International contract security requirements

Is your organization thinking about contracting or subcontracting with a foreign government or business? Find out how the Contract Security Program can help your organization get the security clearance it needs to compete in the global marketplace.

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Security requirements for international contracts

Security requirements are clauses written into government contracts with private sector organizations. They specify what levels of security are required to safeguard sensitive information, assets and work sites.

Security requirements for international contracts are listed in the:

Foreign organizations wanting to bid on Government of Canada contracts with security requirements must contact the designated security authority, which is the government organization responsible for contract security, in their home country.

Canadian organizations wanting to bid on contracts with foreign countries government must first contact the Government of Canada’s Contract Security Program.

Bidding on classified contracts with foreign governments

1. Preparing to bid

If your organization is bidding on a classified contract or subcontract outside of Canada, you must contact the program with your intention to bid on a foreign contract or subcontract:

Contact the Contract Security Program

The program will:

Learn how to obtain security screening for your organization

2. During contract award

The foreign government or organization responsible for the contract will:

3. After contract award

If your organization has been awarded the contract, the program will:

Subcontracting to foreign organizations

Before subcontracting to a foreign organization, Canadian organizations must get written approval from the program and the foreign designated security authority.

The program will:

Requesting foreign assurances

A foreign assurance is the confirmation that a foreign organization and its personnel meet the security requirements of a contract or subcontract. If the organization and its personnel do not meet the requirements, they will be screened at the appropriate and required level by the designated security authority in their home country.

Assurances for Canadian organizations

The program provides assurances to foreign governments for Canadian organizations bidding on sensitive foreign contracts.

Assurances for foreign organizations

Canadian organizations subcontracting to a foreign organization must contact the program to request a foreign assurance.

Your organization will need to provide a:

If available, you can also provide the organization’s business registration number, equivalent to your Canadian Procurement Business Number.

Assurances for foreign personnel

The program conducts foreign assurances for employees who hold personnel security clearances in countries that share bilateral industrial security instruments with Canada.

To request an assurance for personnel, you must provide the program with the following information:

Exchanging protected or classified information

You must contact the program if your organization needs to exchange or transfer information or assets during a program, project or contract with a foreign organization or government.

Learn how to transfer sensitive information and assets

The program will determine if the information or asset can be released to, and safeguarded by, that foreign organization or government.

Bidding on North Atlantic Treaty Organization contracts

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is an alliance of 29 member countries from North America and Europe. This partnership gives Canadian organizations the opportunity to bid on NATO contracts.

Who are North Atlantic Treaty Organization member countries?

You can learn how the NATO procurement process works by consulting:

Guide to navigating North Atlantic Treaty Organization procurement

NATO contracts are advertised here:

North Atlantic Treaty Organization clearances for organizations

Organizations bidding on NATO opportunities must meet the security requirements listed in the contract.

A NATO facility security clearance gives access to information and assets to the level of:

For contracts requiring access to NATO Restricted information and assets, organizations may need a designated organization screening with document safeguarding capability at the level of Protected A.

How to get a North Atlantic Treaty Organization clearance for an organization

North Atlantic Treaty Organization clearances for personnel

Once your organization is granted a NATO facility security clearance, you need to request NATO personnel security clearances for employees to gain access to NATO information and assets.

Who is eligible?

Organizations can request NATO clearances for employees who are:

How to get a North Atlantic Treaty Organization clearance for personnel

Organizations that have obtained the required organization clearances can request NATO clearance for their employees. The program will send you a NATO security briefing form to be completed by the company security officer (CSO) and the employee. Once approved, the employee is considered NATO security cleared, with access to NATO information and assets when required.

You can learn more about NATO security requirements in the Industrial Security Manual:

Security requirement for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Getting approval for visitors to secure sites

If you are hosting a visit to a secure site in Canada, or visiting a secure site abroad, you must get approval from the Contract Security Program.

Approval for visits to secure sites

International industrial security instruments

The Government of Canada works with foreign governments to safeguard the exchange of protected and classified information, and to help Canadian organizations compete internationally.

Bilateral industrial security instruments

To help Canadian organizations access international contracts involving classified information, Canada has negotiated bilateral industrial security instruments with various countries.

The countries are:

Expanded security framework

An expanded security framework provides an alternative solution for Canadian organizations wanting to bid on contracts and subcontracts not covered under bilateral security agreements. The framework ensures the proper handling and safeguarding of Protected A and B information and assets abroad. It means that Canadian organizations can award—or bid on—contracts or subcontracts with more than 50 countries.

The Multinational Industrial Security Working Group

Canada is part of the Multinational Industrial Security Working Group that consists of senior government officials responsible for contract security. This working group consists of all NATO countries (except Iceland), as well as Austria, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand and Israel.

The group works to achieve shared security practices and procedures for the exchange of classified and unclassified information.

Reference sheet: International industrial security

International industrial security reference sheet - long description below
Description of the reference sheet: International industrial security

The title of the image is “Contract Security Program: International industrial security—Reference sheet.” The Public Services and Procurement Canada corporate signature appears at the top of the image. A disclaimer the reads “Note: Subject to change based on program updates” appears at the top of the image.

International industrial security

Security requirements for international contracts are listed in the:

Canadian organizations wanting to bid on foreign government contracts must contact the Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) Contract Security Program (CSP).

International bilateral security instruments

PSPC negotiates international bilateral security instruments with foreign nations.

These instruments promote trade and economic growth and facilitate Canadian industry participation in foreign contracts requiring access to classified information and assets.

Canada has instruments with many countries, such as:

Visits

Security-cleared individuals are required to get approval to visit an organization in order to discuss or access classified information.

A request for visit (RFV) should be made at least 1 to 2 months before the visit to avoid delays.

PSPC also works with our international counterparts to approve visits to government or contractor sites outside of Canada.

How to get approval

For RFV to the Department of National Defence (DND) or military sites, please visit our website.

For visits from foreign countries to Canada, foreign organizations must complete and submit a RFV form to their own country’s designated security authority.

Types of visit requests

Request for visit generic inbox

ssivisites-.issvisits@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca

Foreign contracts

Foreign organizations wanting to bid on Government of Canada (GC) contracts with security requirements must contact their designated security authority, which is the government organization responsible for contract security, in their home country.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization contracts

Organizations wanting to bid on North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) contracts must meet the security requirements described in the solicitation documentation.

International alternative solutions

Customized alternative solutions, based on international best practices, could ensure the safeguarding of protected information handled abroad for the purposes of GC contracting where there is no bilateral security instrument covering protected information.

These alternative solutions depend on the following factors:

An alternative solution uses security clauses to ensure that foreign contractors, including subcontractors, safeguard Canadian protected information according to similar standards as Canadian suppliers.

Transmittal of classified information

Any classified government information, assets and/or equipment leaving or coming to Canada must be transferred through government-to-government channels.

Contact us

National Capital Region:
613-948-4176
Toll-free:
1-866-368-4646
Email:
ssi-iss@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca
Website:
Security requirements for contracting with the Government of Canada

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Training and information for international contract security

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