Table of contents

Reporting personal circumstance changes

Reporting changes in personal circumstances for staff with National Security Vetting.

National Security Vetting decisions are made based on information available at the point of clearance. However, people’s lives change over the course of a clearance. It is important that relevant changes are reported so that any risks can be assessed and managed.

To maintain your security clearance, it is your responsibility to declare relevant changes in your personal circumstances to Vetting team via Security team. Failure to report relevant changes could result in withdrawal of clearance.

You shall contact Vetting team via Security team if there is any significant change in your personal circumstances and shall alert your line manager or contact the Vetting team via Security team directly if you become aware of any other issue which might increase your security vulnerability.

Please contact Vetting team via Security team if you have any of the following changes to your personal circumstances.

Personal circumstances

  • Change of name.
  • Change of marital status.
  • Change of nationality.
  • New cohabitant, for example new partner (CTC, SC, and DV), or co-residents (DV only).

Personal finances

  • Any major new financial changes for example new income, significant change of mortgage, or negative financial impact of divorce or separation.
  • Any major capital gain over £5,000, for example gifts, an inheritance, or a National Lottery win.
  • Any other significant financial change, for example debt, loss of earnings causing a negative effect or bankruptcy.
  • Regular use of payday loans.

Health, personal problems and aspects of lifestyle

  • Domestic, marital, or other events causing significant distress.
  • Dependence upon alcohol, use of illegal drugs, substance abuse, or misuse of prescription drugs.
  • Any addiction, for example gambling or spending, or other physical, or psychological dependence.
  • Any other aspect of your lifestyle you would seek to keep a secret from others which could make you vulnerable to pressure or blackmail if discovered.
  • Arrests, pending prosecutions, convictions, formal police cautions, or police enquiries, which might lead to prosecution, except for parking and minor traffic offences.
  • Interviews with the police as a suspect in connection with any criminal investigation.
  • Likely or actual involvement in civil legal proceedings, either as a defendant or plaintiff, for example subject of a County Court judgement.
  • Any political, religious, or other organisation holding extreme views, for example advocating violence, or rejecting parliamentary democracy.
  • Any organisation requiring exceptional or exclusive loyalty.
  • Any organisation which is unusually secretive about its affairs.
  • Any organisation whose aims, beliefs, or activities might conflict with working for Her Majesty’s Government.
  • Close relationship or connection with someone from a country of security significance.
  • Financial or business links to a country of security interest.
  • Associations with individuals that could be in conflict with your role, and make you vulnerable to pressure.

This list is not exhaustive, so contact us if you require advice, or are unsure about what to declare. Please also report any other changes that might alter an answer provided in the security questionnaire at the time of clearance, or the financial questionnaire, if you completed one.

Change of personal circumstance questionnaire

In some cases where further checks need to be conducted, you are asked to complete a Change of Personal Circumstance questionnaire. You are asked to complete this form if you hold a security clearance (Developed Vetting (DV), Security Check (SC), or Counter-Terrorist Check (CTC)), under the following circumstances:

  • When you get married, enter a civil partnership, or start living with a partner as a couple.
  • If you hold a DV clearance, when a new co-resident (anyone aged 18 or over for example lodgers, flat-mates, etc.) begins living with you in shared accommodation.

Changes in circumstances for another member of SC cleared staff

If you become aware of a change in circumstance for another member of security cleared staff, you should remind them of their responsibility to report this to Vetting team via Security team.

You must alert your line manager or Vetting team via Security team if you become aware of any other issues which might increase your security vulnerability, or the security vulnerability of a security cleared colleague. All staff should be mindful of circumstances and behaviours that might render staff susceptible to pressure, or improper influence, or could otherwise indicate unreliability.

Other obvious changes in circumstances, aside from those already listed previously, are:

  • Serious financial problems.
  • Substance and drug abuse.
  • Alcohol abuse.
  • Illegal or injudicious behaviour, including when living or travelling overseas.
  • Compulsive gambling.
  • Involvement with extreme political groups or inappropriate associations.
  • Sexual behaviour is a security concern if it involves a criminal activity, indicates a personality or emotional disorder, subjects the individual to coercion, exploitation, or duress, or reflects lack of judgement or discretion. Sexual orientation or preference are not in themselves disqualifying factors, and are not used as a basis for clearance decisions.

All reports are treated in strict confidence. It is always better to alert a line manager or contact Vetting team via Security team directly, rather than to ignore an issue or take no action.

Contact details

For any further questions or advice relating to security, contact:


If you have any questions or comments about this guidance, such as suggestions for improvements, please contact: