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Demystifying
criminal record checks

This process can be somewhat confusing. Goose Troop has done its best to help you better understand this process by reading websites and talking with members of the various criminal record check sections.

You want to volunteer and the non-profit organization has requested that you get a criminal record check done.

You live in Edmonton and area

Get your check done through the Edmonton Police Service.  You can complete it yourself but you will need a letter from the organization stating that you will be volunteering with them. Or, the agency may have you fill out the application and they will send it in on your behalf.

You live in a surrounding area or city such as St. Albert, Spruce Grove, Sherwood Park, etc.

You can go to the RCMP, but it's fine to get your check done through Edmonton Police Service.

You want to volunteer and the non-profit organization has requested that you get a VULNERABLE SECTOR criminal record check done.

You live in Edmonton and area

Get your check done through the Edmonton Police Service.  You can complete it yourself but you will need a letter from the organization stating that you will be volunteering with them. Or, the agency may have you fill out the application and they will send it in on your behalf. The “Vulnerable Sector Search” section will have to be completed.

You live in a surrounding area or city such as St. Albert, Spruce Grove, Sherwood Park, etc.

You can still complete the Edmonton Police Section application.

When and why will you have to give your fingerprints?

When the RCMP conducts a vulnerable sector search, they require that you submit your fingerprints electronically. The organization in which you will be volunteering decides whether or not a vulnerable sector search will be completed and whether or not you will go through the RCMP or the local police service.

Why do some searches require fingerprints while others do not?

If you are not providing fingerprints, then the vulnerable sector search is for your name only. Note:  if you share a name with a convicted criminal, you will likely have to get fingerprinted anyway to clear up any confusion. It happens more than you think!

If you are providing fingerprints, it is more thorough than a name check only.  The RCMP is the custodian for all records in Canada. Note: you will be required to provide prints each time you volunteer with a new organization that asks for this vulnerable sector search. As these are called civil fingerprint requests, the RCMP by law is required to destroy them. 

Where do you go to get your fingerprints taken?

The RCMP website has a list of accredited companies that can do this. 

There is a lot more information covered in the RCMP website regarding fingerprinting and criminal record checks. To read more thorough information, visit here.

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