Police Criminal Record Check

NOTE: Submitting police criminal records checks to the College is now an online process. The College of Nurses of Ontario no longer accepts paper copies of police criminal record checks from a variety of vendors. Applicants are now required to go online to get their PCRC through Sterling Talent Solutions' myBackCheck app.

As part of the registration process, the College of Nurses of Ontario requires all applicants for registration or reinstatement to provide a recent Canadian police criminal record check.

A Canadian police criminal record check helps protect the public by allowing the College to identify those individuals with criminal records that could affect their ability to practise safe and ethical nursing.

FAQs: Police Criminal Record Checks

How do I get a police criminal record check?

Since the College adopted the online process, we no longer accept paper criminal record checks from your local police department or a variety of vendors. You must now get it done online.

All you need to do is to use your College of Nurses of Ontario application number to log in to Sterling Talent Solutions' online portal myBackCheck. NOTE: You will only have an application number if you have submitted an application to the College to become a nurse in Ontario. If you haven’t applied, read these FAQs to learn how to apply to the College online.

If you applied for reinstatement: online application to the College is not yet available to you. To obtain your application number, please refer to the letter the College sent you. For more information about reinstatement, read Reinstatement Requirements

Here are the steps to get your police criminal record check done online:

  1. You must have your College of Nurses of Ontario application number on hand. To get your application number, log in to the College’s online portal using your email and password, then select “My Application.” (If you are a reinstatement applicant, your application number will be in the correspondence the College sent you.)
  2. Next use your application number to log in to Sterling Talent Solutions' online portal myBackCheck and submit your criminal record check request. Use the myBackCheck Applicant Guide for step by step instructions on completing your criminal record check. If you need assistance while in the myBackCheck app, contact their support team at support@mybackcheck.com or toll-free at 1-877-455-6730.

When should I have my criminal record checked? I don’t want to delay my application if it takes a while to come. 

The new process is fast – it will take 2 to 3 days instead of the six to eight weeks (or longer) it took with the former process of obtaining criminal record checks. However to make sure your application isn’t delayed, it is still important that you don’t wait until the end of your application to the College to request your criminal record check.

Also, you should note that a criminal record check is valid only for six months after it is issued. Therefore, depending on when you submit it to the College, it may expire during the application process and you will be required to submit a new one before becoming eligible for registration.

I am a current member of the College. If I want to apply to another category or class, or reinstate my registration, do I have to provide a Canadian police criminal record check to the College?

No. Current members of the General, Extended, Temporary, or Non-practising class are not required to provide a criminal record check to the College when applying for registration in another class or category, or when reinstating their registration. Please note, we may ask you to provide a Canadian police criminal record check if any character or conduct issues are identified.

I am not a current member of the College and I want to reinstate my membership. Do I have to provide a Canadian police criminal record check to the College?

Yes. A check is required if you are seeking reinstatement and have not been a member of the College in the current or prior year in which you are applying. This also applies if you are a former member of the College currently residing outside of Canada.

I am an applicant living outside of Canada. Do I have to provide a Canadian police criminal record check?

You will need to provide CNO with a police criminal record check if you have ever visited Canada or resided in Canada for any length of time. If you never lived in Canada, CNO requires a Police Criminal Record Check from the country where you currently reside.

I recently obtained a police criminal record check. How long is it valid?

For the College’s purposes, a check is valid for six months from the date it was issued. If you have a check and it expires before you meet all other registration requirements, then you will have to submit an updated check to complete your registration.

Do I need to submit a police criminal record check to the College before I can write an examination?

No. Applicants are not required to provide a check before writing their registration or jurisprudence exams. 

I have two open applications with the College. Do I have to do a police criminal record check for each application?

No. If you have more than one application open with the College, you are only required to do a police check for one of your applications. Once we recive the result of your police check, we will update it for all your open applications. When submitting your police check through myBackCheck, please enter only one application number in the field titled: Application Number. Submitting an incorrect number or both your application numbers will delay the process. 

Page last reviewed October 26, 2021