What Is Top Secret Clearance?


Top secret clearance is the highest level of federal security clearance. It gives holders access to classified information, including daily intelligence briefings and detailed situation maps of the world as viewed by the American intelligence community.


To get a top secret clearance, you will undergo a Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI). The investigative process includes checks on your employment history, residences, education and organizations; verification of your citizenship; public records inquiries; and interviews with people who know you.

What is a Top Secret Clearance?

A Top Secret clearance is a determination by the government that an individual may access classified information that directly affects national security. This level of clearance is required for a number of positions in the federal government and some private sector jobs that work with the government.

The process to obtain a Top Secret clearance can take six to 18 months. Once an employee is approved for this clearance, they must pass a Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI) and undergo a Period Reinvestigation every five years to maintain the clearance designation.

Clearances are granted by trained personnel security specialists (adjudicators) in each agency. These adjudicators review the results of Tier 3 and Tier 5 Personnel Security Investigations (PSIs) according to criteria in the National Security Adjudicative Guidelines published by the Office of Management and Budget.

Applicants must complete an extensive questionnaire called Standard Form 86 (SF-86). This form asks questions about personal and professional relationships; past employment, residence and education; credit history; criminal record; foreign connections and travel; drug and alcohol use; financial delinquencies and more. The SF-86 is 129 pages long, not counting instructions and release forms.

The ten largest federal departments and agencies account for over eighty percent of all clearances. The Department of Defense (DoD) issues the most clearances followed by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy. Almost all clearances for DoD civilian and contractor personnel are conducted by the Defense Contract Administration Service Consolidated Adjudications Facility (CAF), which is collocated with the Department of Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency at Fort Meade, Maryland.

What is a Q Clearance?서울흥신소

A Q clearance is the top-secret level of security clearance. It is used by people who need access to classified information relating to national security and the Department of Energy (DoE). People who have a DoE Q clearance also need a special type of security authorization known as a “DOE L” or “Restricted Data.”

The DoD accounts for nearly 50 percent of all clearances issued in the United States. The Department of Homeland Security, with its component agencies, issues four percent of the clearances. The Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor and other executive branch departments issue about one percent each. The rest of the federal government (including non-executive branch agencies, like the CIA) issues less than one-tenth of a percent of the clearances.

Regardless of the agency that grants the clearance, the process follows the same general guidelines. Clearance applications are usually completed using a paper form called the Security Executive Agent Directive (SEAD) 4, and an electronic version of the questionaire called the Electronic Questionnaires for Investigation Processing (e-QIP). Both forms require a lot of information, and insufficient or incorrect responses can delay investigations.

There are also steps that cleared personnel must take to maintain their clearance, such as regular drug testing and updating their information. In addition, there are a variety of special situations in which the government can deny or revoke a clearance. These include allegations of serious misconduct, undisclosed significant foreign contacts, a criminal conviction and a finding of mental incompetence.

What is a SCI Clearance?

If you’re in a position that requires access to classified information, then a security clearance is an important part of the job. Clearances can vary from Confidential to Top Secret and are classified based on the amount of damage that could occur if the information is released to someone without authorization. A TS clearance, also known as Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI), is one of the highest levels of national security clearance available and can qualify you for high-level positions in the government and military. Civilian jobs in areas like data security, counter-intelligence and finance can also require a TS clearance.

The process for getting a TS clearance is a bit different than other levels of clearances and can be more complicated. It involves more detailed background checks and polygraph tests. It can also take longer, especially if the agencies need to verify your answers on the questionnaire or during your interview.

Northrop Grumman has many positions that require a TS clearance. If you have a TS clearance from your current employer or the military, it may be transferable to your new role at the company. If you haven’t had a TS clearance for two years or more, you will need to go through the process again. A rebuttal and appeals process are available to those who receive unfavorable decisions during the clearance process.

What is a TS Clearance?

TS clearance allows you to access classified information in the government. There are a number of jobs that require this level of clearance, including positions in the military, federal government agencies and private companies that work with the government.

If you’re considering applying for a position that requires a TS Clearance, it’s important to understand that the entire process can take up to a year or more. The reason is that the investigators examine everything you’ve told them on your background form and check with public records to verify your answers. It’s in your best interest to be completely honest throughout the entire process.

To apply for a TS clearance, you’ll complete a Personnel Security Questionnaire (SF-86). You’ll also provide extensive documentation about your history, such as international travel records and up to 10 years of addresses. The hiring office sends these documents to the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency, formerly known as the Defense Security Service (DSS). The DSS then conducts a full background investigation. This includes a criminal and civil record search, interview of your family members and other individuals, a financial examination, credit checks, and a polygraph test.

If you’re working with a sponsor at your current job or in the military, they’ll submit your SF-86 through a web-based system called e-QIP or e-App. Once you’re sponsored by the federal government, you can use these systems to view your security investigations and clearance status.