Canadian criminal record checks as part of your hiring process or a continuous background screening program help you protect your company and comply with industry and legal requirements. With our network of global partners and integrations with popular hiring platforms, Certn offers faster international and Canadian criminal record checks so you can make more informed hiring decisions.
Check Criminal Record Canada
The Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) is a centralized information system maintained by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). CPIC stores and provides access to information needed for criminal record checks in Canada.
There are three kinds of CPIC checks depending on the level of detail needed:
Standard Criminal Record Check: This check provides information about an individual's convictions and pending charges that are on the national criminal database. It typically includes summary and indictable offences. This check uses your name and date of birth to check the CPIC system for a summary of any criminal convictions so is also called a Name-Based Criminal Record Check.
Note: If a name-based check can't confirm a person's identity, a fingerprint search of the National Repository of Criminal Records can be conducted. This process is conducted by the RCMP's Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services (CCRTIS).
Enhanced Police Information Check (E-PIC): This is a more comprehensive check that includes both the Standard/Name-Based Criminal Record Check and additional local police information, such as police contacts, restraining orders, peace bonds, and other relevant information that may not be captured in the national database. (If we're conducting an E-PIC on someone in Québec for a client, we consult the provincial SOQUIJ database for these extra details.)
Vulnerable Sector Check: This check is designed to identify any criminal records that are relevant to a position involving work or volunteering with vulnerable populations, such as children or the elderly. It includes the information from a Standard check as well as additional records related to outstanding criminal charges and warrants and other judicial orders (e.g., custody arrangements, restraining orders, etc.). Certn doesn't conduct these checks.
The requirements and procedures for obtaining CPIC checks vary across different provinces and territories in Canada, so it's advisable to consult with the local police agency or the organization requesting the check for detailed instructions.
Canadian Criminal Record Check FAQ
Below, Certn’s experts have weighed in on answers to frequently asked questions about Canadian criminal record checks.
What’s a CPIC criminal record check?
The Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) is a centralized information system maintained by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Canadian criminal record checks, often referred to as CPIC checks, are background checks conducted by authorized agencies or organizations in Canada to obtain information about an individual's criminal history. These checks are typically requested for purposes such as employment screening, volunteer work, adoption processes, immigration applications, and licensing requirements.
How can I look up someone's Canadian criminal record for free?
The Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) is a centralized information system maintained by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). CPIC is responsible for storing and providing access to criminal records in Canada. Canadian criminal records can be requested in person or online, but can only be ordered by individuals or organizations with a legitimate reason to request such information, as such, you can’t access this information for free.
Who pays for criminal record checks Canada?
In Canada, the person requesting the check is usually the one who pays for it. This means that if it’s an employer that needs the check, they pay the associated fees. The fees vary depending on the jurisdiction and the type of check being requested. If you need a check for a reason aside from employment, such as for a volunteer position or an adoption process, we recommend contacting the relevant agency or police service in your area to inquire about the specific process and fees involved.
What kind of information do you have to provide to run a criminal record check?
To run a criminal record check, you have to provide your full name, date of birth, and sometimes fingerprints, to the appropriate authorities.
How do I look up criminal records in Canada?
Canadian criminal records maintained by CPIC can be requested in person or online, but checks on a person can only be ordered by individuals or organizations with a legitimate reason to request such information. Checking criminal records is often required by employers, volunteer organizations, and government agencies as part of the hiring process.
However, published civil, criminal, and penal judicial records and other courthouse details can be accessed for free by anyone searching public repositories such as Québec's provincial SOQUIJ database where available.
What jobs require a criminal record check?
These checks return information about an individual's criminal history. They can include details such as arrests, charges, convictions, warrants, and any other relevant criminal information
In this blog post we cover what jobs require a criminal record check.
How long does it take to get a criminal record check in Canada?
The time it takes to complete any type of background check, criminal or otherwise, varies depending on factors such as the type of information being verified, the responsiveness of the sources and databases, and the efficiency of the screening process. A Canadian criminal record check can typically be completed within a few days to a week, assuming the information is readily available and the sources respond promptly. Though, online checks and automation can speed up the process.
Here's how long the Certn background check process can take.
What shows up on a criminal record check in Canada?
The availability and disclosure of criminal records varies by jurisdiction. Some jurisdictions have restrictions on the types of convictions that can be reported after a certain period or based on the severity of the offence. Additionally, certain offences may be eligible for expungement or pardons, which can affect their inclusion in a Canadian criminal record check.
How far back does a Canadian criminal record check go?
There’s no limit to how far back a Canadian criminal record check goes, but the type of offence determines how long it stays on your record.
See the answer below for more details.
How long does a criminal record stay on your record in Canada?
In Canada, the length of time that a criminal record stays on your record depends on the type of offence and the outcome of the case. The general guidelines for the retention of criminal records are as follows:
Absolute Discharge: If you receive an absolute discharge, the record is removed from the federal database one year from the date of the discharge.
Conditional Discharge: If you receive a conditional discharge, the record is removed from the federal database three years from the completion of the sentence.
Summary Conviction: A summary conviction for an indictable offence stays on your record for five years from the date of the conviction or the completion of the sentence, whichever is later.
Indictable Conviction: An indictable conviction stays on your record indefinitely unless you apply for a record suspension (formerly known as a pardon). A record suspension, if granted, removes the record from the federal database and sets it aside.
Consult with a lawyer for more precise information about the retention period for a specific offence based on the Criminal Records Act and relevant provincial legislation.
Check Criminal Record Canada
Canadian criminal record checks can be faster and easier while still being compliant. Let us show you how. Trusted by 10,000+ clients, Certn is innovating background screening with the easiest-to-use online platform, 24/7 customer support, and fast and compliant results from global databases. Certn helps businesses hire faster and manage risk — all while delivering user experiences that help them stand out.
Don’t wait. Let Certn help you hire compliantly and confidently with its easier online background check process.
There’s also MyCRC if you need to order a Canadian criminal record check on yourself.
Certn offers better and faster experiences for everyone. Certn is revolutionizing background screening with the easiest-to-use online platform, 24/7 customer support, and fast and compliant results from global databases. Why wait? Trusted by 10,000+ clients, Certn helps businesses hire faster and manage risk — all while delivering user experiences that help them stand out. Learn more at certn.co.