Police Information Check FAQ

A Vulnerable Sector Check is an enhanced Police Information Check developed to protect children and vulnerable persons and is governed by the Criminal Records Act. Vulnerable Sector Checks are used to verify if an individual has received a record suspension (formally pardon) for a sex offence and if an individual has had any relevant involvement with police.
Individuals entering into a role of responsibility are required to obtain a Vulnerable Sector Check when they are in a position of trust and/or authority over vulnerable persons:

  • Children,
  • The elderly,
  • Individuals with disabilities,
  • Or any other circumstance that places an individual in a position of dependence on others or are at greater risk for victimization than the general population.

A position of trust or authority is more than just having contact with children or vulnerable persons. The nature of the position – not the person – must cause the person to have authority over, or trust of, children or vulnerable persons. Casual positions where occasional contact with children or other vulnerable persons can still require a Vulnerable Sector Check if the nature of the position leads children or vulnerable persons to have trust in the individual.

Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the organization or person responsible for the vulnerable person/people to request a Vulnerable Sector Check be completed. If you are unsure whether a Vulnerable Sector Check is needed for a specific position please consult with your employer, educational institution, or non-profit organization.

A Vulnerable Sector Police Information Check can only be conducted by a police service.
A Vulnerable Sector Police Information Check can only be provided by the police service in the jurisdiction in which you reside. If you reside outside of Lethbridge and require a Vulnerable Sector Police Information Check, you will be required to attend the police service/RCMP Detachment within your jurisdiction.  
Proof of Lethbridge residency is required for all applicants requiring a Vulnerable Sector Police Information Check. All applicants that fail to provide government issued identification with a Lethbridge address will be required to provide documentation verifying a current Lethbridge address. This can include a recent utility, electricity, gas or telephone bill, bank statement, property rental agreement, insurance policy documents (life, auto, residential), etc. dated within that last 90 days. The Lethbridge Police Service cannot conduct a Vulnerable Sector Check for individuals not residing in the City of Lethbridge.

A name based check of the Vulnerable Sector is initially conducted. In some cases individuals will be required to submit fingerprints for identity confirmation. The use of fingerprints ensures the accuracy of the identification process.

Any individual requiring fingerprint identity confirmation will receive a written request from the Lethbridge Police Service to attend for fingerprinting. Individuals who receive a fingerprint request will have three months as of the original certificate issue date, to attend the Lethbridge Police Service to complete the required identity confirmation.

Receipt of a letter requiring you to attend the Lethbridge Police Service for fingerprint identity verification in no way means that you are being accused of being a pardoned sex offender.  

Individuals requiring Vulnerable Sector identity confirmation for non-volunteer purposes will be required to pay an additional $40 fee.

Vulnerable Sector Checks can only be done for organizations in Canada. The position itself can be outside of Canada, but the results of the vulnerable sector check must stay within Canada.

Any questions concerning Vulnerable Sector Police Information Checks should be directed the Police Information Specialist at (403) 330-5157 or pic@lethbridgepolice.ca

If you reside outside of the City of Lethbridge, you can obtain a Police Information Check from the Lethbridge Police Service, provided you do not require a Vulnerable Sector Check.

Note: A Vulnerable Sector Police Information Check can only be completed by the police service where you currently reside.

How to Apply:

In person

In person at the front desk of the Lethbridge Police Service station. Please refer to the Police Information Check main page Obtaining a Police Information Check for further information.

Mail in Submission

  • Complete a Police Information Check Application form. -- All fields must be completed or have a clear line drawn through the fields that are not applicable, to expressly indicate such.
  • You are required to attend your local police station, Notary Public, or Canadian Consulate with the required valid identification and photocopies of the same identification. The photocopies must then be signed, sealed, and verified by proper personnel. The seal must be clearly visible and this officer must also witness the consenting signature on the application form.
  • A certified cheque or money order, payable to the Lethbridge Police Service, in Canadian funds is required to be attached to the application. Do not send cash.
  • If you have been fingerprinted in Canada for a criminal conviction, where no record suspension (formally a pardon) has been granted, an original set of authenticated fingerprints obtained from the law enforcement agency where you currently reside must be included.
  • Mail or courier your original application form with your endorsed photocopies of identification, payment, and fingerprints (if applicable) to the following address:

Lethbridge Police Service
Attn: Police Information Unit
135 1 Avenue South
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada T1J 0A1

Note: If you wish to have your certificates returned by courier a pre-paid courier envelope must be enclosed.

Appointment of a Representative

  • You may appoint a representative who resides in Lethbridge, to obtain a Police Information Check on their behalf.
  • Complete a Police Information Check Application form. -- All fields must be completed or have a clear line drawn through the fields that are not applicable, to expressly indicate such.
  • You are required to attend your local police station, Notary Public, or Canadian Consulate with the required valid identification and photocopies of the same identification. The photocopies must then be signed, sealed, and verified by proper personnel. The seal must be clearly visible and this officer must also witness the consenting signature on the application form.
  • If you have been fingerprinted in Canada for a criminal conviction, where no record suspension (formally a pardon) has been granted, an original set of authenticated fingerprints obtained from the law enforcement agency where you currently reside must be included.
  • All forms must be original with your original signatures. The Lethbridge Police Service will not accept faxed, photocopied or emailed forms.
  • You must provide your representative with an original completed Lethbridge Police Service, Letter of Authorization Form. --The Letter of Authorization must include your representative’s full name and date of birth.
  • The representative is required to provide government issued photo identification which will be copied and enclosed with the application package.

