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View Full Version : Is there much point applying for contracts requiring clearance if you don't have it?



OwlHoot
12th January 2015, 12:41
Seen a contract with a good rate and excellent match for my skills, which I'd be quite interested in pursuing.

But it's in (cough) Gloucestershire, starting january, so within a week or two as we're already nearly half way through the month, and the ad says "you must either hold or be eligible for UK security clearance", which I don't currently have.

Given that I gather it takes several weeks to gain security clearance, with no guarantee of success, can one assume those are simply a conventional form of words that really mean "don't bother applying if you haven't already been security cleared".

FatLazyContractor
12th January 2015, 12:45
Simple answer 'No'.

Project Monkey
12th January 2015, 13:00
A big fat ZERO (whatever the legislation might say to the contrary)!

cojak
12th January 2015, 13:08
I would apply anyway OH, I just wouldn't expect a reply.

You may be proved wrong!

vwdan
12th January 2015, 13:10
I would apply anyway OH, I just wouldn't expect a reply.

You may be proved wrong!

There was a job which would have fitted me perfectly which kept getting posted. Eventually I gave them a shout to see if they'd relax the requirement and the recruiter sounded exasperated and said "I know - we've told them they need to, but they're insistent so I'm sorry but we can't put you forward with out current clearance". It's all very daft.

Coalman
12th January 2015, 13:27
Owlhoot - depends who it is with.

I'm currently working for in Gloucester, with people who should have had SC clearance but do not, so give me a PM if you need more info.

malvolio
12th January 2015, 13:33
You don't need clearance to apply, you don't need clearance beyond BPSS to start work, and SC can be obtained in 2-3 weeks anyway. Sadly a certain large site in Gloucestershire demands DV clearance for any role no matter how far removed it is from Top Secret material and is determined to ignore the Cabinet Office. In fact most clearances are set at a "standard" level regardless of the actual risk to a role: how hard is it to keep a coder away from classified data, after all?

The rules are clearly stated and are circulated to all HMG hiring organisations; next step is enforcement. This is being worked on, but it's taking a fair old time.

scooterscot
12th January 2015, 13:43
I've just signed an SC job in London, and i don't have clearance nor am I resident in the country.


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anonymouse
12th January 2015, 13:55
BPSS for me to get onsite, then SC ongoing (so far 9 months for UK citizen). The rules seems to change every other week, sometimes you need full SC before getting onsite, other times BPSS will do.

malvolio
12th January 2015, 14:08
BPSS for me to get onsite, then SC ongoing (so far 9 months for UK citizen). The rules seems to change every other week, sometimes you need full SC before getting onsite, other times BPSS will do.
That depends on the role and how well you can be supervised while doing your job: easy enough for designers and coders, rather difficult for sysadmins and network wonks, for example. It's manageable but it can get weird - I had one gig that touched on buildings that don't exist housing services that don't exist operated by people I couldn't talk to. That made for some interesting meetings...

SC is averaging 4 weeks. If it's taking significantly longer, either you've something outstanding to fix (an outstanding large credit card bill for example), although they won't tell you what, or someone has lost the paperwork. It may sound bizarre, but it's probably worth resubmitting your vetting request. If your Cerberus account still works that will tell you where it's up to in the system.

TykeMerc
12th January 2015, 14:22
The reality (rather than the theoretical situation Mal has posted) is how long is a piece of string.

Yes a certain place in Gloucestershire "requires" DV to work at no matter what, the reality is that people are there with less than that so it's not 100%.
SC's in theory take a few weeks and in theory with a BPSS which takes a few days you can work while it's being processed, in reality it's down to the site if they will play that game. Also in reality SC's are taking anywhere from a few weeks to multiple months.

The rules are issued by the Cabinet Office and in theory all departments follow those, in reality they do their own thing and often ignore the Cabinet Office guidelines, there's a lot of empires out there.

In truth you can apply for the role, if you're made for it and no-one else who's made for it and already have clearance also applies then it's possible they will clear you, if you don't try you won't get.

DodgyAgent
12th January 2015, 14:36
FAO Malvolio

You are being helpful. I appreciate it even if no one else does :happy

And it doesn't even matter to me

TheFaQQer
12th January 2015, 14:43
I would apply and see how it goes.

My first SC role, I wasn't cleared so I worked remotely until the clearance came through. As soon as it did, I was on the main site. Next one, it took months to transfer my clearance over from one place to the next - I was escorted everywhere until the clearance came through. Next one was the same as the first really - waited until I was cleared and then went on site as I needed to, because my clearance had expired.

If you have something that the client wants, then they will wait for your clearance to come through, so go for it but keep looking elsewhere.

eek
12th January 2015, 15:17
I've just signed an SC job in London, and i don't have clearance nor am I resident in the country.


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:cretin:


FAO Malvolio

You are being helpful. I appreciate it even if no one else does :happy

And it doesn't even matter to me

That's what the like and thanks icons on the bottom of a post are for but I'm sure he appreciates it.

