Ministerial directive concerning the release of criminal record information by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
This directive replaces all previous Ministerial Directives respecting the use and disclosure of Criminal Record Information, and any such directive is hereby revoked.
Criminal Record Information means criminal records, fingerprints, photographs, and related information maintained in the RCMP National Repository of Criminal Records. Information for vulnerable sector purposes also means pardoned sexual offence convictions maintained in the RCMP National Repository of Criminal Records.
This information is used by domestic and foreign law enforcement and investigative agencies of federal/provincial/territorial/state and municipal governments, departments of the criminal justice systems and the courts, in the administration or enforcement of the law and in the detection, prevention or suppression of crime generally. It is also used by federal I provincial / territorial / municipal agencies for security and reliability screening and by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service for the purposes of investigating threats to the security of Canada and the preparation of security assessments. These records may be made available as specified in this document.
It is anticipated that the components of this directive, including confirmation of a criminal record and the release of criminal record convictions by police of local jurisdiction, as well as the improper use or dissemination of criminal record information, will remain in effect until the RCMP criminal records system is fully automated and fingerprints are required for all criminal record and vulnerable sector verifications. At that point, a new Ministerial Directive will be issued to that effect.
- Identification of Criminals Act
- Criminal Records Act
- Youth Criminal Justice Act
- Privacy Act
- Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act
- Criminal Code of Canada
- Security Policy of the Government of Canada
- RCMP Administrative Manual
- CPIC Reference Manual
Policy with respect to disclosure of criminal records
Criminal Record Information may be released to the following:
- Canadian police services, crown prosecutors and enforcement investigative bodies of federal or provincial government departments; and on a reciprocal basis only, foreign police forces, prosecutors and enforcement / investigative bodies of government departments; for use in connection with their official duties and responsibilities in relation to the enforcement or administration of the law;
- Insurance Crime Prevention Bureaus for use such as assisting Canadian police services in the investigation of arson;
- Research groups conducting studies which are related to the execution or administration of the law, including evaluation of treatment or correctional programs, when the research is being conducted by or on behalf of a Canadian police service, a provincial, territorial or federal correctional or parole service, a provincial, territorial or federal Attorney General or Solicitor General or minister responsible for Justice, corrections or policing;
- Canadian parole and probation agencies; and on a reciprocal basis only, foreign parole and probation agencies; for use in connection with their official duties and responsibilities in relation to the execution or administration of the law;
- Canadian correctional services; and on a reciprocal basis only, foreign correctional services; for purposes of prevention of crime, preserving security of the institution and custodial requirements;
- Departmental Security Officers of federal/provincial/territorial Departments, Crown Corporations and other federal/provincial/territorial agencies with respect to applicants for employment and employees in positions where they will have access to classified information or who by the nature of their duties are required to be checked for reliability;
- Federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal agencies for the purposes of criminal record screening required by legislation;
- Individuals who are entitled to copies of their own records under the Privacy Act and individuals who request their records for purposes of obtaining paid or volunteer positions, visas, foreign work permits, border crossing cards, other documents for immigration, foreign travel, entry into Canada, other situations where criminality screening is required, or for humanitarian reasons;
- Private companies or organizations for the purposes of employment or volunteer screening when the disclosure has been authorized by the individual being screened;
- Police agencies and authorized bodies, as determined by provincial and territorial governments, for the purposes of screening related to involvement in the vulnerable sector, and;
- Those agencies or persons authorized to receive criminal records related to young persons.
Requirement for fingerprints
Fingerprints will be required for positive identification before criminal records are disclosed EXCEPT that this requirement may be waived when information or criminal records are requested for:
- Use in the investigation of offences or other law enforcement purposes, custodial responsibilities or the administration of justice;
- Crime prevention purposes specific to screening visitors to correctional institutions, screening persons having contact with parolees, screening persons involved with the security of internationally protected persons or involved in security at major public events;
- The preparation of security assessments by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service;
- Parole purposes when it is not possible to obtain fingerprints of the parole applicant or when the parole officer knows the individual and has his/her FPS number;
- Probation and pre-sentence purposes when it is not possible to obtain fingerprints or when the probation officer knows the individual and has his/her FPS number;
- Research purposes, or;
- Purposes authorized by the Youth Criminal Justice Act when it is not possible to obtainfingerprints.
Reporting with respect to Criminal Records
The RCMP is to develop and implement procedures which will provide two forms of reports with respect to an applicant's criminal history:
1. Confirmation of a Criminal Record
Confirmation of a Criminal Record is primarily intended to permit businesses and potential employers to determine whether an applicant has a criminal record so as to support hiring decisions.
- This report may be provided by a police service:
- when the police service has confined the identity of the applicant in accordance with standards set by the RCMP, and;
- when the police service obtains from the applicant a declaration of criminal record in a form specified by the RCMP.
- This report will confirm whether or not a criminal record declared by an applicant appears to match a registered criminal record in the RCMP National Repository of Criminal Records.
- The report should clearly state that the confirmation does not deal with records relating to 'young persons' pursuant to the Youth Criminal Justice Act or the existence of an offence for which a pardon has been granted.
Where a Confirmation of a Criminal Record has been sought by an applicant, a police service of local jurisdiction where the applicant resides may release to the applicant a report, in a form to be established by the RCMP, of the applicant's adult convictions and associated criminal record information from the RCMP National Repository of Criminal Records.
2. Vulnerable Sector Verification
This report is primarily intended to assist organizations in screening applicants for positions of authority or trust relative to children or other vulnerable persons.
A Vulnerable Sector Verification is a query of:
- the RCMP National Repository of Criminal Records, including pardoned criminal files associated with sexually based criminal offences;
- Canadian Police Information Centre Intelligence and Investigative databanks, and;
- police service records management systems where the applicant has resided.
The organizations that will be relying upon this report provide services involving young people and other vulnerable populations. As a result, accuracy of the report is a paramount concern. The RCMP should, bearing in mind the importance of the accuracy of the report, establish processes and standards which ensure the accuracy of the applicant's identity and ensure that the report accurately reflects the applicant's history of sexual offence convictions and/or pardons (if any).
Where a Vulnerable Sector Verification report has been sought by an organization, and the identity of an applicant for a vulnerable sector position has been confirmed to the standards established by the RCMP, the police service of local jurisdiction where the applicant resides or authorized body as described in the Criminal Records Act may release the results, in accordance with federal laws, in a form to be established by the RCMP, that confirms that:
- the applicant has been convicted of criminal offences, as listed, with specific reference and identification of any sexual offences and/or pardoned sexual offences;
- the applicant has no convictions with respect to sexual offences or otherwise, registered in the Criminal Record Repository; or
- it is not possible to confirm, through a criminal records check, whether the applicant has been convicted of criminal offences including any sexual offences.
In developing the procedures to permit the promulgation of these reports it must be remembered that improper disclosure of criminal records, or disclosure of records of absolute or conditional discharges under the Criminal Code and/or non-convictions may have an adverse effect upon many aspects of an individual's life. Records of 'young persons' can only be disclosed in accordance with the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Policies and practices should be developed to ensure that standards for disclosure and accuracy of these reports and access to criminal records and database information are maintained and that improper use or disclosure of information is not permitted. The RCMP should take steps, up to and including suspension of services and access to CPIC and related systems administered by the RCMP, as are necessary to protect the integrity of the process.
Approved August 4, 2010
Vic Toews. P.C., Q.C., M.P.
- Date modified: