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Security Clearance FAQs

Security Clearances because that Individuals

What is a defense clearance?

A national security clearance is a decision made by agencies of the unified States federal government that a human being is standard for accessibility to classified national security information up to a specific level. Back the hatchet “security clearance” is still widely provided (even by federal government security specialists); it has been replaced in official records by the ax “eligibility” for access. One applicant cannot be granted eligibility for accessibility to classified information unless a determination has actually been made the it is plainly consistent with the understand of the nationwide security based on a favorable adjudication that an appropriate investigation of their background. The eligibility criter for access to classified information are included in the national Security Adjudicative indict (NSAG).

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What space the level of classified information and security clearance?

There room three levels of levels of classified national security information—Confidential, Secret, and also Top Secret. Every level is identified by the quantity of damages that would be resulted in to the protection of the United states if that information were disclosed come anyone no authorized to obtain it.

TOP secret information is details which, if disclosed without authorization, could reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security.SECRET information is info which, if disclosed without authorization, can reasonably be meant to cause serious damages to the national security.CONFIDENTIAL information is info which, if disclosed there is no authorization, could reasonably be intended to reason damage come the nationwide security.

Almost every agencies problem security clearances in ~ these very same three levels—Confidential, Secret, and Top Secret. The room of power (DOE) has two levels of defense clearances—“L” accessibility authorizations and “Q” access authorizations. DOE has actually the very same three levels of divide material, yet some of their classified material is additional designated “Restricted Data” (RD) or “Formerly restricted Data” (FRD). An “L” accessibility authorization is required access to Confidential or an enig national security information and to Confidential and an enig FRD. A “Q” accessibility authorization is required to accessibility to Top secret national protection information and also to secret and Top mystery RD. RD is a Special access Program (SAP) that covers "all data concerning (1) design, manufacture, or use of atomic weapons; (2) the manufacturing of special nuclear material; or (3) the usage of distinct nuclear product in the production of energy," other than for data that has actually been declassified or eliminated from the minimal Data category.

What is a Special accessibility Program (SAP)?

A SAP is a program created for a certain class of classified information that imposes safeguarding and accessibility requirements the exceed those normally compelled for info at the same classification level. A SAP is created only once the regime is compelled by statute or top top the particular finding the the vulnerability of, or risk to, certain information is exceptional; and also the common criteria for determining accessibility to details classified at the very same level space not sufficient. The purpose of creating a SAP is to:

1. Enforce officially need-to-know,2. Keep access to a minimum,3. Improve other security steps as needed, and4. Determine who has had actually access.

SAPs space categorized as Intelligence, Acquisition, and also Operations/Support. Knowledge SAPs are additionally known as Controlled access Programs (CAP) and Sensitive Compartmented info (SCI).

How perform I get accessibility to sensitive Compartmented info (SCI) or various other Special access Program (SAP) information?

In order to be granted access to SCI or other SAP information, a human must be funded for accessibility to the SAP and also approved by a Government company holding the information. There may be vetting demands in enhancement to a Tier 5 investigation, such together a polygraph examination.

What is a collateral defense clearance?

A collateral protection clearance is a clearance that does not include access to information safeguarded within a Special accessibility Program (SAP), like Sensitive Compartment information (SCI) or limited Data (RD).


What is a sensitive national security position?

Positions in i beg your pardon the occupant can bring around a material adverse result on the national security are sensitive positions. All federal positions have to be designed as non-sensitive, non-critical sensitive, an essential sensitive, or special sensitive. Not all sensitive positions require access to share information; however, all positions that require access to classified information are sensitive. Positions the require access to Confidential or mystery information space non-critical sensitive; positions that require access to Top secret information are crucial sensitive; and also positions the require accessibility to sensitive Compartment details (SCI) or various other Special accessibility Programs (SAPs) room special sensitive. The is the sensitivity level of a position that determines what kind of investigation is required. The nationwide Security Adjudicative guidelines (NSAG) use equally to security clearances and also sensitive positions. Part DoD agencies describe sensitive positions the don’t require access to classified details as positions of trust. Location of trust need to not be perplexed with Public trust positions.

What space Public to trust positions?

Although frequently referred to together a clearance; eligibility because that a public Trust place is not protection clearance. In addition to sensitivity designations, all commonwealth positions room ranked as low risk, center risk, and also high risk. Just positions ranked together moderate risk and high risk are thought about Public trust positions. Requirements for this positions room governed by location 5 password of commonwealth Regulations, component 731 and also the commonwealth Investigative Standards.

What types of investigate are required for obtaining a protection clearance or eligibility to hold a perceptible position?

A Tier 3 examination is forced for a Confidential or secret clearance, for a department of power (DOE) “L” access authorization, or to hold a non-critical sensitive position. In October 2015 the Tier 3 examination replaced the NACLC (National firm with Law and Credit) and also the ANACI (Access National firm Check with Inquiries) investigations the were previously used for this clearances and positions. The Tier 3 investigation relies nearly entirely top top “Automated record Checks” (ARC) and also Letter Inquiries.

A Tier 5 investigation is forced for a Top an enig clearance, because that DOE “Q” accessibility authorization, or to hold a an essential sensitive position. The is also required for every levels of access to perceptible Compartmented information (SCI) and some other Special access Program (SAP) information. In October 2016 the Tier 5 investigation replaced the SSBI (Single scope Background Investigation). The Tier 5 examination uses ARC but also uses interviews and also record checks conducted by field investigators, consisting of an amplified Subject Interview (ESI) of the clearance applicant.

When a potentially disqualifying concern is existing or surfaces during a Tier 3 or Tier 5 investigation, one Expandable concentrated Investigation (EFI) is initiated to build all relevant details needed to properly evaluate the issue.

