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Criminal Reference Check Policy

  • Related Documents: Criminal Reference Check Procedure
  • Owner:  Provost and Vice-President, Academic; Human Resources
  • Approver:  Vice-President, Administration and Operations
  • Approval Dates:  February 2004, August 2007


Toronto Metropolitan University (the "University") exercises due diligence when placing individuals into positions that provide direct care or service to children and/or vulnerable adults.

The Ministry of Community and Social Services requires that all agencies funded or licensed by the Ministry develop and implement a criminal reference check policy.

This policy sets out the requirements and procedures that apply when an individual will, as a result of their position or potential position, be required by the University to undergo a criminal reference check.

Application and Scope

This policy applies to students, volunteers, employees and candidates for employment whom the University deems, as a result of their position or potential position, to require a criminal reference check. Candidates for employment or volunteer positions may include students, potential employees, volunteers or individuals from outside the University and will be required for either full or part-time positions.  Students who may require a criminal reference check in order to comply with work placement requirements, will come under the jurisdiction of the Criminal Reference Check Policy for Students.


For the purposes of this policy the following definitions apply.

Position:  Refers to paid employment (full or part-time) or volunteer/student assignment.

Children:  Persons who are less than 18 years of age.

Vulnerable Adults: Normally refers to persons who, because of their age, a disability or other circumstances, whether temporary or permanent, are in a position of dependence on others, or, deemed by the University, to be at greater risk than the general population of being harmed by persons in a position of authority or trust relative to them.

Direct Care: Direct care normally refers to positions that provide support and supervision of individuals in a variety of areas of their lives, including vocational, educational, medical, social and/or recreational.  (The Day Nurseries Act requires that all individuals who work (paid and unpaid) in a licensed childcare facility undergo criminal reference checks.)

Criminal Reference Check: Consists of a check by the Toronto Police Service, or the police centre that has jurisdiction over the area where the individual resides. The check includes disclosure of:

•      criminal record (adult);

•      criminal record (young offenders);

•      records of Anot guilty by reason of mental incompetence@;

•      pending charges and previous or ongoing investigations under federal and provincial statutes;

•      pending charges under the Child and Family Services Act;

•      convictions for provincial offences;

•      probation orders;

•      prohibition and other judicial orders which are in effect;

•      records of conviction for offences under the Child and Family Services Act.

Criminal Code convictions will not be reported as part of the criminal reference check if a pardon has been granted.  Summary information details any type of police contact for which the individual has not been charged or convicted.


A current criminal reference check is required for identified positions, before an individual can be confirmed in that position. If a student, volunteer or candidate for a position refuses to consent to, or cooperate with, the criminal reference check he/she will no longer be eligible for the position.

Offers of employment and student/volunteer assignments for identified positions are conditional upon a satisfactory criminal reference check.

The results of criminal reference checks will be reviewed by the Executive Director, Human Resources, or designate. The presence of a criminal record does not automatically disqualify an individual from a position. The Executive Director, Human Resources, or designate, will assess each situation to decide to what extent the individual would pose a risk to children and/or vulnerable adults. Consideration will be given to the following factors:

1.    the nature of the offence and the number of convictions;

2.    sentence(s) received;

3.    the length of time since the most recent conviction;

4.    any rehabilitative efforts made by the candidate;

5.    any submissions made by the candidate;

6.    the specific duties and responsibilities associated with the position and the relevance of the particular criminal conviction to the position;

7.    any other factors deemed relevant by the Executive Director, Human Resources.

Candidates applying for positions subject to this policy will be advised of the requirement for a criminal reference check should they be the successful candidate.  Volunteers who will be affected by this policy will be informed of the requirement for a criminal reference check and will have completed a criminal reference check before they begin their volunteer activities.

The University will establish and maintain a list of positions that would be reasonably expected to be subject to this policy.


The cost of criminal reference checks will be charged to a University cost centre and be administered by Human Resources for employment and volunteer related positions.  The Faculty of Community Services will administer student placement related costs.

Confidentiality of Information

Personal information cannot be collected, used or disclosed without the prior written consent of the individual in question. The Toronto Police Service, or other police centre, will release to the individual, information regarding their own criminal record and/or summary information.

Information collected with respect to criminal reference checks will be maintained in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding between the Toronto Police Service and the University.  Human Resources will maintain the information in a secure manner for the duration of the individual employment or assignment. Once an individual employment/assignment is terminated, all information obtained through the criminal reference check will be destroyed. The information is confidential and will be maintained in a separate file from the individual official personnel file (if applicable). The information will be used solely for the purpose that the release of the information was required. Information provided by the Toronto Police Service will not be altered in any manner.

Information about offences under the Young Offenders Act will not be retained in Human Resources. A notation will be made in the individual file indicating that information was disclosed through a criminal reference check, however, details with respect to the nature of the offence are protected under the Young Offenders Act.

Positions Requiring A Criminal Reference Check

All employees or individuals who are associated with:

1.         School of Early Childhood Education;

2.         School of Nursing;

3.         Student Services;

4.         Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Services;

5.         And any other position, which might be expected to come into contact with vulnerable individuals as defined in "Definitions".


This policy falls under the jurisdiction of the Vice President, Administration and Finance.  The application and interpretation of the policy, and its associated procedure, is the responsibility of Human Resources with respect to employment and volunteer situations.   Student criminal reference checks fall under the jurisdiction of the Provost and Vice President Academic.