Toronto college students affected by delays in background checks

September 16, 2010

Some Toronto college students are being denied entry into placements at hospitals, schools, and daycares due to delays in getting police background checks, and some worry they will lose a year of their education. At least 44 Humber College nursing students have been told that if they do not get police clearance by Monday, they cannot continue in a clinical course that includes placements in health-care facilities and schools. The issue lies with changes to "vulnerable sector checks" implemented by the RCMP in March. Such checks can now take up to 4 months, where before they would take just 4 to 6 weeks. "Dozens and dozens" of students are being impacted, says the chairperson of Centennial College's child and family studies department. Colleges are working with placement agencies in an effort to address the problem. Allowances are being made in some cases; student teachers, for example, can start placements as long as they can prove they have applied for a criminal check and sign a form disclosing any criminal offences.