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5 things to consider before running a criminal background check


Background check is counted amongst the vital steps in the procedure of appointing new employees in an organization in Canada. It reveals a lot about the person or people who you have sorted and found applicable for a particular position in your company. Besides this, it ensures the safety of your company with the assurance that your company is in the right hands. As an entrepreneur you must know the things which are taken into consideration while initiating a criminal background check Toronto.  That is why I have come with a complete guide on criminal background check in Canada to help you understand different levels of the procedure.

Classification of crimes in Canada

Indictable offenses- these types of offenses are considered to be the most serious type of offenses and its punishment can even be lifetime imprisonment.

Summary conviction offenses- this is comparatively a less serious offense and the maximum penalty for this is up to six months of imprisonment with $5000 fine and other penalties might also be added to it.

Hybrid Offenses- It can be prosecuted as either Summary or Indictable level offense and the decision lies on the hands of the Crown prosecutor. Most of the crimes fall into the category of hybrid offense which requires a fingerprint to be taken.

1. Informed content

It is important for employers to ask for candidates’ consent to access his or her personal information before initiating the checks in Canada.  Criminal information about an individual, from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) cannot be disclosed without fully informed and voluntary consent of the candidate. Canadian Civil Liberties Association suggests that the consent form should contain all the details of the check so that the individual remains informed about the kind of check will be initiated and its reason.

2. Suitability to the position

In Canada the employer needs to make sure that the kind of criminal record check he is running has some kind of connection with the position for which he is hiring along with the purpose. Under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), the purpose and need for a background check has to be identified before or at the time of collecting information. Additionally it is up to the employer to decide the correct time to conduct the background check.

3. Declaration of the candidate

Employees often offer candidates the scope to confess about any criminal convictions or offenses for which he was pardoned.  When a candidate reveals about his or her criminal offenses in the past, the information is scrutinized as a part a nationwide CPIC search.

4. Data privacy

Employers need to review and abide by the rules of Personal information protection and electronic documents act along with the Privacy act which covers the personal information management practices in the public sector. Canada’s private sector privacy law is known as PIPEDA. It has set the rules for how private sector organizations use someone’s personal information for commercial activities. Apart from this, employers must also pay attention to the other laws related to background screening that might not have any connection with the privacy laws like consumer reporting and human laws.

5. Dispute process

An individual has the right to raise questions on the accuracy and completeness of the information and can make changes in it as required. In case the organization disagrees to rectify its records, the individual needs to attach a statement of disagreement to the file and this statement has to be provided to any organization that has access to the information. The individual can also file a complaint with the Office of Privacy commissioner of Canada if he or she is not satisfied with the way the organization handles the disputed information.

Criminal background check is an essential part of a hiring procedure but you need to keep that sin mind the process is not the same everywhere. For example the procedures of background checks for criminal records in Canada and in the USA are not the same. But if you take these above mentioned points into consideration, you will surely be on the right track in this comprehensive process.

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