Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Security Checks for Jobs: a Nifty Guide.

It has come to Ipswich Unemployed Action’s attention (see comments) that some people have been sent for jobs that require various types of checks that we had never heard of before.
In the interests of increasing people’s employability we offer a short guide to these,

CRB Checks

Depending on the position or work placement of an individual will depend on the level of criminal check available. Currently the CRB produce two levels of checks; a Standard Disclosure and an Enhanced Disclosure. 

Only the Enhanced level disclosure will check an individual’s suitability to work with vulnerable groups such as children. 

A Standard level CRB check will detail every conviction (including spent convictions), caution, warning and reprimand which is recorded in central records, or it will state that there is no such information held. 

An Enhanced level CRB check will detail all criminal information (as above) as well – any information which, in the opinion of a Chief Police Officer, might be relevant for the purpose and ought to be included in the certificate. Additionally this level of disclosure will provide clarification as to whether the applicant is banned from working with children or vulnerable adults. 

CRB checks cannot be requested by individuals. However, it was the intention of the previous government to introduce a scheme called the ISA Vetting & Barring Scheme which would have enable individuals to register, therefore providing them with documentation confirming their suitability to work with vulnerable groups. However, this scheme is currently on hold as the Home Office wish to consider a more common sense approach to its implementation. All clients will be provided with updates of the scheme and changes in legislation through our usual methods of communication and newsletters. 

Individuals requiring a criminal check on themselves, may wish to consider undertaking a basic criminal disclosure, which is often used for public licences and security positions abroad. 

A Basic level disclosure will detail all criminal information considered non-spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 or state that there are no such convictions. To order this level of check please click on the following link:www.cbscreening.com/basic-disclosure


There are four main types of Security Clearance – Baseline, Counter Terrorist, Security Check and Developed Vetting. Below is an outline of each type of Security Clearance, along with information on the process, how long it takes, and the types of IT jobs it applies to.

The important thing to remember is that Security Clearance checks are conducted in line with a specific IT job role, and need to be requested by a company not an individual. So while Security Clearance may require some time and paperwork, if successful it will lead to a new IT job – as well as career rewards such as a good salary, role security and plenty of opportunity.

Baseline Security Clearance

There are two types of check in this category: Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) (Formally Basic Check) and Enhanced Baseline Standard (EBS) (formerly Enhanced Basic Check or Basic Check +). A BPSS or EBS aims to provide an appropriate level of assurance as to the trustworthiness, integrity, and probable reliability of prospective employees.

What is BPSS?
BPSS is an entry level security check, and will take one or two days to complete. Not technically a security clearance, it uses the Police National Computer (PNC) to make sure a candidate has no convictions. The check returns evidence of any current criminal record and un-spent convictions under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

A BPSS acts as a pre-employment check, signalling good recruitment and employment practice in general. The check is carried out by screening identity documents and references.

What is EBS?
An EBS is not a formal security clearance check; however it is a prerequisite for the other types of security clearances outlined next.

This type of check allows supervised access to top secret material. To attain this, the same checks as above apply, as well as a mandatory interview and references from people who are familiar with the person’s character in both home and work environment.

What IT jobs do they apply to?
Typically BPSS and EBS checks apply to jobs in the public sector and Armed Forces (both permanent and temporary) as well as private sector employees working on government contracts (e.g. contractors and consultants), who require access to, or knowledge of, confidential government assets.

BPSS and EBS Security Clearance checks are normally conducted by recruitment authorities or companies to the agreed standard. Because they underpin the national security vetting process it is vital that they are carried out properly and thoroughly and before any further vetting is completed.

Counter Terrorist Check (CTC) or (CTC Cleared)
The Counter-Terrorist Check (CTC) is most commonly required by police, legal agencies and government agencies hiring contractors. A CTC will normally take up to six months to complete and is usually valid for 3 years.

What is a CTC?
The purpose of the CTC is to prevent persons who may have connections with terrorist organisations, or who may be vulnerable to pressure from them, from undertaking certain security duties where sensitive information may be compromised.

A CTC does not allow access, knowledge or custody of protectively marked assets and information, but the Baseline Personnel Security Standard (outlined above, and normally undertaken as part of the recruiting process) does unlock some restrictions. It is carried out as part of the CTC as part of the vetting process, along with:

  • Departmental / Company Records Check
  • Security Questionnaire
  • Criminal Record Check
  • Security Service Check

What IT jobs does it apply to?
CTC Security Clearance is needed by IT professionals whose work involves:

• close proximity to public figures

• giving access to information or material vulnerable to terrorist attack

• unrestricted access to certain government or commercial establishments assessed to be at risk from terrorist attack

To gain CTC clearance you’ll normally need to have been a UK resident for a minimum of 3 years. Occasionally it may also be necessary to attend an interview with a DfT security officer. At the end of the vetting process, the information is assessed and a decision made to refuse or approve a CTC clearance.

