How to get Security Cleared

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How to get Security Cleared

true 05 November 2020

​Before you start to apply for jobs to embark on a career in the UK Defence or Security sector you will need to establish if you will need to secure a Security Clearance.

What is Security Clearance?

Security clearance is a series of checks that determine your level of risk when working with sensitive and potentially secret government information.

Vetting is intended to assure government bodies that the individual has not been involved in espionage, terrorism, sabotage or actions intended to overthrow or undermine Parliamentary democracy by political, industrial or violent means. It also assures the department that the individual has not been a member of, or associated with, an organisation which has advocated such activities or has demonstrated a lack of reliability through dishonesty, lack of integrity or behaviour. Finally, the process assures the department that the individual will not be subject to pressure or improper influence through past behaviour or personal circumstances.

How Do I Get A Security Clearance?

An individual cannot apply for security clearance themselves or through an independent limited company; instead, clearance is requested by an employer/ sponsor and carried out by the United Kingdom Security Vetting unit (UKSV), launched on 1 January 2017. The UKSV was created following the Strategic Defence and Security Review to create a single vetting unit for the UK. The new unit replaces the previous Defence Business Services National Security Vetting (DBS NSV) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Services National Security (FCOS NSV). This has created a single vetting database, with set pricing and portable vetting across government.

​​There are 4 types of security clearance

There are four different levels of security checks, each differing in depth depending on what the role you’re applying for entails:

Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS)

Counter-Terrorism Check (CTC)

Security Check (SC)

Developed Vetted (DV)

What are the advantages of being security cleared?

There are plenty of reasons why you shouldn’t be deterred from applying for security cleared jobs, not least because there’s a rising demand for applicants to work at security cleared institutions, particularly in the IT sector.

There may also be a potential earnings advantage for security cleared individuals. As the level of clearance could be seen as an additional key factor in making a job hire because the candidate becomes a rarer entity.

Transfer of a clearance

A request can be made to transfer national security clearances between organisations, providing they have not expired. Transfers are requested by the "new employing sponsor". Transfers can be the same level of clearance or lower. No more than twelve months must have elapsed since the holder left the organisation for which the clearance was originally granted and no more than six months living overseas. New completed change of circumstances questionnaires, to bring the UKSV records up to date, may be required. The new sponsor reviews the details of the clearance and decides if it is acceptable for the specific new role

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