Criminal Record Check Issues

Local 441 Members,

We have had a huge volume of calls from members with concerns about the recent criminal record checks requests that many of you have received. I have been working with the HR department and I now have some answers for you.

First the school act requires the employer to do criminal record checks for its employees at time of hire and update them every 5 years. It is simply the law of the land for those at every level of employment in the K-12 system.

This process is handled through the Ministry of Justice and they have recently farmed some of this work out to a private company. The on-line record checks portion is now handled by a strange partnership between the Ministry and Equifax a private company. (at the bottom of this email is an explanation from the Ministry website)

Many of you have noticed and expressed valid concerns with the on-line questions about your credit cards, mortgage and loan information for a criminal record check. Equifax normally being a credit information service company already has this all and isn’t gathering information but merely cross-referencing your answers to verify you are who you say you are.  If you are like me and are still sceptical the employer has been very reasonable and offered this alternative.

Hello Dean.  Attached is a “Consent to a CRC” form.  If any of your members are uncomfortable e-filing their CRC and providing the “Equifax” information, please ask your members to complete the attached form and scan and send it in to Leigh Anne McDonald in HR who will manually key the information in and efile on their behalf.

Thank you for your patience as we work through this one.

Although regrettable it will create more work for our sisters working in the HR department I must advise the membership to choose this alternate method. Aside from the plethora of privacy concerns this farming out of Ministry work undoubtedly translates to lay-offs in another Union and the savings off their backs would only create a profit margin for a private company with less accountability to us the tax payers.


Electronic Identity Verification (EIV)

The Criminal Records Review Program (CRRP) applicant based online service has the ability to electronically verify the identity of applicants.

The CRRP has entered into an agreement with Equifax to utilize real-time online identity authentication. This meets with RCMP standards for verifying an individual’s identity for the purpose of conducting criminal record checks. When an applicant enters the CRRP online service, The EIV process asks the applicant personal questions (based on “shared secret‟ information) that should only be known by the actual applicant.  Each applicant must consent to the use of EIV and agree to the terms to complete the online process. Not all individuals will be able to complete the EIV service and will have to submit their criminal record check manually. For example, individuals that do not have significant credit history in Canada, such as youth under 19 years of age or individuals new to the country may be unable to use EIV as the EIV questions are based on credit history.

It is important to note that the Criminal Records Review Program is not requesting a credit report; the Equifax EIV tool is used solely to verify the identity of the individual and to ensure the personal information contained in the criminal record check form is accurate. No information from this process is retained or stored by the CRRP and the  use of the EIV does not reflect on the credit history of the applicant.