Vulnerable Sector Screen or Background Attestation

At the request of our training sites, all new postgraduate medical residents, clinical and research fellows, and elective trainees who are Canadian citizens/Permanent Residents must submit a level 3 criminal record check with Vulnerable Sector Screen (VSS) report prior to the start of training. The VSS report must be requested from your local police station and uploaded on the PGME Form site. Please note it may take 4+ months to receive a VSS report from some police districts.

A VSS report must be dated within 6 months. Any VSS report submitted with a date of issuance beyond six months is expired/invalid and you will need to obtain a new VSS report. The VSS must include all pages and have each page scanned top to bottom (some VSS are on legal sized paper, they cannot be cut off or one page scanned on two pages). We do not accept password protected files.

For more information, please read the instructions in your registration documents entitled Instructions for Vulnerable Sector Screen Police Record Check.

International Trainees:

  • A VSS is required for new international trainees on a work permit who arrived in Canada March 31, 2023 or earlier and have Canadian ID with a Canadian address.
  • A VSS is NOT required for new international trainees on a work permit who arrived in Canada on April 1, 2023 or later. Please complete the Background Attestation after May 14, 2021 in the POWER system stating you do not have a criminal record. A VSS will be required should you continue training for the 2022-2023 academic session. POWER will reflect your VSS requirement automatically, do not email unless it is incorrect.

Canadians Living Abroad for several years will need Canadian ID with a Canadian address in order to apply for a VSS. If not, please email to override this requirement.

CPSO: A Level 2 Criminal Record Check is part of your application to the CPSO for a medical education license. However, PGME has an arrangement with the CPSO to forward your scanned Level 3 Criminal Record Check (VSS) to the CPSO on your behalf. This agreement allows you to order one Level 3 Criminal Record Check to meet both CPSO and PGME’s criminal record check requirements.

Returning trainees who have previously completed a VSS will be required to complete a “Background Attestation” on the POWER system after mid-May for up to 5 years after your VSS has been submitted to PGME. After 5 years, a new VSS will be required.

Background Attestation is an electronic statement you attest/not attest to regarding your background. It is completed in POWER after mid-May under the VSS Menu, Add Attestation. If Add Attestation is not visible, a VSS is required. If you CANNOT ATTEST you must email a written explanation to with a copy to

You will receive email alerts from the POWER system reminding you to obtain the VSS or complete the Background Attestation in the POWER system. Only email if there is an error.

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