National Security Vetting and National Security Clearance

National Security Vetting

What is National Security Vetting?

The United Kingdom needs to protect itself from hostile intelligence services, terrorists, and other kinds of pressure group and in order to do this needs a security system in place. A key aspect of this security system is a vetting system as it ensures people who are in positions of responsibility within the UK Government and Government agencies are trustworthy and can handle the sensitive nature of the information to which they will be privy to.

What kind of employment requires National Security Vetting?

The National Security Vetting System applies to all those people who by the course of their employment have access to sensitive government assets. The following are individuals who will have been subject to national security vetting:

  • Crown Servants
  • Members of Security and Intelligence Services
  • Members of the armed forces  
  • The police
  • Employees of certain non-government agencies which due to their operations are required to adhere to the Government’s security procedure
  • Employees and contractors who provide good and services to the Government

Candidates who are applying for jobs which involve access to sensitive information or sites are required to complete questionnaires when applying for the job. When completing the questionnaires they are required to provide personal details and information which will enable checks in relation to each person to be carried out. As many of the types of employment varies in relation to the amount of information that individuals will be privy to so will the depth of the checks carried out which in some instances means that personal interviews may be undertaken. The more important the role and the information the greater the depth of the checks.

Which Government agencies are involved in the vetting process?

Vetting Agencies

The bodies which deal with the vetting process are as follows:

  • The Defence Vetting Agency (DVA)
  • The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FC
  • The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)
  • Security Industry Authority (SIA)
  • Enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (ECRB)
  • Criminal Records Bureau (CRB)

These agencies deal with the information in the strictest of confidence.

The Ministry of Defence

In certain cases where following the vetting process serious risks have been identified details of certain cases may well be discussed with the Ministry of Defence and other security and personnel authorities. This is only in certain cases and is certainly not the norm.

National Security Clearance

What is meant by National Security Clearance?

As is the case when concerned with certain jobs the individuals require vetting before they can undertake the employment, certain jobs also require national security clearance.

What kinds of jobs require National Security Clearance?

Jobs located throughout the Ministry of Defence and the Armed forces, certain Government departments and agencies as well as certain private sector jobs which deal with defence related work all require National Security clearance.

Security Clearance – Sponsor

Individuals or companies cannot apply directly for national security clearance. They will be required to be sponsored. Only individuals or companies who have been sponsored and who have been contracted or are in the process of being contracted to work on specific Ministry of Defence related projects will be provided with the requisite security clearance.

Typically sponsors will be provided from the Defence Procurement Agency (DPA) or the Defence Logistics Organisation (DLO).

Security Clearance – Review

A security clearance provides a certain level of assurance and a specified time of an individuals suitability to be provided with access to various levels of Government information.

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For more information on:

  • Which bodies deal with National Security Clearance?
  • Developed Vetting
  • Security Check
  • Counter Terrorism Check
  • Enhanced Baseline Standard and Basic Personnel Security Standards