Criminal Record Check Policy and Procedures
All Saskatchewan citizens have the right to receive and/or provide health care in a safe environment. All students have the potential to be placed in a sensitive position of trust as part of the clinical education role and placement experience.
Students accepted to the School of Physical Therapy, University of Saskatchewan, Master of Physical Therapy (MPT) program will be required to undergo a Criminal Record Check (CRC), including Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS), conducted at their expense no sooner than six (6) months before the first day of classes for the MPT (normally orientation day to the MPT). The CRC/VSS will be submitted to the School of Physical Therapy no later than July 31 in the year of starting the MPT. For those students accepted late off the reserve list this date may be altered with permission. The CRC will be used for the purposes of considering admission to the School of Physical Therapy, as well as determining whether the student will be accepted by Saskatchewan Regional Health Authorities, and health facilities in other provinces in Canada for an assigned clinical placement. This policy is in accordance with the Saskatchewan Academic Health Sciences Network (SAHSN) provincial affiliation agreement for clinical placements which includes an explicit, mandated policy on CRC/VSS. In order to meet the requirements for graduation with a MPT every student must successfully complete a stated ‘requisite mix’ of clinical education which includes diverse clinical education settings and caseload focus, and which must include clinical experience in regional health authority facilities.
On application to the School of Physical Therapy for admission, and in keeping with the stated admissions process, the Admissions Committee has the right to place any applicant admission status on hold based on information provided at the point of application pre-screening. Upon receipt of a current CRC/VSS, in the time frame stated above, the School of Physical Therapy will make a decision about the suitability of a candidate for admission. (Reference School of Physical Therapy Admissions’ procedures related to CRC/VSS.)
“Not Clear” Criminal Record Check
In the event the Admissions Committee decides to offer tentative admission to an applicant, who has met all other admission requirements but who does not have a clear CRC/VSS, the applicant’s CRC will be forwarded to a Criminal Record Check Review (CRCR) Committee for consideration.
The CRCR Committee shall consist of, at minimum, the Admissions Committee Chair, the Director of the School, the Academic Coordinator Clinical Education or designate. Other expertise may be invited to meet with the CRCR at the discretion of the committee.
Members of the CRCR Committee will undertake to be familiar with the relevant CRC/VSS policies and procedures of Saskatchewan Ministry of Health, Saskatchewan Regional Health Authorities, their facilities, and other clinical teaching sites which may be participating in the clinical education of physical therapy students.
Procedures for the Criminal Record Check Review (CRCR) Committee
The CRCR Committee may, upon review of the CRC/VSS, decide that the tentative offer of admission should be confirmed as an official offer. However, if it does not so decide, it will invite the applicant to appear before the Committee to discuss the results of the CRC. If the applicant declines to appear, the CRCR Committee meeting will proceed in the absence of the applicant. The applicant may invite a single person to accompany him/her for support at this meeting; however, the CRCR Committee will hear from and conduct the discussion with the applicant only.
Students admitted with a “not clear” CRC/VSS must realize that their training opportunities may be limited.
In addition to, or as an alternative to, appearing before the Committee, the applicant may make a submission in writing.
Provided there is no additional relevant information to be obtained and considered, the CRCR Committee will make a decision within 3 working days of the meeting. If there is additional relevant information, the applicant will be given an opportunity to respond to it in writing before the Committee makes its decision.
The CRCR Committee will make one of the following decisions:
- that the tentative offer of admission will be converted to an offer of admission;
- that the offer of admission shall be withdrawn; or
- that the offer of admission shall be deferred for up to one year pending the outcome of any ongoing legal processes related to matters contained in the CRC.
If the CRCR Committee reaches the latter decision, the outcome of any ongoing legal procedures related to the CRC will be reviewed by the CRCR Committee with regard to suitability of the applicant for admission. If ongoing legal processes related to matters contained in the CRC are not resolved within one year following the committee decision, the offer of admission shall be automatically withdrawn.
Prior to making a decision, the CRCR Committee will take into consideration such factors as the following:
- whether this was a charge or a charge and conviction
- the relevancy of the offence to the role of the student in clinical placements
- the relevancy of the offence or charge to an applicant’s enrolment in or completion of the program
- the date of the conviction
- the seriousness of the charge or conviction
- the applicant’s/student’s full and open disclosure of information during the admission process or subsequently
- efforts at rehabilitation or other remedial actions relevant to the charge/conviction
- the ability of the program to obtain clinical education placements which will fulfill the requirements for clinical practice courses, and thus for graduation with an MPT.
