Police Records Checks

Into the backgrounds of volunteers and job applicants


On request, police will check their records on applicants seeking employment and/or volunteer work with vulnerable individuals. The check includes national and local police databases. Information on criminal convictions and outstanding charges, as well as incidents of all negative police contacts for at least the previous five years will be considered for release.

It is considered a prudent measure and is widely used by most volunteer agencies serving children and vulnerable adults. The information it generates is limited, however, so other forms of screening should also be used.

Who needs a Police Records Check?
A Police Records Check is required for all ordained ministry and normally for paid employee positions where there is an inherent level of trust and a lack of daily, structured supervision. It is also required for parish officers and other volunteers in high-risk [link to Levels of Risk page] positions. For each person, consider the level of authority, isolation, and the vulnerability of participants. It is required at the beginning of a ministry and every five years thereafter.

The prospective employee or volunteer should go to the local police station with a letter from the church on letterhead signed by the incumbent or volunteer coordinator. The letter should state that the person bearing the letter is going to be working with the vulnerable sector (youth, elderly, etc.).

Apply early, as a Police Records Check can take 6-8 weeks. Recently, with new guidelines from the RCMP, many requests for a Police Records Check now trigger the need for fingerprinting, with an additional cost.

Ottawa Police
In the City of Ottawa, police waive the $15 fee when the applicant is a volunteer, as verified in an official letter. You may download forms for police records and criminal records checks from Ottawa Police

Further questions should be addressed to:
Ottawa Police Service
P.O. Box 9634
Station T
Ottawa, ON
K1G 6H5

Or telephone the Background Clearance Section 613-236-1222, ext 5485.

Criminal Records Check
A Criminal Records Check is for applicants in any situation (i.e. retail, warehouse or immigration) where a basic criminal background check is requested. This search is not intended for applicants who are seeking to volunteer and/or be employed to work with vulnerable persons.

With notes from Anglican Diocese of Toronto, Obtaining Police Record Checks

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