Latest News 

New Paper Offers Recommendations to Reimagine SCIF Life

Sep 25, 2023, 09:07 AM by Nicole Leung
In a September 2023 white paper, INSA's Intelligence Champions Council provides recommendations for both government and industry employers on ways to improve the physical and cultural environments for the IC's cleared workforce.

September 25, 2023 (ARLINGTON, VA)—The Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) today released a new paper, Reimagining the SCIF Life, that provides recommendations for both government and industry employers on ways to improve the physical and cultural environments for the Intelligence Community’s (IC) cleared workforce.

Developed by INSA's Intelligence Champions Council, the paper seeks to reimagine how the IC workforce works. The paper notes that the global pandemic forced organizations to reconsider their approach to remote work, and the IC has demonstrated that it can sustain a hybrid model. However, while some employers restructured to accommodate the workforce’s desire for greater flexibility and work-life balance, other organizations are pushing for a return to the status quo. If changes are not implemented and policies adjusted, the authors note, both recruitment efforts and readiness will be diminished, as top cleared talent is increasingly reluctant to compromise on lifestyle accommodations.  

The paper offers six recommendations for improving the workplace environment for the cleared workforce, while maintaining compliance with Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities (SCIF) security requirements.

  1. Financial incentives: offer bonuses for SCIF work.
  2. Amped up technology: improve SCIF tech to be on par with commercial infrastructure.
  3. Internet zones: expand access for unclassified, personal communication.
  4. Universal device registration: standardize medical and fitness device reciprocity.
  5. “We-work” SCIFs: increase workspace availability and flexibility.
  6. Accelerate the reform of security clearance process: speed up adoption of the National Background Investigation Services (NBIS) system.

In conclusion, agency leaders and managers play an essential role moving forward with policies, training, technology enhancements, and employee engagement. Development of these programs will allow managers flexibility in work schedules, build trust, increase readiness, and retention of cleared talent. Both government and industry employers need to continuously address the quality-of-life challenges inherent to working in a SCIF. Attracting and retaining top talent will depend on innovative solutions consistent with mission requirements. 

For additional information about INSA's policy councils, contact

Download the report!