1. Review this short guide

4 page PDF guide to get you started

Guide for Parish Leaders
2. Identify parish volunteers and employees

Determine their roles and required screening levels. Refer to the linked booklet for guidance.

Ministry Level Safe Church Requirements
3. Prepare a spreadsheet

Prepare a spreadsheet with columns for names, emails, roles, record checks, and Safe Church training dates for Diocesan SIF Administrator's use.

Download template
4. Provide record check applications

Offer record check applications to those needing them. Mark their choice on your spreadsheet. Refer to the linked information for application details.

Application Guidebook
Diocesan Timeline

This timeline outlines yearly expectations from the Diocesan Office about Screening in Faith:

  • Jan & Feb: Clergy leaders are prompted by the Diocese to fill out the parish 'parochial report', which includes screening levels. Include data on training completion and CRCs on file. This acts as a reminder to ensure those in medium/high risk roles have necessary checks and training.

  • June & July: Parishes receive an email from the Synod Office with a CRC status list. Parishes should verify this list, update the Screening-In-Faith Administrator, and prompt individuals to renew CRCs as needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, they are to complete the assigned modules as Synod Delegates and members of Parish Council. 

The learners are to print/save a copy of their transcripts or completion certificates and provide them to the Parish SIF Coordinator for record keeping purposes. 

“.... A fundamental obligation, therefore, is to look after the welfare of all members of the community, especially those who are vulnerable through age, infirmity or any other form of dependency. This is a sacred trust, which must be performed in a responsible and safe manner.”

Screening in Faith Policy, Section 1, 1.1 Theological Foundation

It is the policy of the Diocese of New Westminster that everyone who comes into contact with vulnerable persons be screened. The goal is a safe environment in parishes, in diocesan ministries, in activities for children, seniors, the physically, emotionally, and/or spiritually vulnerable persons.

All ministry positions need to be screened but - not all positions require a Criminal Records Check.

The Policy aims to protect ‘the vulnerable’ (children; youth; physically, mentally, or psychologically vulnerable adults).

Those directly engaged in ministry with the vulnerable need to submit a  Criminal Records Check with Vulnerable Sector Check (CRC/VSC), while those parishioners who serve on committees, parish councils, and similar groups likely do not. Having all members of Parish Council or Synod Delegates submit a PRC/VSC (unless involved directly in ministry with the vulnerable) does not fulfill the intent of the Policy.

Please refer to #2 on the 'Getting Started' page for a booklet on who needs a CRC with or without a VSC and who does not. 

The VSC is an enhanced criminal record check. VSCs are used to verify if an individual has a record suspension (formerly pardon) for sex offences. They also include checks of national data bases maintained by the RCMP and local police records where the applicant lives. A VSC can be obtained by anyone who provides a letter from the organisation requesting the check be completed. When you receive your completed CRC, you'll be able to see whether a VSC was completed or not.

All employees applying for CRCs for the Screening in Faith process must request the VSC. All volunteers whose role directly interacts with vulnerable people must request the VSC. 

A CRC/VSC completed for another organization will be accepted if:

(a) it was obtained from a police department / RCMP detachment in Canada or through the BC Criminal Records Review Program

(b) it is not more than 12 months old and

(c) includes a Vulnerable Sector Check.

NOTE: The original CRC/VSC must be submitted; we are not able to process scans or copies.

All CRC/VSC should be sent to the Screening in Faith Adminstrator at the Synod Office:

Screening in Faith, 1410 Nanton Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. V6H 2E2

They should not be delivered to, or stored, at a Parish Office. This is because all CRC/VSC information must be handled in a confidential manner consistent with the BC Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA).

CRC/VSC are required to be updated every five years.

a.     For those 14 to 18 years old, the parish needs to implement the same screening procedures as for adults (19+), including but not limited to: a position description, interviews, references (including social media), and risk assessment. Should the position be assessed as high risk, they need to obtain a CRC/VSC. 

b.    The youngest age to obtain a CRC/VSC is 14 years old.

c.     Should there be 12 and 13 year olds serving as assistants to an adult in a position that involves children or other vulnerable person, they need to be screened, using all steps outlined in Section 2 of the Policy, though they will not be required to obtain a CRC/VSC. Care and diligence is required by following all screening steps, including interviews and references (teachers, work supervisors, social media).

