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Police Record Check Reform Act

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What is the Police Record Check Reform Act?

The Police Record Check Reform Act was enacted on November 1, 2018. This new legislation ensures a clear, consistent and comprehensive set of standards that govern how police record checks are conducted and disclosed across the province.

What record checks are available under the new act?

The new legislation has standardized the three types of police record checks that can be conducted, while limiting and standardizing the information that is authorized for disclosure. This applies to all record-check providers in Ontario when conducting checks for employment and volunteer positions.

Previous NameNew Name
Police Criminal Record CheckCriminal Record Check
Police Information CheckCriminal Record and Judicial Matters Check
Police Vulnerable Sector CheckVulnerable Sector Check

Disclosure of youth records

One of the most significant changes to police record checks in Ontario is the disclosure of youth records. Youth records are only permitted to be disclosed in two circumstances:

  1. To the youth themselves, who are not permitted to further disclose findings of guilt and must remove any results from the record check.
  2. To the Government of Canada or the government of a province or municipality for the purposes of employment or the performance of services, with or without remuneration.

What does this mean for youth?

Previously, police were able to release a police criminal record check containing youth records directly to the applicant, who in turn would provide the check to the organization to which they were applying. Under the new act, only federal, provincial and municipal government agencies will receive youth records, as police cannot disclose the existence of or any of the information contained within a youth record to non-government agencies. These agencies can no longer request youth records from applicants.

What is a 'government agency'?

Only government agencies may receive youth records. Government agencies include:

  • Federal departments, such as the Canada Border Services Agency, Correctional Service Canada, Department of National Defence, etc.
  • Provincial ministries, such as the Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, Ministry of Education, etc.
  • Municipal departments, such as a public library, city hall, parks department, etc. 

Non government agencies include:

  • Private retirement homes, daycare facilities
  • Hospitals, clinics
  • Schools, universities
  • Children's Aid Society, YMCA, Victim Services, etc.