Ministry of Justice

B.C. Criminal Record Checks – Children and Vulnerable Adults



October 28, 2013
Recent changes to the Act were passed to increase efficiency for clients and to provide free criminal record checks for eligible volunteers working with children and/or vulnerable adults.

More information:


Under the Criminal Records Review Act, individuals working with children or vulnerable adults directly or potentially have unsupervised access to children or vulnerable adults must authorize a Criminal Record Check for their employer or authorized organization. This authorization is submitted to the Criminal Records Review Program (CRRP) for review. Note:  Volunteer organizations have the choice to opt into the CRRP and are not required by legislation to utilize the CRRP. 

The purpose of the Act is to help protect:

  • Children from individuals whose criminal record indicates they pose a risk of physical or sexual abuse.
  • Vulnerable adults from individuals whose criminal record indicates they pose a risk of physical, sexual or financial abuse.

Criminal record checks done through the Criminal Records Review Program are legislated under the British Columbia Criminal Records Review Act.

  • This criminal record check is done ONLY for individuals working with children and / or vulnerable adults, see Who Must Have a Criminal Record Check under the Criminal Records Review Act.
  • An individual's criminal record history is reviewed against the list of relevant or specified offences as applicable in determining the risk that an individual may pose in a position where they work with children and/or vulnerable adults directly or having or potentially having unsupervised access to children and/or vulnerable adults. See Offences Reviewed under the Act.

If you are not clear, after reading the information available on this site, if the purpose of your criminal record check is for reasons included under the Criminal Records Review Act, contact the Criminal Records Review Program prior to submitting a Consent to a Criminal Record Check application form.

Police criminal record checks are not a legislative requirement and may be conducted for organizations with employees or volunteers that are not covered by the B.C. Criminal Records Review Act.

Organizations not covered by the act may make their own arrangements through their local police or RCMP detachment to conduct name based criminal record verifications for background screening checks. Generally police detachments require the individuals to visit in person to request their own criminal record check.

To support the province’s police agencies in providing a common and consistent approach to record checks, the Ministry of Justice developed model policy guidelines that detail what information should and should not be released for those working with the vulnerable sector and those seeking employment that does not work directly with the vulnerable sector.   The BC Association of Chiefs of Police has endorsed the policy.