Designation of Sensitive and Public Trust Positions

Every DoD position is assigned a sensitivity or public trust designation based on the criterion that best describes the main duties of the job. Position sensitivity and public trust is assigned based on the work that is assigned to the organization and incumbent and focuses on the impact to the DoD mission and national security.

Within the Department of Defense (DoD), each civilian position is categorized with respect to security into one of five groups:
  • Special Sensitive (SS)
  • Critical Sensitive (CS)
  • Non-Critical Sensitive (NCS)
  • Non-Sensitive (NS)
  • Public Trust (PT)
SS positions involve the following:
  • Access to SCI information
  • Access to unique or uniquely productive intelligence sources or methods vital to the U.S. security
  • Positions that could cause grave damage and/or compromise technologies, plans, or procedures vital to the strategic advantage of the U.S.
Generally, CS positions involve the following:
  • Access to TOP SECRET information.
  • Duties under special access programs.
  • Information Technology.
NCS positions typically involve the following:
  • Access to SECRET or CONFIDENTIAL information.
  • Information Technology (IT) II duties.
NS positions fall under Human Resources, not Security.

Remember: The sensitivity designation applies to the duties of the position, not to the person occupying the position. A position can be sensitive without requiring access to classified information.

PT Positions:

Positions at the high or moderate risk levels would normally be designated as “Public Trust” positions. Such positions may involve policy making, major program responsibility, public safety and health, law enforcement duties, fiduciary responsibilities, or other duties demanding a significant degree of public trust; and positions involving access to or operation or control of financial records, with a significant risk for causing damage or realizing personal gain.

Sensitive duties are those duties which, although they do not include access to classified information, if performed by an untrustworthy individual, could cause harm to the national security. Some examples of sensitive duties include access to restricted areas, access to sensitive DoD equipment, or information technology (IT) positions where the individual works with unclassified automated information systems. Positions involving sensitive duties, with no access to classified information, are known as positions of trust.

DISCLAIMER: The appearance of non-government information does not constitute endorsement by the U.S. Army
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