What is Security Clearance - a guide for IT Contractors

Where IT contractors will have access to sensitive or classified information while carrying work for the Government, then those contractors will need to be security cleared.

Security clearance checks are carried out by the Defence Vetting Agency to ensure anyone going through the process “can be trusted with sensitive government information or property”. This will apply if you are being considered for a new IT contract role requiring clearance, or if you need to be vetted again to carry on in your current contract, or indeed move to another role requiring clearance. Such checks provide a level of assurance for the point in time that they are carried out.

The process involves filling out one or more security questionnaires and interviews may also be carried out. The depth of checks will vary according to the level and amount of access you have to such sensitive information.

Security clearance levels

The Defence Vetting Agency carry out three main types of National Security Vetting (NSV):

Counter Terrorist Check (CTC)for people employed in posts with proximity to public figures, access to information or material assessed to be of value to terrorists or unescorted access to establishments assessed to be at risk from terrorist attack.

Security Check (SC) for people employed in posts which have substantial access to secret assets or occasional controlled access to top-secret assets.

Developed Vetting (DV) is needed for people with substantial unsupervised access to top-secret assets.

Developed Vetting is the most in-depth, involving credit and criminal records checks, as well as interview and reference checks. More information can be found on the DVA’s website.

Editor's Note: In 2011, the Defence Vetting Agency became the Defence Business Services National Security Vetting.

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