Reference checks - FAQ


  1. When should I request a reference check? 
  2. How do I request a reference check?
  3. Who should my character references be?
  4. What is the role of the Group Commissioner in this process?
  5. How long does the process take?
  6. Who is Backcheck?
  7. Is there cost associated?
  8. Is there an alternative process?



The purpose of this article is to explain the Reference check process. Scouts Canada requests Volunteers to have three character references. These references vouch on behalf of the candidate's capability and suitability to be a Scouter with Scouts Canada. 



 When should I request a reference check? 

The reference check process is used as an element of the Volunteer Screening Policy. To view all roles that require a reference check see the Volunteer Screening Policy

If you are already a Scouter you are asked to obtain new reference checks when you switch Groups.



 How do I request a reference check?

When a Scouter first fills out their Volunteer Application via MyScouts the request for references is made. 

Candidates should be prepared with their character references full names, email addresses and relationship with the reference. A maximum of one family member may be included.

Upto 5 references will be accepted. We are seeking three completed references to fufill the requirement.

If a candidate fills out the Volunteer application in MyScouts and skips over the reference check portion the system will not allow the candidate to move backward and fill in the information at a later time. When this happens candidates are to reach out to the Help Centre who will submit on behalf of the candidate. 

When a Scouter is changing Groups and require new references they are to reach out to the Help Centre with their references. The Help Centre will submit them on behalf of the candidate. 



 Who should my character references be?

Character references speak to the candidate's qualities, attributes and disposition. The email sent to the character reference is a questionnaire requesting information about the candidate. These questions pertain to the candidate's suitability as a Scouter. 

They must be able to reply to an email in English or French. They must, therefore, have an email address. 

Tip: Some email addresses are protected by firewalls & may prevent the reference check email from being received. Request personal email addresses from references rather than work email addresses. Specifically, avoid Government of Canada email addresses.  



 What is the role of the Group Commissioner in this process?

Group Commissioners have a new role in this process. 

If a reference does not reply to the email requesting their reference the Help Centre will make multiple attempts to contact the candidate and receive an alternate email address for the reference who has not replied. If after these attempts we are unable to make contact we will reach out to the candidate's Group Commissioner to request assistance. 



 How long does the process take?

The time for a reference check to be completed after being submitted to Backcheck can be as few as 3 days or as long as several weeks. 

After the Candidate submits their references Backcheck will send emails to the addresses provided. The time varies as it depends on when references reply to the email.

Backcheck will make two attempts to email the address provided. If a reply is not received after these two attempts Backcheck will reach out to Scouts Canada asking for a new email address for the already submitted reference. The Help Centre will then reach out to the candidate.



 Who is Backcheck?

Backcheck is the third party company who administer reference checks on behalf of Scouts Canada. Backcheck also provides a service where they can renew a Scouters PRC/VSS for a fee. This can be done alternatively via your local police detachment.



 Is there cost associated?

Backcheck is a free service for candidates and Scouters. Scouts Canada absorbs Backcheck's fees. 

Unfortunately, Backcheck's fees are not a set rate. When a candidate first submits references the rate is standard however each time a correction to a references email address is made or a new file is opened for a Scouter who already has a check in the process new fees are incurred. 

To prevent these avoidable expenses we ask the following of our candidates and Group Commissioners. 

1. The only time references are to be submitted in MyScouts is when the Candidate is filling out their original Volunteer registration application. 

2. If a candidate needs to submit corrected email addresses or new references once they have already completed their Volunteer registration application these are to be submitted via the Help Centre. Group Commissioners are not to update references in MyScouts on behalf of the candidate as this incurs a cost. 



 Is there an alternative process?

Yes, the alternative process is to have references completed via telephone by your Group Commissioner. This is not a process we encourage, and should only be used in circumstances where the alternative process is required. For instance, if a candidate has a reference who is unable to complete an online reference check. 

Group Commissioners are Volunteers who have a lot on their plate. When a Group Commissioner is completing a reference check they are going above and beyond their job description. We ask candidates to be mindful of this and contact the Help Centre for all reference check inquires rather than their Group Commissioner. 




Help Centre

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


Have more questions? Submit a request


Powered by Zendesk