Obtaining Police Record Checks

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The police records checks are only required for high-risk positions where the level of risk cannot be reduced through other methods. It is considered a prudent measure and is widely used by most volunteer agencies serving children and vulnerable adults. The police records check only provides limited information and so it must never be the most relied upon screening standard.

A police records check is required for all ordained ministry and normally for paid employee positions where there is a level of trust inherent in these positions of ministry/work and a lack of daily, structured supervision. A police records check is required at the beginning of a ministry and every three (3) years thereafter, and must be obtained through the approved background checking service, using the standard forms and instructions (last updated March 2016).

The Diocesan Office will receive and store all information from police checks. The police record check will be sent to the Diocesan Human Resources Department where it will by processed and filed. In order to protect the privacy of information in the document the police record check will be stored centrally at the Diocesan Centre and not in the parish. All information associated with this process will be handled in a confidential manner consistent with the Diocesan Privacy Standards policy. The individual and the parish will be sent confirmation that they are permitted or not to serve in a position ranked High Risk. The parish will not receive detailed information contained in the police record.

Certain classes of convictions will automatically preclude an individual from filling a ministry position of trust with children or vulnerable adults (e.g. violent or sex-related crimes). In some cases the existence of an official Pardon will be taken into consideration. An individual with a criminal history may be accepted into a ministry position so long as the convictions are not related to the tasks of that position.

All police record checks must be obtained using the Diocesan form and instructions. If you have questions about the police record checks or the process for obtaining one, please see Police Record Checks FAQs.

Sexual Offenders:

The Diocesan Sexual Misconduct Policy requires that:  “Persons who have been found in a criminal proceeding to have committed sexual abuse of a child shall under no circumstances be given duties where they may be in contact with children. In the case of acquittal of a person charged with sexual abuse of a child (or where charges have not been proceeded with), the Diocese reserves the right to make an independent determination of the facts and the potential risks posed by the respondent based on a standard of the balance of probabilities, and erring on the side of protection of children and vulnerable persons.”

According to the Ontario Child and Family Services Act and the Diocesan Sexual Misconduct Policy, the parish will ensure all reasonable suspicions of sexual offence against children and vulnerable adults are reported to the police, Children’s Aid Society and the Canon Pastor.

For the full list of resources available to help with the implementation of the Responsible Ministry: Screening in Faith program, please see Forms and Resources.

© 2003 The Incorporated Synod of the Diocese of Toronto. The Incorporated Synod of the Diocese of Toronto willingly shares these resources with anyone who may find them helpful. However, no responsibility will be taken for how these resources are used, interpreted or applied.