Standard Form (SF)-86 is used by the federal government to conduct background investigations for eligibility to access classified information. Previously, SF-86 data had to be updated for a periodic reinvestigation. With PRs replaced by continuous evaluation, many security clearance holders have falsely assumed the need to update the SF-86 was similarly shelved.

One ClearanceJobsBlog subscriber reflected the common confusion:

“I work for as a contractor for ODNI currently I initially filled out the SF86 in Early 2017 and I was granted my TS in July 2017. My FSO reached out to me today stating that I must update my SF86 since it’s been over 6 years. I know I am in CE but is this part of the process? I talked to other friends that got their clearances around the same time and they didn’t have to do a new eQIP. I figured there wasn’t a need to refill out the paperwork once you were enrolled in CE. Is this just normal for everyone or do you think something must of came up that caused it? Or is this just part of the process?”

Under Continuous Evaluation (CE), all cleared personnel are required to submit a new SF-86, with signed release pages, every five years. The actual date for a new submission is either the closing date of your most recent investigation or the date of submission of your last SF-86. That doesn’t mean a new investigation is triggered, but that individuals are acknowledging any changes that occurred in the past five years.

Security clearance holders are also expected to self-report changes in their situation. Through CE’s automated record checks, adverse information may also come up to be investigated further. This could prompt a letter from the Consolidated Adjudication Facility (CAF) where they will note they need to review developed information that may affect subject’s eligibility for access to classified information.

Another guideline under CE is for the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency to have an SF-86 that is current, and individuals whose last PR was 10+ years ago would need to complete a new form, which would be outside the original poster’s timeline, but is important to note. Another key change happening this year is the replacement of eQIP with the new eApp. (Learn more about eApp here).


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Katie Keller is a marketing fanatic that enjoys anything digital, communications, promotions & events. She has 8+ years in the DoD supporting multiple contractors with recruitment strategy, staffing augmentation, marketing, & communications. Favorite type of beer: IPA. Fave hike: the Grouse Grind, Vancouver, BC. Fave social platform: ClearanceJobs! 🇺🇸