Tier 1, 2, and also 4 investigations are forced for identify eligibility for an easy federal employed staff suitability/fitness, Homeland protection Presidential Directive 12 credentialing, and Public trust positions. Over there are 5 tiers of federal personnel security investigations (PSIs), yet the government is at this time considering to reduce the number of tiers come three.

What species of reinvestigations are forced for preserving a defense clearance or eligibility to hold a perceptible position?

In stimulate to maintain a defense clearance or eligibility to organize a perceptible position, people are subject to regular Reinvestigations (PRs); yet PRs for part cleared personnel room being replaced by “Continuous Evaluation” (CE). A PR is one investigation conducted to update a formerly completed background examination on a human occupying a place requiring access to classified details or occupying a sensitive position, to identify whether that individual proceeds to meet the requirements for the position. Previously, PRs occurred at 5, 10, or 15 year intervals, relying on clearance level. Since December 2012 there has been a need that all PRs be carried out at five year intervals, yet this requirement has actually not been totally implemented, initially due to the fact that of absence of funding and also later since of the investigative backlog that started in 2015 and continued until beforehand 2020.

Normally a Tier 3R investigation is required for world who organize Confidential clearances, mystery clearances, DOE “L” accessibility authorizations, and also who occupy non-critical perceptible positions. When a person due for a PR, they are required to send a new “Questionnaire for nationwide Security Positions” (Standard form 86—SF86). If no new potentially disqualifying condition is noted on their form, they may be enrolled in CE and a timeless PR will certainly not it is in conducted.

Tier 5R investigate are compelled for civilization who have Top an enig clearances, DOE “Q” accessibility authorizations, SCI access, some various other SAP access, and also who occupy a crucial sensitive or special sensitive position. Personnel subject to Tier 5R investigate may also be reevaluated on a arbitrarily or continuous basis between investigative cycles or when event driven. The five-year periodicity for Tier 5R investigations has actually been prolonged temporarily to six years in the past due to investigative backlog.


What is consistent Evaluation?

Under security Executive agent Directive 6 (SEAD 6) constant Evaluation (CE) is a “A personnel protection investigative process to review the elevator of a covered individual who has actually been established to be eligible for accessibility to classified info or to hold a sensitive position at any kind of time during the duration of eligibility. CE leverages a collection of automated records checks and also business rules, to aid in the ongoing assessment of one individual"s ongoing eligibility. It supplements- yet does not replace-the created personnel security program because that scheduled routine reinvestigations of people for continuing eligibility.” this reviews are carried out using automated records checks of various Government and also commercial databases and other details lawfully obtainable to defense officials.

Who decides whether to approve a security clearance?

Security clearances are granted by trained personnel defense specialists (adjudicators) to work by commonwealth agencies. Adjudicators evaluation the outcomes of Tier 3 and Tier 5 Personnel security Investigations (PSIs) and also evaluate the information against the criteria in the “National protection Adjudicative Guidelines” (NSAG). The NSAG is consisted of in protection Executive certified dealer Directive 4, authorize by the manager of National intelligence (DNI). In the situation of many clearance applicants to work by defense contractors, employee adjudicators at the DoD Consolidated Adjudications facility (CAF) will approve their defense clearances. If a employee adjudicator at DoD CAF is unable to grant a protection clearance for a defense contractor employee because of unmitigated perhaps disqualifying information, the situation will be referred to the Defense Office the Hearings and Appeals (DOHA) because that a decision through an bureaucratic Judge. There room contractor personnel functioning at some adjudicative facilities. Castle assist federal government adjudicators by reviewing PSIs and making composed recommendations, however only a federal government employee can make a defense clearance determination.

Who might have access to share information?

Only those persons who have actually a bona fide must know and also who possess a personnel security clearance in ~ the very same or greater level 보다 the classified info may have access to the information.

Can an separation, personal, instance who has been granted a defense clearance it is in authorized accessibility to any and all divide information?

No. The separation, personal, instance must have actually both the suitable level of protection clearance and a require to understand the divide information.

Do builders have the government to grant, deny, revoke or suspend personnel protection clearances for your employees?

No. Clearing federal contractors can sponsor their employees for defense clearances, yet the final determination regarding clearance eligibility rests v the commonwealth Government. If unfavorable information about a cleared contractor employee becomes well-known to the employer’s Facility protection Officer (FSO), the FSO has actually a obligation to report the info to the Government and has the authority to suspend the person’s access to share information. Suspension of accessibility is not the same as clearance suspension, which only the government can do. Once access has to be suspended by one FSO, just the government has the authority to reinstate access.

What is one interim security clearance?

An interim or temporary protection clearance is a clearance that have the right to be issued before a PSI is completed and also a last clearance is granted. An interim or temporary clearance is based upon some limited checks, a review of the clearance applications form, and also the initiation of the suitable PSI. An interim clearance deserve to be granted at the an enig or Top an enig levels. Generally an interim clearance determination can be do in a week or two. A human being with a final mystery clearance have the right to usually be granted one interim Top secret clearance as shortly as a Tier 5 examination is initiated. Protection Executive agent Directive 8 governs the issuance that interim and temporary security clearance.

An interim security clearance allows a person to have accessibility to classified details at the level of the interim clearance, if his or her last clearance is being processed. Every DoD applicants for collateral security clearances are taken into consideration for interim clearance eligibility. Because that interim or temporary accessibility to classified details within a Special accessibility Program (SAP) unique authorization is required. Interim clearances can be withheld or withdrawn ~ they are granted. The withholding or tap the money of an interim clearance walk not median that a last will not be issued, and also it is not considered a clearance denial. It way there is perhaps disqualifying information that must totally investigated before a clearance eligibility determination deserve to be made.


