Treasury Board Secretariat – Standard on Security Screening

For more information directly from the Government of Canada website, click here.

There are three levels of security screening: Reliability Status, Secret Clearance, and Top Secret Clearance. Whenever the terms “status” or “clearance” are used, they encompass both standard and enhanced screening, unless otherwise specified.

The following table describes the standard and enhanced security screening activities

*Note: Some employers have their own security clearance processes, outside of the CSIS Security Assessments (IE. RCMP, CBSA, DND)

*Note: Fingerprinting is now a part of the process for new clearances (additional expense)

Reliability Status Secret Clearance Top Secret Clearance
5 year background information

10 year background information

10 year background information + foreign travel, foreign assets, character references, education, military service

Enhanced

Enhanced

Validity Period

10 years

Validity Period

10 years

Validity Period

5 years

Security Clearance FAQ

Question: I’ve been out of the country, does this affect my security clearance?