Force compliance with National Vetting Policy for the Police Community

J Alexander made this Freedom of Information request to Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland
This authority is not subject to FOI law, so is not legally obliged to respond (details).


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The request was successful.

Dear Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland,

I refer to the ACPO & ACPOS National Vetting Policy for the Police Community (NVP), dated August 2010.

I would be grateful if you could please answer the following questions regarding the policy:

1. How and when was this policy communicated to the police forces?

2. Are police forces expected to comply with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) set out by the NVP?

Where police work has been contracted out by a police force to third-party service providers, and the nature of the work requires a degree of security vetting for all staff on the premises (eg. Counter Terrorism Clearance):

3. Does the ACPOS expect that the third-party service provider is made aware aware of the NVP in whole or part (for instance, either by the force involved or the ACPO itself)?

3. Is the third-party service provider exempt from complying with SOP2 (Authentication)?

4. Is the third-party service provider exempt from complying with point 4.2 of SOP2 that states that "it is the responsibility of the Recruitment Manager, employer or other internal sponsor to ensure Authentication takes place and is fully audited prior to vetting forms being forwarded to the Force Vetting Unit"?

5. If the third-party service provider was made aware of information that meant that a candidate for employment could not fulfil the requirements of Authentication (ie. failed one or more of the four basic 'stages' of the process - Identity Check; Nationality Check; Employment Eligibility check and/or Residency Qualification), and the provider subsequently made an offer of employment to that candidate and sent vetting forms to the Force Vetting Unit, would the service provider be considered to have failed to comply with the NVP?

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

J Alexander

ACPOS FOI,

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Mr / Mrs J Alexander
I acknowledge receipt of your email requesting information on "Force
Compliance with National Vetting Policy for the Police Community" which
was received by ACPOS on 10 March 2011.

ACPOS is not a "Scottish Public Authority" under the Freedom of
Information (Scotland) Act (FOISA) and therefore not subject to the terms
of the Act.

That said we are keen to assist members of the public "in the spirit of
the Act".
Your request:
"I would be grateful if you could please answer the following questions
regarding the policy:
1. How and when was this policy communicated to the police forces?
2. Are police forces expected to comply with the Standard Operating
Procedures (SOPs) set out by the NVP?
Where police work has been contracted out by a police force to third-party
service providers, and the nature of the work requires a degree of
security vetting for all staff on the premises (eg.Counter Terrorism
Clearance):

3. Does the ACPOS expect that the third-party service provider is made
aware aware of the NVP in whole or part (for instance, either by the force
involved or the ACPO itself)?

3. Is the third-party service provider exempt from complying with SOP2
(Authentication)?
4. Is the third-party service provider exempt from complying with point
4.2 of SOP2 that states that "it is the responsibility of the Recruitment
Manager, employer or other internal sponsor to ensure Authentication takes
place and is fully audited prior to vetting forms being forwarded to the
Force Vetting Unit"?

5. If the third-party service provider was made aware of information that
meant that a candidate for employment could not fulfil the requirements of
Authentication (ie. failed one or more of the four basic 'stages' of the
process - Identity Check; Nationality Check; Employment Eligibility check
and/or Residency Qualification), and the provider subsequently made an
offer of employment to that candidate and sent vetting forms to the Force
Vetting Unit, would the service provider be considered to have failed to
comply with the NVP?

As with FOISA we will attempt to provide the requested information, if
held, within 20 working days from the day after your request was received,
this would be by or on 7 April 2011.

ACPOS reserve the right not to supplying the information you have
requested.
Regards.

Stuart Barrowman

Freedom of Information Coordinator
Association of Chief Police Officers Scotland
26 Holland St
Glasgow
G2 4NH

Tel: 0141 435 1248

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ACPOS FOI,

NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED

Mr / Mrs J Alexander

Further to your request for information on "Force Compliance with National
Vetting Policy for the Police Community", I am now able to provide you
with the following information (to avoid confusion I have renumbered your
questions):

1. How and when was this policy communicated to the police forces?

Following ratification by the ACPO Chief Constables Council on 5 May
2010 and the ACPOS Chief Constables Council on 5 July 2010, Version 3
of the National Vetting Policy for the Police Community (NVP) was
circulated to all forces by e-mail on 5 August 2010.  It is worthy
of note that all forces were heavily involved in the drafting and
consultation processes prior to the ratification of the Policy.

2.      Are police forces expected to comply with the
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) set out by the NVP?  

Where police work has been contracted out by a police force to
third-party service providers, and the nature of the work requires a
degree of security vetting for all staff on the premises (eg. Counter
Terrorism Clearance):

The Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) relating to the NVP are the
minimum standards Forces are expected to comply with in relation to
vetting issues.  There is no legal obligation to do so and Chief
Constables have the right to enforce the SOP's as they see fit. Failing
to comply with the SOP's may result in that Forces vetting not being
accepted by other Forces.

3.      Does the ACPOS expect that the third-party service
provider is made aware of the NVP in whole or part (for instance, either
by the force involved or the ACPO itself)?    

Where a third party service provider is providing a service to a Force
that requires those providing the service to be vetted, the third party
service provider will be notified of the related requirements of the
NVP.  This vetting is referred to as Non Police Personnel Vetting
(NAPPY) and such requirements are usually written into contracts.

4.      Is the third-party service provider exempt from
complying with SOP2 (Authentication)?

The Authentication SOP (SOP2) is mainly designed to ensure that those
persons being employed by a Force comply with the legal guidelines for
such employment.  In relation to NPPV, the vetting form is designed
in such a way that the third party service provider must provide proof
of identity to accompany the application form.  In addition, details
of residency are captured in the vetting form.  It is assumed that
the Nationality check as well as the Employment Eligibility check would
be carried out by any prospective employer prior to an offer of
employment.

5.      Is the third-party service provider exempt from
complying with point 4.2 of SOP2 that states that "it is the
responsibility of the Recruitment Manager, employer or other internal
sponsor to ensure Authentication takes place and is fully audited prior to
vetting forms being forwarded to the Force Vetting Unit"?

As per answer 4, SOP2 was designed primarily for Force vetting, in this
regard, it is unlikely that third party service providers would be asked
to provide details of Nationality or Employment Eligibility checks,
however it would be assumed that these checks would be carried out prior
to an offer of employment.  If there are any `triggers' on an
application form the vetting officer would make further enquiries with
the firm concerned.

6.      If the third-party service provider was made aware
of information that meant that a candidate for employment could not fulfil
the requirements of Authentication (ie. failed one or more of the four
basic 'stages' of the process - Identity Check; Nationality Check;
Employment Eligibility check and/or Residency Qualification), and the
provider subsequently made an offer of employment to that candidate and
sent vetting forms to the Force Vetting Unit, would the service provider
be considered to have failed to comply with the NVP?

If an applicant failed either the Identity or residency checks, vetting
checks carried out would highlight this, if following the granting of a
vetting clearance subsequent adverse information was received relating
to Nationality or Employment Eligibility checks then the vetting
clearance would be suspended or withdrawn. Given that SOP2 is a Police
vetting procedure it would be difficult to say that the Third party
service provider had failed to comply with the NVP.

As ACPOS is not a "Scottish Public Authority" under the Freedom of
Information (Scotland) Act (FOISA); there is no statutory provision to
request an internal review or to appeal to the Scottish Information
Commissioner. However, should you require any further clarification please
don't hesitate to contact me.

Regards.

Stuart Barrowman

Freedom of Information Coordinator
Association of Chief Police Officers Scotland
26 Holland St
Glasgow
G2 4NH

Tel: 0141 435 1248

NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED

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