What carry out the state “active”, “current” and also “expired” protection clearance mean?

An “active” protection clearance is one in which the individual is default for access to divide information. A “current” protection clearance is one in i m sorry the individual’s eligibility for accessibility to classified info was terminated, yet can be reinstated (recertified) without a brand-new investigation, detailed no brand-new potentially disqualifying conditions exist. A defense clearance remains “current” for 2 years after the is terminated as long as the underlying PSI is not out-of-date. Previously PSIs went out-of-date ~ 5, 10, or 15 years depending on the level the clearance. Currently all PSIs go out-of-date after 5 years, however a clearance deserve to be reinstated increase to 7 years if a new investigation is all at once initiated. If there is one of two people a two year rest in access to classified details or the last PSI is much more than 7 years old, one individual’s clearance i do not care “expired.” Both “active” and “current” security clearances are fairly easy to transfer in between employers in ~ an company like the department of Defense (DoD). Reciprocal accept of one “active” or “current” clearance through one agency (e.g. DoD) that was granted by other company (e.g. DHS) deserve to sometimes be problematic. Once a human with an “expired” clearance is sponsored for a defense clearance, he/she will be processed in the same manner together someone applying for the first time.

Who concerns the protection Clearance?

There space dozens of government agencies that issue security clearances. DoD civilians, contractors and also military personnel account for about 88 percent the all security clearances. Nearly all DoD clearances room issued through the DoD Consolidated Adjudications basic (CAF). A very little percentage that DoD clearances are issued by the three-lettered DoD intelligence agencies (DIA, NGA, NRO and NSA), which have their own adjudicative workplaces collocated through DoD CAF at fort Meade, MD. In 2020 DoD CAF became component of the Defense Counterintelligence and also Security agency (DCSA) and is sometimes dubbed DCSA CAF.

The department of Homeland protection (DHS) problems the next largest number of clearances. DHS including its component agencies accounts for about four percent of every clearances. The room of power (DoE) issues around one percent of all clearance. All other Executive Branch departments and agencies account for much less than one percent each v most accounting for less than one-tenth that one percent. They encompass the departments of Justice, State, Transportation, Treasury, Health and also Human Services, Interior, Commerce, and Veterans Affairs, as well as agencies such together CIA, USAID, BBG, tranquility Corps, TVA, GAO, OPM, USITC, and also USPS.

What space the procedures for acquiring a security Clearance?

For DoD cleared contractors the company identifies an employee or employment candidate (applicant) who needs accessibility to classified details (e.g., the applicant will work on a classified contract). The company’s Facility security Officer (FSO) submits an examination request v the joint Personnel Adjudication System—JPAS (JPAS is being replaced by the Defense info Systems because that Security—DISS). The applicant receives instructions because that completing a “Questionnaire for national Security Positions” (Standard type 86—SF86) using a web-based computer system program called e-QIP (electronic Questionnaire because that Investigations Processing) or a more recent program dubbed eApplication. The applicant must likewise be fingerprinted. The applicant completes the SF86 and releases the to your FSO. The FSO reviews, approves and releases the SF86 come the Defense Counterintelligence and Security company (DCSA), Vetting threat Operations center (VROC) and submits the fingerprints come DCSA nationwide Background Investigations office (NBIB). VROC submits the SF86 to NBIB and also makes an interim clearance determination. NBIB conducts one investigation and also sends the results to DoD CAF (also recognized as DCSA CAF), which then grants a clearance or ad the case to DOHA. A slightly different process is supplied for commonwealth employees, army personnel, and intelligence ar applicants, but the simple steps of application, investigation, and adjudication are the same.

Can a nature citizen gain a Personnel defense Clearance?

Yes. A naturalized citizen is treated the very same as a native born united state citizen.

Can a non-US citizen acquire a protection clearance?

Only united state citizens can achieve security clearances. In rarely instances, non-citizens with unique, highly specialized skills and experience might be granted a “Limited access Authorization” (LAA) that would enable them accessibility to particular information at the Confidential and secret levels.


What form of info is asked for on a protection clearance application?

The amount and also detail the information compelled on a clearance applications (SF86) is the same for all levels of protection clearance. That includes personal identifying data; background of employment, residence and education; personality references, marital and also family information; foreign connections and also travel; criminal, drug, and alcohol problems; jae won delinquencies; and also more. Some questions require details covering the past seven or ten years and also some concerns cover one applicant’s whole life. Some positions may require an additional financial disclosure kind and/or supplemental international national call forms.

What is the “Whole-Person” concept?

The adjudicative process is an check of a sufficient duration and a mindful weighing of a number of variables of an individual"s life to do an affirmative decision that the individual is one acceptable defense risk. This is recognized as the whole-person concept. Every available, trustworthy information around the person, past and present, favorable and also unfavorable, must be considered in getting to a nationwide security eligibility determination.

Each case must be judged ~ above its own merits and the final determination stays the duty of the authorized adjudicative agency. Any type of doubt concerning personnel being thought about for national security eligibility will certainly be solved in favor of the nationwide security.

The ultimate determination of whether the granting or proceeding of national security eligibility is plainly consistent v the understanding of national security need to be an as whole common sense judgment based upon mindful consideration the the guidelines, each of i m sorry is to be evaluate in the paper definition of the entirety person.<1>

What room the adjudicative guidelines?

