FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
CRRA CRIMINAL RECORD CHECKS
1. Is the Criminal Records Review Act check a separate requirement from the general criminal check?
Yes. It is a requirement imposed on a broad sector of workers by the BC government, through the Criminal Records Review Act (CRRA). The aim of the CRRA is to provide a uniform system across the professions to detect persons with a history of financial or sexual abuse toward children or vulnerable adults.
2. Who must provide a CRRA check?
The CRRA check is mandatory for all applicants for registration, as practitioners and their staff work with or have unsupervised access to children and ‘vulnerable adults’ (i.e. anyone 19 years of age or older who receives health services other than acute care from certain health-care providers).
3. Why is this necessary when applicants already provide a general criminal record check?
The College requires the general check because the CRRA process is not as broad.
4. What exactly does the CRRA check look for?
The CRRA looks only for specific ‘relevant’ offences relating to sexual and violent assaults, drug trafficking, theft, fraud and breach of trust that are associated with physical, sexual, and financial abuse. Convictions related to minor offences that are not related to the protection of children and vulnerable persons are not included. For a list of the relevant offences see: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/crime-prevention/criminal-record-check/offences-reviewed.
5. What agency administers the CRRA requirements?
The CRRA is administered by the Criminal Records Review branch or Program (CRRP) of the BC Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, not by the College.
6. Are follow-up checks required under the CRRA?
CRRA checks are valid for 5 years. So long as an individual is registered to practice, they must undergo a new CRRA check every five years before the expiration of the previous check.
7. What if an applicant, after being registered, is charged or convicted within the 5 years?
Registrants are not permitted to wait for the next five-year check. The CRRA requires that registrants promptly report any new charges or convictions to the College and provide the College with a new check.
8. Can the CRRA check be done at the police station with a general record check?
No, applications for CRRA checks must be submitted to the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General.
9. What are the consequences if an applicant does not compelete the CRRA check?
Under the CRRA, an applicant who fails to comply will not be eligible for registration and the College must not grant registration to them. Registrants who fail to comply will not have their registration renewed.
10. What is the fee for the CRRA check?
Regulations to the CRRA set a fee that must be paid by the applicant to the government for the criminal record check. The current regulation specifies a $28 fee.
11. How does the applicant for registration actually initiate and obtain a check under the CRRA?
The College has enrolled in the CRRP’s applicant-based on-line system. Applicants log on to the CRRP website at http://justice.gov.bc.ca/eCRC/ and use an access code that will be provided by the College on request. Note that applicants may need to have the College verify their identification.
12. How long does the CRRA process take?
The CRRP processing time is usually about 1-2 weeks after an application is submitted to the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General. For applicants who are required to submit fingerprints, the process will take longer (see below) as it can be completed only after the Ministry of Public Safety has received the results of the fingerprint check.
13. Where are the CRRA check results sent?
The CRRP College will report the results of the criminal record check to the College, in writing.
14. What information does the College receive?
If the applicant is found to have no relevant record, the College receives a ‘clearance’ report.
If an applicant has a ‘relevant’ offence record, the CRRP will notify the College only that a relevant record exists, and is being reviewed (‘adjudicated’); no further details are provided.
If the CRRP will determines that a record poses a risk to children or vulnerable adults, it will report that fact the College with no further details. If the CRRP determined that the record does not pose a risk, the College will be advised.
15. How does the College respond to a report that a registrant has a relevant record?
If the College is advised that the applicant has been deemed to be a risk, the Registration Committee will investigate further, and will give the applicant the opportunity to make submissions on the matter.
When deciding on registration, the Committee must take the matter into consideration and take what action they deem appropriate in the circumstances to ensure that the public is adequately protected.
FINGERPRINTING / VULNERABLE SECTOR SEARCHES
1. What is a vulnerable sector search?
A vulnerable sector search is part of each check under the CRRA; in order to spot pardoned sex offenders. A vulnerable sector search requires that the applicant submit fingerprints.
2. Which applicants are required to provide a fingerprint search and why?
Only applicants who share a birth date and gender with a pardoned sex offender will receive a letter advising of the requirement to provide fingerprints, in order to confirm their identity.
3. Where can an applicant have fingerprints taken?
Fingerprinting is generally done at specific detachments of a local police agency or the RCMP, or by an accredited fingerprinting company. For more information including important guidance about RCMP-accredited companies, see here.
4. Can a fingerprint/certified check be initiated from outside of Canada?
Yes; see here for more information on the steps to obtaining a certified criminal record check from inside or outside of Canada.
5. Is there an extra cost for fingerprinting?
Yes. There is a federal fee and there may be additional process fees imposed by the entity that conducts the fingerprinting. For more information about the costs involved see the RCMP website here.
6. How long does the fingerprinting process take?
The time for fingerprint results to be received by the CRRP depends on certain factors. See the RCMP website here.
7. What are the consequence of not responding to the request for fingerprints?
If the CRRP does not receive fingerprint results within 60 days, the applicant will be sent a reminder letter from the CRRP with an additional 30 days to comply. If the results are still not received in that 30 days, the CRRA application will be closed for non-compliance and the College will be notified. As the CRRA process has not been completed, the applicant will not be registered.