Personnel Reliability Program

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) [1] and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) [2] both have trustworthy and reliability requirements for access to Biological Select Agents and Toxins (BSAT) and radioactive materials, respectively. The NBACC Personnel Reliability Program (PRP) was created to help facilitate a culture of responsibility for Scientists, Research Associates, and any other Laboratory Support Staff to maintain safe and secure operations while complying with both the CDC and NRC requirements. For many positions at NBACC, employment is contingent on successful certification in the PRP.

The following qualifying factors are evaluated for certification in the PRP:

  • Mental alertness (mental and emotional stability);
  • Trustworthiness;
  • Physical competence (free of unstable medical conditions);
  • Dependability in accepting responsibilities (effective performance);
  • Flexibility in adjusting to changes;
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment in meeting adverse or emergency situations;
  • Free from drug/alcohol abuse or dependence;
  • Participation in random drug testing is required for the federal schedule 1 controlled substances, which at this time includes marijuana; and
  • Favorable adjudication for a minimum of a Secret National Security Clearance and DHS Suitability.

Certified individuals must self-report and peer-report any factors that could affect safe and secure operations. Examples of reportable information include, but are not limited to: any medications taken, changes in physical and mental health, family issues or other stressful factors, criminal offenses, civil actions, traffic citations, and substance/alcohol abuse. Individuals must also comply with activities specified in NBACC’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), Plans, and Regulations.

Mandatory Disqualifying Factors

  • Diagnosis of current drug/alcohol dependency; and
  • Drug use as listed below:
    • Use of illicit/illegal drugs within five years prior to the initial PRP interview. (This includes “one time” or “experimental” use).
    • Trafficking in illegal or controlled substances.

Other Factors Requiring Further Evaluation Prior to Certification

  • Use of another person’s prescription medication;
  • Medical Conditions – significant mental or physical medical conditions;
  • Inability to meet the safety requirements, such as unable to wear PPE or receive vaccinations;
  • Inappropriate attitude or behavior. For example:
    • Negligence in performance of work duties.
    • Involvement in a serious incident indicating contempt of the law or authority (assault, sexual misconduct, financial irresponsibility, contempt of court, making false official statements, habitual traffic offenses, and child or spousal abuse).
    • Attempting to conceal information through false or misleading statements.


This information is provided to facilitate prospective employees understanding of the PRP. This description is not necessarily comprehensive, and NBACC reserves the right to modify the PRP, PRP criteria, and PRP implementation without additional notice. Current employees should check with the Certifying Official for the most current criteria and implementation.

BNBI shall abide by the requirements of 41 CFR 60-1.4(a), 60-300.5(a) and 60-741.5(a). These regulations prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals based on their status as protected veterans or individuals with disabilities, and prohibits discrimination against all individuals based on their race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin. Moreover, these regulations require that covered prime contractors and subcontractors take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment individuals without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or veteran status.

[1] Guidance for Suitability Assessments, 7 CFR Part 331, 9 CFR Part 121, 42 CFR Part 73
[2] U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Imposed Trustworthiness and Reliability Requirements (Order EA-05-090 and Order EA-07-305)