Learn about vulnerable sector checks

Can an employer ask me if I have a police record?
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Learn about vulnerable sector checks

An employer will likely want a vulnerable sector check if you apply for a job where you'll be working with:

  • children
  • older people
  • others who may be vulnerable

The law says who is a vulnerable person. For example, people are vulnerable if, because they're younger or older or have a disability, they:

  • depend on other people, such as caregivers
  • are at a greater risk of being harmed by someone they trust or someone who has authority over them, like a sports coach

Who can ask for a vulnerable sector check

For a vulnerable sector check:

  • the employer asking must be responsible for the well-being of a child or a vulnerable person
  • the employer must be asking because you've applied for a specific job or volunteer position
  • the job or position must involve trust or authority in relation to a child or vulnerable person

Like other kinds of record checks, you must consent in writing for the check to be done.

For some jobs, employers must ask for a vulnerable sector check. For example, this applies to certain jobs working with:

  • residents in a long-term care home
  • clients of an agency for people with developmental disabilities that gets funding from the provincial government

What's in a vulnerable sector record check

A vulnerable sector record check can include all of the information that's in a criminal record and judicial matters check.

It can include information about convictions for certain crimes that you got a pardon or a record suspension for.

It can also include information if you were charged with a crime and were found to be not criminally responsible because you had a mental disorder. But this information can't be included if:

  • the finding was more than 5 years ago, or
  • you got an absolute discharge.

Non-conviction information

A vulnerable sector record check can include what's called "non-conviction" information. This means information about certain crimes, even if you were charged but not convicted.

This information can be included only if:

  • the law says that non-conviction information can be given about this crime, for example, crimes that are sexual assaults
  • the person you were accused of hurting was a child or a vulnerable person
  • there are reasonable grounds to believe that you have what the law calls a "pattern of predatory behavior", which shows that there's a risk you might harm a child or vulnerable person

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Reviewed: November 1, 2018

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