Overview of Classification System
The classification system includes the following components:
- Classifications set requirements for protective security measures to keep the information secure.
- Endorsements set requirements for special handling of the information and/or its dissemination.
- Secure handling requirements define the minimum protective security measures at each classification level.
- Classification system guidance and tools provide guidance to enable agencies to correctly use and apply the Classification System.
Agency specific policies and procedures define the agency’s specific classification policies and procedures describing how the generic classification system policies and requirements are applied in agency’s specific context.
Protective markings are placed on government information and equipment to show the level of protection they need.
The protective marking shows:
- that the information or equipment has been identified as sensitive in nature
- the level of protection and special handling the information must have when it is produced, used, stored, shared, transmitted, carried, and disposed of
- if the information has specific need-to-know access or usage requirement.
Protective markings can be applied to any public record, which includes (but is not limited to) documents, data, reports, letters, books, emails, meeting minutes, videos, audio recordings, verbal conversations, images, digital media, and information and communications technology (ICT) systems and equipment.
Protective markings include classifications and endorsements.
Classifications determine the level of protections required to the information. Endorsements determine the special handling and need-to-know dissemination requirements.
When these markings are applied to government information or equipment, the information or equipment is referred to as being ‘protectively marked’.
See also: Applying protective markings to government information for more information on how to protectively-mark information.
Page last modified: 20/06/2022