Canada pre-employment background checks
With a population of over 35 million, close proximity to the US and strong business ties, such as the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), it’s tempting to also want to transpose your hiring and background screening practices north of the border. However, it’s best to work with a trusted partner who knows the nuances of Canadian background checks and can work with your team to get you up and running, while also adhering to best practices.
Building the case
Wondering if it makes sense to build pre-employment screening into your hiring process?
49% of Canadian employers have caught a lie on a job applicant’s Resume or C.V. What’s the most common embellishment? According to a 2015 survey by CareerBuilders
Skill set: 58%
Job title: 32%
Academic degree: 31%
Companies worked: 31%
Dates of employment: 27%
Hiring where driving is a job requirement? Based on Canadian police roadside checks and assessments:
NAPBS, the industry body for background screening, estimates there are now more than 6 million criminal background check searches run per year.
Canada pre-employment background checks
Take into consideration the following when building your screening program:
When should I run background checks?
This really comes down to your company policy, industry, position being recruited for, as well as local compliance and best practice. However, there are certain scenarios where you may have an obligation. For example, if you are a Financial Institution employing Directors and Senior Management personnel, then the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) has guidance and guidelines for Directors and Senior Management personnel [E17 Background Checks on Directors and Senior Management of FREs], stating:
“When a Responsible Person is first appointed to his or her position, FREs would obtain sufficient information to allow them to conclude that the Responsible Person possesses the suitability and integrity to perform properly the duties of the Responsible Person position.”
This information can include criminal records, liability in civil proceedings, evidence of required education, skills, professional qualifications and experience.
How do criminal background checks work in Canada?
It’s possible to run national criminal searches in Canada. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) manage a repository system, which is often referred to as the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) search, which includes a review of various databases. Using a process of “name-based criminal record check” where the applicant provides name, alias, previous name, date of birth, addresses and other data points Accurate Background can complete a check with the candidate’s consent. The check is a search for a record of criminal convictions, for which a pardon has not been granted. In Canada, a criminal record file consists of an individual’s criminal charges, convictions and discharges, as well as fingerprints, such that a fingerprint-based confirmation can be completed if a record is found or results are unclear.
When it comes to the driving record or “driver abstract” as it’s commonly known in Canada then it’s actually managed on a province by province or territory level, rather than at a national level. Again, with the candidate’s consent and for employment purposes only, Accurate Background can run a check, which typically includes results from convictions, traffic accidents, judgments, suspensions and revocations. This is supported in British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Yukon.
In addition to employment and education verification of candidates, Accurate Background can also offer the following in Canada:
Hopefully this gives you enough information to consider when implementing background checks in Canada. The Accurate Background team would be happy to work with you on any specific questions or considerations, so please do contact us to discuss your needs.