Security screening – What you need to know

Why do I need to get a “security status or clearance” such as site access status, reliability status, secret/top secret clearance?

Parks Canada employees, volunteers and contractors are required to undergo security screening in order to provide reasonable assurance that they can be trusted to safeguard government information, assets and facilities and reliably fulfill their duties. The screening will serve to assess their honesty, integrity, trustworthiness and/or loyalty to Canada and lead to the grant, denial or revocation of a site access status, reliability status, or secret/top secret clearance. A valid security status or security clearance is a condition of employment, contract, appointment or assignment.

What is the process for obtaining a “security status or clearance” (site access status, reliability status, or secret clearance)?

For security screening to be conducted, a candidate must provide consent included in the security application forms. Once completed, these forms allow for a verification of address history, employment, qualifications, references, and agreement to a criminal record check and a credit check. A loyalty security assessment is also completed when applying for a secret/top secret clearance.

What is adverse information?

Adverse information is the existence of one or more criminal convictions, past or current credit issues, strange or unusual activities and behaviours, etc. which may be an indicator of future issues with the performance of duties, inability or unwillingness to safeguard sensitive information, assets or facilities.

Does adverse information impact my ability to be hired?

Adverse information can, but may not be, sufficient grounds to deny a “security status or clearance”. Such information is used as the basis for further investigation. All individuals with adverse information are treated in a fair and objective manner and provided with an opportunity to explain the circumstances before a decision is rendered. In evaluating a candidate’s honesty, integrity and trustworthiness, adverse information will be assessed to determine if there is an unacceptable risk in relation to the duties to be performed and the safeguarding of sensitive information, assets or facilities. For example, declaring only part of an existing criminal record would put into question the individual’s reliability and trustworthiness.

Why am I required to get a criminal record check?

As part of the security screening process, a criminal record check must be conducted to determine if you have been convicted of a crime. The use of fingerprints is the most accurate way to confirm a person's identity and to protect from being associated with another person’s criminal record.

What if I have been pardoned for a past criminal record?

Criminal convictions that have been previously pardoned should not be declared. Criminal record checks do not reveal record suspensions unless you are asked to complete a Vulnerable Sector Check (you will be notified if this is required). For more information about the record suspension process, please visit:

What does a credit check say about my reliability?

Financial inquiries are used to assess whether an individual poses a risk or is otherwise vulnerable on the basis of their financial situation or history as well as confirming other information such as previous addresses and date of birth. For example, information that would be of concern are accounts placed for collections, bankruptcy, etc.

Credit checks conducted for the purpose of security screening are "masked" so that they do not affect your credit score.

May I be accompanied by a support person if I am invited to attend a security interview?

Yes. A support person such as a family member, friend or elder, etc., can attend a security interview, however the individual cannot speak on your behalf or provide advice during the interview. They are there for moral support only.

What does Parks Canada do with the information I provide?

We take your privacy seriously and therefore only collect the information we require to complete our analysis. We collect, use and dispose of the information you provide us in accordance with the Privacy Act and associated policies, directives, standards and guidelines. To find out more about the Privacy Act, visit:

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