Security Check (SC) or (SC Cleared)

Security Clearance (SC) is the most common type of vetting process. Transferable between government departments, it covers a wide range of jobs from IT and health to government, MoD, defence and private sector.

What is SC?
Valid for five years for contractors, and ten years for permanent employees, SC is for IT professionals who need substantial access to secret, occasionally top secret, assets and information.

To gain (SC) clearance you will normally need to have been a UK resident for a minimum of 5 years, and will need to successfully complete all stages of the vetting process which includes:

  • Baseline Personnel Security Standard
  • Departmental/Company Records Check
  • Security Questionnaire
  • Criminal Record Check
  • Credit Reference Check
  • Security Service Check

On completion, information is assessed and a decision made to refuse or approve the clearance application. It will usually take a minimum of six weeks to complete, and is generally reviewed every ten years.

Developed Vetting (DV)
Developed Vetting DV is the most comprehensive and expensive form of UK security vetting; and therefore only required for the most sensitive appointments and tasks.

This level of Security Clearance provides substantial unsupervised access to top secret assets, or for people working in the intelligence or security agencies. A small number of clearances are granted, and renewed annually depending on the employer, and circumstances of the employment.

What IT jobs does it apply to?
Typical DV security cleared IT jobs include positions within the MoD, government, defence and aerospace.

The stringent security check is 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.”

What’s involved?
To gain (DV) clearance you will normally have been a UK resident for a minimum of 10 years. You’ll also need to go through several stages of the vetting process to become approved:

  • Baseline Personnel Security Standard
  • Criminal Record Check
  • Departmental/Company Records Check
  • Completion of a (DV) questionnaire
  • Credit Reference Check and review of personal finances
  • Security Service Check
  • Check of medical and psychological information provided
  • Subject Interview and further enquiries, which will include interviews with character referees and current and previous supervisors (checking of references (social, employment, education etc) in writing, by telephone or by interview from personal friends, tutors and employers as appropriate)

On completion of the vetting process, information is assessed and a decision made to refuse or approve a DV clearance. For risk management purposes, follow-up work and monitoring is sometimes needed. This activity is known as ‘aftercare’, and may be required in connection with any of the above clearances.

How long will DV clearance take?
A DV will normally take a minimum of six months to complete. The officer assigned to the case will keep in touch during their enquiries and do their best to let you know how things are progressing. Because of the time the process takes, you shouldn’t hand in your notice to your present employer until DV clearance is granted.

Once a clearance is granted, it is only valid for a pre-determined period after which a review must be conducted. The time interval before a review is required is specified in guidance issued by the Cabinet Office but DVs are usually re-investigated after 5 years and every 7 years.

Happy Job-Seeking!


And don’t forget to tell your ‘Coach’ where you saw this nifty guide.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 9, 2014 at 4:02 pm

40 Responses

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  1. Here is a job as an Administration Assistant advertised by the CV Library on Universal Jobmatch recently, job ID 7420904:


    Note, the candidate needs to have current CTC clearance in order to apply, and, because CTC’s can take 6 months to complete, any person without a CTC clearance cannot apply. So it is unlikely to assist a great number of job applicants at the Jobcentre!

    We’ll need to watch all this counter terrorist stuff does not become an excuse for checking up on the rest of us!

    And here is a story where high technology originally intended for catching criminals (and possibly terrorists), is being used to combat dog fouling:


    Secret Agent

    May 9, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    • This CTC clearance is going to become standard. And the problem with CTC clearance is it isn’t just you that they delve into; it’s your friends and family going back to at least your grand-parents, so say your long-deceased grandparent had posted an ‘inappropriate’ comment on a website, it would lose you the job 👿

      James Bond - 007

      May 9, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    • Oh no, quick everyone, get the tin foil hats out.

      Dear secret agent their is not one single law that at one time or another that wasn’t abused so it should come as no surprize that the terrorist act is no different DESPITE the article you posted making NO mention of such an act.

      The use of such cameras don’t require the terrorist act in order to use. Their use is quite legal for all of us. Its only when its required to identify an individual that it becomes a matter of law and even then its mute in cases where suspicion of a crime are present.

