The CAA is responsible for making the arrangements for the National Security Vetting (NSV) of persons in certain aviation roles, including the review, renewal, refusal or withdrawal of security clearance, in accordance with the relevant Cabinet Office guidance.
For more information on NSV, please read these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) or use the contact information below.
The vetting process requires the collection and storage of your personal data. i.e. name, date of birth, contacts details and National Insurance Number.
In some cases, UK Driving Licence number, Passport number and issuing country, National Identity number and National Identity issuing country may be required.
This information is required for the purpose of completing Accreditation Checks. Your personal data is initially collected by your existing or prospective employer.
Airports are data controllers in their own right. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and The Department for Transport (DfT) are joint controllers. Vetting partners such as United Kingdom Vetting Services (UKSV) are data processors.
Why we process your personal information
Your personal data is required so that our vetting partners can identify the correct individual and carry out the relevant background checks. This data is needed to increase the protection of the UK's aviation infrastructure by checking that persons working in aviation are unlikely to be in a position where they may abuse their access, submit to pressure or be suborned.
The processing of your personal information is necessary for the performance of a task The CAA carry out in the official authority vested in them in accordance with UK law.
The legal power which underpins this legal obligation is the Single Consolidated Direction (Aviation), which derives its powers from is made under the Aviation Security Act 1982.
Who sees your personal information and why
To compete an Accreditation Check, your personal data will be shared with the CAA's vetting partners. The CAA may also share data with your employer. All vetting partners are based in the UK.
How long we keep your personal information and why
Where clearance is granted, The CAA will retain personal data for 15 years after the individual's last clearance has expired, is withdrawn, or is revoked, or 1 year after the individual's death, where the CAA is notified of this. In exceptional circumstances, it may be necessary to retain personal data beyond these periods, such as in the interests of national security
Your individual rights
You may submit an enquiry or make a complaint by emailing FOI.email@example.com.
You have a right to complain to the ICO about the CAA's processing of personal data.
NSV is necessary to ensure that a person's character and personal circumstances are such that they can be trusted to work in a position which may involve access to sensitive assets or areas.
The Secretary of State for Transport has defined in the Single Consolidated Direction (Aviation) (SCD) the specific roles and duties across the aviation industry for which NSV is required, as well as the type of clearance required. These directions are not publically available in full for reasons of national security but have been made available to the industry.
Individuals will be advised by their (potential) employer whether they require an NSV clearance.
CTC involves a check against UK criminal and security records. Such clearance is required for access to certain establishments or public figures where there is a specific threat from terrorism. It is not designed to manage access to sensitive information.
CTC clearance is valid for 5 years. However, periodic checks may be made if there are changes to circumstances and vetting authorities may check against updated records
Organisations in the aviation sector who employ individuals that require security clearance to CTC level must apply to the CAA. Direct applications from the individual will not be accepted.
The CAA has entered into agreement with the authorised supplier of National Security Vetting (NSV) to government and depending on various matters and completion of a user agreement, the CAA may authorise you to have direct access to the Supplier's online security vetting services. For further information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before NSV clearance is undertaken the requirements of the Baseline Personnel Security Standard must be met. The BPSS requires the verification of the following four elements:
- Employment history (past five years);
- Nationality and Immigration Status; and
- Criminal record (unspent convictions only - but see further information under "What if the individual has a criminal record? ")
Further information on BPSS is available from the Cabinet Office.
The following details will be required:
- full name and date of birth
- personal email address
- National Insurance number
- town of birth
- country of birth
- job title and an explanation how it meets the rules set out in the Single Consolidated Direction.
For NSV purposes the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 allows for consideration of both spent and unspent convictions. A criminal record is not necessarily a bar to NSV clearance although the CAA will need to consider whether any conviction affects suitability for the post. The more serious, repeated, and more recent the offence(s), the more weight may be attached to it as an indicator of possible unsuitability. Failure to declare criminal convictions on a security questionnaire may also give rise to serious concerns.
The relevant offences that will be considered can be found at the following:
- Offences list for England and Wales
- Offences list for Scotland
- Offences list for Northern Ireland
- Offences list under Military Law
From time to time it may be necessary to request further information. The CAA will approach the sponsoring organisation to request further information from the individual before a decision can be made.
Individuals must provide an overseas criminal record check covering the time they lived abroad. More information from the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure.
Appeals may only be made by individuals who are already employed within the aviation industry.
Any decision to refuse or withdraw clearance from an individual already employed within the aviation industry will be accompanied by information on how that individual can appeal that decision and the time scales.
The appeals process will involve an arbiter having access to all the material available to the original decision maker. The arbiter will operate as transparently as possible, within the bounds of national security and third party confidentiality.
Appeals will follow natural justice principles so individuals who consider appeals will have had no prior involvement in the case; in particular they will not have participated in the initial decision to refuse or withdraw clearance, nor will they have discussed any aspects of the case with those who participated in the original decision making.
The appeals process should take no more than 28 working days from the point the appeal is received by the CAA.
Yes, to the Security Vetting Appeals Panel (SVAP), an independent advisory body set up by the Cabinet Office. SVAP provides a final means of challenging a decision to refuse or withdraw security clearance from individuals who have exhausted the internal appeals process and who remain dissatisfied with the outcome. Those wishing to take their case to the panel must register their intention to appeal with the Secretariat, in writing, within 28 days of receiving the final notification of the rejection of an internal appeal.
More information is available from HMG Personnel Security Controls
If you consider that the information from the Police National Computer (PNC), used in the vetting process, is incorrect and wish to contest it please approach your local police station and ask for a copy of records held against you. Explain that you have applied for National Security Vetting and the checks have identified criminal convictions recorded against you that you don't believe are yours.