If the CRCR Committee is considering admission of an applicant, the CRCR Committee will consult with relevant Saskatchewan Regional Health Authorities. This will include providing de-identified copies of the applicant’s CRC/VSS. There will be some assurance provided by a Regional Health Authority/Authorities that the applicant is likely to be accepted into the required clinical education placements. The CRCR Committee will also give due consideration to the situation of students who are Canadian Permanent Residents, and who may have police checks emanating from non-Canadian sources. In the event that the Saskatchewan College of Physical Therapists (SCPT) approves a CRC/VSS policy for licensure, communication with the SCPT as relevant will also occur.
The decision of the CRCR Committee to withdraw an offer of admission, or require that an offer of admission be deferred, will be considered the official response of the School of Physical Therapy. The applicant will have an appeal option via the School of Physical Therapy Admissions’ appeal process. (Reference Admissions appeal process documentation.) A withdrawal of an offer of admission will be in reference to that particular annual admission cycle and individuals may re-apply for admission at a later date.
The CRCR Committee may allow an applicant to be admitted despite a “not clear” CRC. As required, medical and/or educational institutions in the Province of Saskatchewan will be informed of the “not clear” CRC, including receiving a copy of the de-identified CRC/VSS in advance, and have the right to refuse the student for clinical placements. Students denied such placement on the grounds of a “not clear” CRC must realize that their training opportunities may be limited accordingly.
The decision of the CRCR will be communicated internally to the School of Physical Therapy Admissions Committee and the Academic Affairs Committee.
In addition, all health organizations outside of the Province of Saskatchewan with whom a request is made for a clinical placement, will be informed of a “not clear” on the CRC/VSS, including receiving a copy of the de-identified CRC/VSS at the time of the request, and have the right to refuse the student for clinical placements.
Submission of false or misleading information or withholding of information will result in the withdrawal of an offer of admission to the MPT program or expulsion from the MPT program in the event that a material misstatement/fraud is later discovered or in the event of future criminal convictions.
The CRCR, on behalf of the School of Physical Therapy, will provide the student with written reasons for the acceptance or denial of their admission normally no later than one week following the meeting in which the official decision was determined.
Responsibilities of Students
Students are expected to:
- acknowledge, in writing, that they have read and understood the CRC/VSS Policy related to admission to the School of Physical Therapy MPT program;
- in the event of a ‘not clear’ CRC/VSS, provide authorization to the School of Physical Therapy to release information to relevant health organizations/facilities;
- immediately report, (the expectation is within one week/five working days), any criminal convictions and/or outstanding charges that occur after the date of the original CRC/VSS. Failure to report any criminal convictions and/or outstanding charges that have occurred after the initial CRC/VSS, will be grounds for disciplinary action, including possible revocation of an offer of admission or possible expulsion from the School of Physical Therapy.
- be responsible for any cost associated with obtaining a CRC/VSS.
If any of these criteria are not met, admission to the MPT may be denied.
Information for Students – Process to Obtain a Criminal Record Check
The CRC and Vulnerable Sector Screening can be obtained, at the applicant’s expense, from the local police service or Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Please request two original copies – one for submission to the School of Physical Therapy and one to keep for your own records. Past experience has shown that processing time for the CRCVSS application may take up to three months. Applicants receiving an offer of admission from the School of Physical Therapy, University of Saskatchewan must submit copies of their current CRC and Vulnerable Sector Screening no later than July 31 of the year of entry. The CRC and Vulnerable Sector Screening cannot be dated earlier than six months previous to the date of start of the MPT, normally the day of orientation to the program.
Residents of Saskatoon – see the Saskatoon Police Service website
Residents of Regina – see the Regina Police Service website
Additional information about Canadian Criminal Record Check
Statement of Acknowledgement of Criminal Record Check Policy for Acceptance Form
The Criminal Record Check Policy will be posted on the MPT Policies and Guidelines website. As well, each applicant will be emailed a copy with their notification of their recommendation of acceptance.
The Admissions Committee will develop further procedures related to due diligence in informing applicants about the CRC/VSS policy, including confidentiality, and obtaining written consent .from applicants to comply with the policy.
(As approved by Academic Affairs Committee January 6, 2017)