Police Reference Check Policy

2.07 Police Reference Check

Policy Statement

The Police Reference check is part of the overall selection process when recruiting. This policy is not designed to replace sound hiring procedures but rather to enhance the process of securing high quality employees.

In keeping with screening requirements, a Police Reference Check shall be part of the final selection process for persons who are hired as an employee, or contractor or work as a volunteer.

Those undergoing a Police Reference Check shall also sign the Vulnerable Sector Screening form which is a part of the Police Reference Check program for individuals seeking employment.

The following persons shall be required to undergo a Police Reference Check:

  1. All employees hired, transferred, or promoted into positions that require direct unsupervised contact with children, youth and/or vulnerable adults;
  2. All volunteers who have direct unsupervised contact with children and/or vulnerable adults;
  3. All program participants who are also program volunteers and who have direct unsupervised contact with children, youth and/or vulnerable adults;
  4. Students completing placement hours as part of their co-op education courses;

In the event that there is insufficient time to obtain a Police Reference Check prior to placing an individual into a position, the individual shall only be allowed to assume the position if he/ she is directly supervised by senior employees. All employees and volunteers shall complete an Employee Police Record Declaration form and may be removed from the position if the Police Reference Check is not satisfactory. In addition, all employees are required to complete an Employee Police Record Declaration form annually and may be required to complete a new Police Reference Check if the Police Record Declaration is not satisfactory.

All applicants’ rights will be protected, as stated in the Ontario Human Rights Code.

2.07.01 Ontario Human Rights Code

Policy Statement

The Ontario Human Rights Code, Section 5, states the following:

“Every person has a right to equal treatment with respect to employment without discrimination because of … record of offence”[1]

It does not, however, include offences committed under the Criminal Code of Canada, which have not been pardoned. The definition of “record of offence”, under Section 10 (h) of the Human Rights Code means:

  1. An offence in respect of which a pardon has been granted under the Criminal Record Act (Canada) and has not been revoked; or
  2. An offence in respect of any provincial enactment.

A criminal offence, or an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada, for which a pardon has not been granted is thus excluded from this definition of “record of offences”. This means that there is no prohibition in the Ontario Human Rights Code which would limit a prospective employer’s right to make inquiries, through a police reference check, as to whether an applicant has ever been convicted (or has been charged, and the case has not yet been heard) of a criminal offence for which a pardon has not been granted.

Policy Procedures

A Police Reference Check is required only for the final candidate, after a conditional offer of employment is made. Existing employees who transfer or are promoted into positions of trust may be required to complete a new satisfactory Police Reference Check prior to being transferred or promoted.

Malvern Family Resource Centre shall ask the applicant to complete and sign the Consent to Disclosure of Personal Information form (see Appendix B). A representative of the Centre is also required to sign as a witness. All employees requiring a Police Reference Check shall pay the fee, which is non-refundable, for this reference check.

  1. The following information will be provided to the applicant prior to signing the Consent to Disclosure:
    • The reason for the Police Reference Check;
    • The procedure used including the rights of the applicant and the confidential nature of the process; and
    • That only a conditional offer of employment can be made pending the results of the Police Reference Check.
  2. Failure on the part of the applicant to provide the Consent to Disclosure of Personal Information shall result in termination of the selection process.
  3. Upon receipt of a response from the Police, the Executive Director shall notify the applicant of the results. The documentation regarding the Police Reference Check shall be kept secure in the applicant’s employment file and be treated as confidential.
  4. In the event that there is a discrepancy between the applicant’s identity and the identity of the person shown in the Police Reference Check, the onus is on the applicant to provide verifiable evidence that the person shown is indeed not him/her.
  5. In the event that the Police inform the contact person that the applicant has a criminal code conviction(s), the applicant shall be requested to provide Malvern Family Resource Centre with their Police Reference Check response within one (1) business day. Failure to provide original Police documentation will result in instant termination of employment.
  6. The decision to hire, transfer or promote the applicant notwithstanding a criminal conviction(s) is at the sole discretion of the Executive Director, who shall consider the following factors:
    • The potential risk to Malvern Family Resource Centre’s participants as a result of employing the applicant or volunteer;
    • The nature and number of conviction(s);
    • The applicant’s age at the time of the conviction(s);
    • The length of time that has elapsed since the conviction(s);
    • The rehabilitative and other efforts subsequently made by the applicant;
    • The employment record, qualifications and references;
    • The specific duties and responsibilities associated with the position the applicant is being considered for and the relevance of the particular criminal conviction to the position; and
    • Any other relevant factors.
  7. The mitigating circumstances shall be discussed with the applicant before a final decision is made in the selection process.
  8. Conviction(s) of sexual assault and/or child abuse shall automatically disqualify a candidate from further consideration and the selection process will terminate immediately.
  9. In the case of a positive clearance, an offer of employment/volunteer position may be made with the appropriate probation period.
  10. Malvern Family Resource Centre shall not be responsible for the police reference check fee for the following:
    • All employees requiring a police reference check;
    • All volunteers All police reference check forms (Appendix D) must be completed prior to employee’s/volunteer’s start date.

All police reference check forms (Appendix D) must be completed prior to employee’s/volunteer’s start date.

Risk Management Policies