Criminal background checks not so ‘clear’

Due diligence in hiring can return litany of responses from police, including ‘not clear,’ ‘incomplete’ and ‘confirmed’ – what does it all mean?
By Trish Dehmel
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/26/2013

Prior to December 2009, obtaining an employee’s criminal record was relatively easy. With signed consent, the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) permitted accredited employment screening agencies to query the national criminal database on behalf of clients and returned complete information, including all criminal convictions and any results located in the pardoned sex offender database (commonly referred to as a vulnerable sector search).

Those were the good old days — at the end of 2009, the RCMP and CPIC stopped employers and employment screening companies from conducting criminal record checks for the purposes of employment screening.

What was once a fairly straightforward procedure became a mountain of paperwork, regulations and denied access. The door remained shut for more than two months and, with no access to the criminal database, employers were left to blindly hire people who may have had records for violent behaviour, fraud and theft.