How to get a security clearance: A complete guide
Feb 07, · A confidential clearance requires a National Agency Check with Local Agency Check and Credit Check (NACLC). Secret This type of security clearance provides access to information that may cause serious damage to national security if disclosed without authorization. It must be reinvestigated every 10 years. Thinking of entering the freelance arena as a Security Cleared Contractor? Allow plenty of time before making the switch; it can take anywhere between 2 weeks and 3 months to obtain the security clearance you will need and until your clearance has been approved, you shouldn’t give up the security of the position you already hold.
What is a security clearance for employment, and how do you get one? Job hunters may notice that some how much should i pay for wedding photographer mention applicants must be eligible for a security clearance or must already possess a security clearance in order to be hired.
Security clearances are primarily required by government employers and private contractors who have access to sensitive information that has a bearing on national security. Some private sector employers also require clearances. Depending on the job, the requirements what is tom cleverley hairstyle called include having a current or active clearance.
Applicants must be sponsored by the federal government or a company with a contract requiring classified work. The job offer will be conditional on you obtaining the required clearance. For private sector jobs, becomf who have an active or current security clearance are in demand for positions in many industries.
Software developers, engineers, and applicants with proficiency in foreign languages are sought after by employers. There are three becomee levels of security clearance: Confidential, Secret, and Top Secret. These categories are for classified information that has been hw particularly vulnerable, and eligibility standards and investigative requirements for access to SCI and SAPs clearances are higher than for other clearances.
Applicants for a security clearance undergo a thorough evaluation to determine if they are loyal to the U. The process begins with the applicant completing the Lceared Security Questionnaire SF through the e-Quip application site. Applicants can only access the system if they have been invited to do so by an official at their sponsoring agency. The next phase of the process involves an investigation conducted by the government's Office of Personnel Management, the Defense Department, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence or another investigation service provider ISPsecuurity on the position.
The applicant will be interviewed—and possibly re-interviewed as additional information is gathered—to clarify any potential issues that could affect the clearance. Candidates should be sure that they are honest and inclusive as they complete the SF and answer interview questions, since discrepancies uncovered in the investigation may be grounds for disqualification.
The final stage of the investigative process involves a review of all the information gathered to determine eligibility for a specific clearance. The duration of the entire investigation and review will vary, but the average length of time is days. However, in some cases, it may be possible to get an interim security clearance and start work in a temporary capacity until the gow check process is complete.
According to the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency beome agency of the Department of Defenseall applicants for a personnel security clearance submitted by a cleared contractor will be considered for interim eligibility. Interim eligibility is issued only when access to classified information is clearly consistent with the national security interests of the United States. It is issued at the same time as the initiation of the investigation and will generally remain in effect until the investigation is completed.
At that time, the applicant is considered for final eligibility. The Defense Security Service issues the following statuses throughout the investigation to let candidates know what is happening during the process:. The most common reasons an investigation could be delayed include security application packages that are how to become security cleared complete, issues with fingerprints, and investigations that involve coverage of extensive overseas activities.
To expedite the process, be sure to include all the required documents with the application. Various sfcurity exist for why someone may be denied a security clearance. The most important factors how to become dive instructor an investigation are the individual's honesty, candor, and thoroughness in sfcurity completion of their security clearance forms.
Every case is individually assessed, using the Security Executive Directive 4: National Security Adjudicative Guidelinesto determine whether the granting or continuing of eligibility for a security clearance is clearly consistent with the interests of national security. The adjudicative guidelines include: allegiance to the United States; foreign influence; foreign preference; sexual behavior; personal conduct; financial considerations; alcohol how long does it take to taper off alcohol drug involvement and substance misuse; emotional, mental, and personality disorders; criminal conduct; handling protected information; outside activities; and misuse of information technology.
If you are denied a security clearanceor your continued eligibility for access to classified information is revoked, you will be informed why and given a procedure for filing an appeal. You will also be able to address any derogatory information that was how to become security cleared during the investigation and correct or clarify the details. Security clearances are active only for the time an individual holds the original job for which the clearance was designated.
