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The Administrative Arrangements Order of 3 August 2023 transferred responsibility for protective security policy, including the Protective Security Policy Framework, from the Attorney-General’s Department to the Department of Home Affairs. These Machinery of Government (MOG) changes began on 4 August 2023.

The PSPF Reporting Portal will transfer to the Department of Home Affairs on 24 May 2024. Before 24 May 2024, all entities and users must set up new authentication credentials through VANguard. You can get more information by contacting the Government Protective Security Policy section at or the PSPF hotline on 02 5127 9999.

Policy 12: Eligibility and suitability of personnel

  • Personnel security
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This policy details the pre-employment screening processes and standardised vetting practices entities must undertake when employing personnel and contractors.


Pre-employment screening is the main activity used to mitigate an entity's personnel security risk. It is conducted after the merit selection process has ended but before any offer of employment or contract.

Vetting is conducted to ensure personnel are eligible and suitable to access classified government resources.

Entities must use the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA) to conduct vetting or, where authorised, they can conduct vetting in a manner consistent with the personnel security vetting standards.

To be eligible for an Australian Government security clearance, an individual must be an Australian citizen and have a checkable background. An accountable authority may waive the citizenship or checkable background requirements for a security clearance if there is an exceptional business requirement and after conducting a risk assessment.

Entities may use security clearances where they need additional assurance of the suitability and integrity of personnel. This could be for access to security classified information, or to provide greater assurance for designated positions.

Vetting agencies can only issue a security clearance where an Australian Government entity has sponsored it or if otherwise authorised by the Australian Government. They must obtain clear and informed consent to use relevant information.

The security vetting process results in a determination of the clearance subject’s eligibility and suitability to hold a security clearance.

The determination is based on:

  • an assessment against the Personnel Security Adjudicative Guidelines
  • minimum personnel security checks
  • a resolution of any doubt in the national interest.

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