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  • Writer's pictureFingerprinting Security Canada

Mandatory electronic fingerprints

On February 1, 2017, Public Services and Procurement Canada's (PSPC) Contract Security Program (CSP) implemented the mandatory criminal record check process, which requires electronic fingerprinting. Learn when mandatory electronic fingerprints are required and why the Program implemented this change. Also find out about the validity period and the steps applicants and company security officers must take.



The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the lead agency for law enforcement inquiries, has retired the criminal record name check process. They replaced it with a criminal record check process, which requires electronic fingerprinting. The validity of an existing PSPC-issued personnel security clearance is not affected by the new criminal record check process.


Validity period of the criminal record check results

The results of the criminal record check and the associated document control number (DCN) sent to PSPC's CSP will both be valid for 1 year from the date the fingerprints were taken.

Within that year, as long as the DCN was generated for a personnel security screening processed through PSPC's CSP, the same DCN can be reused for another personnel security screening request such as:

  • new

  • updates (renewals)

  • upgrades


Cost of fingerprinting

The RCMP does not charge a processing fee for criminal record check for fingerprints taken for federal employment or contracts. The fingerprints applicant request form clearly indicates that fingerprints are for a government security clearance and that the results are to be sent directly to PSPC's CSP. Although the RCMP does not charge a processing fee, the third-party fingerprint service provider will charge an applicant the market rate, typically between $50 and $70, for their processing services.

The fee charged may vary from one provider to the next. PSPC's CSP does not receive funds from providers and does not profit from their services. Applicants who require a personnel security clearance are responsible for absorbing all costs associated with these fees.


Protecting the applicant's identity

PSPC's CSP does not receive copies of applicants' fingerprints. The third-party service provider submits the fingerprints electronically to the RCMP. The RCMP uses the fingerprints to search their criminal record database and provides the Program with the results of that particular search.

The RCMP does not retain copies of the fingerprints in their system. Once the criminal record check results are produced and shared with PSPC's CSP, these results are deleted from the RCMP system. At no time are copies of civil fingerprints kept in the RCMP database.


Matching issues

The RCMP will send the criminal record check results directly to the PSPC's CSP. The Program will use the document control number (DCN) and the date of birth supplied by the applicant to match the personnel security screening request with the results supplied by the RCMP. All these need to be accurate and correctly matched to proceed with a security clearance request.

PSPC's CSP recommends that applicants request a copy of the RCMP submission results electronic (SRE) transaction record, which identifies the applicant's DCN and confirms the destination to where the criminal record check results will be sent. These documents help validate the DCN associated with the applicant's criminal record check results and help the Program identify any potential matching issues.

If there is a matching issue, the PSPC's CSP will contact the company security officer (CSO) or alternate company security officer (ACSO) who may be asked to provide additional information.

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