Identity verification requirement changes for personnel security screening

Communiqué: December 8, 2020

Following last year’s announcement that Public Services and Procurement Canada's (PSPC) Contract Security Program was implementing the documentary requirements set out by Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat to verify an individual’s identity, many company security officers (CSO) and alternate company security officers (ACSO) expressed concerns about their new responsibilities.

To allow time to address these concerns and help CSOs and ACSOs meet their new responsibilities, PSPC’s Contract Security Program delayed the implementation of this requirement, developed additional guidance and created new learning products and tools.

The new implementation date of the requirement is now January 11, 2021. As of that date, CSOs and ACSOs will be required to verify the identity of employees requiring a new security status or clearance using 1 foundational and 1 supporting evidence of identity (one of which must contain a photo).  

As mentioned in the April 18, 2019 communiqué, this new requirement comes from the federal Standard on Security Screening. Its purpose is to give greater scrutiny to the evidence of identity and provide greater assurance that an individual is who they claim to be.

Foundational evidence of identity: this is a piece of identification, issued by a governmental authority in Canada, that establishes core identity information such as given name, surname, date of birth, sex and place of birth (examples: Canadian birth certificate, Canadian citizenship certificate, etc.).

Supporting evidence of identity: this is a piece of identification, issued by a governmental authority in Canada, that supports the information provided by the foundational evidence of identity and links the core identity information to an individual. Supporting evidence of identity provides additional information such as a photo, signature and current address (examples: Canadian passport, driver’s licence, Nexus card, etc.).

This new documentary requirement is the only change to the current background check process. CSOs and ACSOs have always been required to verify the identity of employees by requesting 2 pieces of identification and to conduct other preliminary verifications. These preliminary verifications include verifying an individual’s date of birth and current address. For more information, visit the preliminary verifications page.

New learning products and tools

To assist you with these new responsibilities and help you better understand how to conduct proper identity verifications, PSPC’s Contract Security Program developed the following new learning products and tools:

Contact us

If you have any questions about this upcoming requirement, you can:
Contact the Contract Security Program.

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