Criminal Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Search

In the province of BC the Criminal Records Review Act pertains to individuals working with children and vulnerable adults through organizations that receive operating funds from the provincial government. All individuals who work with children or vulnerable adults, or have unsupervised access to children or vulnerable adults in the ordinary course of their employment, or in the practice of an occupation, or registered students in a post secondary institution who will work with children or vulnerable adults and who are employed by or licensed by, or receive operating funds from the provincial government are included under the Criminal Records Review Act. This includes families or individuals who hire support workers or other employees through funding from CLBC. The review for individuals who fall under the act is conducted through the office of the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General. 

Please note that CLBC will no longer be accepting Criminal Record Searches done by the local police departments on behalf of individuals receiving services funded by CLBC. Agencies and/or individuals receiving funding through CLBC have access to the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General for completion of criminal record searches for their employees who support vulnerable adults. If you receive funding for supports to individuals through CLBC please review information on their website by going to Policies and then selecting the Criminal Record Search Policy: Service Delivery Link:

Although criminal record checks are not currently covered by the act for other volunteers or for individuals who work with vulnerable people, but not through CLBC funding, many groups or agencies conduct their own criminal record checks on their staff and volunteers with the assistance of their local police agency.

How do you complete a criminal record check through your local police?

It is important that a criminal record check is completed at the local police detachment in the neighbourhood in which the applicant resides. The local police query the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database, which is maintained by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Ottawa.  The CPIC database includes criminal records for any Criminal Code or other Federal Statute offence.  In addition, local police agencies check information from their own databases which includes local disturbances or complaints or violation of provincial statutes. Local police can also conduct a vulnerable sector search for those who will be working or volunteering with children or vulnerable adults.

What is a Vulnerable Sector Search?

A Vulnerable Sector Search (VSS) supplements a Criminal Record Check. It searches for pardoned sexual offences and is intended for individuals who will be working or volunteering with certain "at-risk" populations such as children, the elderly, or people with disabilities. When an individual applies for a criminal record check through their local RCMP or Police office, they need to disclose why they require a criminal record check. If it is required for the purpose of working or volunteering with a vulnerable group, then the VSS is automatically conducted as a supplement to the criminal record check.  The vulnerable sector search includes:

•    Criminal Record (Adult)
•    Criminal Records (Young Person) (Pursuant to Section 119(1)(a) of the Youth Criminal Justice Act
•    Records of “Not Guilty: Not criminally responsible on account of Mental Disorder”
•    Convictions, pending charges and ongoing investigations under Federal Statutes and
•    Provincial Statutes, where available
•    Relevant Occurrence Reports
•    Findings of guilt where a pardon has not been granted
•    Absolute and conditional discharges where not prohibited by legislation
•    Probation, Prohibition and other Judicial Orders   
•    A record check for a sexual offence for which a pardon has been granted 

How do you obtain the results from your employee?

Ask your applicant for the original criminal record check result document and ensure that it has included a vulnerable sector search. It’s important to note that if you have any questions regarding information from a criminal record check and vulnerable sector search that has been provided to you, or wish to confirm the results, you can contact the issuing police agency.  Although specific details will not be disclosed, they will be able to confirm whether or not the information you have received is accurate.


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