Documents and communication related to the DIOCESE's SafeR Church Implementation

These are not the PARISH requirements for SafeR Church.  They may be found here.


November 9, 2016


Announcement re End of Care2Screen and Implementation of new Diocesan Screening  Program


Diocese to Implement New, Comprehensive Diocesan Screening Program

As part of the development of the Diocesan SafeR Church Plan, an extensive Audit of  the Care2Screen program was conducted. As a result of the Audit’s findings and related recommendations*, a new comprehensive Diocesan Screening Program is being instituted. This Program will apply to those who hold Diocesan Positions, including clergy who hold the Bishop’s license or permission to officiate in the Diocese, staff of the Diocesan Centre, and volunteer leaders of Diocesan programs such as TEC and DYC, among others. This is a Diocesan program; parishes will have their own screening programs.


Care2Screen Program Ended as of November 1, 2016

Consequently, as of November 1, 2016, the Care2Screen Program has ended. Care2Screen badges and cards are no longer valid; they should no longer be used or accepted as indications that individuals have been cleared by the Diocese to participate in or lead Diocesan-organized or Diocesan–sponsored activities. No permanent badges or other documents (e.g., cards) will be distributed as part of the new Screening Program, although time-limited and event-specific ID badges may be issued at Diocesan-sponsored events such as DYC or TEC.


The Diocesan Screening Program: Key Elements

Complying with Canadian Law

In keeping with Canadian law, for each Diocesan position (lay or clergy, employee or volunteer, etc.) the new Screening Program will identify and implement pre-hiring and post-hiring screening measures directly related to the Bona Fide Occupational Requirements (BFORs) of that position identified through an Audit.


Respecting Anglican Church Canons

Some Diocesan positions are also governed by national and/or diocesan canons, and screening measures will be chosen that respect and are in conformity with these canons.


Meeting Requirements of Ecclesiastical Insurance re Diocesan Positions of Trust Ecclesiastical Insurance has identified a number of pre-hiring screening measures (application forms, reference checks, Police Records Checks and Vulnerable Sector Checks) and post-hiring screening measures (initial and periodic training, evaluation, periodic Police Records Checks and Vulnerable Sector Checks) that must be implemented for Diocesan Positions of Trust.

Diocesan Positions of Trust are those positions over which the Diocese has direct authority and responsibility, and which place people in situations in which they have significant power, control, influence over and access to, people who may be vulnerable in some way.


First Steps in Implementation of the Diocesan Screening Program

Diocesan Positions of Trust are the highest priority. Accordingly, the first steps in rolling out the new Screening Program have recently been taken. On October 28, 2016, Bishop Ron Cutler wrote to all members of the clergy holding the Bishop’s license or other permission to officiate in this Diocese, asking them to submit a new Police Records  Check and Vulnerable Sector Check by January 3, 2017.  Letters to individuals holding other Diocesan Positions of Trust, requesting submission of these checks, will soon follow.


Next Steps in Implementation of the Diocesan Screening Program

Over the next six months, other screening measures—those required by Ecclesiastical  and others the Diocese decides are necessary—will be gradually implemented in relation to Diocesan Positions of Trust. This must be done carefully and gradually, beginning with Diocesan Positions of Trust that are currently vacant or are about to become vacant, and for which candidates will be sought.


For more information …

If you have any questions about the new Diocesan Screening Program, please contact the Reverend Canon Gordon Redden, Diocesan Executive Director.

[pdf file of the above announcement]


Re Request for Police Records Checks and Vulnerable Sector Checks sent by Bishop Ron October 28, 2016


Q: Why is the Diocese requiring that all clergy who hold the Bishop’s license or permission to officiate submit a new Police Records Check and Vulnerable Sector Check at this time?

A: There are a number of reasons:

- As part of the Diocesan SafeR Church Plan, the Diocese is bringing the Care2Screen Program to an end and is implementing a new Diocesan Screening Program.

- The first steps in the new Program will involve implementing the screening measures identified by Ecclesiastical Insurance for Diocesan Positions of Trust.

- Members of the clergy are, by definition, in Positions of Trust, whether they are Rectors, Priests-in-Charge, Deacons, Chaplains, or hold other positions.

- Among the screening measures required by Ecclesiastical for all Positions of Trust is a Police Records Check and a Vulnerable Sector Check.

- All clergy in this Diocese have been required to submit Police Records Checks in the past, but not all clergy have submitted Vulnerable Sector Checks. Therefore, as we are beginning a new Program, and in order to establish a uniform baseline, clergy and all other individuals who hold Diocesan Positions of Trust are required to submit a new Police Records Check and a Vulnerable Sector Check, dated no earlier than October 1, 2016.


Q: Which checks are required?

A: A Police Records Checks and a Vulnerable Sector Check


“Police Records Check”:

A: We have deliberately used the term “Police Records Check” because it is the most accurate, generic, comprehensive term: What you are asking for is a check of records held by police. The police service in your area (e.g., Halifax Regional Police, RCMP, Charlottetown Police Service, etc.) may call the check by a different name – e.g., a Criminal Record(s) Check.

- It’s important to understand the different police services call these checks by different names, and sometimes include checks of different databases in them.

- The most basic check that is done, by all police services, is a check of the primary criminal records database in the national system. We don’t have any control (nor do you) over which databases your police service checks in addition to this one. Many police services also check their local records as well as other national databases.


“Vulnerable Sector Check”:

A:  This is the most common name for a check of records related to pardons granted in abuse-related convictions. Again, some police services call this by a different name, and some police services call the check of current criminal records and pardoned records by this one name.


Q: Can we use a third-party provider of records checks?

A: No. The checks should be requested directly from the police force in your municipality or region.


Q: Why do the checks have to come from the police directly?

A: The Diocese must keep the records checks permanently on file, and wishes to keep the most authoritative versions of these reports. Therefore, the checks

- must come from the police service itself

- must be dated after October 1, 2016

- and must bear the seal of the police force or service that issues them.

Therefore, a document from a third party provider, such as My Backcheck, will not suffice. (Please see the form letter from Bishop Ron, copied below, that outlines this requirement.)

Q: How often will I have to submit these checks to the Diocese?

A: Ecclesiastical currently requires that the checks be submitted once every five years.


Q: I just had these done for the Parish (or for another organization). Can I use the reports done for these other organizations?

A: No. The checks need to be done specifically for the Diocese. This is a requirement established by Ecclesiastical.


Q: What is the deadline for submission of these checks?

- For clergy, January 3, 2017.

- People holding other Diocesan Positions of Trust will receive a letter in the next month, requesting submission of these checks. A deadline date will be set for these. 


Q: Where should the checks be sent?

A: Send them to Kathy Saunders at the Diocesan Centre, 1340 Cathedral Lane, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H 2Z1.


Q: Where can I find more information about checks of records held by police?

A: Several SafeR Church webinars dealt with this topic. If you go to the Diocese’s SafeR Church webpage, you can scroll through the list of webinars to find the Webinar on Police Records Checks and Screening. You can listen to the webinar and/or download the resources materials attached to it. The list of, and links to, SafeR Church webinars can be found at this URL:


Q: Who can I talk to about the requirement for Police Records Checks and Vulnerable Sector Checks?

A: Contact Kathy Saunders, Administrative Assistant at the Diocesan Centre.