Subcontracting security requirements

Are you hiring a company to work with you on a Government of Canada or foreign government contract with security requirements? Public Services and Procurement Canada's Contract Security Program (CSP) will help you ensure that the subcontractor meets the security requirements of that contract.

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Responsibility of the prime contractor

The prime contractor is the organization that wins the bid to work on a Government of Canada or foreign government contract. The subcontractor is hired by the prime contractor to work on part of the contract.

It is the prime contractor's responsibility to get approval from the CSP before awarding a subcontract with security requirements.

For approval, contact the Contract Security Program.

Approval process

The CSP will work with your organization to ensure that the subcontractor meets the:

Subcontracting process

For the subcontracting process, the prime contractor's company security officer (CSO) or alternate company security officer (ACSO) must:


Each subcontract needs a unique subcontract number and SRCL form.

Subcontracting simplification options

As of May 2, 2022, your organization can leverage 1 or more of the following options to request security screenings for their respective subcontractors.

Option 1: Holds security screenings

The prime contractor requests and holds personnel security screenings for employees of their subcontractors.

For more information:

Option 2: Collects security screening documentation

The prime contractor collects the organization security screening forms from their subcontractors, reviews them for quality assurance and submits them to the CSP for processing.

For more information:

Subcontracting option availability

These subcontracting simplification options are available to organizations to:

  • improve security screening timelines for subcontractors
  • diversify supply chains
  • address challenges with short-bid validity periods, seasonal workforces and labour shortages

Your organization is not obligated to leverage these options. You can continue to follow the current subcontracting process if the new options do not suit your organization's circumstances.

International subcontracting

Before you enter into a subcontract with a foreign organization, your organization must contact the program to:

Learn more about security requirements for international contracts and subcontracts.

Canada—United States subcontracts

You must obtain written approval from the program and the contract's procurement officer before awarding a subcontract to a United States organization.

To obtain approval, the prime contractor must provide the program with:

Completing the security requirements check list form

The SRCL form is a federal government form used to define the security requirements of a contract. The check list must be completed for all contracts and subcontracts with security requirements.

Complete the Security requirements check list form (TBS/SCT 350-103)

Your organization's CSO or ACSO is responsible for completing the SRCL form when following the subcontracting process and when leveraging subcontracting option 2. The CSO or ACSO will identify the security levels required with guidance from the procurement officer assigned to the prime contract.

The security level for the subcontract can be lower, but not higher, than that of the prime contract. Remember to include the prime contract file number in all subcontract documentation to avoid delays.

The image below shows you the top section of the SRCL form, and how to fill it out if you are subcontracting:

Screen shot of top section of the security requirements check list. Image description below.
Description of the security requirements check list image

If your organization is subcontracting, you must provide the following:

  • in the Contract Number box at the top of the form, provide the prime contract number
  • in box #1 Originating Government Department or Organization, provide the name of the prime contractor
  • in box #3a Subcontracting Number, provide the subcontract number
  • in box #3b Name and address of subcontractor, provide the subcontractor's name and address
  • in box #4 Brief Description of Work, provide a description of the work the subcontractor will be performing

More information

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