New measures are being taken regarding security screening for all government contractors, with a new fingerprint-based security clearance system now taking the place of traditional security methods. Read answers to common questions regarding this new law. 

What’s Changing About This Procedure?

In an effort to keep federal government employees and contractors accountable, instead of a simple criminal record name check, the hiring process will include submitting digital fingerprint scans for security clearance. These fingerprints are valid for one year and will remain on file for re-examinations for upgrades to security clearance. This scan is a new and improved continuation of background check processes that have been in place for years, but updated to accommodate the RCMP’s retirement of the name-based Criminal Record Check process previously used; as fingerprint-based systems will not only be quicker, but more accurate.

How Will This Process Work?

Whether it is for new hire or renewal of security clearance, fingerprints will need to be taken. A fingerprint service provider will take the prints and transfer them to the RCMP so they can conduct the background check. Once the check is completed, the RCMP provides the results to PWGSC so that the individual can complete their application. 

Contractors who work with the federal government or employees of federal agencies that require background checks after February 1, 2017 can have their fingerprints taken by Reliability Screening Solutions at one of their many affiliates across Canada. They are able to scan fingerprints directly using a live scan system where the person places their fingers on a sensor and the fingerprints are captured directly. Alternatively, traditional ink impressions on a C216C fingerprint form are taken and digitized to create the RCMP fingerprint submission. In either scenario, the data is securely sent to the RCMP for a security check and successful submission is almost immediate.

This new method of enhanced screening should prove a welcome change to a previously laborious process by cutting out several steps and focusing in on the most important and telling identification, the fingerprint. This new process will improve security as well as save time for everyone involved, when hiring or upgrading an employee or consultant’s personnel clearance.

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