CFATS Risk-Based Performance Standard (RBPS) 12 — Personnel Surety

CFATS Announcement

As of July 28, 2023, Congress has allowed the statutory authority for the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program (6 CFR Part 27) to expire.

Therefore, CISA cannot enforce compliance with the CFATS regulations at this time. This means that CISA will not require facilities to report their chemicals of interest or submit any information in CSAT, perform inspections, or provide CFATS compliance assistance, amongst other activities. CISA can no longer require facilities to implement their CFATS Site Security Plan or CFATS Alternative Security Program.

CISA encourages facilities to maintain security measures. CISA’s voluntary ChemLock resources are available on the ChemLock webpages.

If CFATS is reauthorized, CISA will follow up with facilities in the future. To reach us, please contact

RBPS 12 - Personnel Surety is the risk-based performance standard to ensure appropriate background checks on and credentials for facility personnel, and (as appropriate) unescorted visitors with access to restricted areas or critical assets. Under this RBPS, facilities must perform four types of background checks, including measures designed to:

i) Verify and validate identity.

ii) Check criminal history.

iii) Verify and validate legal authorization to work.

iv) Identify people with terrorist ties (Part iv is implemented through the CFATS Personnel Surety Program [PSP]).

What Is a Critical Asset?

A critical asset is an asset whose theft, diversion, loss, damage, disruption, or degradation would result in a significant adverse impact to human life, national security, or a critical economic asset. Assets include but are not limited to:

  • Physical security infrastructure, activities, procedures, personnel, or measures that comprise all or part of the facility's system for managing security risks.
  • Physical safety infrastructure, activities, procedures, personnel, or measures for managing process safety and emergency response measures.
  • Cyber systems involved in the management of processes, process safety, security, product or material stewardship, or business management and control.
  • Vessels, process equipment, piping, transport vessels, or any container or equipment used in the processing or holding of chemicals.
  • On-site and off-site response protocols.
  • Warehouses, vaults, storage bays, and similar infrastructure.
  • Specially trained, qualified personnel who are engaged in the management of security and safety risk.

Security Measures for Personnel Surety

Under RBPS 12, background checks can range from simple employment screening (e.g., using public or commercially available records and investigation to confirm or disprove the accuracy of an applicant's resume) to comprehensive investigations that consider prior criminal activity, immigration status, credit checks, and potential terrorist ties.

Part i — Measures to verify and validate identity

Covered chemical facilities should consider measures to:

  • Conduct a social security/name trace search to verify that the employee's name and social security number match.

Results may also be used to cross-reference addresses supplied by the applicant to ensure the integrity of the information on the job application or resume.

Part ii — Measures to check criminal history

Covered chemical facilities should consider measures to:

  • Search federal, state, and county criminal records in all jurisdictions in which the individual has worked or resided during the previous seven years.

Results may uncover any criminal charges, outstanding warrants, dates, sentencing, disposition for felonies or misdemeanors, and major traffic violations.

A second type of search that often is used to check criminal history is a national criminal scan. A national scan serves as a supplement to Criminal History Searches by searching to identify criminal activity in jurisdictions outside of the geographical locations of current and previous residences and employment.

Part iii — Measures to verify and validate legal authorization to work

Covered chemical facilities should consider measures to:

  • Validate legal authorization to work through the filing of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Form I-9: Employment Eligibility Verification or through DHS's E-Verify program.

Part iv — Measures to identify people with terrorist ties

Part iv — Screening for Terrorist Ties is implemented through the CFATS Personnel Surety Program (PSP). Because information regarding terrorist ties is not publicly available, CISA screens relevant individuals through the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB).

PSP will be implemented in a phased approach, so high-risk chemical facilities will be individually notified when CISA expects them to begin updating their security plans and begin implementing RBPS 12(iv). Facilities do not need to take any action on PSP until contacted by CISA.

Contact Information

The information provided is derived from the CFATS RBPS Guidance. For additional information on RBPS 12 and all other RBPS, please visit the RBPS webpage.

For more information about the CFATS program, please contact