Believe it or not, almost all of this information is public record by law, and is available to anyone who is willing to make the effort to search for it. Some jurisdictions make it incredibly simple, and have dedicated web portals that allow you to search. Others are stuck in the paper age, and often require an on site search in the county courthouse. This can be done by using a “court runner”, as well.
In the event that the name and date of birth of the applicant matches any sexual offence record in the system, he/she is required to submit fingerprints to the RCMP for a physical confirmation.[17] Criminal record check is an integral part of the process for obtaining security clearances regardless of level of access. Some provinces may require high-risk professions to be screened to ensure public safety. For example, the BC Ministry of Justice requires all healthcare professionals, practicum students in healthcare, childcare facilities staff and volunteers, school and hospital staff regardless of position to undergo a CRC via the Criminal Records Review Program.[15] Many Canadian universities require a Criminal Records Check or other screening procedure (e.g. Child Abuse Registry Check, Vulnerable Sector Screen) as a condition of admission into its programs.[18][19]
All the information included in the background reports sold by these services is public information. You could, if you had the time and patience, find the information on your own. This is the value background check services provide – they do the legwork for you by using web-scraping software to mine public data or by purchasing information in bulk from companies, like Facebook and Twitter, who require users to agree to terms allowing the company to sell their information. Once the services have the public information, they collate it into a report for easy reading. 
Depending on what you need it for, how much information you need and how many reports you need, a background check can cost as little as $19.95 or as much as $49.95. Most services we reviewed let you purchase single reports. However, signing up for a subscription can save you money because you get many reports for one monthly cost. Subscriptions range from $19.95 to around $35 per month, though some services charge additional fees for information like social media and addresses. These additional fees range from $5 to $10.
The legal system is complex. Free Public Arrest Records are broken down into specific categories. Driving, Theft, Assault, Arrest, Inmate, Immigration, Sex Offender Records are some examples. All of these are public records and are open to public access and review. Investigative work or background checks normally include criminal records in one way or another. Hence, it would be good for police work, neighborhood watch or perhaps for social background checks.
Find out exactly where the sex offenders in your neighborhood live with a Criminal Records search. You can get detailed information about the sex offenders, when available, including their image, address, and specifics about their sexual offenses. If the person you searched has a record of sexual offenses in the past, a Criminal Records search could give you critical information about the person in question.
The ECRIS was brought about in order to simplify the exchange of information relating to the criminal records of European citizens. Intended to counterbalance the relatively new ease with which individuals can move between States, it is a mechanism of ensuring that individuals are not able to escape their criminal records by merely travelling across a border. The underlying rationale is that technological advancements in transport services which have given individuals the ability to easily move between European States should not amount to an ability to expunge their own criminal records.

Using a background check to hire someone is a whole different can of worms , and requires strict compliance with federal and state laws, the most important being the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Most online background check providers don’t provide the level of data you need for this. We can’t say this enough: DO NOT USE YOUR RUN OF THE MILL ONLINE BACKGROUND CHECK PROVIDER FOR EMPLOYMENT PURPOSES. Instead, you need to use what’s called an FCRA compliant background check provider. We’ve heard good things about GoodHire and Checkr - both are well funded and profitable companies in Silicon Valley that are making background checks for employment simple and inexpensive.
Information supplied depends on the level of disclosure required. Low-level disclosures only reveal unspent convictions (convictions which have not yet been expunged under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974), while enhanced disclosures normally include all convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings. An enhanced criminal record certificate may contain relevant information that need not relate solely to criminal matters.[99]

Pre-employment screening refers to the process of investigating the backgrounds of potential employees and is commonly used to verify the accuracy of an applicant's claims as well as to discover any possible criminal history, workers compensation claims, or employer sanctions. For example, CBC News of Canada reported that fraud in the workplace cost Canadian Businesses over $3.2 Billion in 2011.[6]
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