Law enforcement inquiries and security screening interviews

Law enforcement inquiries

For all personnel security screenings, Public Services and Procurement Canada's Contract Security Program (CSP) reviews law enforcement records, databases or databanks to determine whether an individual:


If the results of the law enforcement inquiry show outstanding criminal charges (accusations before a court that have not received a formal disposition and are thus pending), the CSP will:

  • send the personnel security screening files of individuals who currently hold a valid security status or clearance to the security screening investigation unit for investigations
  • put on hold any personnel security screening requests of individuals who have not yet been granted a security status or clearance, until their criminal charges have been resolved by the courts

Once they have received the courts’ decision/disposition, individuals should inform their company security officer (CSO) who in turn should advise the CSP. Failure to provide this information may result in a delay in the screening process or ultimately the risk of a denial or revocation of the individual’s security status or clearance.

For more information on denials and revocations, visit security screening decisions.

Security screening interviews

When security screening interviews are used

The CSP will refer a personnel security screening file to the security screening investigation unit if:

  • a security concern was identified during the screening process
  • personnel is applying for a Top Secret Signals intelligence (SIGINT) clearance

The investigations unit will review the personnel security clearance file and may conduct a security screening interview to obtain additional information from the applicant. All Top Secret SIGINT applicants must undergo a security screening interview.

Investigating a concern / About security screening interviews

A security screening interview helps the CSP to determine the nature of the circumstances or activity that caused a security concern during the screening process. It also gives the applicant an opportunity to provide specific information to respond to these concerns. Any information provided by the applicant during the security screening interview is protected and will not be shared with the CSO.

A security screening interview will review features of the applicant, which may include:

  • character
  • financial situation
  • time spent out of the country
  • personal beliefs and associations

Some examples of security concerns include:

  • unverifiable biographical history
  • past criminal activity or record
  • personal associations or beliefs

The findings of a security screening interview help the CSP to evaluate the results of personnel security screening assessments such as:

  • criminal record name checks
  • credit checks
  • reliability checks
  • loyalty assessments

Steps of the security screening interview process

When a security screening interview is required, the CSP will:

  • request the contract, subcontract or lease agreement number from the CSO, if it was not already provided, and validate the contractual requirement
  • notify the parties of the date, time and location of the interview
  • identify the individual using a valid piece of photo identification
  • provide the individual with the reason for the interview
  • conduct the interview
  • analyze the interview data
  • formulate a recommendation to either grant, deny or revoke the reliability status or security clearance
  • notify the applicant of the outcome of the screening


When determining an individual’s eligibility for a security status or clearance, the CSP evaluates the risk that the individual poses in relation to the duties they will be required to perform. If the request is not supported by a valid contractual requirement, the CSP is not able to assign a level of risk to the individual.

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