      The joke of this article is without someone getting you actually at it with another camera in tow and being present at the time that you still cant prevent it. Apart from the article acting as a heads up to one and all both cameras I mention cant see through objects like cars being the obvious obstruction. On top of this one bottle of ice (like slush puppy drinks) or really cold water will soon clear the heat away or you just introduce a larger heat source or shield in front of it.

      Besides actually catching you at it at the time you committed it, only a DNA test will prove it and they cost serious money to carryout.


      May 12, 2014 at 8:30 am

  2. The cheapest way to get a print-out of your record (spent/unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands, warnings) is through a Subject Access Request. It costs £10!! and you can pick up an application form from your local nick. Up north in Scotchland there is also the PVG (Protection of Vulnerable Groups) Scheme in operation.

    Hardened Ex-Con

    May 9, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    • PS A Subject Access Request can’t be used for employment purposes. And it includes only the information the Chief Cop is obliged to give you i.e. your record, your PNC ID No., your recorded name, address, date of birth and place of birth.

      Hardened Ex-Con

      May 9, 2014 at 6:28 pm

      • Depending on the force you may get a bit more info such as your shoe size 🙂

        Hardened Ex-Con

        May 9, 2014 at 6:29 pm

      • An even cheaper way of getting a print-out of your record would be to throw a brick through the window of your local nick*, you should receive a print-out of your record along with the Summons.

        or Jobcentre if you prefer (just make sure you they catch you) or you could, not that anyone is suggesting, throw an ‘adviser’ out the window 🙂

        Hardened Ex-Con

        May 9, 2014 at 6:35 pm

      • Interesting suggestion.

        Andrew Coates

        May 10, 2014 at 11:31 am

      • I favour the hurling of an adviser off Beachy Head option.

        Crazy as a Fox Ex-Con

        May 11, 2014 at 3:03 pm

  3. Just when you thought it was safe to watch Question Time: Here comes Esther McVile.

    BBC1 10:35pm 15.05.14 (Next Thursday)

    David Dimbleby presents topical debate from Coventry. The panel includes Lord Ashdown, former leader of the Liberal Democrats, and Conservative employment minister Esther McVey MP.


    Obi Wan Kenobi

    May 9, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    • Thanks for that Obi but I absolutely cannot stand the sight or sound of that bloody woman. She’s worse than IDS.

      jj joop

      May 10, 2014 at 11:14 am

      • JJ Joop:

        This QT will be different to the IDS one.

        She is ‘The – Emloyment Minister’ she is duty bound to bullshit every question put her by the audience (i.e. Taxpayers) regarding the waste £billions on their failed progammes such as ‘The Work Programme’ and the new failure – ‘Help To Work Progamme’

        The bitch better be ready to answer some hard questions, her carrer will depend on the answers she gives.

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        May 10, 2014 at 2:41 pm

  4. Hmm, didn’t realise that jobseekers in Scotchland can get two awards (3 months each) of the Job Centre Plus Travel Discount Card whilst on the work programme:

    The Job Centre Plus Travel Discount Card is issued by Job Centre Plus to the following groups of claimants:

    Jobseeker Allowance Claimants from 13 weeks to point of Work Programme referral
    Whilst on the Work Programme 2 awards of the card (max 3 months each) within the 2 year participation period. (not applicable in England & Wales)

    Incapacity Benefit, Employment and Support Allowance and Income Support claimants actively engaged with an adviser in returning to employment

    A card can be issued for up to 3 months immediately prior to Work Programme referral which will expire whilst the claimant is participating

    Job Centre Plus Travel Discount Card

    May 9, 2014 at 7:29 pm

  5. Re-blogged this on Can’t be arsed writing my own blog and couldn’t be bothered commenting.

  6. Sorry Mr coates, but what are saying here exactly as certain jobs have always needed certain clearances, I don’t follow ?


    May 10, 2014 at 4:30 pm


      Its ONLY LEGAL to have a clearance BEFORE doing said job its connected to AND NOT BEFORE actually being selected for the job in the first place.

      NO CLAIMANT or MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC can be legally compelled to fill out such forms prior to appointment. Even if offered the job, its still consensual.

      Now one not mentioned is the DRUG AND ALCOHOL TEST. What makes this interesting is that employers have been carrying this out prior to appointments in certain industries. Again like above its only warranted once employed and not before.

      The same applies to CRB checks.


      May 12, 2014 at 6:41 am

      • Incase its not making sense, when I said “Even if offered the job, its still consensual”, I mean you don’t have to fill it out but as a result the employer cant hire you any longer despite selecting you for the position.


        May 12, 2014 at 7:06 am

      • When I was with Working Links (and what a shower of shite those c!”£s are) I was given a part-time cleaning job with the Ministry of Defence to apply for and Working Links wanted me to fill in a security clearance form with all my private an personal information. I (politely) told them to FUCK OFF!!


