Security Clearance (SC) Q&A Read first before asking questions
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    Default Security Clearance (SC) Q&A Read first before asking questions

    Please find below an accumulation of questions that have featured on some of the many reptitive questions about SC. Maybe by putting them in a stickie and adding when we get new ones we can bat some of the drudgery off.

    I have given canned answers from what I read on the forum but you know how argumentative we can alll be so if the advice is wrong, which it could quite possibly be as I am no expert please advise nicely and I will change.

    Can someone post that link that you can report agents to who advertise for SC only people again please?

    --------------------------------------------

    Q : Is there a website for more information on SC and other clearances that I should read?

    Yes. Is is here. MoD DVA Site

    Q : What is involved in SC. What will they need?

    Security Check (SC) or (SC Cleared) is required for people who have substantial access to SECRET or occasional controlled access to TOP SECRET assets. The following security vetting stages comprise a full SC clearance:

    * Baseline Personnel Security Standard (Which is normally undertaken as part of the recruiting process)
    * Departmental / Company Records Check
    * Security Questionnaire
    * Criminal Record Check
    * Credit Reference Check
    * Security Service Check

    Q : Should I tell them about my previous form/bad credit/warnings/etc when applying for SC.

    Absolutely yes!! They are trying to find out if they can trust you in a secret/sensitive roll. Convictions for speeding/fighting etc don't really interest them. Convictions for fraud, theft and other crimes involving abuse of trust may do so more but still could still possibly pass depending on severity. Bad credit and other serious financial problems, although, may not seem serious could lead you to be bribe-able etc so could actually be worse. There are no hard and fast rulse so be honest with them though!! When they are trying to judge your character lying is the very worst thing you can do.

    Q : My SC has expired and am re-applying. Why do I have to fill the form again?

    To re-apply you fill the same form in again and submit, they will match it to your previous records and check anything that has changed in the meantime. Timescales can be much shorted than a new application but this is by no means guaranteed.

    Q : How long does it take?

    Depends on what time of day, day of the month, year you are reading this. Some people can get it in 4-6 weeks but expect a couple of months and you might not be too disappointed. Upwards of 6 months isn't unheard of.

    Q : Can I apply for SC clearance myself?

    No! You must be sponsored by a ListX company. You do not get SC by becoming a Special Constable, you cannot apply as an individual and to date no company will get you SC by paying for them.

    Q : My agent says they will get my SC and then put me forward for a job. Is this true.

    Read the small print very carefully. Some will manage your SC for you, some will just put you on a register of SC staff, nearly all will charge you for the pleasure. It appears so far that none will actually put you through the SC process as far as I am aware at the time of writing.

    Q : How long is SC valid?

    SC is valid for 10 years but.... You will lose it if you do not use it for a year and will have to be re-sponsored and re-apply to get it back.

    Q : How do I know if I am still cleared?

    Contact the HR or Security Vetting Team at the last employer you worked for. Give them your DoB and NI number and they will tell you if they still hold it and when you left. They should also know enough to tell you if it is still valid or not but be aware you may be talking to the newly started temp so may not be accurate

    Q : I start a new job needing SC but my old company still holds it. What to do?

    Give your details to your new company, they will contact your old one and have it transferred to them. Simples. My experience is with the MoD but I am told that the Police will not transfer SC across to another company. I am not aware of this so more information is required when dealing with the police.

    Q : I am not SC cleared and seen a great role but it says SC holding applications only please?

    It is illegal for the agent to discriminate in this way and it is highly likely he is not working in the best interests of the customer as he maybe passing over the best talent in preference for some chump with SC. Apply anyway and then report him. Address to follow, as I can't find it right now.

    Q : My contract may end before the clearance comes through. Can i check the progress of my sc clearance application anywhere? If I leave the company before i get the clearance, is there a way to know i got cleared?

    We do not know the answer to this one yet. Hopefully the person that asked this question will appraise us as his circumstances change.
    Last edited by northernladuk; 21st July 2010 at 10:37.
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    Also,

    The "security clearance" that finance companies / banks want is not the same as the security clearance the government does.

    Each government department has their own idea of checking someone out and they don't recognise each other's processes / clearances.

    Besides SC, there's DV, which is tougher. Below SC there is/was BC / CTC (I forget what it was / is called and gets referred to by both terms anyway.)

    Some people will tell you having SC is a closed shop. Those that have worked on SC sites and seen people coming in without SC clearance being completed, will tell you it is not.

