Police Criminal Record Check

As part of the registration process, the College of Nurses of Ontario requires all applicants for registration or reinstatement to provide a recent police criminal record check.

A police criminal record check helps protect the public by allowing the College to identify those individuals with criminal records that could affect their ability to practise safe and ethical nursing.

There are two types of checks: a check based on your name and birth date, and a check based on your fingerprints. For registration and reinstatement purposes, the College only requires a name-based check, which can be completed in less time than a fingerprint-based check.

An “incomplete” mark on a name-based check will prompt a fingerprint-based check, which can take up to 120 days to complete and may prolong the registration process. Applicants are responsible for ensuring they request the correct type of check from their local police services, and for taking into account the time it will take for the police to process their request.

FAQs: Police Criminal Record Checks

How do I get a police criminal record check?

Contact your local police department or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) for information on how to receive a police criminal record check. The College recommends you request two original copies (i.e., not faxes or photocopies): one for submission to the College and one to keep for your own records.

Ask that the document be sealed, if possible. Ensure the search is conducted under all previous, former or maiden names that you have used.

When should I have my criminal record checked? I don’t want to delay my application if it takes a while to come. 

It can take six to eight weeks (or longer) to receive the criminal record check. To make sure your application isn’t delayed by a missing document such as a criminal record check, don’t wait until the end of the process to apply for it.

However, you should note that a criminal record check is valid only for six months after it is issued. Therefore, depending on when you submit it to the College, it may expire during the application process and you will be required to submit a new one before becoming eligible for registration.

I am not a current member of the College and I want to reinstate my membership. Do I have to provide a police criminal record check to the College?

Yes. A check is required if you are seeking reinstatement and have not been a member of the College in the current or prior year in which you are applying. This also applies if you are a former member of the College currently residing outside of Canada.

I am an applicant living outside of Canada. Do I have to supply a police criminal record check?

You will need to provide the College with a criminal record check if you have ever resided in Canada for any length of time. Contact the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) or a Canadian consulate or embassy to learn how to request one.

I recently obtained a police criminal record check. How long is it valid?

For the College’s purposes, a check is valid for six months from the date it was issued. If you have a check and it expires before you meet all other registration requirements, then you will have to submit an updated check to complete your registration.

Do I need to submit a police criminal record check to the College before I can write an examination?

No. Applicants are not required to provide a check before writing their registration or jurisprudence exams. 


Page last reviewed July 25, 2017