Legal and Professional Standards Department - Aftercare and renewals procedure (P04g)
P04g Aftercare and Renewal
1. Summary of Changes
1.1. This Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) was reviewed in November 2021 adding a new paragraph at 2.2 and amending paragraph 3.5.
2. What this Procedure is About
2.1 This SOP highlights the importance of vetting aftercare and details the requirements in respect of different vetting levels. Aftercare is arguably the most important part of any vetting procedure. As vetting procedures are based on a ‘snapshot in time’, individuals’ personal circumstances will change over time. These changes could affect an individual's suitability to retain a vetting clearance. It is therefore vital that an individual's suitability is assessed through a comprehensive aftercare regime. Recruitment Vetting (RV), Management Vetting (MV), Security Check (SC), Developed Vetting (DV) and Non-Police Personnel Vetting (NPPV) are time limited and require renewal after specified periods of time have elapsed.
2.2 Vetting clearance may be reviewed or renewed before the review or renewal date, if adverse information comes to light relating to the subject or if there is a material change in an individual’s personal circumstances.
Compliance with this SOP and any governing policy is mandatory.
3. Detail the Procedure
3.1 Individuals holding MV, SC or DV clearances must report any relevant changes to their personal circumstances immediately the changes take place. This requirement is in addition to updating SAP. Relevant changes may include, but are not limited to:
spouse or partner;
involvement in a criminal investigation as a suspect;
arrest for criminal offence;
conviction for a criminal offence, cautions, or other judicial findings;
receipt of a fixed penalty notice;
adverse County Court or Sheriff Court Judgement (Scotland);
entry into an Individual Voluntary Arrangement;
known or suspected criminal associates;
medical conditions that in the opinion of the Force Medical Officer, could affect an individual’s ability to safeguard sensitive police or national security assets.
3.2 Due to the sensitivity of the information that has to be disclosed to comply with the aftercare requirements, it is important that those subject to vetting processes have sufficient trust in the confidentiality of the procedure to encourage full and frank disclosure.
3.3 Although individuals holding a higher level vetting clearance are required to notify relevant changes immediately they occur, those holding Management Vetting (MV), Security Check (SC) or Developed Vetting (DV) clearances are also subject to an annual vetting appraisal, that requires individuals to report relevant changes that have not already been made, or to confirm that no changes have taken place.
3.4 The Force Vetting Manager reserves the right to conduct personal interviews with persons holding vetting clearances for designated posts as part of the aftercare process, to ensure that individuals remain entitled to hold their vetting clearances.
3.5 Vetting clearances are subject to renewal, which is the same process as the initial vetting and requires a full application to be completed. The relevant timescales are provided below:
RV - 10 years;
Counter Terrorism Check (CTC) - 10 years (5 years for Non-Police Personnel);
MV - 7 years;
SC - 10 years. Where SC clearance is required for access to STRAP material - 5 years (5 years for Non-Police Personnel);
DV - 7 years;
Non-Police Personnel Vetting (NPPV) Level 1 up to 3 years; Level 2 (Abbreviated) - 3 years; Level 2 (Full) - 3 years; Level 3 - 7 years.
3.6 Where individuals hold either MV Police vetting or a National Security Vetting (NSV) clearance and transfer to posts that do not require that level of vetting clearance, the clearances will lapse 12 months after transfer. Should the individuals transfer back to posts requiring MV Police vetting or the level of NSV clearance previously held within 12 months of leaving, their clearance remains valid until the renewal date, subject to an annual vetting appraisal for an MV clearance. If the individuals return after 12 months, the clearances will have lapsed and must be renewed.
3.7 Where the aftercare process reveals a change in circumstances that may have a detrimental effect on an individual’s suitability to maintain the relevant level of clearance, the Force Vetting Manager should give consideration to withdrawal of that clearance. However, it should be noted that it is only in the most serious of cases that clearance would be withdrawn.
3.8 Decisions relating to the withdrawal or maintenance of vetting clearances following the discovery of adverse information must be clearly documented and kept in the subject’s personal vetting file.
3.9 The aftercare process could reveal information that relates to a breach of Police (Conduct) Regulations/Police Staff Code of Conduct, about which the Force was previously unaware. In such circumstances, the matter must be referred immediately to the Head of Professional Standards for appropriate action. In addition, any consideration in relation to the withdrawal of a vetting clearance in such circumstances should be made by the Force Vetting Officer in consultation with the Head of Professional Standards, as doing so could prejudice an investigation or process.
3.10 Following the conclusion of a misconduct hearing or meeting where the officer, special constable or member of staff is not dismissed but has been issued with a written warning or a final written warning, a review of vetting clearance should be carried out. The review includes a consideration of the applicant’s suitability to maintain the level of clearance held and to continue in the post they occupy.
3.11 In accordance with the Vetting Code of Practice and APP Vetting, where a police officer, member of the special constabulary or member of police staff is dismissed, resigns or retires during the course of, or in anticipation of, gross misconduct proceedings, a flagstone record will be created on the Force intelligence system which will in turn be uploaded to the Police National Database (PND). The purpose of this is to ensure that the intelligence will be detected as part of routine vetting enquiries, should the individual apply to work in the police service in future.
3.12. The Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places a duty upon specified authorities (which includes the Police) to ensure that their functions are discharged having due regard to the need to prevent people being drawn into terrorism. Our staff are not immune from radicalisation, therefore if such concerns regarding an individual or institution are identified, these should be referred to the Kent Police Prevent Team via the FIMU at Kent SB JIU.
3.13 The appeals procedures for all levels of vetting are outlined in SOPs P04b, P04c, P04d, and P04e.
3.14 Where clearance is withdrawn, for any level of National Security Vetting, United Kingdom Security Vetting (UKSV) must be informed immediately by the Central Vetting Unit.
4. Equality Impact Assessment
4.1 An Equality Impact Assessment has been carried out and shows the proposals in this policy would have no potential or actual differential impact on grounds of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, transgender, disability, age, religion or belief or sexual orientation.
5. Risk Assessment
5.1 This SOP has been assessed as medium risk.
Central Vetting Unit
Freedom of Information
Health and Safety
7. Monitoring and Review
7.1. This SOP will be monitored, and reviewed after two years, by the Force Vetting Manager. The monitoring will take into consideration any changes in relevant legislation or procedures impacting on vetting aftercare and renewals.
8. Other Source Documents
9.1 Kent Police have measures in place to protect the security of your data in accordance with our Information Management Policy.
10. Retention and Disposal of Records
10.1 Kent Police will hold data in accordance with our Records Review, Retention and Disposal Policy.