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Organizational Clearances 101

When working with the Government of Canada, it is imperative to comply with each contract’s security requirements. For resources being engaged as employees, you will be compliant through your employer’s Organizational Clearance.

For those who are Limited or Incorporated Companies, a public or private source can sponsor and guide you through the application process. Based on the level of security requirements in the awarded contract, you will need to apply for either a Designated Organization Screening (DOS) or Facility Security Clearance (FSC). Below are the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions:

What is a DOS/FSC?

  • A DOS allows an organization to obtain and clear their resources at a Reliability Status level, allowing them access to Protected A, B, and C information and assets on a need-to-know basis
  • An FSC allows an organization to obtain and clear their resources at Secret and Top-Secret status levels, allowing them access to Confidential, Secret, and Top-Secret information and assets on a need-to-know basis
  • The organization’s office must be located and eligible to do business in Canada. These include:
    • Consultants as in Limited and Incorporated (must be Canadian citizen or permanent resident)
    • Single corporations, partnerships, or joint ventures.

Does it cost anything?

  • Every DOS and FSC application will be unique to every situation. The application process itself does not have a cost involved; however, should fingerprinting or registering as an Incorporation be required, there is a cost associated.

What are the steps involved in obtaining an organizational clearance?

  • Your organization must first be sponsored by a source approved by the Government of Canada (i.e. federal government procurement officer, security officer, project officer)
  • For subcontracts, an approved source may be a private sector organization (prime contractor). This is an organization that is already registered in the Contract Security Program and is working on active contracts.
  • The resource must complete the “Request for Private Sector Organization Screening Form (PSOS)” with a completed “Security Requirements Checklist (SRCL)”
  • If approved, the program will start the registration process and contact you by email
  • As the owner of the company, you will be required to complete an application for registration. In the application, you must:
    • Provide information about your organization’s structure, ownership, and legal status, as well as proof of your organization’s structure (e.g. copy of Certificate of Incorporation, Partnership, Business Name Registration Documents, etc.)
    • Provide names of key senior officials. This may be owners, officers, directors, executives, partners, or board members.
    • Appoint a Company Security Officer and Alternate Company Security Officer. If you are a sole proprietor or a consultant, you will act as both the company security officer and the key senior official.
    • Complete the required personnel security screening forms and supply two pieces of photo ID for your Company Security Officer and Alternate Company Security Officer (if applicable).
    • Complete a Security Agreement. This is a legal agreement between your organization and Public Services and Procurement Canada concerning your organization’s clearance.

We hope this has answered some of your questions regarding Organizational Clearances. Here are some additional links you can reference for more details.

If this post has helped you, or if you have any questions we didn’t answer, please let us know in the comments!


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