If you require a criminal record background check it is most likely that you are looking for work and have received on offer for employment. Many companies today require that all employees perform criminal record checks prior to hiring the candidate. But you may also require a criminal record check for immigration, volunteer work, educational opportunities and more.
How to get a Criminal Record Background Check
There are two ways in Canada to perform a background check: by fingerprinting and by name and birth date search. The most common one used by employers – particularly larger organizations – is the name and birth date search. This is because it can be done easily online and it is often less expensive than fingerprinting. The problem is that name and birth date searches are routinely unreliable and they cannot confirm the existence of a criminal record due to the chance of false positives.
If a criminal record background check done by name and birth date alone produces a match some kind of criminal record the candidate then has to get fingerprints done to ensure that the match was not made by mistake. Since we all have unique fingerprints it is the safest way of ensuring the identity being searched matches the person performing the search.
For this reason it is likely that name and birth date searches will be done away with in the future. For example all federal government employees must perform a criminal record check by fingerprinting. Similarly recent legislation introduced in Montreal requiring cab drivers to get a background check done requires the check be done only by fingerprinting. Name and birth date searches are not acceptable.
Clearly any new laws requiring background checks on individuals will require the checks to be done by fingerprinting. In the meantime larger corporations may continue to perform routine name and birth date checks on employees but it is unlikely that this service will continue to grow due to the unreliable nature of that type of criminal record background check.