McMaster University

McMaster University

Police Records Check Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Where should I go to get a Police Record Vulnerable Sector Check VSC?

Go to the Police Services who service the municipality you live in. Most Police Services will not issue a VSC unless you live in the municipality they service.

How much does it cost and how long does it take to get?

The cost and turnaround time for a Police Records VSC varies among Police Services. Please check their website for information regarding wait times, cost and form of payment.

I had a VSC completed for a summer job. Can I submit it?

No, VSC are specific to the institution requesting the VSC. Your VSC must be specific to McMaster University.

What do I do if my Police Services asks for a written request from McMaster which specifically includes my name and reason for the check?

Contact the Professionalism Office if you require a letter with your name. Otherwise use the McMaster Request for VSC letter.

Where is the Professionalism Office located on campus?

The Professionalism Office is located in the McMaster Children's Hospital HSC 3H46 (3rd floor purple section). Our email is and our phone number is 905-525-9140 ext 22249. There is a dropbox in the hallway for document submission.

What do I do if my police check might not arrive in time to meet the submission deadline?

If you do not think your VSC will be received prior to your current VSC expirying OR it will expire during a clinical placement, you may submit a notarized affidavit as a temporary measure. Contact the Professionalism Office before the submission deadline with your request receipt. The cost of notarization is the sole responsibility of the student.

My Police Services said I was too young to get a VSC. What do I do?

Police Services will not issue a Police Records VSC to anyone under the age of 18. Students under the age of 18 years as of May 1st of their incoming year do not need to submit a VSC by July 31st. These students will need to advise the FHS Professionalism Office by July 31st of their birth date and further instructions will be provided.

Why do we recommend getting two original copies of a Police Records Check VSC?

You must submit an original copy to the FHS Professionalism Office. It will not be returned to you unless accompanied with a self-addressed stamped envelope. You may be required to show your original Police Records VSC at a placement site therefore we recommend you obtain 2 original copies if possible.

My local Police Services will not issue two original copies of a Police Records Check VSC. What do I do?

Some Police Services will not issue two original copies of a VSC. If this is the case, please submit your one original copy with a self addressed stamped envelope (SASE) to the FHS Professionalism Office. Once the Professionalism Offices verifies your VSC it will be returned to you using the supplied self addressed stamped envelope.

My local Police Services issued an electronic copy of my Police Records Check VSC. What do I do?

If you received an electronic copy of your VSC you do not need to submit a paper copy. Please upload the electronic copy via Sharefile (see Police Records Check tab). Be sure to label your file as "last name, first name, Program Name, VSC". If it is password protected please email with the password. If we do not have the password we are unable to log your submission.

How often do I need to get a Police Records Check VSC?

As a condition of enrollment, you must provide a Police Records Vulnerable Sector Check (VSC) dated after May 1st of your incoming year and provide a new VSC on an annual basis prior to your current check expiring. As well, your VSC must be valid for the entire duration of each placement. A VSC is considered valid for one calendar year from the date of issue by Police Services. Students may be asked to complete the VSC process more frequently than annually, if required by a clinical site. Failure to do so may result in a student being unable to participate in or complete a clinical placement which can result in delays or inability to complete their program.

How do I request a Police Records VSC from Toronto Police Services?

If you are going to Toronto Police Services you will need an Agency Code specific to McMaster University. Email with your name, home address and program to request this code then visit to apply online for a VSC.

I received a Late Offer of Admission and can’t make the deadline date. What do I do?

Late offer students will be given ample time to obtain a Police Records VSC (time frames to be determined by Program and Professionalism Office). If you receive a Late Offer of Admission please contact the Professionalism Office as soon as possible.

Can I keep the original copy and just hand in a copy of the police check?

No, you must submit an original copy of your Police Records VSC.

What do I do if my police check does not come back as CLEAR?

Inform the Professionalism Office immediately if your Police Records VSC is ‘Not Clear’, so that we may work with you to determine next steps. Do not wait for the submission deadline.

Can I still attend university if my check is not clear?

All “Not Clear” Police Records VSCs are referred to the Police Records Check Advisory Panel for review.  Depending on the situation and findings, a student may still be allowed to continue in their program with a “Not Clear” check.

How long are police checks valid for?

A VSC is considered valid for one calendar year from the date of issue by Police Services.

If I get another police check for a placement site before my last one is a year old can I submit it and have the expiry date on my records updated?

Yes, students may be asked to complete the Police Records VSC process more frequently than annually by a clinical site. If acceptable to the site, list McMaster University as the requesting institution on the VSC so that you can submit it to the Professionalism Office as well. You can submit a new VSC at any time before your current one expires.

Will someone notify me before my police check expires?

Yes, you will receive an email reminder(s) however, it is your responsibility to keep your police check up to date.

Can I drop off my Police Check in person?

Yes, the Professionalism office is located in HSC 3H46. Please submit all documentation in the hallway dropbox.

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