Backcheck and Reference check FAQ

  1. About
  2. I made a mistake entering reference contact information, what do I do?
  3. The references did not reply in 15 business days, what do I do?
  4. What happens if backcheck is unable to contact the reference because the email address is incorrect?
  5. The references do not have email, how do I request they be contacted via phone?
  6. What do I do if a reference fails?




This article will provide you with basic information about Sterling Backcheck and its relation with Myscouts.




Scouts Canada is partnered with Sterling Backcheck to assist with conducting reference checks and Police Record Check renewals. This article will touch on the reference portion of this partnership only.


Part of Scouts Canada's Volunteer Screening Policy requires volunteer candidates to submit character references. Three passes are required to fulfill this portion of their screening.


Backcheck is a semi-automated system that will retrieve 'New' reference contact information from Myscouts, and conduct the reference checks on your behalf. Once Backcheck has retrieved this information it will not communicate with Myscouts again until the case file is closed. 'New' reference contact information is generated simply by 'adding new reference' in the Screening tab for the applicable candidate.


Backcheck operates primarily on an e-mail platform unless otherwise instructed. It is, therefore, important to ensure that all reference e-mails are entered carefully and correctly to ensure this process is completed in a timely manner. Instructions on how to request a phone reference will be given later in this article.


I made a mistake entering reference contact information, what do I do?


If you made an error entering a reference's contact information, you will have a brief window to edit the information. If the reference status is still listed as 'New' 



You can use the 'edit' option to adjust the contact details for the reference.


Please note: If the status is listed as 'In Progress' then it has already been retrieved by Backcheck and all edits must be sent to the Help Centre.


Once a case file has been opened Backcheck will email reference request emails to all of the candidates's references. References will have 15 business days (3 weeks) before the case file is closed.


The references did not reply in 15 business days, what do I do?


If a candidate has not completed the reference portion of his/her screening, you can open a new case file by adding the references again (not editing). You will know when a case file has been closed if that status is listed with any of the following: 'Missing Info', 'Unable to Complete', 'Pass', 'Fail'.

**IMPORTANT: Do NOT open a new case file if one is still in progress, as each case file incurs a fee to Scouts Canada**

The reference requests emails can sometimes be filtered as 'junk' or 'spam', if you are adding the same references again it is recommended that you or the candidate remind their reference to check their junk folders periodically.

Group Commissioners and Registrars can manually conduct a reference check and update the reference information accordingly by clicking the 'edit' button. To do this, the person must have completed "Volunteer Screening: It's Our Duty" on the David Huestis Learning Centre.


What happens if Backcheck is unable to contact the reference because an email address is incorrect?


Backcheck will send the Help Centre notifications if they required corrected information for references in a file. The Help Centre in turn will email the candidate for correct information. If they don't hear back from the candidate after 5 days, the Help Centre will then ask the Group Commissioner for an update. This updated information needs to be communicated directly to the Help Centre who will provide Backcheck with the edits (at this point updates made to references within Myscouts will not be communicated with Backcheck).


The references do not have email, how do I request they be contacted via phone?


This service can be offered by special request and should only be offered if a reference does not have an email address. To request this service, please contact the Help Centre with the following details:

Candidate name and/or Membership Number


Reference name/contact number/affiliation with the candidate


What do I do if a reference 'fails'?

If a candidate has a reference that returned as 'fail' on their application, their membership is declined and are NOT permitted to participate as a Scouter or wear the uniform. Regardless of how many passed reference checks the candidate has on file, one failed reference check is sufficient to decline application for membership.

To investigate a failed reference check, the Group Commissioner will first need to contact the Help Centre. The Help Centre will forward the details of the failed reference check to the candidate's Council Executive Director (CED) for validation.

If, in the CED's judgmenet, there reference check is a a false negative, the reference check will be changed from a 'fail' to a 'pass'. Only CED's or approved designates should change the status of a failed reference check.

If the failed reference checkis legitimate, the status will not be changed and the candidate will not be permitted to be a member of Scouts Canada.

Help Centre

Still need help? Please feel free to contact the Scouts Canada Help Centre:

Have more questions? Submit a request


  • Avatar
    Donna Lenner COSC

    Really, really helpful!!
    Thanks Geoff!!

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