Security vetting code of practice levels playing field for contractors

A new national security code of practice has been introduced, which should ensure that no contractors are at a disadvantage when applying for jobs within the public sector.

Cabinet Office ‘Guidance on personnel security controls’, released earlier this month, states that no workers should be expected to hold security clearance before they can be put forward for sensitive positions.

Formally, contractors who had previously held a similar temporary appointment within the sector were at a distinct advantage.

A Cabinet Office spokesperson said: “Job opportunities should not be limited because an existing security clearance is requested as part of the selection criteria.

“All recruiters are expected to abide by the code of practice and ensure that individuals are not unfairly excluded from employment.”

The code was developed by the IPSE Security Clearance Forum, in response to changes to national security vetting announced by the government in 2010.

Simon McVicker, IPSE Director of Policy and External Affairs, is optimistic about its implementation. He said: “We now have a code of practice that goes a long way to ensuring a level playing field for all contractors.

“IPSE will continue to closely monitor client and agency behaviour to ensure the code is adhered to, and we will be working closely with the Forum to guarantee action is taken against any misconduct that takes place in the future.”