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PSPC Security Screening Update Information

April 24, 2019

The following notice was provided by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) regarding new documentation requirements for security screening for organizations who work with the government.  The notice clarifies what kinds of identification documents are acceptable when requesting a security clearance for one of your employees.  We have been told that if the guidelines explained below are not met, it will almost certainly mean a significant delay in the processing of the clearance.  If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Jim Quick.


The Government of Canada is committed to maintaining the highest standards of security, as set out in the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s Policy on Government Security.

On May 15, 2019, Public Services and Procurement Canada’s (PSPC) Contract Security Program is implementing new documentation requirements included in the Standard on Security Screening. Essentially, company security officers (CSO) or alternate company security officers (ACSO) will be required to verify one foundational and one supporting evidence of identity for each employee of their organization who requires a security screening. These pieces of identification need to be issued by governmental authorities in Canada.

This change will impact organizations working or intending to work on Government of Canada contracts with security requirements. There are many organizations not yet registered with Public Services and Procurement Canada and your support would be appreciated in making sure this information is shared with your members.

Conducting background checks

Verifying an individual’s unique identity is an important first step in the security screening process. This must be done before continuing with further security screening activities. However, identity verification is only one component of the CSO’s or ACSO’s background check responsibilities. The CSO or ASCO is also required to verify educational credentials, professional qualifications, employment history, and in some cases, personal character references.

Learn more about the new requirements

PSPC is committed to ensuring that organizations working with the Government of Canada respect federal security requirements. To help clients conduct background checks, PSPC’s Contract Security Program has developed the attached checklist.

We have also recently updated our website to include a how to conduct a background check section which explains the new requirements in more details and provides a list of all acceptable pieces of foundational and supporting evidence of identity.

Webinar: How to conduct background checks       

Registration for a new live webinar on how to conduct background checks is available on the contract security training webpage. This webinar will be presented by a subject matter expert to help CSOs and ACSOs further understand their responsibilities and how they can remain compliant with PSPC’s Contract Security Program.