It’s been quite a while since we visited this subject, and since then the process hasn’t really changed – but the link at the end of the page has – so we decided it was time to revisit this, especially as it was one of our most popular blog posts.
Getting security clearance for the first time can be a complex and daunting process, but can lead to a world of new opportunities. In this post, we shed some light on the process.
Why do I need clearance?
Clearance is needed for anybody who will have access to sensitive information or artefacts, and is carried out to ensure that there are no circumstances in your personal life that may make you susceptible to pressure to reveal classified information. These circumstances could include your finances, ties to foreign countries (including those of friends or relatives), or medical conditions.
What level of clearance?
There are several different levels of security clearance, and which you need will depend on the level of access to classified information that you need to do your job, your employer, and the site you are working on. The lowest levels of clearance, CTC and BPSS comprise of basic identity checks, whilst the more advanced levels of clearance (SC, SC Enhanced, and DV) are significantly more detailed.
SC clearance is needed for frequent and unsupervised access to Secret material. SC clearance typically takes 6-8 weeks to be processed, and is likely to include a credit check. You must have lived in the UK for the past five years.
DV clearance is needed for frequent and unsupervised access to Top Secret Material. DV clearance is a much more involved process involving interviews with you, your family members, friends, and co-workers. Your personal finances will be reviewed, and they may look at your medical history. DV clearance typically takes 6-8 months to be processed. Different agencies have different requirements for DV clearance, and so transferring between companies may still take some time. You must have lived in the UK for at least the previous ten years and must have British nationality.
More information about the process can be found here.