Friday, March 5, 2021

Training and Goals for Cleared Defense Contractor Employees

Putting first things first. That has been a motto for many after reading books such as Franklin Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People or Reverend Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life. Those and several similar motivational publications stress that everyone has the same amount of time in a day. What we do during that time helps us either make or goals or fail before we even get started.

   As leaders, FSOs can help cleared defense contractor employees understand how to create incredible security programs. Focusing on training, interaction with other cleared employees, self-improvement and institutional education should be part of professional development. FSOs and managers who write evaluations for direct reports have an excellent opportunity to help them establish goals to become better at their jobs, more impactful in their careers and hopefully, groomed to become FSO’s themselves. Challenging employees and team members to achieve personal and professional goals breeds success.

Security certifications such as ISP Certification and ISOC certification are goals cleared employees could take as a goal as well as encourage employees to achieve. The employee gains from such education and a prestigious career milestone. The organization also benefits from what the security employee learns and applies on the job. When employees study for the ISP Certification, they learn: how to read and apply the NISPOM, the importance of forming professional relationships with cleared employees, how the cleared contractor and the DSS representatives interact, and much more.

   A leader also creates pride in the organization and employee by making them more competitive in their career and providing basis for professional pride. When employees are challenged with the goal, the manager can help by providing or allowing education as found on the DCSA, professional organization or vendor websites. Studies on NISPOM topics are available on the internet as well as on site. If your team is large enough, consider helping them start a study group.

   Here are 2 good training ideas:

  1. If the cleared contractor facility has multiple security employees, provide an opportunity to cross train. Security employees who work personnel security issues could work with document control and etc. Also, consider allowing security employees from one discipline inspect anther security section during the annual self inspection.
  2. Another idea is for the FSO to create an internal certification program. This helps integrate new employees into their jobs. A self-certification program would train an employee on performing individual tasks. The employee works under a mentor who verifies and documents the training. This training covers how the cleared contractor facility security employees practice document control, manage personnel security, provide classified contract support and etc. If such a program exists in your organization, consider using it for further cross training employees who concentrate only on one task. This will help them become more experienced and more prepared for the exam.

Employees may not feel comfortable asking for NISPOM Fundamentals Training, setting prestigious goals, or asking for funding for professional organizations or certifications. However, a supervisor who is aware of such opportunities can encourages the employee to become engaged.

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 Jeffrey W. Bennett, ISP is the owner of Red Bike Publishing Red Bike Publishing . He regularly consults, presents security training, and recommends export compliance and intellectual property protection countermeasures. He is an accomplished writer of non-fiction books, novels and periodicals. Jeff is an expert in security and has written many security books including: "Insider's Guide to Security Clearances" and "How to Get U.S. Government Contracts and Classified Work", "ISP(R) and ISOC Master Exam Prep", and NISPOM/FSO Training".

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