Personnel Security Screening Policy

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Table of Contents

1. Effective Date

1.1. This policy takes effect on February 9th, 2011.

1.2. It replaces 2005 CIHR Security Screening Policy.

2. Application

2.1. This policy applies to:

3. Context

The Government of Canada's Policy on Government Security requires CIHR to ensure that all individuals who will have access to government information and assets are security screened at the appropriate level before the commencement of their duties and are treated in a fair and unbiased manner.1 This policy describes how CIHR will manage Personnel Security in accordance with the Policy on Government Security.

Security begins by establishing trust in interactions between government and Canadians and within government. Within government, there is a need to ensure that those having access to government information, assets and services are trustworthy, reliable and loyal. CIHR's Personnel Security Program has been established to support these requirements.

The Personnel Security Program limits access to information and assets to those individuals with a need to know. It ensures that an individual is appropriately screened based on the information and access required for the performance of her or his job. Effective Personnel Security management enables CIHR:

4. Definitions

For definitions of terms used in this policy, refer to Appendix A - Glossary

5. Policy Statement

5.1. Objective

The objective of this policy is to ensure that CIHR provides the appropriate access to Government of Canada (GoC) information and assets to Personnel who have been deemed trustworthy and loyal in accordance with the GoC's Policy on Government Security.

5.2. Expected Results

6. Requirements

To deliver its programs and services effectively, CIHR's Personnel Security Program must:

7. Roles and Responsibilities

7.1. President

The President of CIHR is responsible for effectively managing security activities within CIHR and contributing to effective government-wide security management. The President is responsible for:

7.2. Departmental Security Officer (DSO)

The Departmental Security Officer (DSO) is responsible for the management of CIHR's Security Program and has the following responsibilities with regards to Personnel Security:

7.3. Security Officer

The Security Officer is responsible for the coordination of all functions related to the technical and operational aspects of Personnel Security, specifically:

7.4. Human Resources

The HR units are responsible for:

7.5. Scientific Directors

Scientific Directors are responsible for:

7.6. CIHR Managers

Managers are responsible for ensuring an appropriate level of security for their programs and services. In designing programs and services, managers will work with departmental security specialists to effectively manage risk. Managers will be supported and assisted by the Security officer in order to fulfill the following responsibilities:

7.7. Employees

Employees are responsible for:

8. Consequences

The President is responsible for investigating and responding to issues of non-compliance with this policy and to take remedial action. Consequences for non-compliance with this policy can include:

9. References

Legislation relevant to this policy includes the following:

10. Enquiries

Please direct enquiries about this policy to CIHR's DSO, Senior Security Advisor or Personnel Security Officer.

Security Program
Information, Management, and Administration Management Services (ITAMS)
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0W9

Telephone: 613-954-7216 / 613-948-4636 / 613-954-1942
Fax: 613-954-1800

Appendix A: Glossary

Classified Information: Information related to the national interest that may qualify for an exemption or exclusion under the Access to Information Act or Privacy Act, and the compromise of which would reasonably be expected to cause injury to the national interest.

The levels of classification are:

Critical Services: A service whose compromise in terms of availability or integrity would result in a high degree of injury to the health, safety, security or economic well-being of Canadians or to the effective functioning of the Government of Canada (GC).

Critical Systems: Systems required to perform critical services.

Protected Information: Information is "Protected" if its disclosure could harm interests other than the "national interest".

The three levels are:

For Cause: A determination that there is sufficient reason to review revoke, suspend or downgrade a reliability status, a security clearance or a site access.

Foreign National: A person who is not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident,

Interoperability: The ability of federal government departments to operate synergistically through consistent security and identity management practices.

National interest: The security and the social, political and economic stability of Canada.

Need-to-know: The need for someone to access and know information in order to perform his or her duties

Reliability Status: Indicates the successful completion of reliability checks; allows regular access to government assets and with a need to know to protected information.

Security Clearance: Indicates successful completion of a security assessment; with a need to know, allows access to classified information. There are three Security Clearance levels: Confidential, Secret and Top Secret.

Security program: A group of security-related resource inputs and activities that are managed to address a specific need or needs and to achieve intended results.


  1. Policy on Government Security, Section 6.1.5
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