Vetting for Government Jobs

If you’re looking at a public sector role, and especially at one working for central government, then you’ll come across the terms vetting, or security clearance. This refers to the process which the government goes through to check up on people applying for jobs. The process varies considerably depending on the type of role. It stands to reason that more checks are needed for someone in the security services, and fewer for someone in an office position. Many applicants are daunted by the process of vetting for government jobs. But is this justified? We don’t think so. Once you understand what the vetting process is trying to achieve, you’ll see the logic behind it.

Baseline Standard and Enhanced Baseline Standard

The main types of checking common to all government jobs are Baseline Personnel Standard (BPS) and Enhanced Baseline Standard. Everyone applying for a government job goes through this standard vetting. This is basic vetting which looks at your identity and nationality. Are you in the UK legally and do you have the right to work here? Do your identity documents check out? What is your criminal past? Candidates will have to show things like their passport, and other ID documents to prove who they are and where they live. Recruiters will carefully check employment history, and apply for a basic disclosure check to look into current, unspent convictions and cautions. Candidates are also asked about any long periods of time when they’ve been overseas.

Counter Terrorist Check

Some government roles are sensitive, and are liable to another level of checking. Counter terrorist checks apply to a wide range of people, from immigration staff to those working in the security services or Army. There’s nothing secret about the counter terrorist check, as the form is online for anyone to look at. It asks about the role you will be doing, and for lots of details about your previous names and addresses. Unlike the basic check, it also asks for details of your partner and parents. It’s a fairly lengthy form. but you can fill it all in online. The government uses the information in the form to assess whether there is any security risk flagged up by your background, your family or partner.

Security Check

Security check vetting for government jobs is used for people who will have access to secret or sensitive information. This could perhaps be something related to national security. There is lots of information online about why the government does security vetting and why. It’s easiest to fill the form in online. Security vetting is more about your attitudes and history, and is trying to weed out people involved in extremism, or who could be a risk to the country. Depending on the job, you might have to repeat the security vetting every couple of years.

Developed Vetting for Government Jobs

This is the most detailed level of vetting. You can look at the form online, and it runs to a huge 116 pages. There’s a lot of crossover with the other forms, as it starts asking about your name, address, date of birth and other basics. There’s a lot more about your financial situation, and medical concerns. Again, applicants have to give information about romantic partners and their parents. The form also asks you about what internet sites you use and for all your email addresses. You must disclose whether you use online dating sites, gambling sites, social media or virtual currency.

Navigating the Process

The strictest level of vetting sounds scary, but doesn’t have to be. If you have nothing to hide, then there is little to worry about. You’re not going to be ruled out of a government job because you play the Lottery online, or met your partner through a dating app. However, this is a deep delve into all aspects of your life, and the life of your immediate family too. These checks can take quite some time to complete. However, often the government will let you start work, on restricted duties, while the process gets underway. Try to cooperate as fully as you can with the process, and ask if you don’t understand how to complete the forms. The good news is that once in position, subsequent vetting checks are usually completed more quickly.