TS only (No SCI) worth the hassle?

I currently have a Secret Clearance. Recently my supervisor asked if I would have any problem if I was sponsored for an upgrade to TS/SCI, so I could do work on a different program our company manages. I told my supervisor I was fine with this, and she initiated the process. I have received an email confirming that my supervisor did this, but have not received anymore emails. Thus, I have not started filling out my SF86.

Fast forward a few weeks, I find out I’m getting transferred to a different department, because they are short staffed and need someone with my particular set of skills. My supervisor said that since it costs our company $$$ for me to go through the TS/SCI clearance process, and since I wasn’t going to need it now that I’m transferring, that she would continue the process for me to get my TS clearance without SCI, since it costs the company less $$$. She said I could be sponsored for SCI access later if need be.

I have no idea if what my supervisor said was accurate. So after that long-winded intro, my question is what good is a TS clearance without SCI access? Is it even worth going through the hassle?

In some cases (depending on the program/customer/phase of the moon), the investigative requirement for TS is the same as for SCI, it is just an additional adjudication. One program I worked on, they put people who already had Secret in for the TS first, and then did the SCI, and it went pretty quickly.

I guess the TS would show that you are “clearable” to that level.

I now stand back from the keyboard and await differing input :slight_smile:


You always try and go to another company after you get your TS clearance and have them sponsor your SCI.

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The investigation for TS also covers the requirements for TS/SCI. A Tier 5 investigation though NBIB costs the same regardless of the end clearance need.


Thanks for confirming that. I know it was true a few years ago but with these multi-tier investigations I’m not sure anymore.

Thanks to everyone for your answers.

Yes, the TS investigation is 100% the same for both. My client adds a Poly to get their SCI. We have Secret, TS, and TS SCI cleared employees. Our new program manager added an incentive to get the TS from Secret, giving an additional $2 an hour. This encourage employees to apply for higher levels. It benefits the company if you are cleared TS. Each client gets to specify their own special access requirements. Bottom line: this opens more doors for you employment wise. But the BI goes deeper than for Secret. So if you have bones rolling around the closet they may see light of day.

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Do all SCI require a poly?

No. I believe it is up to the owner of the material if they determine a Poly is required. There are criminal Polys, targeted and specific Poly, Counter Intell, Lifestyle, and full scope which is is roughly speaking all of them rolled up into one nice fun afternoon or morning. My first SCi was granted in 2000, no poly whatsoever. Past 8 years, full scope Polys every 4 to 5. So lots of trip to funland.


How was your polys? I know some people claim this is pseudo science but did you feel like it was accurate?

Aggravating, infuriating, frustrating, angering…stuttering…and I don’t stutter. Does that about cover it? Worn out like a wet dish rag at the conclusion is the best way to describe it. Exactly what they are measuring, I am told is completely separate from what you are feeling. I can tell you I did not enjoy any of the four I endured. Nobody likes Poly. It is just something to be suffered through.

I appreciate the insight into the process of the poly, but I’m confused at why #3 and #4 poly would be as stressful as the 1st time??

If nothing has technically changed after the 1st poly, I would assume that you would be more confident regarding the process unless they would ask do you waste 5 minutes of time at work or do you check your FB while being paid??


Have you brought your cellphone into the SCIFF then you think about the last 5 years and every single time and make up a reason why you had a smartphone in your pocket when you didn’t??

Not saying you ever did that but can’t think of a better example ATM

Because technically they only do the 2,3,4 poly if you are producing responses. So imagine being told you have issues that are unresolved from things you are adamant you are being truthful about. Now you have doubts trying to scour your brain of any and every time you could of maybe possibly done whatever you are producing responses for. Then you go again adamant that you are telling the truth but there is the gnawing issue in the back of your mind that maybe you DID forget to mention something.

Truth be told mine wasn’t a horror story but I did hear some from people getting them done at the same time.

I’ve been in a Poly required position for almost 8 years. So I had the initial, a follow up, and then went back into the re-investigation cycle 4 years later. Not everyone gets a Poly in their re-investigation. Some go 15 years with no Poly. Me? I had to complete another, with a call back on the re-investigation. I expect I will get another in 3.5 years as I once again enter the cycle. You can and will likely get questions on bringing phones in. And yes I have. And occasionally I still do. Search pockets, walk in, realize it is in your hand. I instruct all our people to self report and mitigate the issue. By self reporting and being honest it speaks to integrity. If you repeat the “accidents” a few times sooner or later the employee does require a write-up. You will also have questions about using the office copier and the email system. I see these as control questions as everyone does it (no mom, if every one jumped off a bridge or ate dog poop I would not do that) to one extent or another. Is it reasonable and fair use? Or are you running a business on the side? Several people have and paid a high price for it. My client runs 99% of our people twice on the Poly. Once in a blue moon we get a person with a single ride. 10 to 15% have follow up interviews afterwards. I see those as a positive. Because if it is a negative the revocation is swift. Any time they run twice or follow up with interviews it is to clarify or explain away an anomaly. I’ve had people told in the room they wanted another. I had them wait an hour or so to call them back and I had a few go 5 months before getting a call back. No rhyme, no reason. If you have no clue exactly what question they had issues with, they are all nerve-wracking. Even knowing fully well you have done nothing wrong…your career, your income, your life, your mortgage…are technically all on the line. So yes each Poly is something to be concerned with.

Make sure your TS is SSBI with qualifies you to work in SCI ( Specific for different jobs) Your TS-SSBI says you are qualified to be read-in for an SCI program. When not in SCI it can be listed on you resume, you can say previous SCI. It should list TS-SSBI when not in SCI program.

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