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Security Clearances

ASIO staff are required to hold and maintain an Australian Government security clearance.

To be granted a security clearance, ASIO must confirm you possess and demonstrate a high level of integrity and are not vulnerable to influence or coercion. In a security context, integrity is defined as possessing and demonstrating character traits that provide assurance of your ability to protect security classified resources. These character traits include:

  • honesty;
  • trustworthiness;
  • maturity;
  • resilience;
  • tolerance; and
  • loyalty.

ASIO is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment where all staff are valued and respected in order to build a highly capable, innovative and adaptive workforce to achieve our purpose. Candidates undergoing security vetting are treated impartially and consistently irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, age or disability.

However, only Australian citizens with a verifiable background are eligible for an Australian Government security clearance. You will be asked to provide evidence of Australian citizenship. Periods of greater than 12 months (cumulative) spent outside Australia must be able to be verified from independent and reliable sources. Eligible applicants should have strong and established ties to Australia.  

Candidates must be assessed as suitable to obtain and maintain a Positive Vetting (PV) security clearance as per the Protective Security Policy Framework (PSPF). Any doubts about the suitability for access to security classified resources will be resolved in favour of the national interest.

During the security clearance process, you must:

  • disclose all relevant and required information;
  • provide all required personal documentation and corroborating evidence; and
  • answer all questions fully and honestly.

The minimum mandatory checks for a PV clearance to establish a person’s suitability include:

  • verification of identity and background;
  • financial probity checks;
  • police records check;
  • referee interviews;
  • qualification verification;
  • information about the person available on the internet, including social media (digital footprint checks);
  • psychological assessment;
  • a security interview; and
  • other checks as required.

In addition, ASIO staff are not permitted to use illicit drugs or misuse prescription medication. This reflects the impact of substance abuse on behaviour, judgement, and physical and mental health.  

ASIO security policy prohibits staff use of controlled drugs (as outlined under Commonwealth Law), whether or not that substance is legal or decriminalised in other locales. This includes the use of cannabis unless it is prescribed in writing by a registered medical practitioner. To be considered for an ASIO security clearance you must refrain from drug use from the date you submit your application.

We understand employment applicants may have used drugs in the past. This is not a barrier to applying for employment with ASIO, but it is important to be open and honest about this during the vetting process. Applicants will be provided with an opportunity to disclose and discuss any drug use during the security clearance process. Like all vetting information, this will be treated in the strictest confidence.

All applicants for ASIO employment undergo drug testing during the security clearance vetting process.