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Procedure for Background Checks

Approval Date: 2018-12-06

Effective Date: 2019-01-03

Responsible Unit: Department of Human Resources


A background check may include an employment or education verification, employment reference check, vulnerable sector check, certificate of conduct and/or criminal record check.

1. Employment References
An integral part of the recruitment process is to ensure, through conducting employment reference checks, that the best possible hiring decision is made. The reference check informs the hiring decision by confirming the qualifications, employment history and suitability of recommended Candidates. These procedures are intended to ensure that a consistent approach is applied to all employment references conducted.


  • Reference checks for recommended Candidates are only conducted by the Selection Committee Chair or another designated member of the Selection Committee.
  • Prohibited grounds of discrimination are outlined in the Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Act. A criminal history, if it exists, can only be considered in the context of the position for which the Candidate has applied.
  • Contact the Department of Human Resources if a discrepancy is identified during the reference process with a Candidate's application/resume; such misrepresentation may constitute grounds for disqualification.


a) Once a recommended Candidate is determined from the interview process, references will be contacted. References on more than one Candidate may be completed. Usually references on the highest ranked Candidate are completed first. Candidates are required to provide a list of appropriate employment references. Whenever possible, references who can best speak to the Candidate's ability to do the work of the position should be selected.

b) If the recommended Candidate is internal, their most recent management level supervisor will be contacted. Depending on the length of supervisory relationship or any other extenuating circumstance, an additional reference may be contacted. If the Candidate is external, the individual checking the reference must obtain consent from the Candidate before contacting their current employer.

2. Additional Background Checks
a) Results must be received prior to the employee starting their employment.

b) For any position that requires additional background checks, offers of employment are conditional on the receipt of a satisfactory check. This should be expressed either verbally or written to the Candidate at the time of offer.

c) Consultation with the Department of Human Resources is required in the event any questions or concerns arise as a result of the background check.

Policies using this procedure:


University Policies

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000