Criminal Record Check
Under the Health Professions Act (HPA), all registrants of the College of Pharmacists of B.C. and all pharmacists and pharmacy technicians applying for registration are required to consent to an initial and an ongoing criminal record check (CRC) at least once every 5 years.
This requirement applies to all applicants and registrants of all professional regulatory bodies governed by the HPA as College registrants are deemed to be individuals working with children or vulnerable adults, or may potentially have unsupervised access to children or vulnerable adults. The CRC is administered by the Criminal Records Review Program (CRRP) under the Criminal Records Review Act (CRRA). All applicants and registrants must undergo a CRC regardless of whether or not they work directly with children or vulnerable adults. The CRC must be completed:
- At the time of applying for pre-registration;
- At the time of applying for full registration (if applicable);
- At the time of applying for reinstatement once your registration has expired over 90 days;
- At least once every 5 years, at the time of applying for registration renewal;
- When a registrant has been charged and/or convicted of a relevant offence or a specified offence.
Every applicant and registrant must provide consent for the CRC. An applicant or registrant who refuses to provide consent will not be able to register, renew or reinstate their registration. Without registration, an individual cannot practise as a pharmacist or pharmacy technician in B.C.
- Applicant/registrant provides consent for CRC as part of the pre-registration, full registration, renewal or reinstatement process, and pays the fee.
- The College forwards the consent and the applicant/registrant’s information required for the CRC to the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General (PSSG).
- The Ministry conducts the CRC by running the information sent by the College against provincial data and RCMP information.
- If fingerprinting is required, a letter will be sent to the registrant by the Ministry. It may take 6 months or more for processing the fingerprinting result.
- If there is a relevant or specified offence, a review is conducted by Ministry of PSSG who determines whether or not the record indicates a risk to children or vulnerable adults. If yes, a “not cleared” result will be returned to the College.
- The College receives the CRC result from the Ministry of PSSG approximately 20 days after sending the consent to the Ministry.
- If the College receives a “cleared” result, no further action is required from the applicant or registrant.
- If the College receives a “not cleared” result, the College will require further review.
- If fingerprinting is required and if you are applying for pre-registration, your application will not be completed until the CRC is received and is cleared.
- If fingerprinting is required and you are renewing your registration, you will remain registered while the check is being processed.
The requirement for fingerprinting and the query parameters for determining who is required are determined by the CRRP and based on the RCMP’s Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services (CCRTIS) policy.
The search requires applicants who have either the same name and/or date of birth and gender combination to provide fingerprints to verify their identity in order to eliminate the possibility of an offender changing his/her name to circumvent a criminal record.
There are fees associated with fingerprinting, which are set and collected by individual municipalities and their federal or municipal police. The College does not provide reimbursement for the cost of fingerprinting.
Registrants are responsible for undergoing fingerprinting when required in order to comply with the provincial requirement of registering as a health professional in BC.
Registrants who do not comply with the completion of the CRC process, including providing fingerprints when requested, will have their registration reviewed by the College. The review may result in action being taken by the Inquiry Committee or the Registration Committee, including the placement of limits and conditions on a registrant’s practice, cancellation of a registrant’s registration, or disciplinary action.
Pursuant to section 15(2) of the Criminal Records Review Act, if a registered member does not provide the CRC authorization or CRC verification authorization as required:
- The registered member must not work with children or with vulnerable adults until the registered member has provided the criminal record check authorization or verification authorization, and
- The College must investigate or review the registration of the registered member and take appropriate action under the Act that governs the College.
Pursuant to Section 33(2)(a) of the Health Professions Act (HPA), if a registrant fails to authorize a criminal record check or a criminal record check verification as required under the HPA, the College’s Inquiry Committee must take the failure or the determination into account, investigate the matter and decide whether to impose limits or conditions on the practice of the registrant or whether to suspend or cancel registration.
For more information on the Criminal Record Check, visit the BC Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General’s Criminal Records Review Program.