For RCMP FAQs specific to Vulnerable Sector screening checks, please visit
- What is a Police Record Check?
- Do I need a Police Record Check to get a job?
- I am under 18 years of age. Can I get a Police Record Check?
- I am attending post-secondary school and living in the Region of Halton as a student. Can I get a Police Record Check check done here?
- I'm beginning my job search. Should I obtain a police check in advance?
- How long is a Police Record Check valid? Is there an expiry date?
- What if I choose the wrong type of Police Record Check?
- What if I have a criminal record? Will this automatically bar me from getting a job?
- Do you release information on my driving history including speeding tickets and other infractions?
- Why does it take so long to get my Police Record Check done?
- Can I get my Police Record Check done any faster?
- What if I don't disclose all the pages of my Police Record Check, or alter the information prior to showing it to an employer?
- I don't live in the Region of Halton, or I reside out of Canada. How can I get a Police Record Check?
- What is exceptional disclosure?
What is a Police Record Check?
A Police Record Check may contain certain categories of information the police could have on file pertaining to an individual. This includes, but is not limited to, a record of convictions for criminal offences across Canada, outstanding warrants, judicial orders in effect (such as peace bonds, prohibitions or probation orders). Some people have absolutely no such information, while others may have some or all of these categories. The extent of information released depends on which level of record check the employer requires, specific to the position.
In releasing information, the police take no position on the suitability of the applicant, and will not offer any comment or opinion It is entirely at the discretion of the employer as to whether or not the applicant may be considered for the position.
Do I need a Police Record Check to get a job?
Not necessarily. Although some employers do not require one, more and more are asking for police checks as part of the application process. We advise employers to use the police check as one of the last steps in the process, after they've reviewed your application, conducted interviews and checked references.
The police do not require people to get Police Record Checks. You are being asked to provide one by the agency/employer to which you are applying. Our role is limited to providing a report with any potentially relevant information held in police databanks
I am under 18 years of age. Can I get a Police Record Check?
As of November 1st, 2018, youth can only apply for a Police Record Check if:
The youth is applying for purposes of employment or volunteering directly with:
- The Government of Canada
- The Government of a province
- Or a Municipality
- The youth requires their own youth records for their own personal information
NO OTHER YOUTH ARE PERMITTED TO APPLY FOR A POLICE RECORD CHECK
Non-Government agencies are not authorized to receive any results. To require applicants to apply and pay for a Police Record Check when no results will be released is not in the best interest of the applicants, the police service and the community.
- The youth is applying for purposes of employment or volunteering directly with:
I am attending post-secondary school and living in the Region of Halton as a student. Can I get a Police Record Check done here?
If you have resided in another jurisdiction and still retain your permanent address there, you are advised to obtain a Police Record Check from that police service. We will accept your Police Record Check application if you have a mailing address in the Region of Halton.
I'm beginning my job search. Should I obtain a Police Record Check in advance?
We do not recommend it. First, you might obtain the wrong type of check and then have to apply for a new one at additional cost. As well, most employers will want a recent Police Record Check; if you do one in advance, it might not be accepted depending on when it was originally completed.
How long is a Police Record Check valid? Is there an expiry date?
Police Record Check are only valid on the day they are issued, since information can change from day to day. They are a 'snapshot in time' only. The police do not determine an expiry date; this is up to the agency/employer. Some might accept a police check that is 3-6 months old, while others may want a new one.
Since a person can be clear of charges or criminal activity today but could be arrested and charged tomorrow, we offer no guarantees on the validity of a police check beyond the actual date on which the search was conducted. As well, not all criminal convictions are reported to the RCMP, and more recent dispositions may not be updated on their system at the time a check is conducted.
In our experience, most employers will ask for a new Police Record Check if the current one is beyond 6 months, and almost certainly if it's older than one year. However, this is entirely at the discretion of the agency/employer.
