Record Checks



New Guidelines for Records Checks

On July 25, 2011 the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police introduced new guidelines for Police Record Checks.  The guidelines are intended to promote consistency in processing methods, terminology, and access throughout Ontario.

The new guidelines introduce three levels of police record checks:

Police Criminal Record Check (PCRC) – intended for applicants who are involved as a volunteer, employee or in any situation where a basic PCRC is requested (i.e. retail, or immigration).

Police Information Check (PIC) – intended for applicants who are seeking employment and/or volunteering with agencies that require a criminal record check along with local police involvement.  The agency has determined that a search of pardoned sex offenders, or contact relating to mental health is not required.

Police Vulnerable Sector Check (PVSC) – intended for applicants who are seeking employment and/or volunteering with vulnerable individuals.  It is a collection of offence information, including convictions, non-convictions and other relevant police contact information, as well as a check of pardoned sex offenders and mental health contact.

Vulnerable persons are described in the Criminal Records Act as:

“Persons who, because of their age, a disability or other circumstance, whether temporary or permanent,

a)    Are in a position of dependence on others; or

b)    Are otherwise at a greater risk than the general population of being harmed by persons in a position of authority or trust relative to them”

Changes to Vulnerable Sector (VS) Screening Procedures

The RCMP has made changes to its policy regarding Criminal Record Checks and Vulnerable Sector Verifications (also known as Vulnerable Sector Checks) through the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) system.  Enhancements were instituted which broadened the scope for VS potential matches.  When performing a VS query, the CPIC system initially attempts to identify a possible match to a sexual offence for which a Pardon has been granted, based initially on the surname and given name of the individual.  If this query does not identify the possible existence of a record, the system now performs a subsequent query based on the sex and birth date of the individual.  If this query locates similar biographical data in criminal files, it may trigger the CPIC system to prompt for the submission of fingerprints (VS “hit”) to verify or refute the existence of pardoned sex offender records.  It is important for the public to understand that under no circumstance does this notification confirm that the applicant is or is not a pardoned sex offender.  In almost all cases, this “possible match” is ruled out via fingerprints.

With these recent enhancements to the VS search we are now seeing an increase in the number of returns deemed as “Inconclusive” due to VS “hits”.

If the results of the Vulnerable Sector Screening are returned as being inconclusive, the applicant will be directed to have their fingerprints taken.  The fingerprints will then be forwarded to the RCMP, who will then complete the screening process.  If the applicant does not wish to provide fingerprints in order to complete the screening, the process stops at this time.  No refund will be provided.  When the applicant wishes to continue with the process, he/she must provide authorization at the time of fingerprinting giving consent to a search being made in the automated criminal records retrieval system maintained by the RCMP.  

Please note there may be further fees for fingerprinting and for the RCMP to complete the screening.  The RCMP fee is not required if the applicant provides written confirmation of volunteer work from a bona fide registered non-profit organization.

Fingerprinting for Vulnerable Sector Screening

The Espanola Police Service does offer LIVESCAN technology which allows for electronic fingerprinting:

1.    Attend EPS to have you fingerprints captured digitally (It is recommended to call ahead to make sure an officer is available).
2.    Electronic prints are submitted to the Canadian Real Time Identification Services (CCRTIS).

When the RCMP search process is completed, in 2 – 3 business days, the results are returned to this agency via mail usually within approximately one week.  

For further information on VS Screening, please visit the RCMP’s website at

Applying for a Record Check:

Espanola Police Service Police Check Fact Sheet (pdf)
Espanola Police Service Police Check - Applicant Fact Sheet (pdf)

The volume of requests for criminal record searches has increased considerably and is expected to continue to increase dramatically in the future as more accountability is placed on organizations involving vulnerable persons.  This has impacted Police Services province wide, causing a considerable shift in workload and ultimately affecting public service by slowing down the process time.
As a result of the recent changes as mentioned above, Espanola Police Service has developed new application forms and protocol for the completing of Criminal Record Checks. 

Members of the public are able to apply for Records Checks 7 days per week at the front desk reception of the Espanola Police Service.  To be eligible to have a Police Record Check done by our Service, applicants must be residents of the Town of Espanola.  Please note that applicants must attend in person to fill out the forms and must also present two pieces of valid ID (see below).  The Record Check must be paid for in advance, either at the Town of Espanola Municipal Office (debit and other payment methods, during regular business hours) or at the Police Service (cash only, in the exact amount).  When the request includes Vulnerable Sector screening, the applicant must provide a letter from the requesting employer/agency (see VS Sector Screening Criteria below).  Once the Record Check has been completed, the applicant will be notified by telephone that their check is ready for pick up.  Applicants must pick up their record check within 30 days from date of completion or it will be destroyed.  Afterwards, any new request shall be subject to the fee in place at the time of the new request. Completed checks may only be picked up by the applicant and the applicant must produce valid ID to the front desk reception personnel when attending to pick up their completed Records Check.  

Due to the new guidelines as well as the increased demand, processing can take up to several weeks, sometimes longer with complex checks and during peak periods.  Organizations or groups requiring their volunteers and/or employees to have Police Record Checks are encouraged to apply early.  

The cost of a Record Check for employment or personal use is $50.00.  For volunteers the fee is $15.00.  For volunteers, we will require an original signed letter (no photocopies) on letterhead from the organization which includes the name of the volunteer, what their role will be, and signed by the person with authority for the agency.

Identification Requirements:

Photo Identification is required.  Identification must confirm your name, date of birth, address, and signature.  Acceptable forms of identification include: 

Photo ID: Non-Photo ID:
• Driver’s license
• Passport
• Age of Majority Card
• Government/Military Employment Card
• Canadian Citizenship Card
• Indian Status Card
• International Student Card
• Permanent Resident Card
• Firearms Acquisition Certificate
• Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB)
• Birth Certificate
• Baptismal Certificate
• Hunting or Fishing License
• Outdoors Card
• Hospital Card
• Canadian Blood Donor Card
• Immigration Papers

Social Insurance Cards and Ontario Health Cards cannot be accepted for identification purposes (Health Card & Numbers Control Act, 1991 section 2.2(1)).

Please Note:  We are not able to process applications for applicants residing outside of Canada.  Individuals residing outside of Canada are required to contact the Canadian Consulate or Embassy office in their locale for assistance in  obtaining a Record Check directly through the RCMP.




In order to receive a Vulnerable Sector Screening for a Police Record Check, you MUST provide a letter from your employer or volunteer agency, who is directly responsible for the vulnerable person, under their authority that states the following:

  • Letter must be on letterhead
  • Letter must be dated and signed by employer/volunteer director, with original signature (photocopy not accepted)
  • Letter must reference “your name”, as the applicant for potential employee/volunteer
  • Letter must state duties or responsibilities involving the vulnerable person(s)
  • Letter must request that:  The Espanola Police Service conducts a search for vulnerable sector screening and include a search of the Pardoned Sex Offender Database

School Boards/Colleges/Universities can request the vulnerable sector screening for their employment purposes (paid employees) and applies to their full-time and part-time employees.  It may also apply to their casual employees, i.e. supply custodians, supply teachers, supply secretaries, who may work at various schools.  For other placements (volunteer/field placements), the request MUST come from the applicable agency/placement.

Espanola Police Service
Telephone: (705) 869-3251
Fax: (705) 869-5269