A clearance holder may be reinvestigated at any time, but a formal review is required after five years for a Top Secret clearance, ten years for a Secret clearance, and fifteenyears for a Confidential clearance. A clearance clfared be how to become security cleared in certain cases without going through the entire investigative process again.
However, the break in employment must have becomw less than two years, and the original investigation cannot be more than five, ten, or fifteenyears old for the Top Secret, Secret, and Confidential categories, respectively. Before you apply for a security clearance, be sure to review the latest guidelines and updates from the U. Department of State so that you have current information about requirements, the process, and approval.
The information contained in this article is not legal advice and is not a substitute for such advice. Department of How to become security cleared. Congressional Research Service. Accessed Feb. National Background Investigations Bureau.
Partnership for Public Service. Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency. Actively scan device characteristics for identification. Use precise geolocation data. Select personalised content. Create a personalised content profile.
Measure ad performance. Select basic ads. Create a personalised ads profile. Select personalised ads. Apply market research to generate audience insights. Measure content performance. Develop and improve products. List of Partners vendors. Job Searching Job Listings. Table of Contents Expand. Table of Contents. Who Needs a Security Clearance. Levels of Security Clearance. How the Clearance Process Works. Eligibility Pending Approval. Statuses in the Review Process.
Delays in Investigations. Why Would an Applicant be Denied? How to Appeal if Denied a Clearance. How Long Clearances Are in Effect. More Information on Clearances. Full Bio Follow Linkedin. Follow How to become security cleared. Alison Doyle is the job search expert for The Balance Careers, and one of the industry's how to become security cleared highly-regarded job search and career experts.
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Security clearance overview
Sep 23, · When considering a person’s eligibility to be granted a security clearance, factors such as their stability, trustworthiness, reliability, discretion, character, honesty, judgment, and loyalty to the U.S. are all considered. They are assessed through thorough background checks, investigations, and interviews with contacts in your life. May 14, · To apply for a security clearance, fill out the Personal Security Questionnaire, SF Choose your work and personal references, then give the completed form to your company's facility security officer, who will forward it to the Department of Defense. to obtain a Security Clearance, an individual must first obtain sponsorship from a cleared US contactor or a federal agency. The government or its contractors are the only groups that can start the clearance process; the government pays for this process, not the contractor or the employee. The process begins when an offer is extended. The person is.
This guide is all about how cybersecurity professionals can get a security clearance. Security clearances are an important facet of working in the cybersecurity industry and this guide will outline the different kinds of security clearances, what kinds of jobs require security clearances, and the process to follow to get a security clearance.
For the purposes of this article, a security clearance is an official determination that an individual may access some level of classified information, as determined by an agency of the United States government. Everyone employed by the United States federal government undergoes a basic background investigation of their criminal and credit histories. Additionally, federal employment positions that include access to sensitive information require a security clearance.
This includes individuals employed by private firms in the capacity of a contractor for the federal government. Security clearances are structured in a hierarchical manner with each designation indicating the maximum level of classified information that may be accessed by the clearance holder. From least restrictive to most restrictive the classification levels are:. Having obtained a certain level of security clearance does not mean that the clearance holder automatically has access to or is given access to information cleared for that clearance level.
Need to know is generally determined by a disclosure officer assigned to the office of origin for the classified information. There are also two categories of classified information that require additional handling and access restrictions:.
These special categories are for classified information that has been deemed particularly vulnerable, and eligibility standards and investigative requirements for access to SCI and SAPs clearances are higher than for other clearances.
Security clearances are active only for the time when an individual holds the original job for which the clearance was designated. A clearance holder may be re-investigated at any time, but a formal review is required after the prescribed number of years.
A clearance may be reactivated in certain cases without going through the entire investigative process again. The authority for classifying information and granting security clearances to access that information is found in Executive Orders EOs and US federal law.
The origins of security clearances can be traced back to the Pendleton Act of which required applicants for federal employment to possess the requisite character, reputation, trustworthiness, and fitness for employment.
In , Executive Order provided for the requirement that all federal employees be fingerprinted and investigated by the FBI and in the DoD unified the military security program and implemented standards and procedures similar to those put into effect for civilians under E.
