How do I get a Security Clearance

Most Australian Government roles issued by Online 89 will state whether a security clearance is required for the role.

What is a security clearance?

A security clearance is required to access security classified resources.

Under the Australian Government Protective Security Policy Framework (PSPF), personnel that need ongoing access to security classified resources must hold a security clearance at the appropriate level. Security classified resources include Protected, Secret and Top Secret information, systems that hold classified information, and classified assets. A person may also be required to hold a security clearance if they occupy a position of trust requiring additional assurance about the integrity of the position’s occupant.

Am I eligible for a security clearance?

In order to be eligible for an Australian Government security clearance, an individual must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Australian citizenship
  • Checkable background

How do I get a security clearance?

All security clearances must be sponsored by an approved sponsoring entity who requires the individual to access Australian Government sensitive or classified information. Individuals cannot sponsor their own security clearance.

How is it decided what level of security clearance a person needs?

The level of security clearance that you require will depend on the level of classified information you will be required to access in your position.

What are the current security clearance levels?

The current security clearance levels are listed below:

  • Baseline Vetting – for classified resources up and including Protected
  • Negative Vetting Level 1 – for classified resources up to and including Secret
  • Negative Vetting Level 2 – for classified resources up to and including Top Secret, and
  • Positive Vetting – for classified resources up to and including Top Secret, including some caveated information

How does the clearance process work?

The Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA) conducts personnel security clearances on behalf of most agencies. You will be asked to complete a security package containing a range of questions. The level of clearance will determine the number and complexity of the questions.

The information you provide is used as the basis for conducting a range of background checks and inquiries. The background checks will assist in identifying any vulnerable areas in your life or background history that may expose you to manipulation, blackmail or coercion.

The checks may include referee interviews, financial checks and searches of records held by Australian Government agencies including the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and the Australian Federal Police. From these the AGSVA will make an assessment of your suitability to access security classified material.

You will also be required to provide supporting documentation as part of the security clearance process.

Who decides whether a security clearance will be granted?

After reviewing all the information provided by you, your referees’ reports and the results of your background checks the assessing officer makes a recommendation to the AGSVA delegate who may:

  • Make a determination in accordance with the recommendation;
  • Choose to ignore the recommendation, or
  • Request the assessing officer seek additional information before making a determination.

Can I request a review of a clearance decision?

Yes. If you are notified of intent to withhold or withdraw a security clearance, or grant a clearance at a lower level than requested, you have a right to request a review. The AGSVA will advise you of the procedures for requesting a review at the time you are notified of the clearance decision.

What about my privacy?

The security clearance process is intrusive. However, your privacy and dignity is respected.

Will my personal information be protected?

All information provided by you for the clearance process is only used for assessing your suitability to hold a security clearance.

Where can I find more information?