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Security Vetting USA Advice Page Text
Here at the SECURITY WEBSITE.COM our aim is your knowledge and enhancement.
With that, SECURITY is also our main advantage and topic, therefore in order to employ Security personnel or any personnel for that matter, Criminal or Security vetting is essential for any employer.
Security Vetting is a serious issue and can leave you or your company with some serious questions to be answered if you have failed to ascertain certain aspects of employment criteria.
If your employees are vetted, it not only shows that you are a responsible employer or employee, it also maintains trust in others and puts you ahead of the game. We’ve all heard the saying, “Don’t get caught out”, here at the SECURITY WEBSITE that is exactly what we will try and help you to avoid.
Our experts here have come up with a plethora of useful guidelines and vetting agencies that will help you stay ahead of the game.
The Security Website has teamed up with local and International agencies to help you get started with the vetting process.
The SW Team

Here at the SECURITY WEBSITE.COM our aim is your knowledge and enhancement.

With that, SECURITY is also our main advantage and topic, therefore in order to employ Security personnel or any personnel for that matter, Criminal or Security Vetting is essential for any employer.

Security Vetting is a serious issue and can leave you or your company with some serious questions to be answered if you have failed to ascertain certain aspects of employment criteria.

If your employees are vetted, it not only shows that you are a responsible employer or employee, it also maintains trust in others and puts you ahead of the game. We’ve all heard the saying, “Don’t get caught out”, here at the SECURITY WEBSITE that is exactly what we will try and help you to avoid.

Our experts here have come up with a plethora of useful guidelines and vetting agencies that will help you stay ahead of the game.

The Security Website has teamed up with UK agencies to help you get started with the vetting process.


 

ABOUT SECURITY CLEARANCES UK


Why is the vetting system necessary - and what does it aim to achieve?

The UK needs a security system to protect against threats from hostile intelligence services and terrorist and other pressure groups. Vetting tries to make sure that anyone who goes through the process can be trusted with sensitive government information or property.

Who is affected?

The system applies to people in the following categories whose employment involves access to sensitive Government assets: crown servants; members of the security and intelligence agencies; members of the armed forces; the police; employees of certain other non-government organisations that are obliged to comply with the Government's security procedures; employees of contractors providing goods and services to the Government.

How does the vetting system work?

All candidates for jobs that provide access to sensitive information or sites are asked to complete one or more security questionnaires, which invite them to provide the personal details needed to enable the necessary checks to be carried out. Interviews may also be carried out. The depth of checks varies according to the level of regular access to sensitive information that the job entails.

Questions about safeguards

What are my rights?

The Vetting Charter page, see link on the right hand side of this page, sets out the rights people are entitled when undergoing the vetting process.

What do I do if I think the DV interview was conducted unfairly or improperly?

Is the system fair? What protection is there?

We treat anyone who goes through the vetting process fairly. We will take care to make sure that all information we collect during the vetting process is accurate.

How confidential is the vetting process?

All personal information gathered during the vetting process is handled in the strictest confidence by the DVA. In a very small number of cases, where serious risks have been identified, we may discuss the case with the Ministry of Defence security and personnel authorities.

In an even smaller number of risky cases, and only where the person being vetted agrees, line management may be given some relevant information and be asked to help manage the risk. There is an extremely remote possibility of disclosure of vetting information in connection with criminal or civil proceedings.

If you have any concerns about confidentiality, please contact the DVA for advice.

Questions about the vetting process

Why am I being vetted now?

We are vetting you now either because you are being considered for a post where you will have access to highly sensitive information or assets, or because we are looking at your current SC/DV clearance to allow you to carry on in your present post, or to move to another SC/DV post.

What is Developed Vetting?

Developed Vetting (DV) is the most thorough way of security vetting. (The criteria for DV are outlined below). The DV process includes a check of your identity documents and employment and education references.

We will ask you to fill in security and financial questionnaires. We will carry out criminal records and credit reference checks, and a check against Security Service records, and will double check some of the references by writing to or interviewing the people who gave them to us. You will also be interviewed by a Vetting Officer.

Do I need Developed Vetting?

The usual criteria for requiring a DV are "long term, frequent and uncontrolled access to TOP SECRET information or assets.... or in order to satisfy requirements for access to material originating from other countries and international organisations".

If you feel that you do not meet these criteria, you should query with your sponsor the need for you to be DV cleared.

I've been vetted before - why do I have to provide lots of the same information all over again?

At present we cannot pre-populate the security questionnaire, but we can provide you with a copy of your previous DV questionnaire on request.

We are introducing new security questionnaires and in due course will be able to pre-populate these with information that does not change.

Why do you need medical information?

