The Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General will begin implementation of amendments to the Criminal Records Review Act in the new year. The implementation of the amendments, which will make BC “the first province in Canada to require a thorough investigation of individuals working with vulnerable adults”, will begin on January 1, 2011. The amendments will be phased in across the province over a 12-month period.
The Ministry’s announcement sets out some highlights of the forthcoming Criminal Records Review Program changes:
- Individuals who depend on others for ongoing assistance with daily living or who are at risk of being abused or exploited because of age, frailty or mental or physical disability are protected against certain unlawful conduct by those employed to provide care and support. Among the specified offences are convictions of forgery, fraud, intimidation, counselling suicide and criminal breach of trust.
- The Criminal Records Review Program will require all current and future employees working with the estimated 236,000 vulnerable adults in government-regulated or funded programs to undergo a pre-employment criminal record review.
- A re-evaluation will be conducted every five years. Practicum students from post secondary institutions and members of professional occupations governed by a college will also be required to have a full criminal records review.
- The amendments will cover facilities regulated under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act, private hospitals and extended care facilities regulated under the Hospital Act, and home support agencies and adult day programs.
More information about the Criminal Records Review Program and the specific amendments can be found on the Program’s website.