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To join the Foreign and Commonwealth as a permanent member of staff you must undergo two rounds of checks: the Baseline Personnel Security Standard and Developed Vetting.

The Baseline Personnel Security Standard is a basic recruitment check required by the Cabinet Office and undertaken by our recruitment team in order to verify your identity details. It seeks to prevent identity fraud, illegal working and deception generally. You will need to fill in a basic form and provide the recruitment team with standard documents to undergo this process. Baseline checks are carried out before a conditional job offer is made.

The Developed Vetting (DV) process is the highest standard form of National Security Vetting and must be undertaken for several reasons:

  • to gain assurances that you are not susceptible to pressure from foreign intelligence agencies, terrorist groups or other organisations wishing to undermine Parliamentary democracy;
  • to confirm an individual’s suitability to access and handle very sensitive information and material;
  • to satisfy requirements for access to material originating from other countries and international organisations.
The DV process includes a check of your identity documents and employment and educational references. Other checks are carried out against your financial records, with the Security Service and the Criminal Records Bureau. Additional stages may be required for some candidates; for example, medical assessments.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has a strict no drugs policy to which applicants should adhere. If you engage in any illegal drugs use, even occasional, which you are not prepared to give up, do not apply. We recognise, of course, that some of our candidates may have experimented with drugs in the past. This should not be a bar to your application. However, as with all aspects of vetting, you must be entirely open in divulging details of your drugs usage. You may be required to undergo testing for this later in the process.

The Developed Vetting process takes approximately four months to complete, but this can vary depending on individual circumstances. Further details of the vetting process will be available upon application.

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