ONN POLICY PRIORITIES 2019-2020
July 9 2021 update:
Certain exemptions under Police Record Checks Reform Act made permanent
The Ontario government has amended an exemptions regulation under the Police Record Checks Reform Act, 2015, to replace temporary exemptions that were set to expire on July 1, 2021. The amendments include additional provisions for administering police record checks, such as:
- greater transparency around how an exempted police record check is conducted and restrictions as to when non-criminal information can be disclosed; and
- processes to respond to requests from an individual to review their results, correct inaccurate information or request a reconsideration.
Amendments clarify which exemptions will continue and the scope of each specific exemption. The amendments also introduce new criteria to guide what can be disclosed, enable disclosure of the results to the applicant (upon request) and require a process for review or reconsideration.
POLICE RECORD CHECKS
Advocate for an accessible, streamlined police record check process for nonprofit employees and volunteers
Volunteers and nonprofits experience uneven and unfair fees and processing timelines for police record checks across Ontario.
Some police forces charge fees for volunteer checks while others do not. Police record checks for nonprofit employees can also be expensive. Some police forces take many weeks to process requests because the system is still paper-based. A digitized, modernized system would reduce costs and speed up processing.
ONN advocates for the Ontario nonprofit sector to use police record checks appropriately in the context of an overall employee and volunteer screening approach. ONN advocates for an accessible, digitized police record check processing system that provides free police record checks for volunteers and affordable checks for nonprofit employees with standardized processing times across Ontario. Nonprofits in Ontario must have timely and affordable access to appropriate information from police record checks that helps them manage risks to their employees, volunteers, and clients, particularly vulnerable groups.
Advocate for the Ontario government to:
- Mandate that the police record check system be modernized and digitized via regulations under the Police Record Checks Reform Act, 2015, that would control the cost and administrative burden, and harmonize the process across Ontario jurisdictions.
Work with the Ontario nonprofit sector to use police record checks appropriately in the context of an overall employee and volunteer screening approach.