For language analysts, NSA waits a long time to schedule Poly/psych. Why?

For non-language positions (per the thread on federalsoup), the poly and psych is done very soon after meeting the investigator. For language positions, even if the background investigation has been done for months, there is a huge waiting period to schedule the poly. Anyone know why that would be?

Could be they are scoping the foreign connections, travel etc. Could be the backlog for the specific agency. Many companies review the documents and make suitability determinations prior to submitting. This is a good thing in that if you do not currently meet standards you are not getting a denial…just a pause.

This is an interesting post, does this mean that sometimes people are scheduled for their suitability before the meeting with the BI and some are after? I was told from the agency where I am in process in mid May that I would be contacted in a couple of weeks for my suitability testing. In that time frame, I met with my BI but I am still waiting for my suitability testing. I’m guess there is the backlog but then why say “a couple of weeks” when it really means a couple of months or several months?

Does this mean that employees at various agencies are under a pile of work and are over worked, or is there just not an opening for people to get scheduled for their tests? It is a little concerning on a few levels and I am growing impatient with the process but I also know, in theory, I am close to the end.

You nailed it. Over worked, reviewing for suitability when time permits. My previous HR person had a theory of submitting everyone, let clearance division sort them out. Ridiculously high rejection rates and enormous amounts of work put into each SF86. When I finally convinced the PM this was my call, not hers, submission rates fell dramatically…approval rates greatly exceeded the previous process. Less heavy work for Clearance and myself. Added benefit, through attrition, over time we had a far better employee base, less walk-offs, very few revocations. I screen the heck out of all candidates even if the managers want the person. If they are high risk, or non responsive to correcting the SF86…I make the call, pull the plug and do not submit.

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Thanks for the speedy response. I’ve posted once before and I have to admit. I am really frustrated with the process and the long wait. I applied in Oct 2017, and in March 2019 I got my interview, but it was all via HireVue so I didn’t even get to meet anyone, go on site, or ask questions about the position, etc. I was told the “we’ll let you know in two weeks” and I received my CJO in September, (6 months after interviewing). I constantly called my recruiter to check in and ask if there had been decision, but it generally took at least 2 weeks for my emails/calls to be returned. In that time, I went back to school for a language I thought would be helpful and that I can use to apply for language internships in case I didn’t get the job offer. Now, I am still working on a degree I don’t need, and a language that I may get to use in the future, but maybe not.

I know clearances are costly, but at the same time, having qualified candidates drop out because they cannot wait 2+ years for a definitive answer is also extremely costly. Is there any way to speed things up? Do I have to call my recruiter, or my recruiter’s boss and inquire more frequently? I was told in May that I would hear something definitive but at this rate, since I haven’t been scheduled yet for my suitability testing, I’m concerned that December is not feasible.

So you have already submitted an Equip or an SF 85 or 86 for this position? I am assuming it is a TS slot. Was there a Polygraph requirement? 18 months, sadly is the average for support positions. If one is Operational, or there is a dire need, you can get expedited and get the clearance eligibility in 3 to 8 months. May I ask if your finances are squared away? Criminal charge and recreational drug use history? Have you moved a lot, or are there extensive foreign contacts? All of these slow down a clearance BI as it must all be scoped. Debt is understandable right out of College, but everything needs be in a repayment plan and actively paid on. If there is unaddressed federal debt: school loans, taxes, that complicates things.

We all agree it is frustrating to wait for clearance eligibility, and it seems in the government interest to maintain a stable of well qualified people who would initiate the BI process even without a firm sponsor or job. Perhaps moving forward as part of National Service this change may come about. But for now, we all require a sponsor company with an authorized, cleared position in order to receive the BI.

I waited 2 yrs with zero issues; same job, residence for 30 yrs. Foreign travel but not extensive. Excellent credit, bla bla bla. Welcome to another world…