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Understanding contractors' security and criminal records checks

Who are you going to allow on your premises? It’s all very well the contractor having a list of accreditations, but what about the individuals they send to your premises?

Airmec Essential Services works extensively on MoD sites and for government organisations including HM Prisons, either directly or performing specialist services on behalf of other FM providers. So our staff already have above average vetting and clearance, giving our customers extra reassurance about who’s on site.

All of our site consultants and operatives meet the Baseline Personal Security Standard (BPSS), and, to date, half of them have full Counter Terrorist Check (CTC) clearance. CTC applications for the others are in the pipeline so we can continue to meet the demand for our services in sensitive sites.
What do all these acronyms mean?

Disclosure and barring
We are probably all familiar with Disclosure and Barring Service, which undertakes checks ranging from basic (disclosing unspent cautions, reprimands, warnings and convictions), through standard (revealing details of any convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings), to enhanced (for people who will working with children or vulnerable adults or in certain professions and including police checks that may reveal information that has not actually led to a conviction).

By law, standard and enhanced checks can only be applied for where relevant employment is are involved. The Government’s Online Checker will tell you which is right for any given individual or situation.

In practice, the assurance that DBS checks have been made and presentation of valid photo ID on arrival is sufficient for most civilian premises. Not surprisingly, different rules apply on government and military premises, where more sophisticated security checks are made.

Security checks
Underpinning the national security vetting process are the Baseline Personal Security Standard (BPSS), that all Airmec field staff meet, and Enhanced Baseline Standard (EBS, formerly Enhanced Basic Check or Basic Check +). These are not formal security clearances, but a minimum background screening of all successful applicants for jobs in the public sector and Armed Forces and all private sector employees working on government contracts involving information protectively marked up to and including CONFIDENTIAL.

Where information or risk is classified above CONFIDENTIAL, then further, formal security clearance is required and other checks are added to the BPSS depending on the job involved. (The hierarchy of protective marking is PROTECT, RESTRICTED, CONFIDENTIAL, OFFICIAL, SECRET and TOP SECRET. NATO even has a Cosmic Top Secret category).

An individual cannot apply for security clearance themselves; it must be requested by an employer and carried out by the United Kingdom Security Vetting unit (UKSV). The employer requesting clearance must have passed stringent vetting to become LIST X approved, and they can also sponsor staff of trusted sub-contracted organisations for clearance. Security clearances include Developed Vetting (DV), the highest, Security Check (SC, or SC Cleared) and the Counter-Terrorist Check (CTC).

CTC is the one most commonly required by police, legal agencies and government agencies hiring contractors. It is the Clearance required for people who work in close proximity to public figures, or who have access to material or information that may be vulnerable to terrorist attack, or whose role involves unrestricted access to government or commercial establishments considered to be at risk from terrorist attack. CTC clearance will normally take up to six months to complete and is usually valid for 3 years.

CTC is the check that many Airmec consultants and engineers have successfully undergone. We also have staff undergoing higher levels of clearance. All of our field staff meet BPSS standard.

Posted: 03 Jan 2020

Airmec CTC security clearance for MoJ and MoD estates
Water and air hygiene  Services in southern and midlands England and Wales


Airmec Essential Services
Linden House
Almondsbury Business Centre
Bradley Stoke
BS32 4QH

Tel: 01454 275050
Company Registration No: 04711853


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