The relevant vetting questionnaire explains how we collect and look after medical information. Our Vetting Medical Adviser may contact your doctor (or military medical officer) because we need to know whether you have suffered from certain medical and psychological conditions that could affect whether we think you are suitable to handle sensitive information.

We may ask you to have a medical examination. If you don't let us see your medical reports we can refuse your vetting clearance.

Why do you need my/my partner's financial information?

If you or your partner are, or have been, in serious financial difficulty, or show signs of financial irresponsibility, you could be vulnerable to pressure or bribery.

Debts such as mortgages, loans or credit cards will not normally affect your suitability to hold a DV clearance, as long as you are able to keep up the repayments properly. However your financial situation will be carefully considered, and each case will be judged on its merits.

We may make enquiries if you seem to have large amounts of savings that you cannot explain. The Vetting Officer will ask you to bring some financial and other documents to the interview (see below for details).

If you have a partner, we recommend you share the information in this leaflet. Without your partner's details we may have insufficient information to make a decision on your clearance. Please be assured that we do not retain any bank or credit card numbers.

There are more financial questions answered on the Personal Finance page - see link on the right hand side of this page.

What will I be asked at interview as a Vetting Subject or as a Referee?

This is the main worry for most people who go through the DV process. The Subject interview is likely to be long; up to three hours is not unusual.

It will cover most areas of your life. The Vetting Officer will build as complete a picture of you as is possible. This is so we can make sure that you will be able to cope with access at the highest levels and will not become a security risk and a threat to national security.

We have to look at your loyalty, honesty and reliability, and whether you could be particularly vulnerable to bribery of blackmail. We will question you about your wider family background (relationships and influences), past experiences (if any) of drug taking, financial affairs, general political views (though not which Party you support), hobbies, foreign travel and so on.

The interview will be very searching, but it is not an interrogation and should not feel like one. Some of the questions will be intrusive, but are asked because we are trying to find out if you are vulnerable to pressure. If you have any doubts about the relevance of some questions you should ask the Vetting Officer why they are asking the question.

You should be completely honest, the Vetting Officer will be experienced and it is very unlikely that they will be shocked or surprised by anything you say. Please do not lie or hide information.

We will probably refuse your clearance if we later find out that you have lied to us or withheld information. If you tell the Vetting Officer about a previously undisclosed criminal offence, the matter will be included in their interview report and will be assessed by the DVA . A decision will then be made on what action is to be taken.

Sometimes, people have aspects of their lives they are ashamed of or embarrassed to tell us about. Usually these are of little or no security significance. They will generally not stop or restrict the granting of a security clearance.

If you would feel more comfortable talking about certain matters with a different Vetting Officer (someone of your own sex, age profile, or ethnic group, for example), let us know, and we will try to arrange this for you (Tel: 01904-662745).

If you need any special facilities to enable the interview to take place, please tell the Vetting Officer when they contact you.

Where will I be interviewed?

Interviews are normally carried out at work during working hours. In some cases the Vetting Officer may ask to interview you at your home.

Will I be asked for any documents at the interview?

The following list is not exhaustive, but these are the documents that Vetting Officers commonly ask to see (where appropriate). Please note that all documents must be originals.

Any additional requirements will be notified to you by the Vetting Officer - normally in advance of the interview. Any delay in providing these documents is likely to delay your clearance.

General documents:

Evidence of identification, for example: birth certificate, passport*, driving licence, identity card
Deed Poll or Certificate of Declaration in respect of any change of name
Naturalisation or Registration certificate
Adoption certificate
Marriage certificate/Civil partnership documents
Decree Absolute or Nisi
Separation or Maintenance Orders
HM Forces Discharge certificate
Curriculum Vitae
Utility bills

*Passport is also required as evidence of travel.

Financial Documents (in respect of you and your partner):

Bank current accounts (statements for the last three months
Details and statements for the last three months of all charge and credit cards, store and mail order accounts
Details and statements of all loans and hire purchase agreements
Details of mortgage and copy of last mortgage statement
Details of any County Court Judgements
Last three pay statements
Documents and statements connected with savings and investments
Any other documents which support or help to explain any figures on the Financial Questionnaire

Can I bring a friend to the interview?

You can have a friend, colleague or relative at the interview. Most people prefer to be interviewed alone, in view of the sensitive nature of some of the things that will be discussed.

Who should I name as referees and what will you ask them?

You should choose people who have known you well over a significant recent period of your life. We will ask them to describe you and your way of life away from work.

The Vetting Officer will be trying to double-check the information given in the vetting questionnaire. Please make sure that the Referees you have nominated are aware that you have nominated them and are willing to be interviewed. Please also advise them that they will not necessarily be contacted.

(Note: An information leaflet is issued to all Referees who are to be interviewed). It would also be helpful if you could advise anyone else who we might contact, such as your current/previous senior officers/line managers or educational establishment, that you are undergoing vetting and have agreed to the process.

