Criminal Background Checks - Verify Your Record

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Criminal Background Checks - Verify Your Record

by Kevin T Buckley, CPC

Be aware of what is on your criminal record when applying with any employer who requires this type of background check (and sometimes a credit check) when gathering data to make an informed hiring decision.

Items can remain on your record for a long time. Infractions and poor decisions made when you were younger and forgotten in the course of time can be sitting on your record, available for any firm involved in background checking to discover as part of their service to the employer.

An employer can only obtain information with your written consent. This is a sensitive area and there are specialist firms that perform these types of services as the focus of their business. In all cases, you will be requested to sign their consent form, giving them permission to proceed. Once your permission is obtained, the firm can check a broad range of data, including resume details verification, contacting references, credit checks, motor vehicle history/driver abstracts and criminal background checks.

Different provinces have different privacy legislation, so it is important to inform yourself of your rights and obligations in your area.

Background checks can be conducted at various stages of the hiring process, including the job application stage, the offer or conditional offer stage, even during the probationary period stipulated as part of the hiring agreement.

Knowing this, it is useful to contact your local law enforcement authorities to do a Criminal Record Search - CPIC (Canadian Police Information Centre). There is an administrative fee which can vary but is usually around $45.00. You must provide two pieces of government-issued identification like a passport, driver's licence, photo health card, citizenship card, etc. and fill in the form and sign it. These checks can often be done within 1-2 hours, depending on how busy they are.

If you discover an item, you may be able to apply for a Pardon either locally or through the National Parole Board website: . This Board may grant, deny or revoke pardons for convictions under federal acts or regulations of Canada. Everyone's situation is different, so contact the Pardons INFO Line at 1-800-874-2652 for more information. You can obtain a Pardon Application Form at the National Parole Board website:

The conclusion to draw is obvious: know what is on your record to avoid being blindsided by old mistakes. Take appropriate steps to clean up your record wherever possible. Ignorance here is not in your best interests. Contact qualified legal practitioners who specialize in termination issues for the most updated information about what you need to do.

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