Apply for security screening for your personnel

Find out how to get your personnel cleared to work on sensitive government contracts by getting a personnel security screening through Public Services and Procurement Canada's Contract Security Program.

About personnel security screenings

The federal government conducts security screening for employees of organizations registered in Public Services and Procurement's Contract Security Program.

A personnel security screening is required for employees who need to access federal government protected or classified information, assets and work sites as part of a contract. It must be completed before work begins.

As set out in the Standard on Security Screening, the security screening process evaluates an individual's reliability and loyalty to Canada.

Costs

Public Services and Procurement Canada does not charge applicants a fee for processing personnel security clearance applications. The only expense an applicant may incur is to obtain official documents, such as electronic fingerprints or a Certificate of Good Conduct from a foreign country.

If someone claiming to work for Public Services and Procurement Canada's Contract Security Program has contacted you to request money, please immediately report the incident to your local police department and alert us by completing and submitting a security incident report.

Reporting security incidents

Types of personnel security clearance

A successful personnel security screening leads to a security clearance. Your organization may request the following types of security clearances for your personnel:

reliability status:
required to access protected information, assets or worksites
security clearance:
required to access classified information, assets, or worksites
enhanced security screening:
required for personnel who support security and intelligence functions

What personnel security clearance do you need?

Learn about the types of personnel security clearances

Who is eligible for a personnel security screening

Need-to-know principle

The need-to-know principle restricts access to sensitive information and assets. Employees are entitled to access based only on their duties. Access is not based on status, rank or level of clearance.

What is a need-to-know?

Who requires a security screening

A security screening is required for any of your employees who need to work on a contract with security requirements, and who are not currently security screened with your organization.

Who can have their security screening transferred

If a new employee has a valid security screening from previous employment, it can be transferred to a new workplace provided the following criteria are met:

  • it was not terminated more than 2 years ago
  • it is not due for updating
  • the individual has stated that there have been no changes in their personal history regarding criminal convictions

Who can request a security screening

Individual employees do not initiate their own security screenings. Public Services and Procurement Canada's Contract Security Program allows registered organizations to administer security screenings on behalf of their employees.

The company security officer (CSO) for your organization determines who needs to be security screened based on the security requirements of the contract.

What forms need to be completed

Using Table A below, the company security officer (CSO) can determine which form(s) to complete.

Complete forms online (recommended)

Submitting applications electronically is a convenient and effective service that increases the accuracy of the applications and allows Public Services and Procurement Canada to initiate the process more quickly.

Public Services and Procurement Canada's online industrial security services (OLISS) portal lets authorized users:

As well, authorized federal government users can complete and submit Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat's security requirements checklists (SRCL). A separate registration is required for this service.

Register for OLISS by emailing: tpsgc.ssisedsisensibilisation-issolissoutreach.pwgsc@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca.

Learn how to complete and submit online forms

Company security officer's guide to completing and submitting personnel security screening forms

Complete forms by hand

Note

Please note that manual requests may be subject to processing delays.

Steps for completing a form by hand:

  1. Consult Table A to determine the required form
  2. Select the form
  3. Print the form
  4. Consult the company security officer's guide to completing and submitting personnel security screening forms
Table A: Forms required for each type of personnel clearance
Level of screening Type of screening Required forms to be completed` Consult important guidance on completing the form
  • Reliability status
  • new
  • update
  • Secret
  • NATO/Secret
  • Top Secret
  • Enhanced Top Secret
  • COSMIC Top SecretFootnote 1
  • Top Secret SIGINT
  • new
  • update
  • supplemental
  • upgrade
  • All levels
  • transfer
  • duplicate
  • reactivation
  • All levels
  • termination

Table note

Table 1

The term COSMIC Top Secret must be used in lieu of NATO Top Secret for Top Secret information handled within NATO.

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Consent

For company security officers that need to access the status of security screenings of an employee working for another organization:

For individuals who wish to consent to have their security screening status shared with other organizations:

Processing times

Processing times for personnel security screenings depend on the level of security required and the type and complexity of request. More complex requests will take longer, and may include:

Processing times for personnel security screenings
Type of personnel security screening request Processing time
Reliability status: simple request 7 business days upon receipt of a properly completed request
Reliability status: complex request 120 business days upon receipt of a properly completed request
Classified Secret clearance request 75 business days (in addition to reliability screening timelines) upon receipt of a properly completed request

Security screening decisions

PSPC will inform the CSO directly about the decision to grant, suspend, deny, revoke or close a personnel security clearance.

If a security screening is granted

A security screening is granted to employees who are determined to be:

  • reliable: for reliability status
  • reliable and loyal to Canada: for classified level

Once the security screening is granted by PSPC, the CSO must:

If a security screening is denied, suspended or revoked

In some cases, security screenings are denied, suspended or revoked. The reasons for denial and revocation are defined in the following Government of Canada policy:

PSPC will notify the applicant of the decision and the reasons for the decision by registered letter and how they may appeal the decision. PSPC will also inform the CSO of the decision by registered letter, but will provide only the results and not the reasons why a reliability status and /or security clearance was suspended, denied or revoked.

If a security screening is closed

Your security screening request will be closed if:

  • the applicant is not eligible to hold a security status/clearance in Canada
  • the forms are not properly completed or signed
  • the applicant failed to respond to requests for additional information
  • the applicant failed to attend a scheduled security screening interview
  • the required background check can't be completed

Closed files will always be returned to the CSO, along with the reason for the closure.

CSOs with questions about file closures should contact the Contract Security Program.

Terminations

It is incumbent upon the CSO to terminate files that are no longer required.

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