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What is vetting and why do I have to be vetted?

Owing to the sensitive nature of our work we must be satisfied as to the honesty and integrity of our staff. We must also be satisfied that there are no significant vulnerabilities to the people who work here or to the organisation itself.

Our members of staff are likely to have access to sensitive information relevant to national security. Candidates are therefore required to obtain the highest form of security clearance required for government positions, Developed Vetting (DV).

The aim of vetting is to ensure that the character and personal circumstances of an individual are such that he or she can be trusted with sensitive government information or assets. We look at candidates very carefully before making a decision about their suitability to hold DV status.

Information provided and obtained during the vetting process will be treated in strict confidence and is held separately from recruitment information.


Advice to Candidates

We do not publicly disclose the identities of our staff. Discretion is vital. You should not discuss your application, other than with your partner or a close family member, providing that they are British. You should also make them aware of the importance of discretion. You should not post on social media sites about your application or discuss it with anyone else at this stage. You will receive further guidance during the recruitment process.

Please note, you should only launch your application from within the UK. If you are based overseas, you should wait until you visit the UK to launch an application. Applying from outside the UK will impact on our ability to progress your application.


Vetting Process

What does the vetting process involve?

The vetting process involves completing detailed questionnaires, discussing these with a vetting officer and agreeing references for interview. It is important that you provide full and accurate information as any omissions may cause a delay to your application. If you are not sure how much detail to provide then more is preferable. You can use the various continuation sheets to help explain your position further.

Giving misleading information or omitting or concealing information during the recruitment and vetting process is viewed very seriously and would be seen as evidence of untrustworthiness. In such circumstances your vetting clearance may well be refused, even though what you were seeking to conceal may not in itself have caused a problem. Your vetting clearance could be removed at a later date if the misleading information or omission subsequently comes to light.

Some initial vetting questions are included at the application stage and should be answered accurately, honestly and in full. Later on in the process you will be asked to provide details about yourself, family, partner and friends and associates. You have to provide financial information and there will be a check with a credit reference agency. You will also have to provide information relating to your health and lifestyle.

How do you decide who is granted vetting?

The information you provide is carefully considered in deciding whether you should proceed through the process. We will ensure that all information collected during the process is accurate and treated in strictest confidence.

Vetting officers are not employed to make moral judgements – they expect that people will have had varied life experiences and they will take a realistic view of modern life and its pressures. They are aware that life can be complicated and any difficulties that you have experienced will be carefully considered.

Vetting officers deal with hundreds of cases each year and are trained to deal with any issues arising during the process. Each case is treated individually and great care is taken in coming to each decision.

Candidates undergoing security vetting are treated impartially and consistently irrespective of any disability they may have, or of their gender, marital status, age, ethnicity, religious affiliation or sexual orientation.

Will I get feedback on the vetting?

Successful candidates will be given an unconditional offer of employment when their DV has been granted. Where it is necessary for national security reasons, we will be unable to provide feedback on your application.

Do I have to maintain my DV?

Yes. Your vetting will be reviewed at regular intervals during your career.


References and Documentation

Why do I have to give character referees?

Providing character referees is an important part of the vetting process. Your referees should be people who have known you well over a significant period of your life.

During the process you will be given advice on what to tell your referees and how to manage the relationship with them during this period and going forwards.

Will you contact my employer for a reference?

We will need to contact your current employer at an appropriate stage during the process and we will seek your permission to contact them. You will be asked to provide details of past employers.

Will I have to provide personal documents?

You will have to provide a range of documents during the process. Examples, but not an exhaustive list, include:

  • Current and expired passports
  • Photo card and paper counterpart of your driving licence, if held
  • Recent statements for bank, building society, credit card and store card accounts

Drugs and Criminal Convictions

Can I apply if I have taken drugs?

Our staff and contractors are subject to a no drugs policy to reflect the adverse impact of illegal drug use and the misuse and abuse of other substances on behaviour, judgement, physical and mental health.

The policy prohibits the use, possession or supply of illegal drugs, psychoactive substances and legal highs. Misuse or abuse of prescribed medication or any other substance is also incompatible with holding security clearance which can be refused or withdrawn if this policy is not observed so you should adhere to our policy from the point of application onwards. The point of application is the date you submit your application form.

We realise some of our candidates will have used drugs in the past, and this may not be a bar to a successful application, but it is important to be open and honest about your drug/substance use. You will be asked during the recruitment process for your consent to provide a sample which will be tested for drugs should your application proceed.

What if I have a criminal conviction?

A criminal record would not necessarily preclude an applicant from gaining a job here. Each case is considered on an individual basis and all relevant convictions are taken into account.


Internet and Social Networking

What is your policy on using the internet?

We do not discriminate against applicants who may have entries on social networking sites. Discretion is an important part of working for the organisation, however, and we encourage candidates to use such sites sensibly and apply privacy settings as appropriate.


Already hold DV?

I already have Developed Vetting clearance. Do I have to be vetted again?

Candidates who already hold DV clearance from their current employment may not need to have certain parts of the vetting process repeated. This will be assessed on a case by case basis.

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