The UK Government needs a range of protective security measures to counter possible internal or external threats to the United Kingdom. The National Security Vetting (NSV) service identifies those people who should be granted access to sensitive information or facilities. Annually, around 140,000 cases are currently vetted for the Ministry of Defence and 25,000 for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The challenge

In the UK, most of the security vetting is delivered through two organisations - the Defence Business Services National Security Vetting (DBS-NSV) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Services Vetting Unit (FCOS VU). These vetting services are run separately using a range of systems and manual processes. Previously, vetting applications could only be made on hard copy forms which had to be posted for processing. There was no interface between the systems used to conduct background checks and as a result it was a slow, manual and costly process.

Our answer

CGI is developing a single pan-government National Security Vetting Solution (NSVS) building on our successful Cerberus solution. The upgraded version of Cerberus will provide vetting solutions to the MOD, FCO Services, other Government departments and major defence contractors that need to vet employees for security clearance. NSVS will further improve the user experience to make it even easier to use and provide functions such as tracking the progress of an application. Access will be provided anywhere, any time and on multiple devices for the applicant, sponsor and case worker. The updated system will provide even more automation enabling almost instantaneous and accurate data from multiple sources.

A success story

Working in close partnership with NSV, we will achieve process automation and streamlining of systems to significantly improve the quality of the NSV service through reductions in time and cost. The pan-government system will support over 85 non-MOD vetting customers and handle more than 200,000 security clearance applications each year. Initially, 22 additional Government departments will have real time access to the case management system speeding up time for approval and reducing costs. The system can be accessed from anywhere and on multiple devices.

Key Benefits

  • Automates much of the process by performing checks prior to the case worker receiving the case for consideration
  • Enables applicants and vetting case workers to securely access the system from different locations and devices
  • Improves the user experience
  • Flexible and scalable to meet future demand for security vetting
  • Uses the UK Cyber Security Operations Centre (SOC) to monitor and protect against cyber security threats
  • Securely hosted and supported by our 5-star service desk in Wales