A personnel security specialist determines if a person is eligible for government clearance for employment. The clearances dealt with may range from lower level to top secret. The job involves reviewing security forms and determining if the information is correct, and if it is not, what needs to be corrected.
The specialist will have to communicate with applicants, generally through electronic communications or postal mail as to what needs to be changed and when this change is due. The security specialist may also be responsible with determining when an applicant is not eligible for the position being applied to. In some cases, the specialist will have to pass on an applicant's file for more information, or an investigation has to be carried out. Attention to detail and the ability to work independently are important, in order to adequately detect problems in applications. Record keeping skills are often important, as the job often involves assembling an applicant file. Computer skills are needed, as the specialist will have to enter information into a database. It is important to keep up with policies, regulations, and laws to make sure that the job is carried out in the correct manner.
Usually, a bachelor’s degree is necessary for this job. Some positions may require the specialist to have already acquired government security clearance, and some jobs will help the specialist to obtain the clearance needed. Generally, this job takes place in an office environment during regular office hours.
Personnel Security Specialist Tasks
Screen and evaluate candidates using data from the Electronic Questionnaires of Investigation Processing.
Recommend and make briefings about overall personnel and security as well as breaches and risks.
Maintain and update security files.
Review and analyze personnel backgrounds and history for clearance, violations, and/or risk assessments.
Conduct security trainings and evaluate staff processes and procedures for security risks.