So what is a criminal record check and when would you need one? A criminal record is a history of a person’s criminal history. There are two common reasons for acquiring one. Firstly, a new employer may want to ensure you have no criminal convictions. Secondly, if you apply for a loan, the lender may wish to verify your credibility and trustworthiness. The process of obtaining a copy of a criminal record varies depending on the country and state where you have lived and worked. In some countries, such as Hong Kong, you will not receive a copy. Instead, the results will be sent direct to organization requiring the check—for example, your potential employer.