        May 12, 2014 at 8:05 am

      • I feel this subject along with excepting zero hour contracts is necessary as theirs in my opinion a lot of who ha over nothing.

        The condition of accepting any offer of work has precisely nothing to do with excepting types of contract or required forms, not to mention accepting terms and conditions.

        Im tired of this it wont work, they’ll still sanction you anyway stuff as der, don’t they always. What claimants need to bare in mind is to be prepared as anyone who conducts themselves as I do will tell you that slapping the paper with the law infront of them before they reach to sanction you and making sure they acknowledge this evidence even if you video record it without their permission (I will explain shortly that point) will prevent this.

        You see part of any civil servants code of conduct requires them under no uncertain terms to obey and enforce the law as a course of their business. This is why your often see the reference of dependant on reason before the likes of sanction and or jobseekers direction being raised.

        As for recording as is clearly outlined in the data protection act part 4, when a suspicion of crime is noted, one is exempt from the law as regards consent. Please note this doesn’t state a crime in progress, only a suspicion to. Now this one in particular is funny as they even without you having the actual law infront of you, DWP wouldn’t be able to explain that they don’t know as then they couldn’t explain their legal right to have cameras in theirs buildings in the first place. Also NO you don’t have to be in security or law enforcement for that to apply. To be legally compliant you only have to mention the suspicion of a crime followed by to the intended party that its purely for this purpose and will not be viewed for any other purpose, then followed by will be destroyed should this not be the case and the jobs done. The clear presence of a the camera acts as signage along with your verbal introduction.

        I wish claimants would realise that standing outside shops isn’t the only way to teach DWP a lesson, that by reversing the laws DWP on them could cause them allsorts of bother, like for instance any claimant has a right to privacy so if you say you want a secure environment, DWP have to supply it as well we can all still hear everything being said cant we when all the tables are still to close to one another.
        If every claimant demanded this, it would cause DWP to fall into a backlog and over time more cost fitting out entire buildings with sound proofing if claimants continue with this not to mention will require more staff thus stifling the Tories attempts to cut staffing levels.

        Now a common excuse by DWP to claimants to prevent setting up such rooms has been that if they cant sign them on then that might delay their payment, well news flash people, they can only delay it and you be responsible if you caused it without good reason. Enacting ones legal and reasonable rights under law is not, not a good reason so this means the delay is caused by their inability to have adequate rooms and staff for the amount of clients they have. Worth mentioning here is that you being accommodating of such things doesn’t form any part of your jobseekers agreement and this includes UC agreements.

        For the record unless expressed in law, DWP have no legal power or legal right to decide what law trumps what law and even then MUST have a sound logical legal argument to present to demonstrate said fact.


        May 12, 2014 at 9:41 am

      • @ Senga Ah, the old part-time MOD cleaner ‘job’ – just how many part-time cleaners do the MOD need!? lol 😉 Working Links pull this stunt all the time! It’s, as you rightly expected, just an attempt to glean more of your private and personal information which is NONE OF THEIR FUCKING BUSINESS!!

        Will Smith (Enemy of the State)

        May 12, 2014 at 11:55 am

    At a wpp today, I overheard a pa telling a ”Service User” (That’s Our New Name)! ++There’s a course for you to attend, itT’s 1 and a half days long. It’s about the various COURSES we can offer and what you can expect from them and what’s expected from you.++ End Quote.

    Noddy's Best Friend

    May 12, 2014 at 10:32 am

    • Mother of God. A course about courses. You are truly in fucking Narnia Wonderland, my friend. And you’re a service user as well, eh! As a WP returner, I am now referred to as “Stock”.

      jj joop

      May 12, 2014 at 12:02 pm

  8. What’s happened to the icons? Someone been messing with the theme on here?


    May 12, 2014 at 11:57 am

    • Back to normal now!


      May 12, 2014 at 11:57 am

      • I had problems too yesterday. Could have been a ”DDS” ?


        May 13, 2014 at 8:53 am

  9. Fake self-employment and unreal jobs.

    ‘While Thatcher kept the unemployment numbers down by moving many on to incapacity benefit, this government seems to be doing the same by forcing people to “choose” self-employment.

    Ian Jack’s article on government promotion of fake self-employment (Private companies are making a fortune out of the unemployed, 10 May) made me think that this government could be staging a huge hoax on voters.


