Security Clearance Overview

Army Security Clearance Process Map

Army Security Clearance Myth Busters

A security clearance is a determination that you are eligible for access to classified information and eligible to perform sensitive duties. Not everyone qualifies for a security clearance or occupancy of a sensitive position… only those people determined to be good security risks are given clearances and permitted to handle classified information or perform sensitive duties. The purpose of a security clearance is to determine whether you are able and willing to safeguard classified national security information or perform sensitive duties, based on your loyalty, character, trustworthiness, and reliability.

  1. Your agency must identify your position as one requiring access to classified information, assignment to sensitive duties, or public trust position.
  2. You then complete security forms (SF-85P, SF-86) or Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing (e-QIP).
  3. Your security office submits your forms or e-QIP to the Office of Personnel Management who will conduct an investigation.
    The type of investigation depends on the sensitivity designation of your position and whether the duties require access to classified or sensitive information.
  4. The completed investigation is reviewed by adjudicators who make clearance decisions. Adjudicators look at the “whole person” depicted in the report of investigation. What that means is that they consider all available information, both “good” and “bad,” when making clearance decisions and apply the criteria for access to classified or sensitive information.
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Accessibility/Section 508