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Personnel Suitability Guidance Position Sensitivity and Public Trust Risk Level Determinations


All Federal positions must be assigned a position sensitivity or public trust risk level that determine the type of security clearance or background investigation an individual must undergo to be placed in the position. When making a position sensitivity determination, a position’s duties and responsibilities are assessed against the requirement for access to national security data or information, the level of public trust vested in a position, and the position’s Computer/ADP risk level.

Positions designated as public trust positions generally involve the following duties or responsibilities:

  • Policy making;
  • Major program responsibility;
  • Public safety and health;
  • Law enforcement duties;
  • Fiduciary (monetary) responsibilities; and
  • Other activities demanding a significant degree of public trust such as access to, operation or control of proprietary systems of information-such as financial or personal records-with a significant risk for causing damage to people, programs or an agency, or for realizing personal gain.

Computer/ADP risk levels are based on the degree of involvement with USGS Information Technology (IT) systems as well as the criticality of the IT system to our mission.


For More Information

From the USGS


From the Code of Federal Regulation


Contact your servicing Human Resources Office.