Government Security Classifications (GSC)

With effect from 1 September 2014, UKAD adopted the Government Security Classifications (GSC) which replaced the Government Protective Marking Scheme (GPMS).

The GSC is a method for classifying documents and data in order to ensure that they are appropriately protected by those who handle them. Classifications are assigned according to the expected impact of deliberate or inadvertent public disclosure. The three categories used by the GSC are Official, Secret and Top Secret.  However, UKAD only deals with information categorised under the Official category, which is marked as follows:

• Official – This covers the majority of information that is created or processed by UKAD, some of which could have damaging consequences if lost, stolen or published in the media and should be treated with care.
• Official Sensitive – A sub category of Official to denote particularly sensitive personal or other data where inappropriate access may have damaging consequences for the individual or UKAD.  If correspondence bears this marking it should NOT be shared without the express permission of UKAD.

The aim of the marking system is to ensure a considered balance between security and availability of data as appropriate.

If you would like any further information on the use of the GSC by UKAD, please contact In addition, the GSC has general information online.