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How do background checks work?

The convergence of post-9/11 security concerns and the online data revolution expanded access to reliable background checks beyond large corporations. Today, the majority of employers both big and small conduct some form of pre-employment background check on job candidates.  

Pre-employment background checks must be conducted carefully and in compliance with the law. Notifying the candidate and obtaining their consent prior to performing any background check, and ensuring the information is being used in a compliant manner, are of utmost importance.

How common are pre-employment background checks?

In Canada, pre-employment screening background checks are common, and the personal information requested and collected should be limited to what is required for the proposed position. Background checks should only be completed after the applicant has been informed of a conditional offer of employment and with prior written consent.

What does a typical background check consist of?

Background checks can differ depending on the requirements of the job position. The most common types of checks in Canada include employment and criminal history.

Does a candidate have to consent to a background check?

It is best practice to obtain prior written consent before conducting any background checks on a potential applicant. In most provinces, written consent from the applicant is required by law.

What are the most common background check services?

- Criminal history  
- Educational Verifications
- Employment Verification
- Credit Reliability Check
-Social Media/Internet searches

What is a Basic Canadian Criminal Record Check?

The Basic Canadian Criminal Record Check searches the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) including investigative, identification, and ancillary banks based on the applicant’s name and date of birth. The results provided would be returned as Negative or Incomplete. This search will report any Canadian criminal convictions that have not been pardoned or discharged. Positive identification that a criminal record does or does not exist at the RCMP National Repository of Criminal Records can be confirmed by fingerprint comparison.

What is an Enhanced Canadian Criminal Record Check?

The Enhanced Canadian Criminal Record Check searches Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) including investigative, identification, and ancillary banks. As well as Local Police Records which includes Police Information Portal (PIP), Firearms Interest Person (FIP) and Niche RMS based on the applicant’s name and date of birth. The results provided would be returned as Negative or Incomplete. This search will report any Canadian Criminal Convictions that have not been pardoned or discharged. The premium search will also include an indicator for additional checks to be conducted.

By searching the Local Police Records, items such as warrants, charges, or probation will flag an individual for follow up checks that would not be indicated on a standard criminal record check. Positive identification that a criminal record does or does not exist at the RCMP National Repository of Criminal Records can be confirmed by fingerprint comparison.

How should we determine which background check is right for our company?

Industry and job requirements provide a good starting point for determining which services are right for now. We work with our clients to understand their needs and to provide recommendations based on our industry experience.  Once recommendations have been made, it is up to the organization to make a decision, clients are encouraged to consult with their own legal or compliance advisors before making a final decision.

What type of information is provided on a driver abstract?

The driver abstract information varies from province to province. In general, this record includes: violations, convictions, prohibition from driving, activities contributing to license suspensions, restrictions, outstanding reinstatement conditions, and other information relating to disqualifications.

What is eID and what happens if the applicant cannot be verified through eID?   

We offer Electronic Identity Verification (eID) to authenticate the identity of an Applicant as a substitute for physical identity verification. If the applicant cannot be verified through eID, the applicant’s identity must be verified through completing a Physical Identity Verification to complete a criminal record check.

Where is information stored?   

All information is stored in secure Canadian data centers.

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