In Canada, there are many different types of background checks and many different reasons for using them. Police may use background checks for criminality purposes, employers may use background checks for safety purposes, and banks may use background checks for credit purposes.
There are also personal background checks, fingerprint checks, professional licensing checks, and many more – the list goes on and on. But we’re going to focus on one type of background check in particular – the CPIC check.
What is a CPIC Check?
A CPIC check stands for “Canadian Police Information Centre” Check. This type of check uses an individual’s name and date of birth to check for convictions. While some police checks use fingerprinting methods, these do not.
To date, there are two different types of CPIC checks in Canada. Standard checks are designed to search for offenders with convictions. If desired, a Premium check can also be performed, which searches for convictions and any charges that are pending or that have been withdrawn. Premium checks can also search for additional information that is not related to convictions.
Some people also request RCMP checks which, in addition to searching names and birth dates, also search fingerprints. The main difference between the RCMP check and the CPIC check is that it’s much quicker because the CPIC check does not use fingerprints.
Who can access CPIC information?
The CPIC is a type of database where all criminal information is stored, no matter how recent or old. Though the RCMP maintains it, almost anyone can gain access to this information.
All information stored within the CPIC database is available to national, provincial, and local police. When required, this information is also accessible internationally. This means that these records are accessible to police agencies regardless of where a criminal may go.
But government and police agencies aren’t the only ones who have access to CPIC information. While the general public can’t gain access anytime they want, they can request a CPIC background check. These are often required for employment positions, as well as for immigration purposes and by-law licenses.
CPIC background checks can be requested by anyone but are not free to the public. If an employer has asked you to receive a background check, you may be required to pay the checking fee yourself. In some cases, your employer may cover the costs.
To obtain a check, you can go directly to your local police department. Some police departments also offer online background checks, as do several other third-party websites like tritoncanada.ca.
What do I need for a background check?
When applying for a CPIC check, you will need to fill out a form with standard information like your name, address, and date of birth. You will also be required to show two pieces of Government Issued ID, one of which must have a photo. Passports, Birth Certificates, Citizenship cards, Driver’s License cards, Permanent Resident Cards, Indian Status Cards, Military ID cards, and Nexus cards are all seen as valid forms of ID when applying for a CPIC.
In conclusion, there are lots of different reasons you may require a CPIC check, and you should not be surprised if your employer requests you to get one. Checks can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks to process, so be sure to speak to your local police department if there is a rush.