Once an investigation is completed and also returned to the appropriate adjudication facility, one adjudicator evaluate the Report the Investigation and also any previous investigations. Every federal defense clearance adjudicators usage the 13 criteria provided in the nationwide Security Adjudicative Guidelines for Determining Eligibility for accessibility to Classified details or Eligibility to host a sensitive Position. These criteria are:

(1) GUIDELINE A: Allegiance come the unified States

(2) GUIDELINE B: foreign Influence

(3) GUIDELINE C: international Preference

(4) GUIDELINE D: sex-related Behavior

(5) GUIDELINE E: an individual Conduct

(6) GUIDELINE F: gaue won Considerations

(7) GUIDELINE G: Alcohol Consumption

(8) GUIDELINE H: drug Involvement and also Substance Misuse

(9) GUIDELINE I: mental Conditions

(10) GUIDELINE J: Criminal Conduct

(11) GUIDELINE K: handling Protected Information

(12) GUIDELINE L: outside Activities

(13) GUIDELINE M: usage of details Technology

In addition to the general security worry described because that each criterion, adjudicators consider details potentially disqualifying and also potentially mitigating factors listed under every guideline, too as:

(1) The nature, extent and also seriousness the the conduct

(2) The circumstances neighboring the conduct, to incorporate knowledgeable participation

(3) The frequency of the conduct

(4) How newly the command occurred

(5) The individual’s age and also maturity at the time of the conduct

(6) The voluntariness the participation

(7) The visibility or absence of rehabilitation and also other pertinent behavior changes

(8) The motivation for the conduct

(9) The potential for pressure, coercion, exploitation, or duress; and

(10) The likelihood of extension of the conduct

If the adjudicator needs more information than had in the investigative file, applicants can be forced to answer a request for info or composed interrogatories. Adjudicators must additionally apply the shortcut Amendment.


What is the bond Amendment?

The bond Amendment (Section 1072 of Public regulation 110–181) prohibits government agencies from giving or renewing a security clearance because that a human who is an unlawful user of a controlled substance or one addict. It likewise restricts federal government agencies from approving or renewing a security clearance for access to Special accessibility Programs, limited Data, or sensitive Compartmented details without an express written waiver as soon as a person:

(A) has actually been judge in any kind of court that the United claims of a crime, to be sentenced come imprisonment for a hatchet exceeding 1 year, and was incarcerated together a an outcome of that sentence for not less than 1 year;

(B) has actually been discharged or dismissed native the armed Forces under dishonorable conditions; or

(C) is holy ghost incompetent, as determined by one adjudicating authority, based upon an testimonial by a duly qualified mental health expert employed by, or agree to and also approved by, the United says Government and also in accordance with the adjudicative guidelines.

What space the most usual reasons for security clearance denial?

Since 2008 financial Considerations, reminder F that the nationwide Security Adjudicative Guidelines, has been the most frequently cited problem in instances decided by the Defense Office that Hearings and Appeals (DOHA). The has appeared in around 50 percent of this cases. Tip E, personal Conduct, has actually consistently to be number two, however most guideline E cases involve false info on a clearance application kind regarding some various other issue, choose alcohol, drugs, criminal conduct, or finances. Reminder B, foreign Influence has consistently been number three. The next three most common issues room Drug Involvement, Criminal Conduct, and Alcohol Consumption, however they have readjust positions loved one to each other from year to year.

What wake up if the federal government decides to refuse or revoke a defense clearance?

An individual whose protection clearance is being denied or revoked through the government has the best to rebut and appeal the decision. The process for doing this different for world sponsored by government agencies (civilian and also military personnel) and people funded by clearing contractors. Executive, management Order 12968, "Access come Classified Information," prescribes the clearance process for everyone being considered for a national security clearance. Executive Order 10865, "Safeguarding Classified information Within Industry," additional prescribes the process for most federal contractors. The provisions that DoD hands-on 5200.02 use to DoD civilians and also military personnel, title 10 password of federal Regulations, part 710, uses to DOE, and also Intelligence ar Policy indict 704.3 (ICPG 704.3) uses to the Intelligence community (IC). Many other federal agencies have actually their very own written procedures for rebutting and appealing unfavorable clearance decisions, but they all conform come the executive Order 12968.

For most contractor personnel, the denial/revocation and appeal procedure is the duty of the Defense Office that Hearings and also Appeals (DOHA). As soon as the Industry department of DoD Consolidated Adjudications basic (CAF) provides a preliminary decision to refuse or revoke a clearance, they deliver the instance to DOHA. Just a small percentage of instances are referred indigenous DoD CAF come DOHA. If DOHA receive the case, they problem a statement of reasons (SOR) come the applicant, explaining why the government intends to refuse or revoke the clearance. The applicant then has actually an chance to respond to allegations in the SOR and have their instance decided by an bureaucratic Judge (AJ). The applicant has actually a ideal to be represented by an lawyer or an individual representative. The applicant has 20 days to answer the SOR and offer evidence to refute, explain, or reduce the allegations. If the applicant doesn’t submit a timely answer to the SOR, their clearance is summarily denied or revoked with no additional action. If the applicant answers the SOR, he/she has actually the choice of requesting a hearing before a DOHA AJ or a decision based upon the written record (without a hearing) by a DOHA AJ. V either alternative the applicant will have actually an opportunity to present additional arguments and evidence for why they have to be granted a clearance.

After the DOHA AJ problems a created decision, one of two people the applicant or the DOHA department Counsel (the opposing attorney, that represents the Government) has actually the alternative of appealing the decision come a three-member DOHA very nice Board. The Appeal board will evaluation the written arguments presented by the appellant and either affirm, reverse, or remand the DOHA AJ’s decision.

An applicant whose security clearance has been finally denied or revoked may not reapply for a defense clearance because that one year from the day of the DOHA AJ’s composed decision. To reapply the individual need to be funded by a cleared contractor for a protection clearance. ~ submitting a new SF86, the individual will certainly be required to submit created justification for the reapplication come the director of DOHA, explaining what alters have occurred that would make it most likely that the individual would certainly be granted a clearance. If the director of DOHA authorize the reapplication, DoD CAF will request a new investigation and the individual will certainly go with the entire clearance process.

