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Vetting

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General

Access to protectively marked material is defined according to a vetting level which the individual has achieved. Vetting is carried out by individual departments to standards laid down in the Manual of Protective Security.

Vetting is intended to assure the department 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, any 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.

It's also worth pointing out that whilst honesty is always the best policy, the DVA have no explicit direction concerning ARRSE and will not ask you about the website.

Levels of Vetting

Five levels of vetting exist:

Counter-Terrorist Check (CTC)

Personnel whose work involves access to locations where protectively marked material is held, in an otherwise secure manner. A CTC does not allow access to protectively marked material and would typically be required for reception, catering or cleaning staff in a public sector facility.

Baseline Check (BC)

A Baseline Check (formerly known as Basic Check) allows routine and unrestricted access to material marked RESTRICTED and below with occasional, supervised, access to CONFIDENTIAL material where required in the course of ones duties. A BC confirms identity and employment/education references.

Security Check (SC)

Security Clearance allows routine and uncontrolled access to material marked SECRET and below with occasional, supervised, access to TOP SECRET material where required in the course of one's duties.

SC Clearance will normally consist of:

  • a check against the National Collection of Criminal Records and relevant departmental and police records
  • in accordance with the Security Service Act 1989, where it is necessary to protect national security or to safeguard the economic well being of the United Kingdom from threats posed by persons outside the British Islands, a check against Security Service records
  • credit references checks and a review of personal finances

In some circumstances further enquiries, including an interview with the subject, may be carried out. The review period is set by vetting department but 10 years is the norm.

Security Check Enhanced (SCE)

Security Clearance Enhanced allows routine and uncontrolled access to material marked SECRET and below with supervised access to Top Secret material where required in the course of one's duties.

SCE is a new security classification intended for those that carry out regular work related to Top_Secret information but do not require unrestricted access to Top Secret documents.

SCE Clearance will normally consist of:

  • a check against the National Collection of Criminal Records and relevant departmental and police records
  • in accordance with the Security Service Act 1989, where it is necessary to protect national security or to safeguard the economic well being of the United Kingdom from threats posed by persons outside the British Islands, a check against Security Service records
  • credit references checks and a review of personal finances
  • an interview with the person being vetted and/or references from people who are familiar with the person's character in both home and work environment.

Developed Vetting (DV)

Developed Vetting allows routine and unrestricted access to material marked TOP SECRET and below.

DV Clearance will normally consist of:

  • a check against the National Collection of Criminal Records and relevant departmental and police records
  • in accordance with the Security Service Act 1989, where it is necessary to protect national security or to safeguard the economic well being of the United Kingdom from threats posed by persons outside the British Islands, a check against Security Service records
  • credit references checks and a review of personal finances
  • an interview with the person being vetted
  • references from people who are familiar with the person's character in both the home and work environment. These may be followed by interviews. Enquiries will not necessarily be confined to past and present employers and nominated character referees.

DV clearance is subject to review over a period not to exceed 5 years.