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Types of Security Clearance

3 Types of Clearance

The below information is subject to change, please see the GOV.UK for the most up to date information

1. DV Developed Vetting

DV is the highest attainable level of Security Clearance and is required for people with substantial unsupervised access to TOP SECRET assets, or for working in the intelligence and security agencies.

To gain (DV) clearance you will normally have had to have been a resident in the UK for a minimum of 10 years. The following security vetting stages are mandatory before a DV clearance can be approved:
  • Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) & Security Check (SC)
  • Security Questionnaire
  • Departmental / Company Records Check
  • Criminal Record Check (CRB)
  • Credit Reference Check and review of personal finances
  • Check for medical and psychological information provided
  • A detailed interview with vetting officer
On completion of the vetting process, the information collected is assessed and a decision made to refuse or approve a DV clearance.

Once a clearance is granted, it is only valid for a predetermined period after which a review must be conducted if the clearance is still required. The time interval before a review is required is specified in guidance issued by the cabinet office.


2. SC (Security Check)

SC is for people who have substantial access to SECRET, or occasional access to TOP SECRET assets and information. This level of clearance involves a (BPSS) check plus UK criminal and security checks and a credit check. To gain (SC) clearance you will normally have had to have been a resident in the UK for a minimum of 5 years.

Security Check (SC) or (SC Cleared) is required for people who have substantial access to SECRET or occasional controlled access to TOP SECRET assets. The following security vetting stages comprise a full SC clearance:
  • Baseline Personnel Security Standard (Which is normally undertaken as part of the recruiting process)
  • Departmental / Company Records Check
  • Security Questionnaire
  • Criminal Record Check
  • Credit Reference Check
  • Security Service Check
On completion of the vetting process, the information collected is assessed and a decision made to refuse or approve an SC clearance.

3. BPSS (Baseline Personnel Security Standards)


BPSS are not formal security clearances; they are a package of pre-employment checks that represent good recruitment and employment practice.

A BPSS aims to provide an appropriate level of assurance as to the trustworthiness, integrity, and probable reliability of prospective employees. The check is carried out by screening identity documents and references.



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