Criminal Record Checks under the BC Criminal Records Review Act
Criminal record checks under the Criminal Records Review Act (the “CRRA”) are a tool used by both the Province of British Columbia and the CRPNBC. The Province requires all registered health professionals to authorize a CRRA criminal record check (or “CRRA check”). Colleges such as CRPNBC are required to ensure that this requirement is met by their registrants. CRRA checks are required both before a person is admitted or re-admitted to the register as a health professional (referred to as “applicants” for the purpose of this webpage), and then every five years thereafter, as a college registrant (referred to as “registrants”).
CRPNBC also requires applicants for admission or readmission to the register to provide CRRA check results, as these are used to determine whether the applicant meets the college’s registration requirements (e.g. good character and fitness to practice).
This online resource is designed to help applicants and registrants understand why CRRA checks are required, and how to authorize and obtain them.
+ What is a CRRA criminal record check?
The BC Criminal Records Review Act (the “CRRA”) requires both CRPNBC applicants and registrants to follow the process outlined in the CRRA for authorizing a criminal record check to ensure registered health professionals do not pose a risk to children and to vulnerable adults.
A CRRA criminal record check is a very specific type of criminal record check; an RCMP or local police detachment check is not the same thing and will not satisfy the legal obligation upon applicants, registrants and the college under the CRRA.
When you apply for a CRRA check, the Deputy Registrar of the Criminal Records Review Program reviews the results for relevant records and then provides a letter directly to CRPNBC advising whether or not any risk to children or vulnerable adults exists. If there is a record that is not relevant to this risk, the Ministry of Justice will not automatically release the information to CRPNBC. The offences reviewed under this process are listed here as Schedules 1 and 3.
+ I am an applicant – what do I need to do?
In addition to the requirement under the CRRA to authorize a criminal record check, the CRPNBC Bylaws require that you to provide evidence of good character and fitness to practice. This requires you to provide a CRRA criminal record check as part of the application process.
The results of the check, or the clearance letter from the Criminal Records Review Program, must be current within two months of the date of registration approval. You may share the results of a CRRA check completed with another organization so long as the results are not more than two months old.
If the outcome of the check that CRPNBC receives indicates that no criminal record has been found for the purpose of working with children or vulnerable adults, your application will move forward. If there is any other outcome, CRPNBC may request further relevant information and/or documentation (the exact requirements will vary case-by-case).
Please see ‘How do I go about getting my CRRA check?’ below, for a step-by-step guide to obtaining your check.
+ I am a registrant – what do I need to do?
Under the CRRA, as a registrant you must authorize a new CRRA check every five years. As a regulatory college, CRPNBC is also under a legislated duty to obtain confirmation that you have authorized a new check, before the five-year anniversary of your last one. CRPNBC is legally bound to report to your employer(s) if you fail to authorize a required CRRA check.
Please see ‘How do I get a CRRA check?’, below, for a step-by-step guide to authorizing your check.
How do I get a CRRA check?
+ 1. Start early – at least two (2) months before when your check is needed!
If you are an applicant, you will need to time your application so that the results will be available when needed and still current to within two months of your expected registration approval date.
If you are a registrant, you should diarize to start the process for authorizing a CRRA check at least two months before the 5-year anniversary (or expiry) of your last check. You can find your 5-year CRC Expiry Date in your online My Record profile. While CRPNBC will send you a reminder when your expiry date is coming up, ultimately it is your responsibility to ensure your new CRRA check is authorized in time.
We usually recommend starting early because the Ministry’s process for completing a check can take several weeks. Some people may be required to submit fingerprints in order for the check to be completed (for example so that an initial result or identity can be verified), which can add an additional 1-2 months to the processing time. It may also be that your check will take longer if you are unable to authorize your CRRA criminal record check using the Ministry’s online process.
2. Very important – get the right type of criminal record check!
Note: not just any criminal record check satisfies the CRRA requirement. Compliance with the CRRA program is not fulfilled or duplicated by an RCMP criminal record check or any other local police detachment’s criminal record check.
The required criminal record check is a “Criminal Records Review Act” authorized check.
CRPNBC legally cannot accept another kind of criminal record check, as it does not satisfy the legally imposed requirement under the CRRA for a provincial criminal record check for risk to children and vulnerable adults. Registrants must authorize a CRRA check.
+ 3. Apply online using the BC Ministry of Justice eCRC website
The easiest way to authorize a CRRA check is to make an online application with the BC Ministry of Justice, following these steps
- Use a desktop computer and MS Internet Explorer. The Ministry advises that doing so will increase the likelihood you will not encounter computer hardware or software issues in using the Ministry’s online process.
- Go to the following link: https://justice.gov.bc.ca/eCRC/home.htm
- Enter the following access code: FWZZD5SN4A
- Type in the characters you see in the box on the page (this is the verification system for proving to the web-based system you are a real person).
- Select either:
- The “Request a New Criminal Record Check” button – if you have not recently completed a CRRA criminal record check.
- The “Share the Result of a Completed Criminal Record Check” button – if you have recently completed a CRRA criminal record check for another organization. (If you are an applicant, make sure your shared criminal record check is current within two months, otherwise CRPNBC will not accept it)
- Complete the online application process (the Ministry’s Walk Through Guide is there to help if needed), including payment of $28.00 (or current service fee) to the province. This fee is not included in your CRPNBC application fee, nor do we reimburse you for it.
- [This step applies to existing registrants only.] Once your application has been submitted, send an email to [email protected] with your “Service Number” as proof that you have authorized your CRRA check on time.
+ 4. If you are unable to apply online, use the manual (paper) process
If you are unable to use the online process for completing your CRRA check (either because you have no computer or internet access, or the Ministry’s Electronic Identity Verification process does not work for you to verify your identity, e.g. if you do not have at least 6 months of credit history), please contact the CRPNBC for direction on how to complete your check.