)  Not Currently.  Prior to December 1, 2009,  Third Party Companies were able to provide clients with Vulnerable Sector Screening Reports  – however the RCMP has since prohibited any Third Party Company from facilitating the process of providing Reports to clients, citing Federal Privacy Legislation.  CAPBS and other Members of our Industry continue to negotiate with the RCMP to have this access restored.  

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