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​Vulnerable Sector Check

The vulnerable sector (VS) check requires fingerprints from applicants who share a date of birth and gender with a pardoned sex offender. If you are required to provide fingerprints as part of the VS Check, please contact CDSBC.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. What is a Vulnerable Sector (VS) Check? Why do I have to do this?
  2. Does everyone have to get their fingerprints done?
  3. Can I go to any police station to get this done? 
  4. What if the police station or agency will not send the results to the Ministry directly?
  5. How long do I have to complete this requirement?
  6. Is there an additional cost to the VS check?
  7. How long does it take for the results to come back?
  8. What if I don’t live in Canada?
  9. Do I have to do this every time I complete a new criminal record check?
  10. What happens if I do not comply?


1. What is a Vulnerable Sector (VS) Check? Why do I have to do this?

As part of a criminal record check process, the Criminal Records Review Program (CRRP) will conduct a VS check. The VS check is a federally mandated standard set by the national RCMP. The process determines whether or not an applicant has a record suspension (formerly known as pardons) for a sexual offence.

The national RCMP policy requires fingerprints from those who share a date of birth and gender with a pardoned sex offender to verify their identity.

This is not an accusation of criminal activity or guilt: fingerprints are used to confirm your identity only.

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2. Does everyone have to get their fingerprints done?

No, not all applicants are required to provide fingerprints as part of the VS Check. You will only be required to complete this if you receive a letter from the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General informing you to get your fingerprints done. 

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3. Can I go to any police station to get this done?

The applicant will be required to visit their local police or RCMP detachment to submit their fingerprints.

Please note: Police and RCMP detachments will require two pieces of current government-issue identification, one of which must have a current photo. Some police or RCMP detachments may require a photograph of the applicant be taken, along with the fingerprints.

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4. What if the police station or agency will not send the results to the Ministry directly?

Some police stations or agencies have policies that do not allow them to send the results of the VS Check to the CRRP. If the police or RCMP detachment cannot send the results directly to the CRRP, you will need to submit the originals of results to CDSBC. CDSBC will then submit the results of your VS Check to the Ministry for processing.

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5. How long do I have to complete this requirement?

You will have 90 days from the date of the initial fingerprint request letter to complete the VS check requirement. If the CRRP does not receive the results after 60 days, you will be sent a reminder letter with an additional 30 days to comply. If the results are not received in 30 days, your CRC application will be closed due to non-compliance and CDSBC will then be notified.

To prevent this from happening, it is recommended that  a copy of the fingerprinting receipt is sent to the CRRP via email to criminalrecords@gov.bc.ca and the service will remain open until the CRRP receives the results of the VS Check.

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6. Is there an additional cost to the VS check?

Yes, there are typically two fees associated with the VS Check. The federal processing fee and the fingerprint service fee. The federal processing fee is $25 for fingerprinting. Payment will be collected by the police service or the accredited company for electronic transactions. This fee is in addition to any local service fees required for fingerprinting by a police service, RCMP detachment and/or an accredited fingerprinting company.

Please note: the addition cost to the VS Check will not be reimbursed by CDSBC or the Criminal Records Review Program

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7. How long does it take for the results to come back?

The time it takes for the results to be returned varies depending on the method used to obtain your fingerprints. The average turn around time is between 2-8 weeks from the time the fingerprints are submitted to the Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services (CCRTIS).

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8. What if I don’t live in Canada?

If you reside outside of Canada, the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General will ask you to fill out a form indicating the date that you will return to Canada and attend for fingerprinting.

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9. Do I have to do this every time I complete a new criminal record check?

If you have been fingerprinted for a VS Check with the CRRP, you may be able to re-use the results for future checks with the program. To confirm if the results may still be used, please contact criminalrecords@gov.bc.ca or 1-855-587-0185 (Option 2). This is subject to any changes the RCMP may implement or extenuating circumstances that an individual’s case requires.

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10. What happens if I do not comply?

Under the B.C. Criminal Records Review Act, failure to complete this process will result in you being unable to work on children and vulnerable adults until such time as clearance is received. In addition, as required under the Health Professions Act (s33), this matter may also be forwarded to the CDSBC Inquiry Committee for investigation and consideration of limits and conditions on your registration/certification.

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