In today’s world, safety and security are hot topics. The daily aspects of life often require us to allow people into our homes, into our most personal spaces for a wide variety of reasons and the question arises:
Is it safe?
Are they safe?
It is an important question, since, according to Corrections Canada, at least ten percent of Canadians have a criminal record.
A recent survey done by Angus Reid and BackCheck showed that nearly three-quarters of Canadians say they would be influenced by a criminal records check when looking for home service providers.
This influence is especially true when looking at providers of services such as home health care and child care.
A background check functions as one more reassurance of the professionalism and integrity customers look for from Personal Support Workers (PSWs).
WHAT IS A CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK?
According to Rod Piukkala, who spent thirty-four years as a policeman and now serves as Vice President of Police Service Technologies for BackCheck, a thorough criminal background check covers three levels of investigation:
- Level One: Convictions for which a person has been fingerprinted
- Level Two: Local police information
- Level Three: Vulnerable Sector check
Level One: There are a number of offenses for which a person is not fingerprinted.
These types of records will not show up in a Level One criminal background check. Only serious offenses which require fingerprinting show up at this level.
Level Two: This criminal background check takes into account what Piukkala calls local police information.
This information includes convictions which were not submitted to the RCMP (or have not yet been submitted) and covers offenses for which a person may not have been fingerprinted.
Local police information will also cover outstanding charges against an individual or any trial proceedings a person may be undergoing.
Level Three: A Vulnerable Sector check is the third level that is a thorough criminal records check.
This check will include all of the records in levels one and two and also any persons who may have received a pardon for sexual offenses committed. These offenses may not show up on the previous checks.
After a period of ten years of good behavior, a person convicted of a sexual offense may petition for a pardon, or what is now called a record suspension. This list however is fairly small involving only 14,000 people.
BENEFITS OF BACKGROUND CHECKS
To the organization
Client safety and the organization’s reputation are important bottom lines for successful corporations. Protecting the investment they make in both their employees and their clients reflects their future potential.
Background checks bring an additional protection to those investments.
There are a number of benefits to pre-employment background checks:
- Fewer bad hires
- Lower costs from employee theft
- Lower employee turnover
- Complete references with every hire
- Faster recruiting times
- A safer workplace
- A more honest, productive and efficient team
A criminal background check is a reflection of a certain point in time. It is possible for that reflection to change, which is the best argument for ongoing updates to any criminal record check.
Organizations who provide services such as childcare or home health care are wise to have a policy in place requiring yearly renewal of a background check.
Many organizations also opt to have policies in place which require self-disclosure by their employees of any incidents or charges being filed against them. These policies provide protection for the company to cover the gap between background checks.
Benefits to a Personal Support Worker
There are also benefits to the individual PSW in providing a potential employer with a completed background check.
In the competitive world that is the PSW job marketplace today, being able to provide upfront a personal background check covering education, job references as well as a criminal background check is an additional tool to assist you in placing your application at the top of the list.
Having such a check in your portfolio shows commitment and dedication to doing the best job you can.
For those Personal Support Workers who provide care in private settings and/or are self-employed, it can also be a competitive edge, allowing potential clients to be reassured that their safety and security are important.
With the PSW job market as competitive as it is, having this additional reassurance for potential clients can be the edge you need for your next job.
TAKING THE NEXT STEP
Understanding the importance of providing a personal background check to potential employers leaves the necessary next step of finding the right company for your needs.
A thorough check of job references, education and possible criminal history requires the skill and innovation of a company that understands security as well as privacy.
BackCheck is one of the best options out there.
WHO IS BACKCHECK?
Founded in 1997 by Dave Dinesen, BackCheck is now one of the largest background screening companies in Canada and the United Kingdom.
The company’s online division, myBackCheck.com, was Canada’s first online account based criminal record service. Along with criminal record checks, BackCheck provides other types of verification, including education and employment references.
They are a leading provider of pre-employment screening.
BackCheck’s staff of five hundred provides global background information for client organizations in North America, the United Kingdom and throughout Europe. The company’s website lists BackCheck as an industry leader in:
- Disclosure and consent practices
- Physical and data security
- Secure online report delivery
- Human rights and privacy compliance
In 2012, BackCheck was acquired by Sterling Infosystems, Inc. of New York.
BACKGROUND CHECK FOR PSWs
BackCheck offers individual background checks for those who wish to add them to their resumes and portfolios. This is an excellent resource for you as a PSW.
Purchasing a background check through BackCheck is simple and can be done online through their website, myBackCheck.com.
A criminal record check which comes with a signed police certificate can be purchased for $59 plus tax.
Once you receive your background check you may view it and then share it with the companies you are applying to. Sharing your background check is a free service.