Under the Criminal Records Review Act (CRRA) all registrants (including medical students, residents and fellows) of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia who may work with or have unsupervised access to children (anyone under the age of 19) or vulnerable adults (anyone 19 years of age or older who receives health services other than acute care from certain health-care providers) must undergo a criminal record check (CRC). This CRC must be completed every five years, when there is a change in class of registration, or when a registrant has been charged and/or convicted of an offence.
This is a specific type of criminal record check administered by the Criminal Records Review Program (CRRP). Relevant and specified offences include sexual offences, violent offences, drug trafficking offences, theft, fraud and breach of trust.
The College sends the information provided on the criminal record check authorization/application form electronically to the Criminal Records Review Program operated by the Ministry of Justice. The program arranges for a policing agency to conduct the criminal records check. If the check reveals no relevant record, the College is told that no relevant record exists. If there is a relevant or specified offence, this will be reviewed by a government-appointed adjudicator who will determine if the criminal record indicates a risk to children or dependent adults. If such a determination is made, the College will be notified and then takes appropriate action.
Driver’s licence requirement
In July 2013, the College was advised by the Ministry of Justice that the policing agency would no longer conduct criminal record checks if no driver’s licence (where available) was provided.
The College liaised with the Ministry of Justice to determine how it could best meet the requirements under the CRRA. In order to be able to have the criminal record checks completed, applicants must now either bring an original Canadian passport and driver's licence to be cited by College staff, or submit a Canadian-notarized copy of a Canadian passport and driver's licence. If Canadian identification is not available, non-Canadian identification, a passport and driver's licence (when available) that is notarized in the country where the applicant is currently residing is acceptable.
The College also needs to verify identification again at five-year rechecks. In order to optimize efficiencies in this process, the College requests a registrant’s driver’s licence number on the Annual Licence Renewal Form, where available.
Applicants and registrants undergoing a CRC may also be required to undergo fingerprinting. The requirement for fingerprinting, and the query parameters for determining who should undergo them, is based upon the federal RCMP’s Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services (CCRTIS) policy.
CCRTIS changed their query parameters for determining who would undergo fingerprinting in August 2010 in order to uncover sexual offences where a record suspension (formerly a pardon) has been granted.
The search requires applicants who have the same combination of gender and date of birth to undergo fingerprinting to verify their identity. The vast majority of those fingerprinted will not have a suspended sexual offence; however, fingerprinting remains a necessity as it eliminates the possibility of an offender changing their name to circumvent a criminal record. Currently only British Columbia and Alberta require fingerprints upon a legal name change which results in the records for these individuals continuing to be associated.
There are fees associated with fingerprinting. These fees are set and collected by individual municipalities and their police, whether RCMP or municipal. The College does not provide reimbursement for the cost of fingerprinting.
Registrants who wish to share the results of their College criminal record check with another organization should visit the website of the Ministry of Public Safety and the Solicitor General and submit the required form as instructed.