Derivative Classifiers Are Required To Have All The Following Except


Derivative classifiers play a crucial role in the classification and protection of sensitive information, especially within government agencies and organizations. They are responsible for applying classification markings to documents and materials, ensuring that the appropriate level of protection is maintained. However, there are specific requirements and guidelines that derivative classifiers must adhere to in order to effectively carry out their responsibilities. In this article, we will delve into the essential qualifications and attributes that derivative classifiers are required to have, while also highlighting what they should not possess.

Role of Derivative Classifiers

Derivative classifiers are individuals who have been designated with the authority to apply classification markings to information based on guidance provided by original classification authorities (OCAs). Their primary role is to ensure that information is properly labeled with the appropriate classification level, such as Top Secret, Secret, or Confidential, and any additional control markings as necessary. This includes assessing the sensitivity of the information, its potential impact on national security, and the need to protect it from unauthorized disclosure.

Essential Qualifications for Derivative Classifiers

Derivative classifiers must possess a specific set of qualifications and attributes in order to effectively carry out their responsibilities. These qualifications include:

1. Security Clearance: Derivative classifiers must hold an active security clearance at the appropriate level for the information they are classifying. This ensures that they have undergone the necessary background checks and investigations to access and handle sensitive and classified information.

2. Training and Certification: Derivative classifiers are required to undergo specialized training and certification programs that provide them with the knowledge and skills needed to properly apply classification markings and handle classified information. This training may be provided by the government or through accredited organizations.

3. Knowledge of Classification Guidelines: Derivative classifiers need to have a thorough understanding of classification guidelines and policies, including the standards outlined in the National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) directives. This includes an awareness of the various classification levels, control markings, and declassification processes.

4. Attention to Detail: Accuracy is crucial when applying classification markings, and derivative classifiers must have a keen attention to detail to ensure that the correct markings are applied to information. Mistakes in classification can lead to unauthorized access and compromise national security.

What Derivative Classifiers are Required to Have Except

In addition to the essential qualifications mentioned above, derivative classifiers are required to possess specific attributes and characteristics in order to effectively carry out their responsibilities. However, there are certain traits that derivative classifiers should not have in order to ensure the integrity and effectiveness of the classification process. These include:

1. Bias or Personal Agenda: Derivative classifiers must be impartial and objective when applying classification markings to information. They should not let personal biases or agendas influence their decisions, as this could lead to inappropriate classification or declassification of information.

2. Lack of Understanding of the Information’s Sensitivity: It is essential for derivative classifiers to have a clear understanding of the sensitivity of the information they are handling. They should not downplay or underestimate the potential impact of the information, as this could result in inadequate protection and potential security breaches.

3. Inadequate Communication Skills: Derivative classifiers need to effectively communicate with OCAs and other stakeholders to ensure that classification markings are applied accurately. They should not have poor communication skills that could result in misunderstandings or misinterpretations of classification guidance.

4. Inconsistency in Applying Classification Markings: Consistency is key when applying classification markings, and derivative classifiers should not demonstrate a pattern of inconsistency in their approach. This could lead to confusion and errors in the handling of classified information.


In conclusion, derivative classifiers play a critical role in the classification and protection of sensitive information. They are required to possess specific qualifications, training, and attributes to effectively carry out their responsibilities. By adhering to these requirements and avoiding the traits mentioned above, derivative classifiers can contribute to the maintenance of national security by ensuring that information is properly protected and classified.

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