Frequently Asked Questions

As a Teacher Candidate at OISE, you will have periods of placement in schools that are a required part of your program and certification. Before permitting teacher candidates into a classroom, all schools require proof of a satisfactory Vulnerable Sector Police Screening. The screening will identify if you have a police record.

It is then up to the individual school or school board to determine if the record is such that they would deny you entry to their school. Vulnerable Sector Police Screening is not a requirement of the University of Toronto, or OISE, but it is a requirement of the schools/school boards, and you will not be permitted into a school without it. You will never be asked to provide the University with the information from the police and the University will not obtain this information from any other source.

Note 1: Practicum placements no longer require a search under the Mental Health Act as part of your Vulnerable Sector Screening.

Note 2: Teacher Candidates who have a practicum in a Toronto District School Board (TDSB) school are required to have their Vulnerable Sector Screening verified by the TDSB Police Reference Check Office. This must take place before your placement begins. You will need to visit the TDSB PRC office at 17 Fairmeadow Ave., R. 107, Toronto, ON, M2P 1W6 to have your document verified. If you need to speak to someone about this requirement, please call the TDSB Police Reference Check Office at (416)-393-0759. If you already have an original of your vulnerable sector check you should follow the instructions. If you do not yet have a vulnerable sector check or have lost your original, you must apply to your local police service. 

You must deal with the police service where you live and follow the procedures that they have in place. Some ask that you go directly to a police station, some have online forms, and some require that you get a signature from your institution.

It may take several weeks up to several months from the time you submit the request to the time you receive your report. You should expect delays, so you should begin the process as soon as possible.

While there is no stated expiration date on the vulnerable sector police report, some school boards will not accept those older than six months for the purposes of practicum placements. Different police services have very different timelines for processing. Check with the specific police service you are using to ensure that you do not begin the process too early or too late. You can find contact information for regional police services on the police contacts webpage.

Bring an official document that shows your correct address. (Examples include: a bill for your cell phone, a lease, a bank statement, income tax receipt, or government student loan document). Other forms of acceptable ID.

Go to your local police service and tell them that your university program requires periods of unpaid student teaching and that you therefore require a Vulnerable Sector Police Screening because you will be working with young children.

Apply in the region where you have a permanent address.

Go to your local police service and tell them that your university program requires periods of unpaid student teaching and that you therefore require a Vulnerable Sector Police Screening because you will be working with young children. If the document you receive is not in English, you will need to get an official translation of the document. Once you have established residency in Ontario and have ID showing your address, you should then go to your local police service in Ontario and request a Vulnerable Sector Police Screening.

Police record checks have a date of issue, not a date of expiry. Someone with a police record check issued on April 20, 20## could commit a criminal offense the next day, so Boards use the date of issue as the reference point.

With the exception of the Peel District School Board (PDSB) and the Durham Catholic District School Board (DCDSB), Boards tend to accept a Police Record Check within 12 months from date of issue.  The PDSB and DCDSB accept Police Record Checks within 6 months of date of issue.

If you have a Police Record Check issued on April 20, 20##, and you submit it to the Peel office prior to the following October 20th, then Peel will accept this check for the entire academic year (i.e., for both the Fall and the Winter practicum).  In Durham the Police Check is shared with each practicum school, not submitted to a central board office. So an April 20, 20##  Police Check should be fine for the Fall practicum, but it may not be accepted by a principal in Durham for the Winter practicum. (In which case, a TC would plan ahead and obtain another Police Record Check.)

If you are requesting a placement in the Peel District School Board or the Durham Catholic Board, you need to get a new police Record Check.  If you are requesting a placement other than in Peel or Durham Catholic, then you should seek information directly from the relevant Board, as the February 1st date might be acceptable for the Fall practicum, but not the Winter practicum. (You might consider getting another Police Record Check just to be safe.)

No, OISE does not collect the police record checks.  When you receive the report from the police, do not submit it to OISE. You will only submit the report to the specific school or board in which you are eventually placed.

Keep your police record check in a safe place until you need it for practicum in the Fall.

Acceptable Photo Identification

You must provide two (2) pieces of valid identification that confirm: your legal name, your date of birth, and your current address. One piece of official identification must include a photo.

Acceptable Photo Identification

  • Driver’s License (including drivers licenses issued by another province, territory, or a foreign jurisdiction)
  • Canadian or Foreign Passport
  • Canadian Citizenship Card
  • Permanent Residency Card
  • Certificate of Indian Status
  • BYID Card (Bring Your Identification, issued by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario)
  • Possession and Acquisition License (or PAL Card)
  • Canadian National Institute of the Blind (CNIB) Identification Card
  • Canadian Military Employment Card or Canadian Military Family ID Card
  • Ontario Photo Card (issued by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario - purple in colour similar to a drivers licence)
  • International Student Card
  • Nexus Card

Note: Health Cards cannot be accepted for identification.

Acceptable Forms of NON-Photo Identification:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Baptismal Certificate
  • Hunting License
  • Outdoors Card
  • Canadian Blood Donor Card
  • Immigration Papers
  • Student ID (acceptable ONLY as a secondary piece of ID)

Note: Social Insurance Cards cannot be accepted for identification.

Research Opportunity Program

Common Question: I am not an OISE Student and am enrolled in a Research Opportunity Program (ROP) project with the OISE Department of Applied Psychology & Human Development; how do I get my vulnerable sector police check?

  • If you live in the City of Toronto, you should come to the Registrar's Office & Student Experience (OISE, 8th floor). Be sure that you bring the proof of identity and address documents required. The Department of Applied Psychology & Human Development has provided a list of students in the ROP program who require a vulnerable sector police check, we will check for your name on the list, give you the form to complete, verify your ID and then we will sign the completed form, which you will then take or mail to Toronto Police Services for processing.
  • If you do not live in Toronto, follow the instructions applicable to your home address to obtain your vulnerable sector police check.