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Continuous Vetting

The Continuous Evaluation (CE) program is a component of overarching personnel security clearance reform efforts. It supplements ­– but does not replace ­– the established personnel security program for scheduled periodic reinvestigations of individuals for continuing eligibility. CE is mandated by Executive Order (EO) 12968, as amended, which requires that individuals with eligibility for, or access to, classified information be subject to continuous evaluation under standards determined by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI).


CE is further defined in EO 13467 as a vetting process to review the background of an individual who has been determined to be eligible for access to classified information or to hold a sensitive position at any time during the period of eligibility. CE leverages a set of automated record checks and business rules to assist in the ongoing assessment of an individual’s continued eligibility. Addressing potential indicators early on gives individuals the opportunity to seek assistance, mitigate triggers, and manage risk. Per EO 13764, CE will evolve into the Continuous Vetting (CV) model in support of Personnel Security Clearance (PCL) reform efforts.

CV is defined in the EO 13764, by reviewing the background of an individual at any time to determine whether that individual continues to meet applicable requirements. Vetting policies and procedures shall be sustained by an enhanced risk-management approach that facilitates early detection of issues. CV is a real-time review of an individual’s background at any time to determine if they continue to meet their requirements.

In early June 2018, the Director of National Intelligence, in his capacity as the Security Executive Agent, and the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, in his capacity as the Suitability & Credentialing Executive Agent (Executive Agents), jointly issued a memorandum directing the implementation of interim measures intended to mitigate the existing backlog of personnel security investigations at the National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB). These measures include the deferment of reinvestigations when screening results are favorable and mitigation activities are in place, as directed.

The Executive Agents have directed all Federal departments and agencies to reciprocally accept the prior favorable adjudication for deferred reinvestigations that are out of scope (overdue). Existing eligibility remains valid until the individual is removed from CE, no longer has any DoD affiliation, or has their eligibility revoked or suspended.

The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence signed a memorandum on December 7, 2016, reminding DoD Components that personnel security clearances do not expire. Individuals with current eligibility in the Joint Personnel Adjudication System (JPAS), or its successor, should not be denied access based on an out-of-scope investigation. Frequently Asked Questions Regarding: 2018 Implementation of Interim Backlog Mitigation Measures for Entities Cleared by DoD under the National Industrial Security Program may be found here.