Security Clearance Common Questions

How long will it take for me to be granted a security clearance?

Security clearance processing times can vary depending on the level of security clearance you are applying for – from a couple of weeks to over a year to be granted. The main reason for approval to be delayed is if your application is missing information, or if Public Works requires clarification for the information that was submitted.

How long is a security clearance valid for?

A reliability or secret level clearance will be valid for 10 years from the approval date. Be sure to manage that END DATE once you are granted a clearance. You don’t want it to expire without you realizing it – especially if you are in a temporary or contract role in the federal government.

What reasons would cause me to be denied a clearance?

You might not be able to obtain a security clearance if you have lived outside of Canada within the last 5 to 10 years in a country where Public Works is not able to verify your information while you were abroad. Canada has agreements with all countries who are part of NATO. Some criminal offences will result in your clearance being denied. If you’re in doubt, apply for your clearance and let the government decide if you’re eligible.

For the provincial government, is there a security clearance like the federal government?

The Government of Ontario has a their own clearance screening process. Once you are selected to work at a Government of Ontario site, they will initiate a CPIC clearance for you. You will receive an email to complete the application online directly with the Government. You will be issued a CPIC number (that remains valid for 5 years) once the check is complete.