Personnel Security Clearances
The Office of Research Security Administration assists with all aspects of obtaining, maintaining, and terminating personnel security clearances. Contact us regarding any questions this web site does not answer in this regard.
Obtaining Your Personnel Security Clearance
If you will be working on a contract issued by a branch of the U.S. government, and it is determined that access to classified information is essential in the performance of your work on that contract, you may be required to obtain a personnel security clearance. If you have questions about Personnel Security Clearances or questions concerning the process of obtaining Personnel Security Clearance please see Frequently Asked Questions
Initial Security Clearance
If you have never held a personnel security clearance before, or if your previous clearance was terminated more than 24 months ago, we must receive from you the following properly completed items in order to process your request for a personnel security clearance:
- A Personal Data Sheet Front (Fillable PDFs)
- Justification for Personnel Security Clearance (Fillable PDF)
- Proof of U.S. Citizenship: Original Birth Certificate, Certified Copy of a Birth Certificate, or a U.S. Passport
- Electronic Questionnaire for Investigations Processing (E-QIP), which is the electronic version of the Standard Form 86 (SF 86).
- Authorization for Local Records Check
Electronic Questionnaire for Investigations Processing (e-QIP)
The Electronic Questionnaire for Investigations Processing (e-QIP) is essentially an electronic online version of the Standard Form 86. Once we have received all the items listed above you will be given a copy of the Standard Form 86 and instructions on how to use the e-QIP system. Additional information on the e-QIP system are available on the Office of Personnel Management web site.
What Happens Next
When your clearance is granted, we will contact you to set up an appointment for your initial security briefing. This briefing is required before any access to classified material may be granted.
If you have been granted an interim clearance, you will be informed of the restrictions regarding this interim clearance at the time of your briefing appointment. When your final clearance is later granted, you will be notified.
If the contract under which you are working requires access to special access information such as NATO or CNWDI and your final clearance has been granted, you will be provided the appropriate briefings for access to this additional information during your briefing appointment.
The Standard Form 312
Upon completion of the briefing, you will execute the Classified Information Non-Disclosure Agreement, Standard Form 312 (SF 312). This will be witnessed by the Research Security Representative. A copy of this SF 312 will be retained in our office, and the original will be sent to the Cognizant Security Agency (CSA) for retention. This form is retained for fifty (50) years beyond the date of your signature. This should indicate to you the life-long commitment you will be making to protect the classified information to which you have access.
Maintaining Your Personnel Security Clearance
Once you are briefed as a cleared employee, you have certain responsibilities. These are spelled out for you in detail in the Facility Standard Practice Procedure (SPP), a copy of which was provided to you at your initial security briefing. These responsibilities include, but are not limited to, certain reporting requirements (under the "Reporting Requirements" tab), the annual refresher briefing, and a periodic reinvestigation.
Annual Refresher Briefing
The UAHuntsville Office of Research Security is required to provide annual refresher training to all cleared employees. As a cleared employee, you complete this annual training as one way in which you demonstrate a continuing need for the clearance. This requirement is mandatory.
As a cleared employee of UAHuntsville, you will be asked to complete an updated copy of the Electronic Questionnaire for Investigations Processing (e-QIP) approximately once every five years for a TOP SECRET clearance and once every ten years for a SECRET clearance. This is a routine periodic reinvestigation. We will contact you and request that you complete an updated e-QIP within two weeks.
A copy of your last SF 86 may be of help to you in completing the new e-QIP. A copy of this form can be provided to you by our office if you do not have a copy already.
Visit Authorization Requests
For Visit Authorization Requests see "Visit Auth Letters" tab above.
Terminating Employment at UAHuntsville and/or Your Personnel Security Clearance
If you terminate employment with UAHuntsville or if the classified contract under which your clearance was obtained ends and the likelihood of your obtaining another classified contract in the near future is uncertain, your security clearance must be terminated. Contact us to make an appointment for a debriefing. If your security clearance is terminated and you are assigned to another contract or obtain different employment for which a clearance is required within 24 months of your original clearance termination date, your clearance can be reinstated quickly.
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