Significant changes in Public Sector Hiring are afoot: Are you ready?

If you recruit for the public sector, then you need to be aware of changes that have just occurred. In short, you cannot just simply recommend the best candidate for job, based on merit, anymore. You now need to consider the Candidate’s ‘suitability’ before they are offered a job.

Let that sink in. Recruitment needs factor in competence and character.

Public servants and Agencies are governed by the Protective security policy framework (PSPF), and as such it has been identified that personnel security is one element of good protective security management. Additionally, effective personnel security is an essential risk mitigation tool to the threat posed by malicious trusted insiders and to stop someone like that going down the critical path that leads to a hostile act.

To achieve the PSPF personnel security outcome, each agency (and by extension, external recruitment service providers) need to ensure its employees and contractors are suitable to access Australian Government resources and meet an appropriate standard of integrity and honesty.

Hint: A ‘clean’ national police history check is not an appropriate standard of integrity and honesty!

The PSPF was changed in late 2018 to strengthen this aspect of recruiting. The requirement applies to all personnel; this includes security cleared and non-security cleared personnel, contractors and others who will have access to Australian Government resources. This is a ground changer and potentially impacts every single hiring decision you make.

Requirement 1.c. states that “pre-employment screening must obtain assurances of a person’s suitability”.
This requirement cannot be achieved without an integrity check. Does your existing background suitability check meet these standards?

The Attorney-General’s Department (who authored the PSPF) also recommends that you should conduct and finalise screening after the conclusion of the merit selection process but prior to an offer of employment or contract.

Then the PSPF ‘doubles down’ on the significance and importance of the role of the suitability screening process and that it is the Agency who holds carriage and responsibility for it being done.

To illustrate, the Attorney-General’s Department put it this way: the suitability screening process that is completed “prior to engagement is particularly important for positions that have been identified as requiring a security clearance. If an individual is found to be unsuitable as part of the pre-employment and entity-specific screening, entities must not seek a security clearance for the individual.”

Why the change now? One reason might be if the Candidate’s suitability is adverse at the time of recruitment, then don’t clog up AGSVA’s limited resources by sending inevitable complex cases to them! An average of 792 days to reach a determination is a long time!

Q. So how do you essentially anticipate a national security clearance, quickly?

A. Have a qualified, experienced suitability expert, skilled in the art of vetting, speak the Candidate, one-on-one for (up to) a few hours. The interview canvas all the dimensions that matter, analyses any adverse information from a non-discriminatory, unbiased Whole of Person perspective, and provides a suitability assessment recommendation: Favourable, Caution, Adverse. Imagine being able to grade their character based on the Attorney General’s own predefined suitability indicators: Honesty, Trustworthiness, Tolerance, Maturity, Loyalty and Resilience?

Cleard Life Vetting Agency was designed to deliver this exact scenario. We can assist you with your suitability screening needs for all your security cleared and non-security cleared personnel. Get in touch today.

For more info:

You may also be interested:

  • At-a-glance, what we do: Click here
  • The Interview Experience: Click here
  • FAQs: Click here  
  • Pushback: We don’t require your background vetting service: Click here
  • NPC done different. Read more here.
  • 87% of Data breaches are caused by Insiders. Read more here
  • 1 in 4 fail pre-employment integrity tests. Click here


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