Guidance

United Kingdom Security Vetting

United Kingdom Security Vetting (UKSV) is the main UK government provider of security clearances.

Contents

Applicant

Sponsor

Decision Maker

Referees, Hiring Managers, Contractors and Consultants

Forms and Guidance

International personnel security clearance

Contact us

Overview

United Kingdom Security Vetting (UKSV) launched on 1 January 2017 following the requirement in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) to establish a single provider of government National Security Vetting Services. Bringing together the well respected vetting organisations: Defence Business Services National Security Vetting (DBS NSV), and Foreign and Commonwealth Services National Security Vetting (FCOS NSV), UKSV has a mandate to establish a single vetting database, portable vetting and standardised pricing across government. UKSV aims to operate as a highly efficient and customer focused organisation.

There are 3 security levels:

  • Counter Terrorist Check (CTC): is carried out if an individual is working in proximity to public figures, or requires unescorted access to certain military, civil, industrial or commercial establishments assessed to be at particular risk from terrorist attack
  • Security Check (SC): determines that a person’s character and personal circumstances are such that they can be trusted to work in a position which involves long-term, frequent and uncontrolled access to SECRET assets
  • Developed Vetting: (DV) in addition to SC, this detailed check is appropriate when an individual has long term, frequent and uncontrolled access to ‘Top Secret’ information. There is also Enhanced DV

Privacy and Data Protection

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), applied to UK law by the Data Protection Act 2018, governs the way in which UKSV holds and processes your personal data. We have published a Privacy Notice that explains who we share it with, who the data controllers are and what rights you have. It tells you how you can go about raising a query or how, if you are not satisfied with the way in which we are processing your personal data, you can make a complaint. You can read this privacy notice at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-security-vetting-privacy-notice. We also recommend that you read the Cabinet Office document HMG Personnel Security Controls, which explains the purpose for which we undertake national security vetting and the checks that are carried out.

Retention periods

We will retain your personal data for as long as we need to in order to safeguard national security. Normally this will be for a period of six years from the date on which your security clearance expires, lapses or is withdrawn. However, we may need to retain some personal data for longer than this in the interests of national security or to assist our defence in legal proceedings which have already started.

Published 12 December 2012
Last updated 14 August 2019 + show all updates
  1. Page reformatted
  2. Reformatted page
  3. Amended out dated text
  4. Removal of obsolete information and reformatting of bullet points
  5. Updated email address
  6. Announcement
  7. Announcement
  8. Updated the Privacy and Data Protection section
  9. Removal of closure announcement Cheadle Hulme now back open
  10. Announcement added re Cheadle Hulme site closure due to severe weather.
  11. Announcement added re Cheadle Hulme site closure due to severe weather.
  12. Removal of phone lines down announcement
  13. Announcement added re enquiry centre issues
  14. Removal of Christmas opening times
  15. Amended UKSV email address
  16. Christmas and New Year opening times included.
  17. Updated the contact us information
  18. Amended to bullet under change of personal circumstances
  19. Page re-branded to reflect launch of UKSV
  20. Disruption to Cheadle Hulme resolved announcement updated.
  21. Announcement of Cheadle site evacuation added
  22. Christmas and New Year enquiry centre opening hours added
  23. Announcement updated
  24. New announcement
  25. Updated information throughout
  26. Updated announcement
  27. New NSVS announcement included
  28. New announcement added to page and deletion of old information
  29. Announcement updated.
  30. Further NSV reminder announcement included
  31. Latest NSVS update included
  32. Announcement for sponsors included.
  33. Latest update announcement added.
  34. Latest National Security Vetting update available
  35. Added announcement about the National Security Vetting Solution (NSVS) project.
  36. DBS NSV page updated with the latest information
  37. Change to announcement
  38. Updated announcement
  39. New announcement
  40. Annoucement included
  41. Announcement removed
  42. Announcement added
  43. Remoed of announcement.
  44. Added announcement about issues experiened when creating applicatios on DBS NSV Internet and RLI Portals.
  45. Update to telecom issues.
  46. Removal of background paragraph
  47. Intermittant problems with the telephones message included.
  48. Removal of Christmas opening hours.
  49. Latest update on phone line incident.
  50. Update on telephone lines.
  51. Removed section on feedback.
  52. Removed announcement 23 October 2015: FAO GSI/PSN network users.
  53. Added announcement 29 October 2015: email access issues
  54. Added notice: 23 October 15 – FAO GSI/PSN Network users regarding outage.
  55. Removed the announcements section as there are no current announcements available.
  56. Updated opening hours for Enquiry centre.
  57. Removed What are the definitions for routine priority and immediate requests for clearance? section of content.
  58. Added announcement for the latest DBS National Security Vetting sponsor bulletin.
  59. Deleted announcement.
  60. Added new announcement regarding release of SC eform.
  61. Removed Christmas opening times announcement.
  62. Added new announcement for opening hours.
  63. Added new announcement 20 November 2014.
  64. Added annoucement about the RLI Portal outage taking place 4 December from 4:00pm.
  65. Removed expired announcement.
  66. Added link to DBS National Security Vetting sponsor bulletin.
  67. Added announcement
  68. Updated Contact us section and move up the page.
  69. Removed some of the out of date announcements.
  70. Added announcement under Business Development and Improvement Update
  71. Amended announcement 17th July 2014.
  72. Added new announcement dated 23rd July 2014.
  73. Added new announcement and updated another.
  74. Added new announcement regarding NSV forms.
  75. Removed text in the ROUTINE - Process section of the table.
  76. Updates have been completed in the following sections "What are the definitions for priority and immediate requests for clearance?" and "What will I be asked at interview as a vetting subject or as a referee".
  77. Updated 'Contractors and consultants' section with new text. Replaced complaints section with link to complaints procedure document.
  78. Updated information about International Personnel Security Clearances
  79. Updated section "NATO Security Officers" which is now titled "NATO security clearances".
  80. Updated the opening times for the Contact Centre for Vetting.
  81. Removed announcements dated 9 May 2013 and 11 April 2013.
  82. Added announcement for 11 November 2013.
  83. Added 'RFC 107 improve decision maker working' announcement
  84. Added an announcement
  85. First published.