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Free criminal record checks for volunteers start Nov. 30

Ministry of Justice
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Beginning this Saturday, Nov. 30, organizations in B.C.'s volunteer and non-profit sector will be eligible for free criminal record checks for their volunteers who work with children and vulnerable adults.

Simultaneous changes to the provincial criminal records review program will:

• Allow more efficient sharing of current, verified criminal record checks among groups in the sector, saving them time and paperwork.

• Provide volunteers and publicly funded employees with more mobility in the sector, since they will be able to consent to sharing verified checks with more than one organization.

• Give businesses and for-profit enterprises an opportunity to access existing record checks of new employees who consent to the sharing of them, thereby eliminating the cost of a redundant check. This will apply for checks completed within the past five years for which there was no determination of risk.

For the volunteer and non-profit sector, the free checks will provide an added incentive to opt into the program. Groups in the provincial program will have access to its adjudication process, which provides expert, consistent risk assessment when a check does identify a criminal record containing relevant offences.

“These changes are about relieving cost and time pressures for many volunteer and non-profit organizations so they can focus on delivering great services and programs,” said Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton. “Many leading groups in the sector asked for relief from the costs of criminal record checks for their volunteers, and we're making it happen because it's absolutely the right thing to do — for volunteerism in B.C., for the organizations and for the safety of those they serve."

More information on the provincial records review program is at:

www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/criminal-records-review/. The Criminal Records Review Act is online at: www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws_new/document/ID/freeside/00_96086_01.

— Submitted


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