The rebuttal and appeal procedure for clearance denials and also revocations is somewhat different for commonwealth civilian employees, military personnel, and also those topic to ICPG 704.3. In all situations there is an possibility to response in creating to one SOR (or other comprehensive written explanation of the basis for the rejection or revocation) and also request a evaluation of the unfavorable decision. There is also an opportunity to present your case in person to a hear officer or AJ at or after the evaluation stage or to a three-member appeal board at the very nice stage.

Will my security clearance carry to various other federal agencies?

Transferring clearances within the room of Defense (DoD) is generally not a problem. Almost everyone v a DoD clearance has actually a document in the joint Personnel Adjudications systems (JPAS) or its successor system, the Defense information Systems for protection (DISS). JPAS deserve to be offered to verify energetic and existing DoD clearances. It can also be offered by contractor Facility protection Officers and also government Security supervisors to move ownership the a person’s JPAS record from one company (sponsor) to an additional organization (sponsor) or to recertify (reactivate) a “current” clearance (one the was terminated less than 2 years earlier). Temporary or interim clearances space not eligible for transfer, nor space clearances the were granted through an “exception,” such as a waiver, deviation, or condition. Clearance transfers or “reciprocity” is administrate by defense Executive agent Directive 7 (SEAD 7).

There room two other online databases v personnel defense clearance details that have the right to be used to verify clearance data—the central Verification system (CVS) and also Scattered Castles (SC). Intelligence community agencies document personnel defense clearance data in SC and also all various other non-DoD organ are claimed to feed clearance data into CVS. However, carrying clearances from agencies the don’t use JPAS have the right to be problematic, because the obtaining Government company must verify the clearance and also enter it into the clearance database device they use. Periodically the gaining Government firm must call the losing Government company and inquiry the individual’s clearance information, which takes much more time.

A related difficulty can occur when a contractor employee or a previous military serviceman whose an enig clearance is based upon a NACLC (pre-2016) investigation wants to accept a project as a commonwealth employee. The NACLC go not fulfill federal employed suitability investigation standards, so consequently one more investigation need to be performed for employed staff suitability—not for protection clearance. This is not a trouble for human being who had a Tier 3 investigation (October 2016 or later) because that their secret clearance.

If one individual had a protection clearance or eligibility for a sensitive nationwide security place in the past, deserve to they now acquire a security clearance for one more position?

Security clearances and also eligibility for sensitive national security positions can be reactivated (recertified) by the very same or different Government agency, if:

24 months have not elapsed since the clearance was terminated,the underlying investigation is much less than 5 years old, andthere is no new potentially disqualifying information since the last eligibility determination.

If the underlying investigation is between 5 and also 7 year old, a brand-new investigation need to be initiated in ~ the exact same time the clearance is recertified.

Where can I obtain assistance perfect my protection clearance parcel or inquire about the status of my defense clearance?

DCSA has online aid at your website because that applicants completing a security clearance application. The applicant’s firm Facility defense Officer (FSO) have to be maybe to help with problems not extended at the DCSA website and for information around status the a clearance request. Commonwealth civilian and military applicants should contact their protection Manager. That is feasible for an applicant to connect directly v DCSA VROC through telephone or email, but DoD CAF will only connect with FSOs and also Security Managers. If one applicant anticipates troubles or receives interaction from an adjudication facility, it’s more than likely wise to hire an attorney or security clearance consultant to aid with the protection clearance questionnaire, a inquiry for information (written interrogatories), or a statement of Reasons.

What are polygraph examinations?

A polygraph is one examination procedure that provides a diagnostic instrument qualified of measuring and also recording a subject’s physiological reactions together the topic answers questions. Due to the fact that physiological reactions can vary once subjects space telling the truth and when they are being deceptive, by compare a subject’s reaction to various questions a polygraph examiner have the right to detect reactions the may suggest deceptive responses to specific questions.<2>

Although polygraphy has scientific components, it is no a science; the is a discipline dependent ~ above the training, skill, and experience of the polygrapher. Physiological responses space scientific elements of this discipline, and a appropriately calibrated instrument will certainly register very accurate readings. However, the etiology of this reactions can be exceptionally complex. Thus, the polygraph is no a “lie detector.” test subjects might register measurable physiological responses because that a range of reasons. The most far-ranging contribution of the polygraph is the success in eliciting information and its worth as a deterrent; however, the polygraph must be yet one of several investigative tools.<3>

Very few positions need Personnel protection Screening (PSS) polygraph examinations. Because that those location that space designated as needing a PSS exam, the exams are conducted as part of the procedure of determining initial or continuing eligibility for access to Top an enig information, special accessibility program (SAP), or various other sensitive intelligence or work information. The first two the the three varieties of exams noted below might be offered as a component of a PSS polygraph program. The third kind may be supplied as part of a defense clearance investigation, when required to settle a particular issue:

Counterintelligence (CI) scope Polygraph (CSP) examinations,

Expanded border Polygraph (ESP) examinations, and

Specific problem Polygraph (SIP) examinations.

What are the differences between the varieties of polygraph examinations?

“Counterintelligence border Polygraph” (CSP): A polygraph check that includes counterintelligence (CI) topics concerning involvement in espionage, sabotage, or terrorism; unauthorized disclosure or removal of classified info (including to the media); innocuous or unreported international contacts; and deliberate damage to or malicious misuse of U.S. Government information or defense systems.”

"Expanded limit Polygraph" (ESP): A polygraph examination that contains all CI topics of the CSP, as well as the subject of criminal conduct, drug involvement, and also falsification of protection questionnaires and forms. (The ESP check has likewise been described as a full Scope Polygraph or an broadened Scope Screening check in some organizations.)