Note that Vulnerable Sector Checks are only valid for the specific employer/position for which it was conducted, and are not likely to be accepted by another VS sector employer.
What if I choose the wrong type of screening check?
We stress that you make your choice carefully as we do not provide refunds or exchanges. If you are in doubt, the agency/employer should be able to tell you which one they require for the position.
What if I have a criminal record? Will this automatically bar me from getting a job?
The employer must find information from a police check relevant to the job they are offering. The Ontario Human Rights Code states that a person cannot be discriminated against based on, among other things, a 'record of offences'. Obviously some jobs - such as Police or Corrections Officer - will require the person to be free of convictions and have nothing in their history that might call their integrity into question. A person seeking a job at a financial institution will not likely be successful if they have convictions for theft, fraud or other crimes of dishonesty. However, a criminal record may not necessarily bar a person from obtaining employment or a volunteer position - the employer must show how that record is relevant to the position being offered - a bona fide reason for refusal.
Do you release information on my driving history including speeding tickets and other infractions?
We do not disclose any non-criminal driving offences. If the job you are applying for requires proof of a clear driving record, you can obtain your Driver's Abstract from the Ministry of Transportation. However, we will disclose any driving offences under the Criminal Code, such as Impaired Driving, Dangerous Driving, Criminal Negligence, etc., as well as the disposition.
Why does it take so long to get my check done?
On average, we process close to 40,000 Police Record Check requests each year for various employers as well as school boards and minor sporting leagues. Each one must be queried, the results analyzed, and in the case of potential police contacts, reports must be reviewed individually. If you've resided at an address outside the Region of Halton in recent years, we must also contact that police service to conduct a query of their local records. All of this takes time and resources. While we can usually complete your police check well within the stated timeframes, there may be occasions where information is delayed or requires further confirmation.
Can I get my police check done any faster?
We do not have a system in place to process 'rush' jobs. No one applicant is more or less important than the next person. It would not be fair to do it for one person and not for someone else. We appreciate that everyone would like their check completed as quickly as possible, and we strive to minimize the turnaround time as best we can.
What if I don't disclose all the pages of my police check, or alter the information prior to showing it to an employer?
The Halton Regional Police Service applies applies an embossed security seal to each document to certify it as original, and includes the number of pages to ensure all available information is properly released. If a person deliberately alters the results of their police check by changing the content, it is considered Uttering a Forged Document, which is an offence under the Criminal Code. If we become aware this has occurred it will be investigated and charges could be laid.
If an agency/employer has any questions about the validity of the document, they can contact us. Although we will not discuss the content of a person's police check due to privacy reasons, we will confirm the number of pages originally released, and advise whether or not a document may have been altered.
I don't live in the Region of Halton, or I reside out of Canada. How can I get a Police Record Check?
The Halton Regional Police Service provides Police Record Checks only for residents of the Region. Note that Vulnerable Sector Checks can only be done for Canadian residents residing and employed in Canada. As per RCMP directives, police services cannot conduct Vulnerable Sector screening for citizens living and and working outside Canada, even if the employer is a Canadian firm.
If you reside outside Canada, you can obtain a certified criminal records check by submitting fingerprints directly to the RMCP. Note that this only contains information relevant to criminal convictions, if any. It does not include police contact information, nor a search of the pardoned database. More information is available on the RCMP website at:
What is exceptional disclosure?
In exceptional circumstances, non-conviction records may be considered for release on a Vulnerable Sector Check. There may be specific, exceptional cases where the existence of these types of records gives rise to a concrete and compelling concern for the safety of vulnerable persons. Non-convictions are criminal charges that did not result in a conviction in court. However, if information in the applicant’s record meets the Exceptional Disclosure Assessment it can be released under the authority of the Police Services Act (P.S.A Regulation 265/98, s. 3). What may be considered for release are non-convictions involving child sexual predators and fraud schemes targeting the elderly or other vulnerable persons.