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

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    #91
    Hopefully this might answer a few questions

    There’s a lot of confusion in this thread regarding clearances, time periods, validity etc.

    The situation is this. An SC is granted for 10 years (5 in the case of DV). The clearance remains current and active if the person in question remains in a role that requires clearance, and the reviews are conducted on a regular basis. The reason that they span a number of years is because the vast majority of cleared people are permanent employees - the system was never designed to cope with contractors who 'hop' between departments etc on a regular basis.

    If you leave a role that requires clearance, the clearance itself becomes instantly ‘lapsed’ (depending on how quick the HR department are...). The clearance can be re-activated within 12 months of it lapsing through a fairly short process (more involved for a DV - typically takes a month or two and might also need another interview). If the clearance is not re-activated within 12 months it is usually considered to be dead, even if you have a number of years left on it (i.e. if your last SC role was 24 months ago, you’d need to go through the entire process all over again). I have heard of people who had last used their DV a number of years ago and had them re-activated, but they were in some very specialised roles.

    Strictly speaking, as soon as you leave a role you cannot claim to have an ‘active’ clearance, but if it’s within 3 months it’s usually not a problem. More than that, and you should let the recruiter know when it was last active. More than 12 months on, you cannot claim to hold any form of clearance. Don't forget that the recruiters are told by their clients whether or not they will only accept CV's from people with active clearances.

    There are two reasons why people ask for an active clearance – because it makes getting you into the contract quicker, and it saves whomever you will be working for money as it costs quite a bit to put someone through the clearance process. I've not seem numbers recently, but I know that about 3 years ago it cost a minimum of £4k to put someone through the DV process.

    Transferring clearances is not always easy. It’s less problematical with an SC, but DV clearances can be rejected by certain government departments – a DV issued by the Home Office, for example, might not be acceptable to the Intelligence Services. In fact, it’s only within the last year or so that the three ‘spook’ agencies have agreed that a DV issued by one of them should be acceptable to all of them – but even then, it’s not a simple process.

    Finally, don’t forget that it’s not actually *your* clearance at all – it belongs to HMG, and can be withdrawn at any time without having to give you a reason.

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      #92
      Originally posted by vince14 View Post
      An SC is granted for 10 years
      That's not true.
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        #93
        Originally posted by TheFaQQer View Post
        That's not true.
        Yes it is. A standard SC is granted for a period of 10 years.

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          #94
          Originally posted by vince14 View Post
          Yes it is. A standard SC is granted for a period of 10 years.
          OK.

          I guess neither of mine were "standard" SC then.
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            #95
            Originally posted by TheFaQQer View Post
            OK.

            I guess neither of mine were "standard" SC then.
            10 for permie, 5 for contractor - or some other period suitable for the role in question or the organistion granting it; my police SC as a contractor waas for 10 although it lapsed for the reasons Vince quoted above. Never forget the clearance belongs to the role, not the person.
            Blog? What blog...?

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              #96
              Originally posted by malvolio View Post
              10 for permie, 5 for contractor - or some other period suitable for the role in question or the organistion granting it.
              Very true - I know a contractor who recently got DV clearance valid for 7 years.

              Comment


                #97
                Originally posted by malvolio View Post
                10 for permie, 5 for contractor
                Have been both, and this matches my experience.

                Comment


                  #98
                  Done it!

                  Godlike and courteous?
                  Yeah right.
                  Made me feel welcome.... not.
                  Security clearance came through, took nearly six months.
                  Followed by a few weeks sorting finer details of contract.
                  Notice handed in at present client.
                  Month notice served.
                  I start new contract within SC required area in Jan.
                  Jeez, does nobody think they perhaps dont know everything anymore...
                  Originally posted by malvolio View Post
                  And, like I said, you might find your new clearance just vanished and you have to start again. It's not a badge, it's a risk assessment that can be instantly withdrawn if you p*** enough people off.

                  Jeez, does nobody think any more...
                  Last edited by Halframhalfbiscuit; 23 December 2011, 10:40.

                  Comment


                    #99
                    Originally posted by Halframhalfbiscuit View Post
                    Godlike and courteous?
                    Yeah right.
                    Made me feel welcome.... not.
                    Security clearance came through, took nearly six months.
                    Followed by a few weeks sorting finer details of contract.
                    Notice handed in at present client.
                    Month notice served.
                    I start new contract within SC required area in Jan.
                    Jeez, does nobody think they perhaps dont know everything anymore...
                    Well done on the new role. Although you are actually the exception to the rule, which was my original point.

                    As for know nothing, that's right, I've no idea how it works. It's not like I've recruited into secure programmes for the MOD or been through high-level clearance myself, after all. Or been heavily involved in the eight years' work that underpins this: Cabinet Office welcomes PCG report on security clearance | PCG

                    HTH
                    Blog? What blog...?

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                      Reference Number

                      I have held my clearance for a number of years and i have just been asked for my (National Security Clearance Reference Number) by a differant government dept to the one i am working for , i assume this would be a reference number attached to my initial clearance application , has anybody else been asked for this? should my current sponsor have this? thanks Geoff .

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