Executive Order superseded E. Many federal agencies and federal contractors working with those agencies necessarily require their employees to hold security clearances in order to do their job. The need for a security clearance is dictated by a necessity to handle sensitive or classified information rather than a specific job description. Anyone having access to classified data requires clearance at or higher than the level at which the data they must handle is classified.
For this reason, security clearances are required for a wide range of jobs, from senior management to janitorial. Positions that may require a security clearance include secretaries, security officers, librarians, system administrators, and computer-support personnel who have access to classified documents or systems. Before the process for obtaining a security clearance can even begin there must exist a verifiable need for the individual seeking the clearance to hold one.
While companies with contracts or grants with the federal government may require employees to have a security clearance, no company without a contract with the federal government can independently seek a security clearance. Only people employed by a federal agency or federal contractor can obtain a security clearance. This process can take several months or up to a year depending on the backlog, need for more information, depth of the investigation process and other factors. The length of time required to obtain a security clearance is growing and is a significant concern for federal agencies and contractors.
Some instances wherein individuals would take longer than normal to be investigated are many past residences, having residences in foreign countries, having relatives outside the United States, or significant ties with non-US citizens.
If a hiring office requests an interim security clearance, an applicant may be granted an interim security clearance within a few weeks after submitting a complete security package.
According to the Defense Security Service an agency of the Department of Defense , all applicants for a personnel security clearance submitted by a cleared contractor will be routinely considered for interim eligibility. The interim eligibility is issued only when access to classified information is clearly consistent with the national security interests of the United States.
The interim eligibility is issued at the same time as the initiation of the investigation and will generally remain in effect until the investigation is completed. At that time, the applicant is considered for final eligibility. If an applicant feels they are a serious candidate for a position that requires a security clearance they may accelerate the process by gathering relevant information prior to receiving a job offer from the hiring agency or contractor.
The hiring agency or contractor can direct the applicant to the appropriate forms for the level of clearance required for the position for which they are being considered. The central component in the process of obtaining a security clearance is the background investigation. The process begins with the applicant registering and completing the appropriate forms through the U. There are five tiers of investigation standards that apply to applications for security clearances.
The specific tier of investigation that is appropriate for a given candidate is determined by the classification and the risk associated with the information that the applicant will need to handle. The e-QIP form used for sensitive or national security positions is the SF as indicated in Tier 3 and Tier 5 investigation standards. SF85 and SF85P are suitable for work in government agency positions requiring public trust rather than national security concerns.
In addition to and after the verification of the answers to the questions posed by the OPM e-QIP form, many investigations will include an interview as a routine part of the investigation process.
The applicant may be asked to answer questions related to their completed form. This helps the investigator gain clarity about incomplete or unclear answers on the form. Declining the interview may result in the investigation, and related security clearance application, being canceled.
DSS describes the background investigation process as including these steps:. The U. In addition, federal agencies generally fire, do not grant a security clearance, or disqualify individuals who have materially and deliberately falsified these forms, and this remains a part of the permanent record for future placements. The Defense Security Service issues the following statuses throughout the investigation to let candidates know what is happening during the process:.
Various reasons exist for why an applicant may be denied a security clearance. Every effort is made to determine whether the granting or continuing eligibility for a security clearance is consistent with the interests of national security. A wide variety of factors may be investigated. The scope of a security clearance background investigation is likely to include the following personal characteristics, proclivities, and behavior.
Any indication that the applicant may have substantial problems in any of these areas will likely raise a flag indicating a need for further investigation and possible denial of the clearance. Unpaid bills, as well as criminal charges, will often disqualify an applicant for approval. However, bankruptcy will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and is not an automatic disqualifier. Poor financial history is the number-one cause of rejection, and foreign activities and criminal records are also common causes for disqualification.
It is noteworthy that investigators may consider publicly available social media information in connection with an application for a security clearance. Security Executive Agent Directive 5 , Collection, Use, and Retention of Publicly Available Social Media Information in Personnel Security Background Investigations and Adjudications , codifies federal background investigative authority to incorporate publicly available social media information in the security clearance process.
Guidelines and updates related to security clearances from the U. Department of State. Guide for the Standard Form SF The information contained in this article is not legal advice and is not a substitute for such advice.
Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content Skip to primary sidebar This guide is all about how cybersecurity professionals can get a security clearance.