McMaster University

McMaster University

Police Records Check Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Where should I go to get a Police Record Check VSS?

Go to the Police Services who service the municipality you live in. Most Police Services will not issue a Records Check VSS 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 Check VSS varies among Police Services. Please check their website for information regarding wait times, cost and form of payment.

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 VSS letter.

Where is the Professionalism Office located on campus?

The Professionalism Office is located in the Michael DeGroote Centre for Learning (MDCL) room 3514. Our email is fhsprof@mcmaster.ca 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 July 31st deadline?

As long as you requested the Police Records Check VSS within the posted time frames provided by your Police Services, you may be allowed to submit a notarized affidavit in place of the VSS until it arrives. Contact the Professionalism Office by July 24th with your request receipt and the posted Police Services time frames for your municipality.

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

If your Police Services will not issue a Police Records Check VSS due to your age then obtain a PIC (Police Information Check) and submit in place of a VSS.  Please be sure to make note of this when you submit your PIC to the Professionalism Office.

Why do I need to get two original copies of a Police Records Check VSS?

You must submit an original copy to the FHS Professionalism Office. It will not be returned to you. You may be required to show your original Police Records Check VSS at a placement site therefore we recommend you obtain 2 original copies.

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

Some Police Services will not issue two original copies of a VSS. 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 confirms with your local Police Services that they do not issue additional copies we will return your original police check to you using your supplied self addressed stamped envelope.

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

As a condition of your offer, you must provide a Police Records Check Vulnerable Sector Screen (VSS) dated after your offer of admission. To remain in good standing you must provide a new Police Records Check VSS on an annual basis and prior to your current check expiring. As well, your VSS must be valid for the entire duration of each placement. A VSS is considered valid for one calendar year from the date of issue by Police Services. Students may be asked to complete the police records check 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 Check VSS from Toronto Police Services?

If you are going to Toronto Police Services you will need a personalized Consent to Disclosure of Personal Information form. Email fhsprof@mcmaster.ca to request this form and then follow the submission instructions as outlined on Toronto Area Police Checks. Make sure you include the correct amount and form of payment otherwise your application will be returned to McMaster University then forwarded to your home address.

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 Check VSS (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 Check VSS.

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

Inform the Professionalism Office immediately if your Police Records Check VSS is ‘Not Clear’, so that we may work with you to determine next steps.

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

All “Not Clear” Police Records Check VSSs 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 Police Records Check VSS 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 Check VSS process more frequently than annually by a clinical site. You can submit a new Police Records Check VSS at any time before your current one expires.

Will someone notify me before my police check expires?

No, 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 MDCL room 3514. Please submit all documentation in the hallway dropbox.

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