How to get Security Clearance

Here's some guidance on how to get security clearance....

Its a little like chicken or the egg. Which comes first.

This is one of the most commonly asked questions we get from contractors or people wanting to work in a secure location. Often the rates or salary is better, contracts are longer or if you’re ex military/police, you might want to work in the environment again.

The answer is. It’s a little bit like chicken or the egg. You have to get the job to get the clearance but often jobs are advertised that you have to have clearance to get the role. Annoying right.

Point 1. You can’t just apply for clearance like a Driving licence. You have to be sponsored.

Cataphract receive calls asking us to process security clearance (CTC/SC) from window cleaners, builders etc as they want to work in an immigration centre, MOD site. You have to have a corporate sponsor or have a List X company request your clearance for you. You’ll have to go though BPSS checks first but then the sponsor or vetting administrator will then request clearance. This process can often take up to 3 or 6 months. So in summary, you have to be appointed the role or contract before clearance starts

Point 2. You might not qualify for Security clearance even though you are British national.

Check the guidelines for each government division for The Home Office, MOJ or MOD as they all vary with regulations. Example, if you would like to work in an immigration centre, but you have been out of the country for more than 6 months in the last 3 years, you cannot receive clearance (Home Office), but you will be fine for MOJ clearance in a prison.

Point 3. You might not want to wait for clearance.

Cataphracts average to process clearance is 41 days (2020 stats), however, you might not be able to start work until clearance comes through. Think about this before starting the process.

Point 4. National Security Vetting Service might reject your application.

BPSS Checks are completed before the request for clearance, but then you will have to go through NSVS vetting, which is more in depth and dig a lot deeper (where were your parents, born, when did they die, who are you living with, what’s their occupation, what debts do you have etc etc).

You might have resigned from your job waiting for clearance to come and NSVS decide, for no specific reason given, clearance I cancelled.

If you are looking to complete BPSS checks on your staff, or looking for assistance to speed up the process, please contact Cataphract to discuss options.

Posted by David Clark
May 20, 2021, in Security Clearance

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