""Specific worry Polygraph" (SIP): an examination carried out to attend to an individual problem of adjudicative worry such together espionage, sabotage, innocuous disclosure of share information, criminal conduct, etc. This examination might be supplied in conjunction through a CSP or ESP.<4>

A CSP is the most common form of PSS polygraph examination. DoD CSP exam inquiries cover:

(1) Involvement through a foreign Intelligence and Security business (FISS) and/or Spying or Espionage tasks Against the united States.

(2) involvement in Terrorism against the unified States.

(3) joining in Sabotage versus the joined States.

(4) Mishandling of share Information.

(5) Unauthorized international Contacts.<5>

The ESP consists of a CSP test plus what was known as a “Lifestyle” polygraph exam. The Lifestyle part of the DoD ESP asks about:

(1) Falsification of protection questionnaires and also forms.

(2) joining in significant criminal conduct.

(3) Illegal drug involvement.<6>

What happens if i don’t pass a polygraph examination?

The nationwide Security Adjudicative guidelines in protection Executive certified dealer Directive 4 especially states, “No adverse action concerning this guidelines might be taken specifically on the communication of polygraph examination technological calls in the lack of adjudicatively significant information.”

DoD instruction 5210.91, “Polygraph and also Credibility evaluate (PCA) Procedures,” claims that once there is a failure to solve a PSS polygraph check issue, “the separation, personal, instance shall be provided an opportunity to undergo added examination. . . . he Head of the relevant DoD Component may temporarily suspend one individual’s accessibility to regulated information and deny the separation, personal, instance assignment or information that is arbitrarily on such access, based upon a composed finding that, considering the outcomes of the examination and the excessive sensitivity of the classified information involved, access under the situations poses one unacceptable risk to the nationwide security. Such temporary suspension of accessibility may not kind the component of any kind of basis for an disadvantage administrative activity or an disadvantage personnel action.”

Basically a protection clearance can not be deny or revoke only due to the fact that of an adverse polygraph test result. If the polygraph exam surfaces any kind of indication of the presence of a perhaps disqualifying condition for protection clearance, there need to be corroboration from part other resource of information. This corroboration usually comes straight from statements do by the applicant throughout the pre-test or post-test phase of the PSS polygraph exam.

Can I acquire a protection clearance on mine own?

No, an separation, personal, instance cannot achieve a defense clearance on your own. They need to be sponsored for a defense clearance by a federal company or a cleared commonwealth contractor.

How long does a defense clearance take to process?

Security clearance processing times have actually gone up and down over the years. A major increase in handling times for commonwealth agencies which received investigative services from the Office of Personnel administration (OPM) started in 2015 and did not begin declining until early on 2019. By beforehand 2020 processing times were ago down come pre-2015 levels. In October 2019 responsibility for Personnel security Investigations (PSIs) performed by OPM moved to the Defense Counterintelligence and also Security company (DCSA). Mean end-to-end handling time the Top an enig clearances at DCSA to be 104 work in September 2020. Average end-to-end handling time of Confidential and mystery clearances at DCSA to be 83 work in September 2020. These are averages for the fastest 90%—the variety of completion times for the faster 90% is very big and the instances in the 10% that space not contained in the average have the right to take a year or two. DCSA handles about 90% that all security clearance investigations and also 95% of every PSIs because that the federal government. Agencies the conduct their own security clearance investigate have different processing times.

If ns am granted a defense clearance, that will inform me?

When you are granted a protection clearance, you will certainly be notified by your Facility defense Officer (FSO) or your government Security Manager. Prior to you are given access to divide information, her employer must provide you a defense briefing and have you authorize a nondisclosure agreement.

What is the worth of a protection clearance?

In all locations of the country human being with energetic security clearances room in high demand in many industries, occupations, and professional levels. Plenty of companies offer higher starting incomes to civilization who have active clearances. Typically the higher the clearance level, the higher the starting salary contrasted to equivalent positions the don’t need a clearance.

Many builders say the a protection clearance is needed to use for their jobs. How deserve to I acquire a defense clearance in breakthrough so i can apply for this jobs and also can i pay because that it myself?

Currently, people are not allowed to use for a defense clearance on your own, even if they room willing come pay because that it themselves. They need to be sponsored for a clearance by a federal firm or a cleared commonwealth contractor. It is feasible to be funded for a security clearance based on a created conditional market of employed without actually being hired because that a place that requires a clearance. When the clearance is granted the sponsoring organization should hire and onboard the human being within a prescribed period of time.

Can I check out if i am qualified for a security clearance?

No. There is no means to attain an main opinion concerning clearance eligibility or come pre-qualify because that a protection clearance. Over there are protection clearance attorneys and consultants, that for a fee, have the right to assess your probability of success in obtaining a clearance.

After a defense clearance is granted, deserve to it later on be revoked?

Yes. There is a continuing evaluation requirement for every personnel holding protection clearances or perceptible positions within the Government. This has Periodic Reinvestigations forced by the federal Investigative Standards, reporting requirements under security Executive agent Directive (SEAD) 3 (SEAD 3), and also automated “Continuous Evaluation” under SEAD 7. Each of these components informs the government of potentially disqualifying details that could affect an individual’s continuing eligibility for accessibility to classified details or to host a perceptible position. When potentially disqualifying info surfaces, government adjudicators have the right to initiate action to revoke previously granted nationwide security eligibility. If such activity is taken, the government must purchased the separation, personal, instance procedural due procedure in accordance with Executive bespeak 12986 and also its various implementing directives.

What is e-QIP (Electronic Questionnaire because that Investigations Processing)?

