CREST and CHECK

The UK National Technical Authority for Information Assurance, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC, formerly CESG), is part of GCHQ and traditionally provided IT health check services to identify vulnerabilities in IT systems and networks which may compromise the confidentiality, integrity or availability of information held on that IT system for HMG and the wider public sector of systems handling protectively marked information.  The IT Health Check Service (CHECK) was devised to supplement information assurance services provided by the NCSC and demand for these services has grown.

In line with similar NCSC initiatives, a special partnership with industry was deemed the most appropriate way of meeting this demand.  The IT Health Check Service, or CHECK, was developed to enhance the availability and quality of the IT health check services that are provided to Government in line with HMG policy.  Companies belonging to CHECK are measured against high standards set by the NCSC.

The welcome emergence of the CREST Scheme, company membership and professional qualifications, allowed consideration of different ways of operating the scheme and presented an opportunity for CHECK to focus on that for which it was established:  the provision of appropriately skilled staff to conduct IT Health Checks for Government.

The NCSC and CREST worked in collaboration to provide a set of examinations that would be acceptable to industry and meet the requirements of private and public sectors.  The NCSC requires all existing and future CHECK Team Leaders and Members to have passed an approved professional examination designed to test for a basic grounding in the discipline.

The NCSC will accept a pass from one of the following examinations when approving CHECK Team Leader and Team Member status.

CHECK Qualification CREST Qualification
CHECK Team Leader (Infrastructure) CREST Infrastructure Certification Examination
CHECK Team Leader (Web applications) CREST Certified Web Application Tester
CHECK Team Member CREST Registered Tester Examination

A pass in any one of these examinations merely demonstrates technical competence and does not replace the other requirements to attain CHECK Team Leader/Member status.

In line with the CHECK process any candidate failing an examination must wait for three months before re-sitting it.

More information on the CHECK scheme can be found at www.ncsc.gov.uk