The Regina Police Service is advising the general public, employers and volunteer groups of changes that may affect the time required to process a criminal record check. This may affect individuals applying for employment or volunteer work where a criminal record check is required by the employer or organization.
As of July 16, 2010, the RCMP made changes to the querying mechanism on CPIC, the Canadian Police Information Centre. This is a mandatory change in process which the Regina Police Service, like all other police agencies, must follow. The changes have been made to enhance and improve screening measures; however, the changes will generate more possible hits, not actual hits, which will then require confirmation by fingerprints. A “hit” is a prompt from the CPIC system indicating the possible presence of a criminal record. Each time the CPIC system generates a requirement for fingerprints, the Regina Police Service must take the individual’s fingerprints on a form, which will then be sent to Ottawa for processing. If the criminal record check is for employment purposes, then the individual must pay an additional 25-dollar fee, payable to the Receiver General of Canada. The Regina Police Service has been advised that the fingerprint processing time may take upwards of 120 days.
Last year (2009), the Regina Police Service processed 16, 163 requests for criminal record checks. In 2009, the Regina Police Service sent 13 sets of fingerprints to Ottawa for processing; of those, only one returned a positive result, meaning that it confirmed the presence of a criminal record. Already in 2010, the Regina Police Service has sent 31 sets of fingerprints to Ottawa as the result of possible “hits”, so it is anticipated the changes to the querying mechanism will continue to result in a higher number of possible hits.
The Regina Police Service recognizes that this change will also affect the processes and policies of organizations and employers who require criminal record checks of potential employees or volunteers. Consider allowing more lead time so that candidates can obtain the necessary documentation. It is also important to understand that a delay is not necessarily an indication that there is a problem with the candidate; it is simply a change in the process that requires more time. The Regina Police Service wishes to remind the public that, ultimately, the change has been made to enhance screening measures and improve public safety.