    Obi Wan Kenobi

    May 12, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    • By going ”self-employed”. The onus is on the individual to prove they have a legitimate right to be present in the UK and have full work rights. This makes it less expensive for the employer in carrying out the normal checks that are required. You would also have too set yourself up as a sole trader business and pay your own tax and national insurance. So not only would you have the work programme provider chasing you as well as the department for work and pensions. You would have the tax authorities too. Being self employed would also make it harder if not impossible to go back on benefits if anything went wrong. This could be the [ALLEGED] motive[s] behind these moves. Please Note I have said ALLEGED MOTIVES


      May 13, 2014 at 8:46 am

      • Philip:

        There’s nothing alleged about it – those are the motives, full stop.

        jj joop

        May 13, 2014 at 12:29 pm

      • I used the phrase Alleged to avoid any possible legal back lash. After all we are a few days away from elections and a year from a General Election. As the saying goes, ”Something Stupid Is Sure Too Happen In That Time”


        May 14, 2014 at 1:33 pm

  10. anyone got info on the 4 week w.e thing was told it was v limited on space and will be sent on it in a few weeks time.

    never said it was mandatory or anything yet but got no letters yet so duno what it will be doing.

    just told the provider is pinnacle and just fin a 6 week coarse with them that i never attended only to fill in the paper work.

    super ted

    May 12, 2014 at 7:24 pm

  11. i just finished a 6 week job search placement with the same place that finished 5 days ago and done another 2 b4 that after finishing the work programme so braking there own rules again.

    says i cant be refer d if i just finished a placement wtf i done 3 in a row??

    adviser said it was to get some up to date work experience yet it says

    23 mwa is not an appropriate means of providing recent work experience

    super ted

    May 13, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    • If they are breaking th rules then you really should write it all down and email it to your local WPP, their head office, your local Jobcentre Plus and your MP. That way if they try and sanction you for non-attendance, you will at least have something to throw back at them.

      jj joop

      May 14, 2014 at 8:37 am

    • Err, what experience is that exactly as the work you will be doing is more about recycling than it is retail. Does your provider claim theirs a shortage in the waste recycling sector in your area?

      Regardless also we know experience is defined as “knowledge or skill acquired: knowledge or skill gained through being involved in or exposed to something over a period of time”, are they and this charity shop employer insisting it takes 4 to 6 weeks to train an individual to I quote “sort this into this and that” or “pick this up, put this here”.

      Ive spent time in charity work, it takes a matter of minutes to train a volunteer so whats the other 3 to 5 weeks and 6 and half days and finally 6 hours for then?

      No, the so called experience their suggesting you need and that’s putting it nicely, is that you have been working in a physical manner and why, because employers have for decades stigmatised people who are long term unemployed, well until the rest of the market dries up anyway.

      In what world would employers be so dumb that they wouldn’t notice such a thing and besides and I can only speak for myself but no voluntary work (ive been doing such around for 3 decades now even while holding down jobs) I have ever done has ever been acknowledged by a potential employer who has todate consistently stated that they will only entertain references from employers who have paid me a salary.

      Todate to fuel this fire, potential employers have also refused to entertain any references from satisfied customers or any business where I have been my own boss and master.

      Lastly and not directly connected to the chat of experience, how exactly does this provider propose they can actually force you to put this on your CV in the first place ?

      My heart goes out to you Super Ted as heres another 4 to 6 weeks wasted achieving nothing besides extending your period of long term unemployment and thus making you appear even more less attractive to potential employers yet again.


      May 15, 2014 at 9:32 am

      • i have done it all b4 it fell apart then and will again prob get told to fund my bf and get it from the provider at the end of the week.

        not got it to fork out in the first place and no cash for food either.

        been 4 diff places since the wp and the last finished on the 12 this month so dunno wtf they are trying this mwa shit with me as it wont work as i cant so called be refferd to do it under there rules as i just fin a course..

        says placement has to be of benefit to the community, how can it be when a private company is being paid for it?

        adviser said it was for work exp yet it says mwa can not be used to get recent work exp.

        id opt for signing everyday saves tax payers money at the end of the day 😉

        super ted

        May 15, 2014 at 6:39 pm

  12. does it say anywhere how much the providers are getting paid for the placements? and how much is passed on to the placement provider ?

    super ted

    May 13, 2014 at 6:54 pm

  13. My children were searching for USPS PS 2025 some time ago and came across a document management site that hosts an online forms database . If others need USPS PS 2025 too , here’s https://goo.gl/3vT0MI

    Jandy Kramer

    October 12, 2016 at 7:52 am

    • Gee thanks Jandy 🙂 Just the ticket! I’ve been looking for good ‘ole USPS PS 2025 for a long, long time 🙂

      Andrew Coates

      October 12, 2016 at 8:27 am

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