Contracting and Security Clearance: A Guide for Contractors

Published on: 26 May 2020

Security Clearance is needed because of the nature of accessing sensitive material. Although, it may seem like a daunting process, for most contractors, obtaining security clearance is a straightforward process.

Basic security clearance starts with simple identity checks that only take a fortnight to process, so most contractors can be working on-site with little or no delay.

Public Sector Clients that require Security Clearance:

  • Ministry of Defence
  • Central Government
  • Home Office
  • Foreign & Commonwealth Office
  • Ministry of Justice
  • Office of National Statistics 

Security Clearance Levels:


  • BPSS (Baseline Personnel Security Standard): This is not technically a security clearance but is in effect a Police National Computer (PNC) check to make sure the contractor candidate has no unspent convictions. 


  • CTC (Counter-Terrorist Check): The first actual security clearance, most commonly required by the police, legal agencies and government agencies. 


  • SC (Security Clearance): The most commonly used. It is transferable between government departments, valid for five years for contractors, and ten years for permanent employees. 


  • DV (Developed Vetting): Much more specialised and job-related. A contractor would go to a specific contract role within a specific organisation and the developed vetting would be tailored specifically for that contract.