The One Where I Need to Get Fingerprinted

To be able to volunteer in public schools in Prince Edward Island, policies now dictate that a criminal record check be completed:

6.1 A person wanting to volunteer in a school is required to provide the school principal with a valid Criminal Record Check with a Vulnerable Sector Inquiry (CRC/VSI) prior to volunteering.

This is a new requirement since Olivia was a student (or one that was routinely ignored?): I served as a volunteer innumerable times at Prince Street Elementary and Birchwood Intermediate, running movie nights, selling brownies, facilitating Minecraft Club, with nothing other than my interest in doing so required.

It’s the Fall Fair this weekend, and Lisa suggested that we volunteer. So we signed up, and started the paperwork to get a Criminal Record Check: this meant getting a letter from the principal of the school, taking it to the police station along with photocopies of two pieces of ID and an application form; we were promised turnaround in a few days.

Lisa’s check is clear, and ready for pickup today, just a day after it was submitted.

Mine is not.

This is because the “Vulnerable Sector Inquiry” part of the check kicked back a record of a male who shares my birthdate who was pardoned for a sexual offence. The clerk who called me—an incredibly patient and helpful clerk—told me that although this offender isn’t named “Peter Rukavina,” or anything similar, the matching gender and date of birth mean that I need to get fingerprinted before I’m cleared, so as to eliminate the possibility that I am that person, and simply changed my name to avoid detection.

So, I’m out on a technicality for the Fall Fair this weekend, alas. I’ll go and get fingerprinted so that I can live to volunteer another day.


Ton Zijlstra's picture
Ton Zijlstra on October 26, 2022 - 05:07 Permalink

This sounds awfully convoluted even apart from the fingerprinting.
2, two!, pieces of ID, physically going to a police station.... and then apparently not trusting those, I presume government issued, IDs so that fingerprints are needed because someone shares your birthday (not an uncommon thing)? How about checking your face against the offender's (with software I mean), and how long will those fingerprints be stored and where?

All because "perhaps simply changed their name to avoid detection". The key issue seems to be in that word 'simply'. That shouldn't be simple perhaps. This all seems to go back to the pretend lack of a people register mentioned in the comments to another recent post. Here getting certificate of conduct is an online procedure based on the gov's people registry. They do still take up to 4 weeks to send you the certificate, but it's mostly needed when entering certain types of employment, or as a sole trader taking certain types of clients.

All that though to volunteer in a school for a single event? (Regular, permanent volunteer staff would be different) Do they screen parents before registering their kids in a school in the same way?

Sorry for ranting, it just doesn't make much sense to me.

FAS's picture
FAS on October 26, 2022 - 21:00 Permalink

Schools and organizations have an employee and volunteer screening process which includes an updated Criminal Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Check and is applied to all volunteers and staffs in positions of trust. It is meant to ensure the protection and safety of children and youth and others from harm or potential harm.

Ton Zijlstra's picture
Ton Zijlstra on October 27, 2022 - 02:04 Permalink

Of course, and they should. This is only about the way you organise that, as a process and from a data collection/usage perspective. Certificates of conduct can be organised as a single web form (and are where I am), provided you've got that in order in the background. I've been through deep government background checks that included family and friends, that took less steps than what Peter describes (and never fingerprints).