Understanding Police Record Checks in Ontario Part II: Attention Teachers, Early Childhood Educators, and School Volunteers

The PCRCA prohibits police from disclosing “non-conviction information”

The Police Record Checks Reform Act (“the PRCRA”) provides clear rules about what information police agencies can divulge about Ontarians.  In Part I of this post, I explained how this is a welcome change from the patchwork of police agency policies that previously governed what information police could release pursuant to criminal record, background, and vulnerable sector checks.  Prior to the PRCRA, police were permitted to disclose “non-conviction information” including the mere fact that someone had been charged with a crime, even if that person was never convicted.

The PCRCA does not apply to school employees and volunteers

Though the clear rules imposed by the PRCRA are a welcome change, it is important to understand that its rules which limit the information police can disclose do not apply to teachers, school employees, and school volunteers.  Pursuant to s. 19 of the “Exemptions” Regulation related to the PRCRA, police record check providers are exempt from the rules which prohibit them from disclosing non-conviction information if the check is being done in relation to someone who works or volunteers in a school.

Therefore, if you work or volunteer in a school in Ontario, it is possible for a police record check provider to disclose information, including non-conviction information, as part of a vulnerable sector check.

What to do if you work or volunteer in a school

If you are someone who works or volunteers in a school in Ontario and you faced criminal charges that were subsequently withdrawn or from which you were acquitted, contact an experienced criminal defence lawyer for help with destroying your non-conviction records.  Getting your non-conviction information destroyed is the best way to ensure this information will not be disclosed as part of a check that can impact your career.

Mindy Caterina, BA, JD – Toronto Professional Discipline & Criminal Defence Lawyer