What is a security clearance and how do I obtain one?

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A security clearance is a certification that is granted by the Canadian and International Security Directorate (CIISD) of Public Works and Government Services Canada. These clearances are required by the specific organizations for certain contracts, and once granted, allows you to work on their premises and, if required, to have access to confidential or sensitive information.

Government of Ontario requires that all contractors/consultants who, in the regular performance of their duties have access to sensitive information or assets, be assessed for their loyalty and associated reliability.

Security clearances that are typically required by OPS (depending on the job responsibilities and the sensitivity of the assets handled in job) include:

  • Reliability Status is the type of personnel screening that, with a need-to-know, is required for access to PROTECTED information/assets or secure sites.
  • Level I (Confidential) involves checking Canadian Security Intelligence Service databanks. This takes usually between 3-6 months from the moment of the application.
  • Level II (Secret) involves checking Canadian Security Intelligence Service databanks. This takes usually between 6-9 months from the time of the application.
  • Level III (Top Secret) requires a full field investigation, which involves checking Canadian Security Intelligence Service  records; interviewing friends, neighbors and employers; consulting with local police; and, possibly interviewing the applicant. As this clearance is more detailed. As the steps required for this level are more complicated, usually this takes at least 1 year from the date of the application.

To obtain a security clearance, you must be sponsored by an organization that holds a valid facility clearance. All  CERBER’s consultants hold currently Level II Secret Security clearance. Based on our experience, a Level II – Secret is most of the time required for any security projects in OPS.

For additional information please check this FAQ about Personal Security Screening:

http://www.ciisd.gc.ca/text/isp/psc-e.asp

Where to get more information about Security Screening?  http://www.ciisd.gc.ca/text/ps/pss-e.asp