Most Australian Government roles issued by Online 89 will state whether a security clearance is required for the role. These clearances are required to ensure that classified information remains secure.

What is a security clearance

A security clearance is series of assessments and background checks to ensure that people entrusted with security classified resources:

  • Are eligible to have access;
  • Have had their identity established;
  • Are suitable to have access; and
  • Are willing to comply with the standards that safeguard those resources against misuse.

Am I eligible for a security clearance?

Australian security clearances are normally only granted to Australian citizens whose backgrounds can be checked for the requisite period of 5 years for base line clearances, 10 years for negative vetting clearances and whole of life for positive vetting level clearances.

Australian citizenship is a condition of eligibility for security clearances. In exceptional circumstances, your client head may waive this requirement if the risks can be otherwise mitigated.

How do I get a security clearance?

Security clearances need to be sponsored. This means that a Government agency needs to request the clearance on your behalf; you cannot simply ask for one yourself.

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?

Current security clearance levels are:

  • Baseline Vetting
  • Negative Vetting Level 1
  • Negative Vetting Level 2, and
  • Positive Vetting.

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?

You can find out more by visiting the Australian Government Vetting Agency website here.