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​Vulnerable Sector Check

As of 30 November 2013, the Criminal Records Review Program implemented the vulnerable sector (VS) check which requires fingerprints from applicants who share a date of birth and gender with a pardoned sex offender. If you are required to complete the VS check, please contact CDSBC.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. I received a letter telling me to get my fingerprints done. 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. Is there an additional cost to the VS check?
  5. How long does it take for the results to come back?
  6. What if I don’t live in Canada?
  7. Do I have to do this every time I complete a new criminal record check?
  8. What happens if I do not comply?


1. I received a letter telling me to get my fingerprints done. Why do I have to do this?

A vulnerable sector check is conducted as part of each criminal record check. It is a search of the record of suspended (formerly a pardon) sexual offences. 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 complete the vulnerable sector check. You will only be required to complete this if you receive a letter from the Ministry of Justice informing you to get your fingerprints done.

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

You must go to your local police station or an accredited fingerprinting company in the city you live in. For a complete listing of RCMP-Accredited companies for electronic fingerprint submission, please refer to: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cr-cj/time-temps-eng.htm.

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

The federal processing fee is $25 for each VS check. 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. For more information about the cost of the VS check, please refer to RCMP’s website: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cr-cj/fee-frais-eng.htm.

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5. 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. For more information about the processing time of your VS check, please refer to the RCMP’s website: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cr-cj/time-temps-eng.htm.

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6. What if I don’t live in Canada?

If you reside outside of Canada, the Ministry of Justice 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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7. Do I have to do this every time I complete a new criminal record check?

You do not need to provide repeat fingerprints generally within a 10 year period as long as you remain an active participant in the program. This is subject to any changes the RCMP may implement or extenuating circumstances that an individual’s case requires.

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8. What happens if I do not comply?

If the Ministry 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. 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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