Suitability Adjudication vs Security Adjudication

Hey Everyone. I am confused about Suitability Adjudication vs Security Adjudication.

  1. What is the difference between them? I was reading articles online and they sound the same. They are 2 adjudication processes, does that mean they happen at the same time?
    2.One important question I am wondering is what information do they use? does the suitability and security adjudication use the same investigative file?
  2. Which are the guidelines that they use? do they use the same criteria? I read some forums where people fail the suitability but would have passed the security. Does that it’s harder to pass suitability?
  3. if you adjudicated suitability does that mean you are adjudicated for security?

Thanks everyone, I am just confused and want some information

Adjudicators evaluate pertinent data in a background investigation, as well as any other available information that is relevant and reliable, to determine:

  • Eligibility for logical and physical access to government facilities/IT systems (HSPD-12 credentialing guidelines)
  • Suitability for Federal Government employment or fitness to perform work for or on behalf of the Government as a contractor (OPM Suitability/Fitness guidelines).
  • Eligibility for access to classified information or to hold a sensitive position (National Security guidelines).

Here is how it works: when a background investigation for a national security position is completed and a favorable decision is made it covers suitability/fitness and HSPD-12 determinations as well. However, if the decision is unfavorable, the employing agency responsible for the individual must now determine whether to employ that person in a public trust or non-sensitive low risk position, or terminate employment. That is where the other two guidelines come into play. One can be eligible for HSPD-12 access or suitable for federal employment and not be eligible for a clearance. However, that being said, if you are not eligible for HSPD-12 access or suitable/fit for government employment then you are not eligible for a clearance.


Thanks for your input. What are the criteria for security? A few weeks ago I was told I completed suitability and now my file is in adjudication. I understand security and suitability isn’t the same thing but I don’t understand how they are different? They use the same information, so does that mean when you are favorable with one you are favorable for the other?