Your Position Sensitivity Tier (Level)

Your Position Sensitivity Tier (formerly referred to as Sensitivity Level)

Each position at NIH is assigned a level of risk and sensitivity that determines the kind of background check that is required for that position. The Position Sensitivity Table summarizes personnel security/suitability requirements.

The majority of NIH employees and contractors are in non-sensitive "Tier 1" positions and will undergo a ‘National Agency Check with Inquiries’ (NACI). This is the minimum investigation required for new Federal employees and contractors.  All NIH personnel security investigations are processed through the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

Institutes and Centers should use the worksheets developed by the NIH Personnel Security Subcommittee as part of a NED enhancement to guide them in determining job sensitivity levels as part of a NED enhancement.

Non-Sensitive (Tier 1)

Non-Sensitive positions are those which include mostly low risk, non-sensitive, and non-national security program responsibilities.
  • Tier 1 – non-sensitive (formerly NACI Level 1)
  • Tier 1 with Child Care -- non-sensitive (formerly CNACI Level 1)

Public Trust (Tier 2 & 4)

Public Trust positions are those positions which require a high degree of integrity with public confidence in the individual occupying the position.
  • Tier 2 -- moderate risk (formerly MBI Level 5B)
  • Tier 4 -- high risk (formerly BI Level 6)

National Security (Tier 3 & 5)

National Security positions are those in which the incumbent needs a security clearance for access to classified, national security information.
  • Tier 3 – non critical sensitive (formerly ANACI Level 2)
  • Tier 5 – critical sensitive or special access (formerly SSBI Levels 3 & 4)


Back to the Top