When Academic Admission Discretion Meets National Security.
As an Admissions Board member, you are aware that your school is about to deliver a highly specialised course, which is technically UNCLASSIFIED, but you also know that sensitive topics involving Defence-related topics are crucial and central to the course outcomes and objectives.
Q. Have you ever thought about screening student’s background in order to safeguard that highly valued information?
Although institutions have ‘minimum’ entry requirement for its courses, most admissions regulations also include other provisions, which includes restrictions to access certain courses or classes. For example, University Of Melbourne* includes “ensuring suitability of the applicant” as part of their ‘additional selection criteria’.
Q1. How is suitability specifically determined, what is the actual process and what is / is not covered?
Q2. Who determines the threshold between an applicant being suitable and not?
Q3. What standards are used and are they consistently applied?
What your school may need to consider is a Suitability Clearance.
We recommend using Australian Government Protective Security Policy Framework (PSPF) compliant methodology and standards for determining, Honesty, Trustworthiness, Tolerance, Maturity, Loyalty and Resilience. These are the same as suitability and character qualities the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA) uses to determine the eligibility and suitability of a person to access classified (eg. SECRET, TOP SECRET) information.
Educational Institutions normally have the discretion# to refuse entry into a course based on information about the person which leads to a reasonable belief that the applicant should not be admitted.
A Suitability Clearance offers your Admissions Board that pertinent information to refuse a person entry into one of your courses. Maybe you need a vetting expert who can vet students for suitability before you offer them a placement, using the Attorney General’s guidelines, mentioned above.
Enter Cleard.life. Cleard.life’s parent company, Crown Vetting, is a leading IVP company in Australia. Crown Vetting delivers hundreds of assessments each month error free and on time. All Cleard.life Vetting Officers are qualified and experienced in conducting background checks, as well as one-on-one interviews. We have an extensive national network of Assessing Officers in most capital cities.
Additional benefits you will receive if you incorporate a suitability screening assessment into your admissions determination process include:
- Increasing employer’s confidence that a graduate from your school is likely to be suitable to hold a security clearance, making them more desirable in the after-school employment marketplace.
- Decreasing the risk of a (yet-future) official security clearance process resulting in an adverse result – wasting Sponsor’s time and money.
- Boosting the funding/subsidy model objectives by having employable graduates who are duly qualified and appropriately suitable to work inside Australia’s most sensitive defence programs.
- Stopping distinct types of ‘unsuitable’ students from acquiring Australian-Government-paid-for, Defence-centric training.
- Hindering students whose sole purpose is to return to their homeland with specialised knowledge.
- Reducing the risk of the unintended consequence of using Australian taxpayer’s money to inadvertently enhance foreign defence capabilities … a reputation nightmare.
- Demonstrating personnel security is a priority at the very start of a student’s career.
Please make contact with us on 02-6171-4171 for an obligation free confidential discussion.
* Para 22 http://www.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/2024548/Academic-Board-Regulation.pdf
# Para 24.