The representative must provide appropriate payment for the Police Information Check on behalf of the applicant.

In person at the front desk of the Lethbridge Police Service station. Please refer to the Police Information Check main page “Obtaining a Police Information Check” for further information.

The Lethbridge Police Service performs three checks:

  1. NICHE RMS – The Lethbridge Police Services Local record management database
  2. JOIN – The Alberta Court Systems record database (Justice Online Information Network)
  3. CPIC – The Canadian Police Information Centre system including the RCMP Criminal Record Repository and the Vulnerable Sector (if required)

Police information checks only provide information found at the time in which checks were conducted. The Lethbridge Police Service does not guarantee completeness of the information, as our service is limited to the information available on the above listed databases.

A Police Information Check contains the following disclosures:

  • All criminal convictions from the RCMP Criminal Record Repository.
  • Information obtained from the Alberta Court Systems database known as the Justice Online Information Network (JOIN), including a list of all pending court appearances, criminal convictions and/or other relevant convictions not yet recorded on the RCMP Criminal Record Repository and any court imposed orders.
  • Vulnerable Sector Records (pardoned sex offender)
  • Outstanding warrants for arrest Canada-wide
  • Absolute Discharge for a period of one year
  • Stay of Proceedings for a period of one year
  • Conditional Discharge for a period of three year
  • Alternative Measures for a period of one year
  • All relevant non-conviction police records that demonstrates a pattern of behaviour representing a risk to public safety.

Note: The Lethbridge Police Service will not under any circumstances disclose information in respect of mental health related occurrences unless such occurrences involve violence or a threat of violence to persons other than themselves.

A Criminal Record Check obtained from a private company (third party) will only indicate the existence of a criminal record but will not indicate the actual number or nature of the criminal convictions. A Criminal Record Check obtained from a private company will also not provide information regarding an individual’s outstanding or active criminal charges.  

Note: Third party criminal record check providers cannot conduct a Vulnerable Sector Search which is required for anyone responsible for the well-being of minors, the elderly or the disabled.

The Lethbridge Police Service is not affiliated with any private company offering criminal background checks.

If you received a letter requesting you to attend the Lethbridge Police Service following submission of your application, please follow the instructions outlined on your letter.

A police information check will result in either a, “No Information Found Certificate” or a “Release of Information Certificate”.  

Please ensure that the date on the police information check certificate is current and contains the Lethbridge Police Services corporate seal in the lower right hand corner and watermark.  Please contact the Police Information Specialist if you have any questions regarding the authenticity of a police information check certificate.

A “No Information Found Certificate” (or a clear police information check) will be issued when there is no information to release.

A “Release of Information Certificate” (or a not clear police information check) is issued when information such as criminal convictions, outstanding charges or local police records exist to disclose. These results will only be released to the applicant and will never be shared to a third party. The presence of information in a Police Information Check should not be the only factor in determining organizational suitability of an individual.

If additional information is required regarding any disclosure contained in a police information check certificate, an applicant can make an Access to Information Request to the Lethbridge Police Service if the information is in relation to a Lethbridge Police Service occurrence.

The Police Information Unit offers a batch submission option for employers, volunteer organizations and post-secondary institutions which have been approved for direct billing. This allows organizations to submit Police Information Check applications on behalf of applicants.

As a third party, organizations will be advised only of a clear Police Information Check if the applicant has completed the Third Party Consent piece on the Police Information Check application form. “Not clear” results will only be released to the applicant.

A photocopy of the two pieces of government issued identification must be provided. One piece of identification must be a valid government issued identification including a photo. Failure to provide proof of identification will result in the return of the application to the requesting organization.

The Lethbridge Police Service does not make any recommendations with respect to the suitability of an applicant for any position and strongly recommends that a Police Information Check not be the only screening tool used for suitability assessment. A Police Information Check certificate reports factual information and is provided as a service only. The absence of information in a Police Information Check is not a guarantee of safety and should not be the only consideration in determining the suitability of an individual.

The Lethbridge Police Service provides fingerprinting services for civil (non-criminal) identification purposes, such as:

  • Immigration (permanent residency, citizenship)
  • Legal name change
  • Record suspensions
  • Waivers/ visas, and foreign travel
  • Employment
  • Privacy Act
  • Family court

Fees: The Lethbridge Police Service charges $65 for fingerprints, per person.
Please note: An additional fee of $25 (payable to the Receiver General for Canada) is required for some of these purposes. The additional $25 federal fee can be paid at the Lethbridge Police Service.

Digital and Ink Fingerprinting Services

The Lethbridge Police Service provides digital and ink fingerprinting services. 
Digital fingerprints are available if you require a police check from Canada for any purpose. The RCMP will only accept digital fingerprint submissions for civil purposes.

Ink fingerprints are used almost exclusively for individuals who require a police check from a foreign country. We cannot send digital prints outside of Canada.
If you require a police check from another country, ensure you attend the Lethbridge Police Service with all of the necessary forms, identification, photos, and fingerprint cards (if applicable).

Note: The quality of fingerprint image is affected by the quality of your skin. Dry, damaged skin will produce inferior and sometimes unusable fingerprints. It is recommended to stay well hydrated and use proper moisturizing cream up to four days before fingerprinting.