This project is part of the Ontario Government’s Open for Business Strategy. The strategy is a part of the government’s initiative to strengthen connections and increase collaboration and coordination between government and the not-for-profit sector. During the Open for Business process, the ONN played a key convening role.
The following organizations and ministries formed part of the Police Records Checks Working Group that assisted with this project:
Ontario Nonprofit Network
Professional Administrators of Volunteer Resources – Ontario (PAVR-O)
Ministry of the Attorney General
Ministry of Children and Youth Services
Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade
Ministry of Community and Social Services
Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Police services in Ontario comply with various statutes when conducting police records checks, especially with respect to the protection of personal information. Police services are responsible for developing their own policies and procedures in accordance with federal and provincial laws for processing requests to conduct police records checks. In addition to legislative requirements, police services must comply with policies on the use and disclosure of criminal record information that are maintained by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) National Repository of Criminal Records.
In May 2011, the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police released a guideline on police records checks (see the website link under the Resources Section of this document for the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police – LEARN Guideline for Police Records Checks under the Policing Services section). The guideline is intended to assist police services to understand and apply relevant legislation, policies and procedures, and directives in processing police records check requests. It is also intended to promote consistency in processing methods as well as terminology used across the province. The implementation of the guidelines is voluntary.
Police services conduct records checks by searching their various databases and the RCMP National Repository of Criminal Records according to the type of request. Depending on the type of search, here are some examples of information that may be provided:
criminal convictions, outstanding entries, such as charges and warrants; criminal charges resulting in dispositions including, but not limited to, stayed, withdrawn, and dismissed charges; police contacts including, but not limited to, theft, weapons, sex offences, or violent, harmful and threatening behaviour; and family court restraining orders.
In cases where the search is inconclusive or