National Credential
Credential: Adjudicator Professional Certification (APC)  NCCA resource
Credentialing Agency: Center for Development of Security Excellence (CDSE)

The Adjudicator Professional Certification (APC) is required for all Personnel Security Adjudicators in the DoD Consolidated Adjudication Facility, DoD Intelligence Community Central Adjudication Facilities, and personnel security adjudicators employed by an agency accepted to participate in the program.

More information can be found on the certifying agency's website.

Renewal Period: 2 years

Adjudicator Professional Certification (APC)

The following Army Occupations provide training and/or experience that contributes to attaining this credential:

Personnel Category Occupation Occupation Type Related As Promotion Points Skill Level Star Proponent Funded Gap Analysis
Enlisted 31B Military Police MOS other          
Enlisted 31D CID Special Agent MOS other          
Enlisted 31E Corrections and Detention Specialist MOS other          
Enlisted 31K Military Working Dog Handler MOS other          
Enlisted 31Z Senior Military Police Sergeant MOS other          
Enlisted Q9 Traffic Management and Collision Investigator ASI other          

Army Table Legend


Related As

The military occupations shown in this table are related to this credential in one of four ways: Most, Some, or Other.

Most: This credential is directly related to most of the major duties associated with the military occupation (at least 80%). Note that the credential may require additional education, training or experience before you are eligible for it.

Some: This credential is related to some tasks associated with the duties of the military occupation (related 80% to at least one or more critical tasks but less than 80% of all of the entire military occupation). Note that the credential may require additional education, training or experience before you are eligible for it.

Other: This credential is related to this military occupation, but is more advanced or specialized and therefore will likely require additional education, training, or experience.

Promotion Points Promotion Points icon

This credential has been approved for promotion points for this MOS towards promotion to Sergeant and Staff Sergeant. Clicking the Promotion Points icon will open a link to the promotion points fact sheet.

Skill Level Designation

Skill Level I: This skill level consists of all Soldiers in the ranks of Private (pay grade E-1) up to Specialist (pay grade E-4). Time in Service (TIS) is generally between initial entry and four Years of Service (YOS). This skill level is Entry-level positions requiring performance of tasks under direct supervision.

Institutional training:

  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level I
  • Basic Leader Course (BLC)

Skill Level II: This skill level is obtained when promoted to Sergeant (paygrade E-5). TIS is generally between 4-8 YOS. Positions requiring performance of more difficult tasks under general supervision; and in some instances, involving supervision of Soldiers in SL1.

Institutional training:

  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level II
  • Advance Leader Course (ALC)

Skill Level III: This skill level is obtained when promoted to Staff Sergeant (paygrade E-6). TIS is generally between 8-12 YOS. Positions requiring performance of still more difficult tasks and involving first line supervision of Soldiers in SL1 & SL2.

Institutional training:

  • Senior Leader Course (SLC)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level III

Skill level IV: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Sergeant First Class (paygrade E-7). TIS is generally between 12-18 YOS. Positions requiring relatively detailed knowledge of all tasks specified for a given MOS, normally involving first-line supervision of Soldiers in SLs 1, 2, and 3, and involving managerial duties.

Institutional training:

  • Master Leader Course (MLC)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level IV
  • Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education (SEJPME) I Course

Skill level V: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant (paygrade E-8). TIS is generally between 18-22 YOS. Positions requiring direct and indirect leadership roles with expertise in company and battalion-level operations and competency across a given CMF, serving as members of a staff at every level in the Army, with a full understanding of the allocation of resources and their utilization in order to accomplish Army functions and missions.

Institutional training:

  • United States Army Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level V

Skill level VI: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Sergeants Major (paygrade E-9). TIS is generally between 22-30 YOS. Positions requiring organizational leadership roles with multi-dimensional expertise in units and teams on division, corps, and Army staffs, integrated with Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational (JIIM) partners with a full understanding of the Force Generation process, operations at all echelons, and how the Army runs.

