All Office of National Intelligence employees are required to hold an Australian Government security clearance. Most positions require the highest level of clearance, Positive Vetting (PV). 

Why we require security clearances

Under the Australian Government Protective Security Policy Framework (PSPF), personnel that need ongoing access to security classified resources must hold a security clearance at the appropriate level. Security classified resources include Protected, Secret and Top Secret information, systems that hold classified information, and classified assets. 

The purpose of the security vetting process is to determine whether an individual is suitable to hold a security clearance. This involves confirming an individual’s Australian citizenship then assessing whether they possess and demonstrate integrity and trustworthiness commensurate with the security classified resources they will be expected to protect. A number of factors about an individual are considered, including their:

  • Honesty and integrity
  • Maturity and judgement
  • Stability and reliability
  • Tolerance and acceptance
  • Loyalty and commitment to Australia, its values and its democratic system of government, and
  • Vulnerability to improper influence or coercion.

The vetting process

The vetting process involved in granting a security clearance covers all aspects of your life. It is comprehensive and can seem intrusive. It will also take time to complete - usually a number of months - and will require you to assemble documentation relating to many parts of your life.

The process may include some or all of the following:

  • Written application.
  • Identity, background and educational qualification checks
  • Police, financial and referee checks 
  • Psychological testing
  • Online assessment

During the process, you must:

  • Disclose all relevant and required information
  • Cooperate in the collection of personal documentation and corroborating evidence.
  • Answer questions fully and honestly
  • Provide accurate information and personal documentation.

The security vetting process must be successfully completed before an employment offer can be issued. 

Suitability checks

The Office of National Intelligence will conduct a range of background checks and enquiries as part of the vetting process. This will often include (but may not be limited to) the following:

  • Verification of identity
  • ASIO security checks
  • Financial probity checks
  • Police records check
  • Referee checks
  • Qualification verification
  • Digital footprint checks

If you have spent significant time outside Australia (generally more than 12 months cumulatively), the Office of National Intelligence will need to verify your time overseas from independent and reliable sources.

In-person interviews

For some elements of the vetting process, you will need to be in Australia. You may be required to attend in-person psychological and security interviews.

Psychological assessments for PV security clearances are conducted by a registered psychologist in accordance with relevant legislation and registration board requirements. Candidates are required to complete psychometric tests and attend an in-depth, face-to face-interview.

Please note that face-to-face interviews with candidates are an integral part of the security vetting process - if you reside interstate or overseas it is highly likely you will be required to travel to Canberra at your own expense.

Communications during and after process

Further information will be provided as you progress through this process and our human resources team will keep you updated. But we do not provide specific feedback about any aspect of our security processes.

Once the vetting process has been completed, you will be informed of the outcome. We do not provide specific feedback about individual applications in the event we do not proceed with an offer of employment.

Ongoing suitability and obligations

The security clearance process does not end at recruitment and you are required to do all that is necessary to maintain your clearance. You will have a range of responsibilities and obligations, some of which will impinge on your personal life. The Office of National Intelligence will continuously review your ongoing clearance suitability. 

Confidentiality and accountability

The Office of National Intelligence is bound by strict Privacy Rules(Opens in a new tab/window) and treats information disclosed during the security vetting process with the utmost confidentiality. Access to security vetting data is limited to those authorised personnel who have a direct need to know.

All our security clearance processes are conducted in accordance with Australian Government protective security policy.

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