Getting Security Clearance as a UK Contractor

security clearance uk

As a UK contractor, you might need security clearance before working with any private or public organization. As many of them need it to secure their sensitive information and for the sake of national security. Fortunately, there’s not much hassle to be security cleared. In this blog, we’ll talk about the types of clearance and how you can be security cleared.

 

What is Security Clearance?

It is a process of doing backgrounds checks and vetting by the Defence Business Service National Security Vetting (DBS NSV). The level of security clearance varies based on the level of sensitive information the organization deal with. There might be different circumstances to be security cleared, but the most common instances include:

 

  • You’re starting a new contract, where you need to be security cleared
  • You are required to be vetted again to carry on your current contract
  • You have changed your contract role that needs a clearance

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Levels of Security Checks:

There are five/six levels of security checks:

levels of security clearance

1) Baseline Personnel Security Standard:

It is a basic level of security clearance and pre-requisites for other levels. Here, you can get access to the UK’s official and secret assets. It is also required when a contractor get access to Public Services Network (PSN).

These documents are required for BPSS:

  • Personal Identity
  • National/immigration status
  • Last 3-year employment history
  • Criminal record
  • Record of the time spent abroad (for 6 months) in last 3 years

 

2) Counter-Terrorist Checks:

It is intended to alleviate the risks of a terrorist getting sensitive information that could affect national security. Following documents are needed for CTC:

  • BPSS
  • Filling out a security questionnaire
  • Records check of the department including some personal files
  • Scrutinization of criminal records
  • Review of Security Service records

Contractors may require to provide an interview for further investigation.

 

3) Security Checks:

If a contractor is assigned a critical post where there is long-term, frequent and unmanageable access to sensitive assets, he/she may be passed through a security check. It can also be done in case of supervised access to top-secret assets. Documents needed for SC are:

  • BPSS
  • Filling out a security questionnaire
  • Records of the department including some personal files
  • Scrutinization of criminal records
  • Review of Security Service records
  • Inspection of financial history along with the reference agency

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4) Enhanced Security Check:

If there is uncontrollable access to top-secret assets and information, the candidate will go through enhanced security checks, where these documents are needed:

  • BPSS
  • Filling out a security questionnaire
  • Records check of the department including some personal files
  • Inspection of financial history along with the reference agency
  • Scrutinization of criminal records
  • Review of Security Service records

 

5) Developed Vetting:

DV is required for the contractor holding a key post where there is uncontrollable, frequent access to assets and cold ward material. The following documents are needed for DV:

  • BPSS
  • Filling out a security questionnaire
  • Records check of the department including some personal files
  • Inspection of financial history along with the reference agency
  • Scrutinization of criminal records
  • Review of Security Service records
  • A detailed review of personal finances

 

6) Enhanced Developed Vetting:

Enhanced developed vetting is done for a few specific posts for a strict security check where these documents are required:

  • Completion of a special DV questionnaire (along with family and travel)
  • Review of Security Service records
  • Scrutinization of criminal records
  • Detailed financial investigation
  • Inspection of financial history along with the reference agency

 

How to be Security Cleared?

You need to be security cleared for legal and policy reasons, you can’t ask someone to do it for you. As a contractor, your sponsor will ask you to be security cleared. It can be your client or the government body.

 

Quick Sum Up:

To sum up, we can say that clearance is only required if your company or organizations ask for it, otherwise, there is no need. By getting a security clearance, you can get a great pay advantage and job security.

 

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Disclaimer: This blog provides general information on the above-mentioned topic.