Star Credential Star icon

Star credentials are MOS enhancing, as designated by the Proponent. MOS enhancing credentials are directly related to an MOS or ASI, are taught either partially or completely as part of a Program of Instruction (POI), and improve the MOS technical proficiency.

Proponent Funded Funded icon

This icon indicates credentials which Soldiers may have funded through their MOS proponent. Some proponents offer credentialing opportunities in conjunction with military training and/or as part of MOS development beyond the training base.

Gap Analysis Has Analysis icon

A detailed analysis comparing the credential requirements to the military occupation has been completed. Click on the gap analysis icon to view the analysis page.

Adjudicator Professional Certification (APC)

Eligibility Requirements ()

Note: This credential may have multiple options for becoming eligible. Listed below are the minimum requirements based on the minimum degree required. To view other options, see the Eligibility tab.

  • Credential Prerequisite
  • Experience
  • Education
  • Training
  • Membership
  • Other
  • Fee

Exam Requirements ()

  • Written Exam
  • Oral Exam
  • Practical Exam
  • Performance Assessment

Renewal Period: 2 years

  • Continuing Education
  • Exam
  • Continuing Education OR Exam
  • Fee
  • Other

Center for Development of Security Excellence (CDSE)
938 Elkridge Landing Road
Linthicum Heights, MD  21090
Phone: (410) 865-3232
Contact Page

Adjudicator Professional Certification (APC)

The Adjudicator Professional Certification (APC) credential has the following other requirements:

  • To be eligible for SPeD certifications, candidates should currently be in one of the following positions or roles:

    • DoD personnel assigned to a security position or DoD volunteer;
    • DoD contractor personnel performing security duties directly for a DoD Component; or
    • Industry security professionals and practitioners performing duties under the National Industrial Security Program.
  • A candidate should be an employee in “good standing” by having his or her DoD employment status or affiliation confirmed by Component’s SPeD Certification Program Management Office (PMO) Point of Contact (POC).

  • Candidates are required to complete the SPeD Certification Registration Process in order to participate in the SPeD Certification Program:

    • Notify your supervisor or DoD Component SPeD Certification PMO of your intent to participate in the SPeD Certification Program.
    • In the Security Training, Education, and Professionalization Portal (STEPP):
      • Create or update your account ensuring your User Profile information is correct.
      • Select the checkbox in the User Profile section stating, “I would like to submit my information to create an account so that I may take SPeD certification tests.”
    • Verify your “My SPeD Certification” account when you receive your welcome email.
    • Select and complete the assessment request form link displayed on your “My SPeD Certification” account home page.
    • Schedule an assessment event after approval from your DoD Component.

Adjudicator Professional Certification (APC)

  • Adjudicative Guidelines (concerns, disqualifying conditions, mitigating conditions) (20%)
  • Adjudication Processing using the Whole Person Concept (16%)
  • National Security and the Personnel Security Program (16%)
  • Critical Terminologies (10%)
  • Procedures for Due Process (10%)
  • Type and Scope of Investigations (10%)
  • Types of Information Sources (9%)
  • Levels of Eligibility to Occupy a Sensitive Position and/or Access to Classified Information (7%)
  • Pertinent Statuses, Executive Orders, and Regulations Governing the Personnel Security Process (2%)

There are a number of resources available to help you prepare for the Adjudicator Professional Certification (APC) examination:

An additional resource is Safari Books Online, a searchable digital library that provides online access to thousands of books, training videos and conference sessions. See the Educational Resources page here on COOL to learn how to get free access.

Adjudicator Professional Certification (APC)

Renewal Period: 2 years

The Adjudicator Professional Certification (APC) credential has the following recertification information:

  • To maintain the certification, candidates are required to successfully complete and record 100 Professional Development Units (PDUs) and submit a Certification Renewal Form (CRF) during the two-year certification maintenance cycle. To accrue PDUs, candidates must successfully complete professional development activities that fall under approved professional development categories. These categories and their definitions may be found under the Certification Maintenance and Renewal Procedures.