The Personnel Security Screening (PERSEC) section is crucial in protecting the organization. Alongside other departments, this unit needs to constantly adapt to organizational changes and performance measurement standards. As an example, in fiscal years 2020 and 2022, the public service grew by  4.0% per year on average, while the historical percentage was only 1.0% per year.

With this growth, PERSEC units have expanded their teams and are facing pressures relating to  turnaround times, time spent on files and quality control. Additionally, the solution to improve results in one metric, such as turnaround time, might affect other results like the quality of research.

What to do? Based on our experience training personnel security professionals, we recommend:

  1. Improve efficiency by reducing the time in “mundane tasks” (for example, when an analyst consumes copying and pasting phone numbers across websites). Investment in technology to reduce low-value tasks will allow professionals to focus on high-value tasks like information analysis.
  2. Refine processes and procedures using templates, standardizing file structures, nomenclature and optimizing workflows.
  3. Prioritize metrics until desired benchmarks are reached.
  4. Of course, we also recommend training that provides learners with the skills they need through case studies and practical scenarios.

To summarize, a PERSEC unit must focus on risk reduction while adapting to a changing context. Technology, clear processes and procedures, adjusted metrics, and training will help to enhance value and reduce effort in the OSINT screening process.

We invite you and your team to enroll in the next edition of our in-person PERSEC course in January 2024. You can find all the details here.