***Regarding children and youth ministry, the following age standard should be applied to the leadership position held by someone 19 years old or younger: the leader should be at least two years older than the oldest group member.***

Under the BC Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA), records must be kept for one year after any decision has been made using those records. In a parish that decision may involve whether or not the person may, indeed, volunteer. Once that period is over, the information must be destroyed. So, the parish would destroy the screening records one year after that person ceases to be a volunteer.

Appropriate record keeping is a critical step in the implementation of the screening policy. Keeping confidential records on ministry positions of volunteer and paid staff, and on 3rd party users of parish premises, is one facet of how we express our Christian values to be consistent with the legal concept of “duty of care”.

All those serving in medium or high risk ministries are required to complete the diocesan online Safe Church training. Clergy, lay volunteers and parish employees are registered into the system by the Screening in Faith Adminstrator at the Diocese. Courses are taken online using a personal electronic device, and once complete a certificate is obtained. Certificates for parish volunteers are held at the parish. Certificates for clergy are held clergy's personnel file in the Archbishop's Office. Training is renewed every five (5) years.

The links below are the archived resources for the previous sexual misconduct policy workshop and its associated video. Parishes are welcome to use it as an additional resource for equipping parishioners for ministry. However, completion of  current Safe Church training is required for all individuals in medium or high-risk ministries.

Sexual Misconduct Policy Workshop Kit (last revised: May 2018)

Sexual Misconduct Policy Workshop posters one, two, three and four

"Sexual Misconduct: Learn to Spot it, Learn to Stop it" video resource for workshop

Yes. An important part of the diocesan Safe Church training is its emphasis on the particular requirements for preventing and reporting sexual misconduct in the Diocese of New Westminster. This includes the opportunity to receive the diocesan sexual misconduct policy and to affirm understanding and agreement with it.

There are several necessary steps to ensure your parish remains up to date:

  • As parishioners transition in and out of volunteer roles, ensure that the screening process is completed for new volunteers and that personal information from former volunteers is destroyed after one year. (If volunteers involved in high risk ministry leave the parish, get in touch with the Screening in Faith Facilitator so records at Synod Office can be kept up to date)
  • Ensure that new CRC/VSC records are requested every five (5) years for volunteers. Each parish will have copies of dated confirmation letters sent from the Synod Office which you can use to track this information. Rectors, Wardens and Screening in Faith Coordinators also check in with the Diocesan Screening in Faith Adminstrator to determine which records need updating.
  • Ensure that volunteers in medium or high risk ministries undertake the online Safe Church training every five years.
  • Complete the annual Screening in Faith Compliance Report and return it with the rest of your Parochial Reports. This tool assists the parish to see what parts of the screening process currently require attention.

(a) Occasional use of parish premises by outside groups: The parish does not have to put any special Screening steps into place for occasional use of parish premises. This applies to outside community organizations/groups using/renting the premises for an occasional meeting, a birthday party, or any other occasional gathering.

The Diocesan Group User Insurance program should be used to offer liability insurance to these groups. 

(b) Continuous/long-term use of parish premises by outside groups: The parish determines whether vulnerable persons are included in, or offered ministries by, the outside organizations using parish premises.

If no, please document that in a brief paragraph, establish a file, and review once a year to ensure that the circumstances have not changed.

If yes, the parish implements appropriate steps. A template is provided in the Screening in Faith Policy, Appendix P: ‘Screening Policy for Long-Term Users and Lessees of St.----------Anglican Church’. Thanks to the Rev. Neil Fernyhough for developing this long-term user/lessees policy for St. Barnabas and making it available to all parishes in the Diocese.

The Diocesan Group User Insurance program should be used to offer liability insurance to these groups. 

(c) AA and/or other Twelve Step Groups using parish premises:

The following are AA and/or other twelve step groups’ criteria:

◦         peer counseling groups,

◦         with adult membership,

◦         do not have a leader in power or authority,

◦         leadership typically rotates at every meeting,

◦         there is little if any one-on-one contact.

When the above criteria are in place, it is agreed that AA and/or other Twelve Step Groups fall into the low-risk category. However, they are required to provide proof of liability insurance coverage. If they do not have coverage in place, you can provide coverage information from our insurance provider. You can frequest this information from the Diocesan Finance team. It is recommended that the parish review the above criteria in its own context, and document this in a file, to be reviewed once a year.

Contact Form

The Screening-in-Faith Administrator at The Diocese of New Westminster

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