I find security clearance usually reflects the stupidity of the client. They insist on needing it because they waited too long to start the recruitment process in the first place. But as Malvolio states people are supposed to arrive with BPSS but then SC can be done while they get up to speed.

Also you are not supposed to reveal to others outside the department whether you are security cleared or not. I really wish someone would go through Linkedin and just terminate the clearance of everyone who states they are security cleared within their profile.

VectraMan
12th January 2015, 15:18
I had SC for a permie job, but it took until 5 months after I started to come through, but it made no difference: didn't have to be escorted anywhere or anything like that. Obviously I wasn't allowed to look at anything classified (if that's the right term as there's different levels), but then in the nearly 2 years I worked there I never once had a reason to look at anything classified SC or not.

I would apply.

TheFaQQer
12th January 2015, 15:24
I had SC for a permie job, but it took until 5 months after I started to come through, but it made no difference: didn't have to be escorted anywhere or anything like that. Obviously I wasn't allowed to look at anything classified (if that's the right term as there's different levels), but then in the nearly 2 years I worked there I never once had a reason to look at anything classified SC or not.

I would apply.

IIRC, SC gives you routine access to Secret material, and occasional (supervised) access to Top Secret material.

It's been a while though.

stek
12th January 2015, 15:52
I would apply and see how it goes.

My first SC role, I wasn't cleared so I worked remotely until the clearance came through. As soon as it did, I was on the main site. Next one, it took months to transfer my clearance over from one place to the next - I was escorted everywhere until the clearance came through. Next one was the same as the first really - waited until I was cleared and then went on site as I needed to, because my clearance had expired.

If you have something that the client wants, then they will wait for your clearance to come through, so go for it but keep looking elsewhere.

My first cleared role, Nuclear, not sure what level still don't know now (1996-on) I wasn't cleared on arrival so I was accompanied everywhere and I mean everywhere, even when I needed a shiit someone would stand outside the cubicle while I strained. I got paranoid about it and used to make sure I was 'empty' before arriving on site. Piiss was ok really, you can chat doing that...

TheFaQQer
12th January 2015, 15:55
My first cleared role, Nuclear, not sure what level still don't know now (1996-on) I wasn't cleared on arrival so I was accompanied everywhere and I mean everywhere, even when I needed a shiit someone would stand outside the cubicle while I strained. I got paranoid about it and used to make sure I was 'empty' before arriving on site. Piiss was ok really, you can chat doing that...

Not nuclear, but I've had the same experience!

Contreras
12th January 2015, 19:42
in theory with a BPSS which takes a few days you can work while it's being processed

If that's true then --> :rollin:

Mine took 5 weeks. (7 if you include HR delays before even submitting the thing)

Yes you can work while it's being processed. I had unaccompanied site access, working late and last out of the office some days, with unrestricted access to all code repositories (not just the project I was working on).

malvolio
12th January 2015, 20:35
If that's true then --> :rollin:

Mine took 5 weeks. (7 if you include HR delays before even submitting the thing)
...at least four of which will have been people not passing things up the chain...


Yes you can work while it's being processed. I had unaccompanied site access, working late and last out of the office some days, with unrestricted access to all code repositories (not just the project I was working on).
BPSS is only a glorified ID check, so you won't have been near anything classified anyway. Either that or someone's SSO needs a refresher course. :wink

Contreras
12th January 2015, 21:13
...at least four of which will have been people not passing things up the chain...

Not sure what you mean by "up the chain". The forms would have been submitted to DS two weeks after I had started on site. The certificate arrived 5 weeks later.


BPSS is only a glorified ID check, so you won't have been near anything classified anyway. Either that or someone's SSO needs a refresher course. :wink

Well yes, in theory. I won't elaborate on the reality any more than I already have though.

eek
12th January 2015, 21:31
If that's true then --> :rollin:

Mine took 5 weeks. (7 if you include HR delays before even submitting the thing)

Yes you can work while it's being processed. I had unaccompanied site access, working late and last out of the office some days, with unrestricted access to all code repositories (not just the project I was working on).

Bpss is simple. You get the name of the person processing it, give them every possible option and hassle them twice a day by just asking if there is anything you can do to help.

Usually by lunchtime on day 2 its either done or you are top of the pile

stek
12th January 2015, 21:49
Here's a question (vested interest). What if your SC is 'in progress' with current clientco A and gig is due to end (don't ask why SC was process was started, management whim) and clientco B wants you with a role needing SC, can they 'take over' the SC application?

Clientco B is willing to take on while waiting for SC process to finish, but would it need a new application from clientco B (who is also List X)?

malvolio
12th January 2015, 22:54
Here's a question (vested interest). What if your SC is 'in progress' with current clientco A and gig is due to end (don't ask why SC was process was started, management whim) and clientco B wants you with a role needing SC, can they 'take over' the SC application?

Clientco B is willing to take on while waiting for SC process to finish, but would it need a new application from clientco B (who is also List X)?
If both are using the same vetting agency and/or Cerberus, then probably yes. However, every vet is basically a risk assessment process against their local requirement, so it's by no means certain that one set of pass criteria will work for another role.