Criminal Record Checks in Health Professional Education: Protecting the Public or Reinforcing the Status Quo

Lois E. Berry
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As health professionals, we are accountable to protect the public we serve from unscrupulous practitioners. The role of monitoring the practice of our members is the comittment we make to government in response to the legislated right to self regulation.

Who should be allowed entrance to health care professional programs? How do educators decide which applicants are most suitable? Currently one of the criteria increasingly appearing in the screening process is the requirement for a criminal record check. Should a criminal record preclude admission to health professional education? Any criminal record? How do professions determine which criminal records bar participation?

This paper identifies current practice in the Canadian context, reviews the literature in the field, and discusses the implications for populations currently underrepresented in health professional programming. It outlines the balance between protecting the public and promoting a diverse, representative health professional workforce.

Keywords: Nursing Education, Health Professional Education, Social Justice, Role of Professions
Stream: Politics, Public Policy and Law, Education and Social Welfare, Technology and Applied Sciences
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: Criminal Record Checks in Health Professional Education

Lois E. Berry

Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Her experience includes teaching and administrative positions in nursing education and senior level administrative experience in a post secondary setting. She currently serves as a member of a national acccreditation team for nursing education programs in Canada. She has held positions in professional associations at a local, provincial and national level.

Ref: I06P0189