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Is the CPSBC requirement for drivers licence information really necessary?
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Fingerprints_taken_by_William_James_Herschel_1859-1860_cropped.jpgThe College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC (CPSBC) licence renewal for 2014 includes a new requirement that doctors provide their drivers licence information to the College.

Many doctors have contacted the College with concern about this further intrusion into their personal privacy rights. The College has responded that it is required as part of the criminal records check that all practitioners must consent to.

This was explored further through conversations with the CPSBC staff and with staff at the Ministry of Justice.

Is it really necessary for doctors to provide their drivers licence information for a criminal records check? The short answer is no. For more details read on.

When CPSBC staff were contacted with the question, is the drivers licence information really necessary they were very helpful and under the impression it was necessary.

The Ministry of Justice form that is used to request a Criminal record check includes a field for the drivers licence and over the past six months the College implemented a requirement to obtain and include this information.

The form can be seen online at
http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/criminal-records-review/forms/index.htm

In a phone call on January 24, 2014 Ministry of Justice staff provided clarification that while the form includes a field for the drivers licence it is not necessary to include that information for a criminal record check to be done.

All that is required for a criminal record check is the person's name, date of birth, gender, and address. If more information is provided it can be used to confirm the accuracy of this data. But, it is not necessary for the drivers license information to be provided. Ministry of Justice staff concurred that it is the right of the individual to determine whether or not they provide their drivers licence information.

The College does have a responsibility to confirm the identity of an individual and may use photo id for confirmation. However, there is nothing to indicate that the additional information needs to be stored in their system.

The information obtained from the Ministry of Justice was shared with the College staff along with the fact that the College online renewal system forces completion of the drivers licence field. Staff at the College appreciated receiving the additional information and committed to having the information reviewed and finding a solution to allow licence renewal to be done with this information in mind.

Ministry of Justice staff also highlighted changes to the criminal record check effective the end of November 2013 referred to as Vulnerable Sector Checks. This is an additional check simply on the date of birth and gender against a record of pardoned sexual offences. Any matches then require fingerprints to complete the criminal record check.

The addition of the Vulnerable Sector Check and the inconclusive results on a simple match of just date of birth and gender is expected to be high and has already imposed the need for fingerprint checks in a number of cases.  One can only imagine the burden this will place on individuals and the system as all health care workers are required to undergo criminal records checks.

Weblinks:

http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/criminal-records-review/forms/index.htm

Vulnerable sector check (Nov 2013)
http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/criminal-records-review/sector/index.htm
 

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