A security clearance is required for certain government and private positions, especially those that need to access top secret or confidential security information. There are three levels of security clearance, depending on the gravity of the consequences if the information gets leaked to unauthorized individuals. The topmost level of security clearance is called Top Secret, followed by Secret and Confidential.
A Top Secret Security Clearance is when the unauthorized disclosure of the confidential information will cause grave damages to national security. This level of security clearance is required for officials who will work on highly sensitive programs known as Special Access Programs. In this article, we will discuss about the various security clearance Application Forms needed to obtain a Top Secret Security Clearance.
Generic Security Clearance Form Sample
Who Needs a Top Secret Security Clearance?
There are various qualifications that have to be looked into when identifying an official’s need for a security clearance that is top secret. These are the following officials that would most likely require a Top Secret Security Clearance in their line of work:
- Federal law enforcement officials, like special agents
- State and local law enforcement officers who work in an intelligence or with homeland security
- Federal contractors providing services to the government
In addition to this list, there are other officials who are provided with a Top Secret Security Clearance provided that it is necessary for them to access top secret information and that it is approved by the Department of Homeland Security.
Request for Security Clearance Form
Questionnaire for National Security Positions (SF 86)
Standard Form 86 Certification (SF 86C)
Fingerprint Card (SF 87)
How to Obtain a Top Secret Security Clearance
Before you plan on obtaining a Top Secret Security Clearance, it is important to take note that you cannot apply and pay for one yourself. You would need to have a job that requires you to have such level of security clearance, and your employer will apply for you on your behalf.
- Instructions: Follow the instructions that will be given by the hiring company. They will tell you what Security Application Forms you will need to fill out and submit.
- Forms: You will need to fill out some forms, one of which is the Standard Form 86 or Questionnaire for National Security Positions. Answer all the questions on this form completely and truthfully. Among the information asked on this form are your employment history, previous addresses, criminal history, and character references. This information will be used to initiate the background check to assess your eligibility, along with the proper Background Check Authorization Forms.
- Interviews: After the background check is conducted, one or two interviews are to follow. This will give you a chance to clear up any discrepancies or unfavorable information discovered during the background check. This will also give the corresponding government personnel a good idea of your character and integrity. Oftentimes, a polygraph is used to test for truthfulness, along with the respective Interview Assessment Forms.
System Authorization Access Request
Personnel Security Action Request Form
Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement Form
Top Secret Security Clearance Disqualifiers
- Financial Issues
Investigators will need to access an applicant’s Credit Report Form to search for any missed payments, debts, bankruptcies, foreclosures, and other financial issues. This is an issue because they might look at this as a potential to trade top secret information in exchange for a sum of money. Investigators will also check for the purchase of expensive items when the applicant’s income is relatively low, as they might question if the money was obtained legally.
- Criminal Records
This may disqualify an applicant as this shows the inability or lack of willingness to follow rules and regulations. However, having a record of criminal activity doesn’t always necessarily disqualify an applicant. The Department of State will also look at the circumstances surrounding the behavior, such as committing the crime due to coercion or if the crime committed was an isolated incident.
- Substance Abuse
Substance abuse means the independence to any addictive substance, such as alcohol and drugs. Investigators will look for evidence of substance abuse, and the manufacture or distribution of drug paraphernalia. Substance abuse can lead to an impairment of a person’s judgement, which would increase the risk of unauthorized disclosure of top secret information.
- Emotional, Mental, and Personality Disorders
An application may be denied if the applicant exhibits violence and paranoia, and if he irresponsible and unstable. However, if the applicant’s mental or personality disorder is managed well, it doesn’t necessarily cause the rejection of his application. For this purpose, Mental Health Assessment Forms come in handy.
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