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Changes to the vulnerable sector verification

In July 2010, the RCMP implemented changes to the vulnerable sector verification record search to make it more thorough and act as an additional safeguard against pardoned sex offenders who may have had a legal name change.

How do these changes affect me?

In short, changes to the vulnerable sector search mean that all individuals are more likely to be flagged to provide further information. This does not suggest that the applicant is the subject of a pardon for a sexual offence. It means the results are 'inconclusive' based on the name, date of birth and gender search against the pardoned sex offender database.

How did the process change?

Previously, the Vulnerable Sector Verification searched the RCMP criminal records database in Ottawa (The National Repository) and the pardoned sex offender database for hits or similarities on surname, date of birth and gender. Fingerprints were required if there was a possible hit on a specific weighting of these search criteria. If the surname did not match, the search would be negative.

Now, the vulnerable sector verification continues to search surname, given name, date of birth and gender of the applicant. However, if there is not a 'hit' on the surname, but there is a 'hit' on date of birth and gender, the results will be positive. A 'hit' on the date of birth and gender guarantees fingerprints will be required to verify the existence of pardoned sex offender records.

In theory, any query of an individual who is the same gender and shares a date of birth with someone granted a pardon for a sex related offence will be flagged indicating the results are 'inconclusive' based upon the information. The individual is now required to get a full set of fingerprints for submission to the Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Service (CCRTIS) for verification.

Why did it change?

The possibility of loopholes in identifying sex offenders is minimized resulting in a more thorough check when an individual is applying for employment or a volunteer position. For instance, an individual with a conviction could change his/her name without reporting the name change to the RCMP and may not be flagged in a vulnerable sector verification search. Alberta and British Columbia are the only two provinces that require fingerprints for a legal name change. This process will help identify anyone who has legally changed their name after receiving a pardon for a sexual offence.

For additional information, refer to our vulnerable sector verification FAQs or visit the RCMP’s vulnerable sector check section for more information.