The granting of a security clearance is a serious and involved [process. Many do not understand the process or the requirements. There are 13 primary considerations that guide the process.

Guideline A: Allegiance to the United States – Unquestioned allegiance to the United States is the foundation of a security clearance.

Guideline B: Foreign Influence – Having close ties with individuals who ae not citizens of the U. S. could compromise classified information.

Guideline C: Foreign Preference – Acting in such a way as to indicate a preference for a foreign country over the United States.

Guideline D: Sexual Behavior – Sexual behavior that involves a criminal offense, indicates personality or emotional disorders or may subject the individual to coercion or duress.

Guideline E: Personal conduct – Refusal to cooperate with required security procedures or refusal to complete the necessary actions in connection with a personal security or trustworthiness determination.

Guideline F: Financial considerations – A person who is overextended is at risk of having to too engage in illegal acts to generate funds.

Guideline G: Alcohol Consumption – Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to questionable judgement, which may increase the risk of unauthorized disclosure of classified information.

Guideline H: Drug Involvement – Drug abuse or dependence may impair social occupational functioning and increase the risk of accidental disclosure of classified information.

Guideline I: Emotional, Mental and Personality Disorders – Emotional, mental, and personality disorders can cause a significant deficit in an individual’s psychological, social and occupational functioning.

Guideline J: Criminal Conduct –  A history or pattern of criminal activity raises doubt about a person’s judgement, reliability and trustworthiness.

Guideline K: Security Violations – Noncompliance with security regulations raises doubt about an individual’s willingness and ability to safeguard classified information.

Guideline L: Outside Activities –  Involvement in certain types of outside employment or activities is of security concern if it could create an increased risk of disclosure of classified information.

Guideline M: Misuse of Government Systems –  Noncompliance with rules and procedures pertaining to information technology systems may raise security concerns.

After evaluating information of security concern, the investigator decides whether the security clearance will be granted or denied.

For a more detailed expansion of the security issues, see


For more information on Security Clearances check out our series where our experts cover the in’s and outs of obtaining and working with security clearances.