Does your background screening tool include vulnerable sector checks?

If you do not understand what a Vulnerable Sector Check is or who requires it, you are not alone! There is often indecision as to whether an organization should request a Vulnerable Sector Verification (VSV) or, as it often called, a Vulnerable Sector Check (VSC) from their candidate, or if a Basic or Enhanced Criminal Record Check is enough.

Vulnerable Sector Checks CANNOT be provided in an automated fashion, and CANNOT be provided by any 3rd party in Canada. Any candidate being requested to conduct a Vulnerable Sector check must attend a local police detachment in their jurisdiction to make the consent for a VSC.

What is a Vulnerable Sector Check?

A Vulnerable Sector Check queries three databases: Canadian Police Information Portal (CPIC) for criminal convictions, Police Information Portal for a local records search, and the Pardoned Sex Offender database for any record suspensions (pardons) for sexual offences. Only the query of the Pardoned Sex Offender Database is unique from an Enhanced Criminal Record Check. A person with a pardon will not have
the conviction expunged or erased. Instead, it is simply placed in a separated data base that does not have to be declared in future Criminal Record Checks.

The Pardoned Sex Offender Database
The Pardoned Sex Offender database includes individuals who have been convicted of a specific sex offence, been of good conduct, waited a mandatory ten year period exhibiting good behavior from the date of conviction (NOT the date of the offence commission) and then made application to the federal government for a pardon/record suspension, were approved to receive one, and, most importantly, have not had that pardon/record suspension revoked since. They have had no further criminal convictions or instances of reoffending. Any criminal behavior results in the pardon/record suspension being revoked.

In 2012, the database included less than 14,000 people in Canada and continues to decline because, as of March 13th, 2012, record suspensions (formerly known as pardons) are no longer granted for convictions included in the Pardoned Sex Offender Database. No names or new Canadians have been added since March 13, 2012.

What does a Vulnerable Sector Check NOT include?
There are often misconceptions as to what the Vulnerable Sector Check reveals, with the common view being that it includes more information than it actually does. For example, it has been positioned that results will contain non-criminal convictions (i.e. highway traffic act or liquor violations), a Sex Offender Registry check, an Interpol query, opinions of requesting police services on the suitability of the candidate, United States conviction records, or offences other than sex offences that have been pardoned. NONE of these are allowed or included in a Vulnerable Sector Check.

Who can be asked to complete a Vulnerable Sector Check?

Not all candidates can be asked to obtain a Vulnerable Sector Check, and it is an offence to conduct one if the position does not meet the requirements of the Criminal Records Act (1985). A Vulnerable Sector Check is not mandatory in Canada but is an allowed option in specific circumstances. The decision to request a Vulnerable Sector Check is made by the hiring or volunteer organization, if they determine that the position is one of trust or authority over children or vulnerable persons. Currently, there is no federal legal requirement for an organization to conduct Vulnerable Sector Checks. The local police or RCMP may still exercise their option to NOT conduct this query if it does not meet the relevant criteria.



Was this article helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful
Have more questions? Submit a request