View Full Version : Medications and Job restrictions?

02-21-16, 07:19 PM
So I was just looking into applying to GCHQ and noticed this:

Our thorough security process includes a number of elements, including a criminal records check and a drugs test. You'll also need to complete a number of questionnaires covering your medical record and for Developed Vetting. If you don't meet the Developed Vetting requirements for the job, or you don’t tell us anything that might have security implications, we won’t offer you a role. We may not consider you if you:

Have used Class A drugs (e.g. ecstasy, cocaine, etc.) in the last year
Have used Class B/C drugs (e.g. amphetamines, cannabis, etc.) in the last 6 months
Are currently being treated for an addiction (e.g. alcohol, gambling, etc.) or have received such treatment in the last year
Have ever suffered from bi-polar disorder or a psychotic illness
Are currently bankrupt or the subject of an Individual Voluntary Agreement (IVA)

Is this anything to worry about? I'm due to start taking medications soon.

02-23-16, 03:51 PM
See if there's someone there you can talk to about your concerns without having to disclose.

You can ask about confidentiality, and how the information is collected, who has access to it, and who can disseminate the information.

Personally I feel it's discriminatory for them to remove from consideration people who have been treated for bipolar or psychosis, but that's a different topic.

There's nothing wrong with being cautious. From a brief look, it stinks of discrimination to me. The fact that you can't get details of their reasons for declining you, or the ability to defend or explain your position, essentially gives them a carte blanche to discriminate any way they please.

Maybe even have a friend call the HR department on your behalf and listen in on the conversation so you can add questions as the conversation goes on.

Call me paranoid, but I've experienced "anonymous" questionaires getting back to me and costing me a job (after I was offered the job, before I started)

A few key questions I'd have:
1) Do I have any opportunity to address the results of the screening? Is there an appeal process if I am rejected?
2) If I dislose something about my medical history, how do I know I will be treated fairly, and not experience discrimination or stigma?
3) Can you offer assurances that information I disclose will not be accessable by my manager without my consent?

Is there any way to talk to somebody who already works there? Quite often the official story is different from the reality. Talking to someone who is a current or past employee might tell you what you won't find out from an official inquiry.

02-23-16, 04:06 PM
Note to North Americans:

GCHQ is approximately Britain's equivalent of the NSA in the United States. This may justify their tight requirements, or at least put those requirements in a new light. It also may make it tricky to have a frank discussion with past or current employees - I don't know.

02-23-16, 04:28 PM
I can understand looking for security risks (someone currently or recently treated for addiction would be vulnerable to someone offering or forcing the substance on the person, someone who has experienced bancruptcy might be more vulnerable to bribery or financial blackmail) but when it comes to some of the other criteria? I'd want to hire someone who has bipolar or psychosis and is actively treated over the person who has not been diagnosed...

My feeling is that even if they have concerns, it's something that I should have the opportunity to address and discuss, rather than have them summarily decide that I'm a risk.

03-22-16, 08:15 AM
You would have disclose, they would find out anyway. I looked at joining AFP here ( North Americans: FBI )

They would look at it purely in terms if you could carry out the role.

04-21-16, 03:48 PM
I would ask, or have someone ask for me if the Class B drug rule applied to medications for which you were prescribed.