FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
GENERAL CRIMINAL RECORD CHECKS
1. Why does the College require general criminal record checks for applicants?
Registration and permission to practice in a profession is a privilege, and the College as a regulatory body has a duty to protect the public by taking steps to ensure that individuals of suitable qualification, including in their conduct and character, are permitted to deliver podiatric medical services to the public. Criminal record checks provide information about the conduct and character of applicants for registration.
2. Is a general criminal record check for Canada the only requirement of this kind?
No, applicants must obtain record checks from other countries, and in addition a check under the BC Criminal Record Review Act (CRRA) which involves a separate process (see more).
3. From where are general criminal record checks required?
From every jurisdiction where the applicant has lived except as a child, worked or had a conviction.
4. How recent must the criminal record report be?
Criminal record checks must be current and in any case dated no less than one year prior to the date on which the application is filed with the College.
5. What exactly must the criminal record check include?
The criminal record check must be thorough; it must include a search for charges and convictions on all offences at the national and state/provincial level. Often a single national check will provide the required information; for example, a complete FBI check is sufficient for the United States.
6. What if an applicant does not complete or provide a criminal record check?
A failure or refusal to provide the required check may raise questions about an applicant’s character or conduct. As well, the application will likely be considered incomplete. For either reason, it is very possible that registration will not be granted.
7. What if it not possible or practicable to obtain a report from another country?
The Registration Committee may grant an exception to the requirement for countries where there is no administrative apparatus to provide the service; for example, with war-torn areas where there is no effectively functioning government bureaucracy.
8. Does having a criminal record result in an automatic refusal of registration?
No, having a criminal record is not an automatic bar to registration. Registration is rarely barred for this reason alone. It is most often the applicant’s attitude toward the conviction that is a key factor. The Registration Committee will consider all relevant circumstances, including the applicant’s acceptance, acknowledgement and atonement for the conduct that led to the record, and what they indicate about the applicant’s current conduct and character, in deciding if registration ought to be granted.
9. Where does a person obtain a criminal record check?
In Canada, from a local police agency or the RCMP. In other countries, usually from police agencies.
10. Is there assistance available within Canada for obtaining checks from other countries?
Consulates and embassies are often able to provide assistance, especially for their own citizens.
11. If a registrant is charged or convicted of an offense after becoming registered, what is their obligation?
Charges or convictions for offences other than minor bylaw infractions must be reported to the College.