E-QIP is a web-based computer system program that permits applicants to complete an online variation of the investigative Standard develops (SF85, SF85-P, and also SF86). Each of the forms is supplied for different varieties of elevator investigations. E-QIP is being replaced by a new program referred to as e-App for electronic Application. As soon as applicants are sponsored because that a defense clearance by a Government agency or clearing contractor, they are provided instructions on just how to accessibility e-QIP.

What is the JPAS (Joint Personnel Adjudication System)?

The joint Personnel Adjudication system (JPAS) is the main personnel defense investigation and clearance database administration system for DoD. Every National commercial Security routine (NISP) cleared building contractors use this mechanism for all varieties of personnel defense actions. JPAS is being gradually replaced by the Defense details Systems for protection (DISS). This shift should be finish by feather or summer 2021.

Security Clearance Investigations

Who conducts defense clearance background investigations?

The room of Defense Counterintelligence and also Security company (DCSA) conducts defense clearance elevator investigations because that DoD and also dozens of various other federal agencies. They likewise conduct background investigations for federal employment suitability and also fitness determinations and for Homeland protection Presidential Directive – 12 credentialing. DCSA offers government and also contract investigators to conduct background investigations. Over there are numerous federal agencies that have authority to conduct their very own investigations. This are mostly intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

Doesn’t the FBI conduct all federal background investigations?

The FBI conducts less than one percent federal background investigations. They command background investigate on their own employees and also applicants, and also high level Presidential appointees; employee and contractors working for the executive Office of the President; part congressional staffers; high level employee of the department of justice (DOJ) (including the Office that the Pardon Attorney and also Assistant U.S. Attorneys); bureaucratic Office the the us Courts; designated positions in the atom Regulatory board of directors (NRC) and also Department of energy (DOE); Joint terror Task pressure (JTTF) detailees, other Joint Task pressure (JTF) detailees, legislation Enforcement Executives and Elected officials (LEO Program); foreign Intelligence monitoring Act (FISA) personnel; Classified info Procedures action (CIPA) personnel; and miscellaneous other personnel categories. For most of this investigations the FBI provides a nationwide network of separation, personal, instance contract investigators who room directed by the FBI’s Background examination Contract solutions (BICS).

What is a PSI?

In the federal federal government a Personnel Security investigation (PSI) is a generic term because that background investigations compelled to recognize an applicant’s eligibility for a federal government personnel protection program, together as:

National security ClearanceFederal employed staff Suitability/Fitness, andHomeland security Presidential Directive 12 credentialing.

Will investigators look at my social media accounts?

Yes. In may 2016 security Executive agent Directive 5 (SEAD 5) authorized “the collection and also use of publicly available social media information during the command of personnel protection background investigations and adjudications because that determining initial or continued eligibility for access to classified nationwide security details or eligibility to host a perceptible position and also the retention of together information.”

Will I have to give investigators my passwords or accessibility to my society media accounts?

No. You will certainly not be compelled to administer passwords, log into your personal accounts, or take any activity that would certainly disclose non-publicly accessible social media information. Investigators room not permitted to create accounts or usage existing account on social media because that the function of connecting (e.g., “friend”, “follow") to your account.

Why space PSIs and security clearances necessary?

PSIs and security clearances are vital elements in protecting the nationwide security of the joined States. PSIs and security clearances are compelled to safeguard sensitive information and facilities and to respond to the hazards from:

Foreign knowledge services,Organizations or civilization who great to overthrow or damage the joined States government through unlawful means, andIndividuals who lack the judgment, reliability, trustworthiness, and willingness to comply with rules and also regulations to correctly safeguard sensitive and classified federal government information.

What deserve to I execute to rate the investigation process?

The best method to assist speed up an investigation is to carry out accurate, thorough information on the SF86 (application form). A lot of details is forced to command a lift investigation. The record version that the SF86 is 130 pages, not consisting of instructions and releases. The digital version that the type is much shorter for many applicants, since on the digital version a “no” response to a threshold question reasons the regime to skip end sub-questions wherein no entries are required. Incomplete or incorrect information deserve to significantly hold-up the investigation. For info on what is needed to finish the application, view the paper (PDF) version of the SF86.

What is continuous Evaluation?

Continuous testimonial (CE) is the automated security of countless commercial and also government databases because that security-relevant information worrying individuals who have actually a protection clearance or organize a sensitive position. Continuous Evaluation is most likely a misnomer in that security is frequent yet not continuous. The system automatically reports relevant info to protection clearance adjudicators for your review and action. CE was occurred by the DoD Personnel and Security Research center (PERSEREC) together the Automated constant Evaluation mechanism (ACES).

Security Clearance because that Facilities

What is the National commercial Security routine (NISP)?

The National commercial Security regime (NISP) was developed by Executive stimulate 12829 to ensure the cleared U.S. Defense industry safeguards the classified details in your possession while performing work on contracts, programs, bids, or study and breakthrough efforts.”

DCSA administers the NISP on behalf of the room of Defense and 33 various other federal agencies. Over there are about 12,500 contractor facilities that room cleared for access to classified info under DCSA’s protection oversight responsibilities. DCSA provides field personnel, government Contracting activities (GCAs) and also cleared home builders with timely, regular policy guidance and to carry out effective translate of the NISP.<7>

The National commercial Security regimen Operating hands-on (NISPOM) contains specific information about cleared contractor obligations under the NISP. All classified commonwealth contracts require compliance through the provisions the the NISPOM.

What is a clearing Facility?

The term basic is supplied within the National commercial Security program (NISP) together a common designation because that an operating entity consisting of a plant, laboratory, office, college, university, or commercial framework with linked warehouse, storage areas, utilities and components, i beg your pardon are related by function or location. A clearing facility is one the is authorized come safeguard classified info and/or sponsor personnel for security clearances.

