When it comes to the security clearance process, the longevity of policy is remarkable. The 13 adjudicative criteria that make up the requirements for obtaining a security clearance were issued by executive order in 1995. Policy guidance has been issued over the past 20 years, but the main criteria haven’t changed.
Today Security Executive Agent Directive (SEAD) 4, “National Security Adjudicative Guidelines” was released. It ushered in the next phase of the Adjudicative Guidelines. The 13 criteria are still exactly the same, but the guidelines within them have been adjusted in significant ways for both current security clearance holders and applicants.
Here are a few of the main points:
- Foreign preference was updated with new dual citizenship guidelines
- Polygraph – while not previously mentioned in the adjudicative guidelines, garners a mention in the introduction of the updated criteria.
- Financial considerations updated to include a mitigating condition for predatory lending practices and identity theft.
- Drug use updated to include the illegal use or misuse of any illegal substance, or any substance that causes physical or mental impairment.
While the changes may seem subtle, they’re significant updates for anyone facing dual citizenship, facing a security clearance denial related to a negative polygraph, or with specific financial issues.