What agencies determine government employment classifications?

Last Updated: May 27, 2023 


The Department of State’s Bureau of Global Talent Management determines whether a position requires a security clearance and the type of security clearance classification. Several factors play a role in the determination, which includes the duties and responsibilities of the position and the OPM’s Position Designation Tool.

All executive branch agencies use the Security Executive Agent Directive (SEAD) 4: National Adjudicative Guidelines. The guidelines are commonly used as criteria to evaluate an individual’s national security eligibility. National security eligibility examines a person’s stability, trustworthiness, reliability, discretion, character, honesty, judgment, and unquestionable loyalty to the U.S.

Thirteen guidelines play a role in the ultimate determination of whether to grant or continue national security eligibility, along with the "whole person" concept. The guidelines include:

Guideline A: Allegiance to the United States
Guideline B: Foreign Influence
Guideline C: Foreign Preference
Guideline D: Sexual Behavior
Guideline F: Financial Considerations
Guideline G: Alcohol Consumption
Guideline H: Drug Involvement and Substance Misuse
Guideline I: Psychological Conditions
Guideline J: Criminal Conduct
Guideline K: Handling Protected Information
Guideline L: Outside Activities
Guideline M: Use of Information Technology

National security determinations may not include factors related to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation. A security clearance will be granted when the federal government deems an applicant’s past and present conduct clearly consistent with the United States.

If you are facing a security clearance matter, please contact The Law Firm of Asya Hogue, Esq., at asya@ahatlaw.com or ahatlaw.com.