What is a Facility security Clearance?

A Facility defense Clearance (FCL) is an bureaucratic determination that, native a nationwide security standpoint, a basic is eligible for accessibility to classified info at together high a category level as the protection clearance gift granted. The FCL might be granted at the Confidential, Secret, or Top secret level. The FCL calls for the execution the a department of Defense Security covenant (DD kind 441). Under the terms of the agreement, the government agrees to problem the FCL and inform the contractor regarding the security category of details to which the contractor will have actually access. The contractor, in turn, agrees come abide by the security requirements collection forth in the National industrial Security regime Operating hand-operated (NISPOM).

How go a firm get a Facility defense Clearance (FCL)?

A firm must be funded by a government agency or a security cleared contractor for an FCL based on a bona fide procurement need. A agency cannot sponsor itself for an FCL. The sponsoring organization sends a sponsorship letter come DCSA.

Once a request is made, what is connected in obtaining a FCL?

There room two varieties of FCLs—possessing and also non-possessing. Once the DCSA facility Clearance Branch (FSB) determines that a request for a “possessing” FCL is valid, the basic is sent information about the procedure and accuse on how to prepare because that the process. In ~ 5-10 days a telephone inspection is conducted to talk about the facility’s certain situation. The facility then gathers and also electronically uploads their organization documents via National industrial Security system (NISS). Once the complete FCL package is submitted, a DCSA industrial Security Representative (ISR) native a neighborhood DCSA commercial Security field Office is assigned come the facility. If the ISR determines the the package is complete, it will certainly be forwarded for added reviews and also the ISR will notify FSB to procedure the facility’s key Management Personnel (KMP) because that Personnel protection Clearances (PCLs). The facility submits PCL applications and also fingerprints for your KMP. The ISR performs one initial FCL orientation meeting at the facility. If eligible, the facility receives an interim FCL; otherwise, the basic will have to wait because that a last FCL decision.

FCLs for “non-possessing” (also known as access Elsewhere—AE) facilities are handle by the DCSA National accessibility Elsewhere protection Oversight facility (NAESOC). The FCL handling for AE infrastructure is comparable to “possessing” facilities, but is managed centrally in ~ the NAESOC. Security requirements are much less complicated, because all access to classified info will happen at a federal government facility or the basic of one more cleared contractor.

Who has to be clearing in link with a Facility defense Clearance (FCL)?

A Defense Counterintelligence and also Security firm (DCSA) industrial Security Representative (ISR) v the aid of the company’s allude of contact will identify which individuals must be cleared as part of the FCL. Ordinarily, those human being who have control over the agency (e.g., the CEO, President, executive VPs, and also other policemans or plank members), the Facility security Officer (FSO), and the Insider risk Program senior Official (ITPSO) need to be cleared at the very same level as the FCL. Those people cleared as part of the FCL space called crucial Management Personnel (KMP). The FSO can additionally be the ITPSO. There are framework with only one KMP.

What wake up if a “controlling” officer can not be clearing in connection with the Facility defense Clearance (FCL)?

The facility will certainly not be eligible for a Facility defense Clearance (FCL), unless the officer officially actions down native his or her position as one officer/director and relinquish control of the facility. Regularly the removed of a controlling officer can be obviated by adopting a corporate plank resolution the excludes one owner or officer from any control or authorized in a classified contract. The ISRs can help assist with the preparation, adoption by the company, and acceptance by DCSA that the plank resolution.

How lot does it expense to acquire a Personnel protection Clearance (PCL)?

With very restricted exceptions over there is no direct charge come federal home builders for a Personnel security Clearance (PCL). Government agencies obtain appropriated accumulation to sheathe the cost of adjudicating security clearances and to salary an Investigation company Provider, prefer DCSA/NBIB, for protection clearance investigations. DCSA receives appropriated funds to salary for federal contractor clearance investigations and adjudications under the NISP. DCSA also receives appropriated accumulation to pay for protection clearance adjudication because that the military organization departments and other DoD agencies.

What walk the Facility protection Clearance (FCL) cost the contractor?

There is no direct charge come the contractor for processing a Facility defense Clearance (FCL). However, the contractor is responsible for security costs linked with participation in the National industrial Security regime (NISP) (such together classified warehouse containers, accessibility controls, etc.). Accordingly, home builders should determine their protection requirements and also related costs and also consider such expenses when bidding on a share contract.

What kind of protection controls should be in place if a facility is security cleared?

The NISP Operating hands-on (NISPOM) prescribes the minimum security requirements that need to be fulfilled by security cleared contractors. The commercial Security Representative (ISR) can administer guidance to the contractor in implementing these needs in their facility. The implementation the these needs will for sure the sufficient safeguarding of the classified details involved. In part cases, federal government agencies have requirements for additional safeguards. Because that example, if your contract calls for you to institute a Special access Program (SAP), extr controls beyond those normally compelled will be necessary.

How long does the facility protection clearance continue to be in effect?

The facility defense clearance continues to be in effect as lengthy as the department of Defense Security agreement (DD kind 441), is effective. This covenant may be terminated by either party by thirty days’ notice. Generally, most facility security clearances stay in effect as long as over there is a need for the contractor come have accessibility to classified information.

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Can the federal government conduct inspections the a clearing facility?

Periodic protection reviews the all protection cleared home builders are carried out by the assigned DCSA ISR to ensure that safeguards employed by home builders are enough for the security of classified information. DCSA has moved to Risk-based commercial Security monitor (RISO). The ISR will identify the frequency of periodic security reviews.

Compiled by:William H. HendersonFederal Clearance assistance ServiceFebruary 2021