what is security clearance?

You’ll need a specific type of clearance to work in the defence and security sector. You’ll either need Security Check (SC) or Developed Vetting (DV) and they shouldn’t be confused with any of the other types of pre-employment checks that you may or may not have been through in previous roles.


how does security clearance work?

Both SC and DV clearance involve a long, complex and intrusive process. Being security cleared can bring a lot of responsibility with it, as well as opportunity, so it’s good to be prepared beforehand with what to expect. We will discuss the whole process at length with you, if you’d like to get in touch and we’d recommend that you read the following guide before making any decisions to apply for jobs.

how do I get security cleared?


how long does it take?

The whole process usually takes between 9-12 months. We’ll be in touch at different stages to make sure you know what to expect and we’ll be around to answer any questions along the way.


what sort of things are involved?

Firstly, you’ll need to provide specific documentation about yourself, your family history, your medical information and your finances. You’ll go through a thorough background check, including a criminal record and credit reference check and you’ll take part in an interview with a vetting officer. Referees will be interviewed too and you’ll need to have a drugs test.


what help will I get?

We’re always here to help with any questions you have about getting clearance. We can advise you on what to do and when, on the information you’ll need to provide and where you are in the process, among other things.


can I transfer my security clearance?

Yes you can, but it will depend on certain criteria. It can be a lengthy process, as checks will still need to be made and it can take around 6 months. You can also look to have your DV status reinstated if it’s lapsed (within one year). We can discuss this in more detail if you’d like to know more about either of these issues.

the clearance process


Getting started

Once you’ve accepted your offer, the clearance process can begin. We’ll put you on the client system and online forms called e-vetting will be set up and sent out. These detailed questionnaires look at every part of your life and you’ll need to complete them as a priority.


Running checks

Vetting Support will review your case and begin the background checks. A vetting officer will then be assigned to pick up your case and will arrange and conduct interviews. At the same time you’ll need to have a drugs test.


Making a decision

Vetting Support will complete the file and the team leader will make a decision on your case. They’ll let the dsr team know the final decision, who’ll then pass this on to you.


Transferring your clearance

When you need your clearance to be transferred, we’ll put the request to the client. You’ll need to complete a drug declaration and questionnaire. Then we’ll make sure your file is sent from the old client to the new one. The vetting team will review your file and complete any checks, and a vetting officer may set up interviews if needed.


Reinstating your DV clearance

If your DV clearance has lapsed within the last year, we can help reinstate it. We’ll put the request in and either e-vetting or a questionnaire will be set up and sent to you. You’ll then follow the same clearance process as steps two and three.