Are Your Personnel Security (PERSEC) Measures (AS 4811 2006) Suitable?
20% to 30% of job applications contain some form of false information according to a recent report of the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). Nothing in the report suggests ICAC’s statistics relate solely to NSW or to the public service. Very likely similar issues will be found across other states and territories and in defence industry. For hiring managers, a robust risk – based employment screening framework should be crucial component of the recruitment process.
The Australian Standard for Employment Screening was created in 2006 as a guide for recruiters on how to approach this important area of risk. In some ways it is old, expired and antiquated. Even the “100 points of ID” is not a must – nor is a police check. Recruiters are recommended to consider reviewing their employee screening framework to address new practices that have emerged during past decade.
This is also referred to as AS 4811-2006, the Australian Standard for Employment Screening was first published in July 2006, with an experienced committee overseeing its publication. It is included into the Protective Security Policy Framework (Personnel Security section) and DISP Entry Level membership requirement for PERSEC.
In terms of the specifics of the above …
Identity must be some form of government photo identification and verify the candidate’s address history – a driver’s license meets these two elements.
For Integrity CV (resume) should be checked and a police check should be conducted. These are not considered mandatory.
To check Credentials, professional referee/s should be sought to verify positions and dates of employment.
The Australian Standards are nearly 15 years old, out-of-date and in need of review. This is expected to happen in 2021. The updated version will include ‘adjudication’.
DISP entity: When you sight the candidate’s driver’s license (and does not have a claimed qualification or professional membership) you have essentially met the basic Australian Standards for employment screening – namely identity, integrity and credentials. ‘Implementation’ is simple – too simple.
DISP also states that “other activities” could or should be done to meet the “appropriate standard of integrity and honesty” – which is synonymous with suitability. Where do you stop, though? Sooner or later, as a DISP Member, your candidate and workforce may need an official AGSVA security clearance at the Baseline, NV1, NV2 or PV level.
The meaning of the term suitability underlined above is very specific term and is defined and is laid out in the PSPF Adjudicative Guidelines called “Suitability Indicators” namely Honesty, Trustworthy, Tolerant, Maturity, Loyalty and Resilience (HTTMLR).
A aspiring defence industry company may need help to align the “appropriate standard of integrity and honesty” (suitability) with the official suitability standards of a Baseline, NV1, NV2 or PV clearance. This alignment gives the company a fighting chance to mobilise a workforce without any delays from the official clearance process.
In late 2020, the Australian National Audit Office noted that there was a 1:4 – 1:5 chance that your clearance subject (CS) would not get an AGSVA clearance:
Why? As a processor of national security clearances since 2010, we would put forward the following reasons: the process is (1) too long, (2) too complex, (3) too stressful (4) the CS is offered employment elsewhere without a clearance requirement and/or (4) their application is looking like a withhold, so the CS cancels before the decision happened. These ANAO statistics reveal a significant impost on the time, effort & energy of AGSVA as well as DISP Members. No sponsor creates an AGSVA e-pack application to waste time or money. So from the sponsor’s perspective, it seems to be the luck of the draw to get their people through and it is reducing Defence capability in a very tangible way.
The Cleard PLUS facilitation innovative and new program ‘speeds up‘ and ‘smooths out‘ the security clearance process. It includes (a) pre-vetting advice to the employer (to anticipate a national security clearance outcome) before the e-pack is started and (b) provides help, advice & support to the CS, so that they don’t cancel unnecessarily. In 2018 the ANAO noted it took AGSVA 640 days to process a complex NV1 and an NV2 application 697 days. There is a class action lawsuit against Defence AGSVA due to these delays. Cleard Plus gives you the edge.
So, a PSPF-compliant (pre-vetting) suitability assessment can solves these problems. Here’s how:
A defence industry company (aspiring DISP or DISP Member) may already outsource some elements to an external screening provider (eg. CV Check, Sterling, First Advantage, PRM – or one of the other 50+ vendors). Or perhaps your recruitment agency completes the qualification verifications, referee checks & other database checks (police checks) that are relevant for the position. But please recognise that all of those are limited and fall short in addressing the technical PSPF term “suitability”. If your company uses these groups, then why not ask very specific questions about how they reach their determinations and how they recommend the candidate’s suitability and to what standard. Do they use a professional structured judgement that is non-discriminatory, fair, unbiased and reasoned?
In every scenario – we suggest incorporating a CLVA suitability assessment into your existing process – whereby any adverse (eg Disclosable Court Outcome or a bad referee comment or potentially inflated CV claim) is provided to Cleard Life at the point of ordering the assessment. The issue can then be properly investigated, including the one-on-one interview + a fair and non-discriminatory analysis, adjudication and recommendation. Done in minutes not months.
By mimicking the national security clearance levels, our suitability risk assessment offers the appropriate standard of integrity and honesty.
Cleard Life uses a REST API which means with a click of a button your company can order a suitability assessment via your human resource information system (HRIS) or Applicant Tracking system (ATS) or you can use our portal. If your background screening company or HRIS cloud provider does not ‘bundle’ our check, then ask them to do so.
Click here to find out about our pre-employment screening solutions and help you make the right risk decisions. You can even get your first CL) Basic Assessment (valued at $169) free!
Interested in the “Cleard PLUS” facilitation program? Register your interest today by contacting us 02-6171-4171.
Or continue reading:
Personnel Security (PERSEC) Still Remains A Challenge For DISP Members:
News flash: Defence Industry is now considered part of the Critical Infrastructure of Australia and in 2021 your company will need to hunt for spies – read more here.
Security Awareness briefings for every candidate, find out more here.