The first quarter update released by the government’s Security, Suitability, and Credentialing Performance Accountability Council highlights how 2023 aims to be another critical year in the Trusted Workforce 2.0 effort. In just the first quarter of FY 2023, the National Background Investigation Services (NBIS) became available across 101 government agencies for the initiation, review, and authorization of investigations. The Personnel Vetting Questionnaire (PVQ) was made available for public comment, new suitability rules were published, and OPM updated standards for suitability adjudicators.

If Continuous Vetting (CV) was the success story of 2022, eApp should lead the way in 2023. The number of agencies and organizations using eApp continues to grow, and by the end of FY 2023 eApp should fully replace eQIP as the technical framework used to process security clearance background investigations and applications for high-risk public trust positions.

Updating on key performance indicators, the quarterly report notes security clearance processing times continue to go down and the inventory of pending background investigations sits at 159,000 – far below the highs of 700,000 from five years prior. While the overall security population increased slightly to 4.9 million, the eligible in-access population continues to tip up only slightly – just 10,000 more security clearance holders were putting their security clearances to use in the first quarter of 2023.

Major Milestones for 2023

1. eApp

eApp implementation and roll out will be the security clearance story of 2023. eApp and the new Personnel Vetting Questionnaire (PVQ) go hand-in-hand, but they’re not married just yet. eApp implements a more intuitive, improved security clearance application process – without actual changes to the forms itself. Simple things like auto-populated content, drop-downs and that revolutionary save button are key to eApp. Combine eApp with PVQ in 2024 and beyond, and the security clearance application process will truly experience the overhaul we’ve been waiting for.

2. Suitability

Bringing suitability – and not just security clearances – under the Trusted Workforce 2.0 umbrella is a major step forward in improving transfer of trust. Along with reducing the number of investigative tiers from 5 to 3, clarifications around suitability, along with better training for adjudicators, should go a long way in helping to make suitability improvements a reality. And considering public trust timelines – while not typically released publicly – can often be far lengthier than even security clearance determinations themselves, any improvements in suitability constitute improvements in personnel vetting overall.


NBIS has often been the four-letter word of the security clearance process (I mean, they’re almost all four letter words but this one has been the naughty one). But government officials and contractors supporting the NBIS roll-out continue to argue slow and steady wins the race. Better technology is key to improved security and the modernization of the clearance process. We may not hear a lot about NBIS (and that may be a good thing), but as it rolls out to more agencies we all hope it’s the hero we’ve been waiting for.

The first quarter of 2023 was a major one when it comes to policy rollouts and progress around personnel vetting. From the PVQ to 5 CFR part 731 updates, the policy changes may be wonky or incremental, but over time the average security clearance applicant, supporting contractor, and agency should experience the difference an improved security program makes.

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Lindy Kyzer is the director of content at Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email Interested in writing for Learn more here.. @LindyKyzer