Please note that our enquiries will not be confined to past and present employers and nominated character referees.

Who acts as a Referee?

We ask former employers, senior officers and educational establishments for information about the person who is being vetted.

We also ask the person being vetted to choose some people who have known them well for a significant recent period in their life, to act as Referees. We hope that they will ask such people for permission first and make sure that they are willing to be interviewed.

We will not necessarily contact all Referees who have been nominated. Our enquiries will not be confined to past and present employers and nominated character referees.

What do I do as a Referee?

If we decide to use you as a Referee, the Vetting Officer will question you to double-check the details that the person being vetted has given us and those we have collected by carrying out other checks.

After you have received the DVA Referees Information Leaflet, the initial contact will be by telephone. There may be some delay due to operational priorities and other factors, so please be patient. Interviews will usually be face-to-face, but may occasionally be conducted by telephone.

If you have sensitive information to divulge or feel uncomfortable discussing the person being vetted over the telephone, a face-to-face interview will always be arranged.

What are the definitions for ROUTINE PRIORITY & IMMEDIATE requests for clearance?

The DVA operates the following definitions for Routine, Priority, and Immediate cases - the precedence markers recognised by the WARRANTOR IT system and used to compute the intermediate state completion dates. The definitions are explained in the table below:

Note:

The DVA uses a number of external agencies to process enquiries. These organisations are not within its control, and there will be occasions when there will be a need for these agencies to make further external enquiries that will breach the required completion times noted above.

When this is the case the customer will be advised and an alternative strategy discussed as appropriate.

Can I employ staff while waiting for a security clearance?

There is no central regulation prohibiting the employment of people awaiting security clearance. The decision whether or not to do this, limiting access as necessary, is a risk management judgement for the area concerned, as advised by his or her security staff.

In making this judgement, the business manager must take into account the sensitivity of the business area, of information held, of local conditions of work, and of the practicality of limiting access. If in doubt, Personnel Managers should deal directly with the DVA. For a SC case contact the Help Desk (01904-662644) to agree arrangements.

Is there a requirement to re-vet people that rejoin within a year of leaving, other than in exceptional circumstances?
There is no requirement to re-vet staff that rejoin within a year of leaving, other than in exceptional circumstances. Where a security clearance needs to be transferred the receiving Personnel authority/company should phone the DVA Help Desk (94777-2644) at the outset, to find out whether an individual holds a clearance and to initiate the transfer.

Do I have the chance to say what I think about the DV process?

We are very keen to make sure that the DV process is carried out efficiently, professionally, fairly, and politely. You will be given the opportunity to complete a form which asks various questions about your experience with the DV process, and gives you space to make any other comments.

After your interview, we hope that you will take the time to fill in and return the form, as we are always trying to improve the vetting process. You do not need to sign the form.

How long does the vetting process take?

The Vetting Performance page (see link HERE) gives an indication how long vetting clearances are currently taking.

Questions about contractors and consultants

Do I need a security clearance, or does my company need security cleared staff to bid for MOD contracts?


No. You do not need to hold security clearances to bid for MOD work advertised in OJEC and other sources. The MOD contracting procedures make sure that there is no competitive advantage in having prior security clearances.

Requests for any clearances required are raised during the contractual process. A number of commercial organisations advertise for staff with security clearances. This practice is neither necessary nor desirable, and is strongly discouraged by the MOD.

How do I get a security clearance?

First you need a sponsor. Individuals and companies cannot ask for a security clearance unless they are sponsored, and you will not be sponsored unless they are contracted (or are in the process of being contracted) to work on one or more specific MOD classified projects.

For large contracts, an officer in the Defence Procurement Agency (DPA) or Defence Logistics Organisation (DLO) - typically a Project Officer will be your sponsor. For staff in sub-contracted organisations, sponsorship will be provided through the prime contractor.

Why does MOD insist on having sponsors for security clearances?

Why can't I just apply for a security clearance?

A security clearance provides a certain level of assurance at a point in time, as to an individual's suitability to have trusted access to sensitive information.

It does not provide a guarantee of future reliability, and all security clearances are kept under review to ensure that the necessary level of assurance is maintained. This review is carried out by Government Departments and Government-sponsored contractors, who are responsible for the oversight and aftercare of individuals granted a security clearance.

This would not be possible in the case of private individuals. Additionally, the Defence Vetting Agency is funded and staffed to meet forecast requirements for security vetting. It could not accommodate large numbers of additional clearances on an ad hoc basis.

 


This information is drawn from the Defense Vetting Agency(DVA).....................

If you would like to add something to this section or advertise here, then please contact us HERE.....

Regards

The SW Team......