Security Clearance for IT Contractors

IT contractors working with, or having access to, sensitive or classified information will need to be security cleared before they can start work.

In the interests of national security, Government guidance states that those working in connection with ‘sensitive assets’ at risk from terrorism, espionage and serious crime, will need to undergo checks that provide assurance on that person’s identity, reliability, trustworthiness and integrity.

Clearance is therefore required if you’ve secured a contract working on a classified project. The Ministry of Defence or Armed Forces, but also some other Government departments will require IT contractors to be security vetted. In terms of the private sector, contractors working on Government related IT projects may also require contractors to go through the vetting process.

Security clearance is carried out by the Defence Vetting Agency, ‘DVA’ (or the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Vetting Unit), and once clearance is granted it is only valid for a set period and therefore does not guarantee future reliability. Contractors will therefore see their clearance reviewed on a regular basis to reflect their circumstances.

There are different levels of security clearance, with the ‘Baseline Standard’ checks underpinning the 3 levels of national security vetting: SC, CTC and DV level - the more sensitive a role is deemed to be, the more thorough the vetting process.

In order to start the vetting process you’ll need a sponsor, i.e. the organization offering you a contract role requiring clearance.

Since the checks usually take several weeks, those IT contractors already in possession of unexpired clearance will have an advantage, particularly for urgent requirements, although the DVA are clear on their position that contractors without clearance shouldn’t otherwise be expected to hold existing security clearance in order to apply for roles.

Why is security clearance required?

With increased demand for security-cleared contractors, Hudson offer tips on gaining clearance, the benefits and impact on rates.

How can you get security clearance?  This guide explains how to move into security cleared work for IT contractors in the UK.

How IT contractors can make the most of expired security clearance.

Advice for an IT contractor who fears bankruptcy will cordon off security cleared jobs.

An invitation to report recruiters insistent on Security Clearance has expired.

Security Clearance Features

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Sep 29, 2010

New Cabinet Office booklet reminds recruiters not to reject non-cleared contractors.

Aug 9, 2010

Too many IT contractors told: get security cleared or don't bother applying.

Feb 12, 2010

Freelance techies called to help 'change IT contracting forever.'

Jun 19, 2009