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Security Screening Self-Assessment Questionnaire

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is responsible for providing integrated border services that support national security and public safety priorities and facilitate the free flow of persons and goods into Canada.

To fulfill this mission, employees of the CBSA must uphold the CBSA Code of Conduct and its values of Respect, Integrity and Professionalism. They conduct themselves with honesty, integrity and trustworthiness. The CBSA carefully assesses the integrity of new applicants and current employees with regards to security risks.

Deceit, dishonesty, or non-disclosure in any part of the application and security screening process is likely to result in your disqualification from the recruitment process and/or any future employment with the CBSA.

Why do I need to get a security clearance?

Due to the enforcement role of the CBSA, and the sensitive nature of the information and assets to which employees will have access, candidates must be able to obtain a security clearance which is equivalent to the classification of the asset to which they will have access. All employees are required to obtain a Reliability Status clearance through a screening that assesses an individual's risk to the organization itself. Other employees (e.g., border services officers) are required to obtain a higher level Secret or Top Secret Clearance, which assess an individual's risk to Canada. The complete security screening process helps minimize security risks and preserves program integrity.

What is the process for obtaining a security clearance?

A candidate provides written consent on application forms for the CBSA and its partner agencies, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, to conduct a range of law enforcement and security verifications. As well, the candidate consents to a verification of employment, qualifications, and references, travel outside of Canada, and a credit check. In addition to these verifications, the candidate undergoes a face-to-face Integrity Interview. The entire process is designed to conduct a global assessment of an individual's honesty, integrity, trustworthiness and loyalty to Canada.

I have been convicted of a crime. Can I still apply?

Yes, you can still apply. Applications containing criminal convictions are assessed on a case-by-case basis. The security screening process determines if you have committed crimes that would indicate unacceptable risk in relation to the duties to be performed while confirming if you are honest, possess integrity, and are trustworthy. This is part of the process to be granted a CBSA Reliability Status, which is the foundation to be provided a Secret or Top Secret security clearance.

I live a lifestyle that may not be conducive to the values and ethics of the law enforcement community. Can I still apply?

Yes, you can still apply. An analysis of your situation will be performed to determine the level of risk you may represent to the Agency. However, if you are currently or recently involved in criminal activities, including the use of illegal drugs, and associations with criminals, your likelihood of obtaining a clearance would be severely diminished. A global assessment of your personal circumstances, including the risk that they may pose in relation to the duties to be performed, would need to be completed before a final determination could be made. Likewise, if you are dishonest at any point during the security screening and clearance process, your likelihood of obtaining a clearance would be severely diminished.  

I declared bankruptcy several years ago. Can I still apply?

Yes, you can still apply. An analysis of your situation will be performed to determine the level of risk you may represent to the CBSA, if any. This is part of the process to be granted a CBSA Reliability Status, which is the foundation to be provided a Secret or Top Secret security clearance. Credit checks are included as part of the security screening process due to the law enforcement role and the sensitive nature of the information and assets of the Agency. Additionally, they are intended to minimize potential security risks and preserve program integrity.

What happens if my request for a security clearance is denied?

If you do not receive the required security clearance level, you will be removed from the selection process and cannot re-apply for two (2) years. There are recourse mechanisms available to you in response to a negative security screening decision, such as a review by the Canadian Human Rights Commission, Federal Court Trial Division, or the Security Intelligence Review Committee. Also, a decision by the CBSA to deny you a security clearance could be shared upon request with another Federal Government department in a hiring or security screening process.

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