AdjudicationBackground Investigations

Background Investigator and Adjudicator National Training Standards

In August of 2012 the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), in collaboration with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM,) approved National Training Standards for individuals performing background investigations, national security adjudications, and suitability adjudications.  The overall objective of NTS certification is to equip all personnel performing work for the government as background investigators and adjudicators with the necessary tools and knowledge to conduct and adjudicate National Security and Public Trust investigations.

Last month the ODNI and OPM released the NTS Implementation Plan that provides agencies guidance on specific training criteria and a timeline for reporting and compliance.  The implementation plan is the result of interagency working groups who assessed current training and performance standards, identified training gaps, and provided mitigation solutions for agencies to fill the gaps.   The phased in timeline for incumbent personnel is:

–        Within 90 days conduct a training gap analysis, and develop mitigation and implementation plans to address any identified gaps.

–        Within 180 days agencies resource the training plans for the identified gaps.

–        Within 270 days close the identified training gaps

–        Within 365 days full implementation of the NTS for all personnel (future and incumbents)

For those who are already working in these positions, have no fear – there is no final test required for certification.   However, your completed training, gap analysis, gap mitigation, and a skills assessment have to be documented by your agency and produced if audited by ODNI.

The stated overall goal for implementing the NTS is to enhance the quality of investigations and adjudications by ensuring Government-wide consistency through standardized policies, processes, and training.  Not stated, but equally relevant, is that hopefully it will make the process of granting reciprocity easier among the different agencies.