    Some people will tell you having SC is a guarantee to find work. Those that have it then failed to secure relevant work just because they have it, will tell you it is not.

    Different sites have different rules regarding how they treat people going through the SC clearance process. Some will permit such people to be on site but escorted at ALL times (yes, including to the loo), some permit a quote of such people and some permit no not-yet-cleared people at all. They have different rules because they have varying equipment or information on each site so some want SC just in case and or some an SC check is essential.

    If you are permitted to work on site while your clearance comes through, should you fail you will be immediately escorted off the premises. No warning, no compensation, no notice period, no arguing. You start at your own risk. (And if you think that is unfair on you, think about the inconvenience and cost it causes them!)

    ListX companies are employers whose staff are permitted to work on secure sites. Just because you have worked for a ListX company on a secure site does not mean you are security cleared.

    Many organisations ask you to sign the Official Secrets Act (e.g. parts of BT). Just because you have signed it does not mean you are security cleared.
    Last edited by RichardCranium; 24th March 2010 at 11:37.
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    BC - You are who you say you are

    CTC - We are fairly sure you are who you say you are

    SC - You really are who you say you are

    DV - We know who you really are.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardCranium View Post
    Each government department has their own idea of checking someone out and they don't recognise each other's processes / clearances.
    That's not 100% accurate. SOME departments will recognise clearances that were done by other departments - my Home Office clearance was transferred to MoD; a colleague had his transferred from Home Office to Ministry of Justice.

    But some departments will insist on doing their own clearance, even if you are already cleared by another department.
    If you have to add a , it isn't funny. HTH. LOL.

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    Default More facts

    Here some more experience based facts!

    Even if you have live SC Some companies want to do a BC again. Dont ask me why, no idea.

    Some just check your SC with your previous employer/Security Vetting team and give your a 'SC Trasnfer' form to submit so that they can transfer direct from your previous employer who holds your SC.

    Most of the companies these day do SC+CTC (after your BC). Again this is requirement to work on Critical and Sensitive projects (ie MOD,IPS etc)

    CTC- Counter Terrorism Check
    BC- Basic Clearance
    Both are completely different checks, trust me!

    HTH

    C

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    If SC was applied for as a contractor it is likely to be valid for 5 years not 10. I think it is more commonplace for SC clearance for permanent staff to be 5 years these days also.

    I think some organisations have a more strict SC clearance than others that's why some clients will need to clear you again if you already hold clearance. An example of this is Met Police SC clearance.
    Last edited by SuperZ; 24th March 2010 at 09:41.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperZ View Post
    If SC was applied for as a contractor it is likely to be valid for 5 years not 10. I think it is more commonplace for SC clearance for permanent staff to be 5 years these days also.
    Depends on the project - one Home Office project that I know of has a rule where you must be cleared for at least 5 years to work on it. So, they have to clear you for ten years because once your first day has passed, you no longer meet the 5 year SC rule. No idea why, though, and nor did the consultancy.
    If you have to add a , it isn't funny. HTH. LOL.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wikir Man View Post
    Depends on the project - one Home Office project that I know of has a rule where you must be cleared for at least 5 years to work on it. So, they have to clear you for ten years because once your first day has passed, you no longer meet the 5 year SC rule. No idea why, though, and nor did the consultancy.
    To add some more detail on this bonkers piece of inter-departmental policy.

    Your SC clearance is automatically and always valid for 10 years.

    However, for reasons that are not explained, the Home Office (and any police organisation/agency that uses the Home Office Departmental Security Unit) has a special policy - they will not accept a consultant/contractor from whose SC clearance was granted more than 5 years ago by another department.

    So, you can be rejected by the Home Office, Met Police, NPIA, UK Borders Agency etc. for a role even if you have valid and recently used SC clearance. In my case, I was cleared by the MOD and had been working on sensitive projects for 8 years, but was nearly thrown off site when the Home Office DSU refused to accept that my clearance was valid.

    It doesn't make sense, but it doesn't have to either.
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    Default NATO Clearance?

    What about NATO Secret level ?

    Would this loosely translate to DV rather than SC ? I've been invited to apply there (Mons, SHAPE). How rigorous is the process compared to UK ?

    Resume: Before I click Send I guess I should make sure there is zero BS/ spin ?

    Would be very useful to have all clearance covered in one thread.

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