2020 Year End Report

Message from Leadership

DCSA Asst. Director (Security Training and Education) Kevin Jones

Kevin Jones
DCSA Asst. Director
(Security Training and Education)

Letter from DCSA

DCSA Deputy Asst. Director (Security Training and Education) Erika Ragonese

Erika Ragonese
DCSA Deputy Asst. Director
(Security Training and Education)

Letter from CDSE

What did we do this year?

As part of the Federal Government's largest counterintelligence and security agency, we continued to educate, train, and certify millions of civilian and military personnel and cleared contractors entrusted to protect our national security.

In March, we celebrated a decade of security learning achievement, delivering award-winning curricula and content.

CDSE 10 Year Anniversary logo

We put safety first.

In March, we postponed all instructor-led training due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure that students still received their required training, we made our three most popular instructor-led courses available virtually in a collaborative environment.

disposable surgical face mask

We provided operations security training in support of the National Defense Strategy.

Screenshot of laptop with cup of coffee, glasses, pen, pencil, and notepad

To ensure the workforce was practicing good Operations Security (OPSEC) during the pandemic, the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) made our OPSEC course mandatory for all DOD employees, which quickly expanded to become an OPSEC Campaign comprised of four courses with an introductory SECDEF video.

CDSE recorded 3,957,016 total course completions for the OPSEC Campaign by the end of fiscal year 2020.

"[CDSE] is honored to see them approved and promoted as the source to be accessed by many throughout DOD to support the SECDEF's OPSEC concerns and to impact national security."

  • Erika Ragonese
  • DCSA Deputy Asst. Director (Security Training and Education)

We provided training support for the development of countermeasures against COVID-19.

As part of the Operation Warp Speed (OWS) Program, we developed the "Operation Warp Speed and Beyond" toolkit and "Insider Risk Programs for the Healthcare and Public Health Sectors" job aid.

We supported the National Counter Intelligence and Security Center's (NCSC) annual National Supply Chain Integrity Month this past April by developing two webinars, a poster, a security awareness newsletter, and an updated toolkit.

Insider Risk Programs for the Healthcare and Public Health Sectors Job Aid Operation Warp Speed seal Poster for Supply Chain Resilience Month

We brought together civilian and military security professionals from across the globe.

We pivoted the in-person DOD Security Conference in June to 100% virtual with the theme "A Vision of Security for the Future." There were 2,700 security professionals in attendance from over 39 different agencies and services across 18 countries.

DOD Security Conference

We adapted our offerings to ensure student success.

We created a conditional way forward for the National Industrial Security Policy Oversight Course (NISPOC), developing an interim mock ride-along model to replace the in-person ride alongs to facilities. This model allows field office chiefs to certify that an Industrial Security Representative (IS Rep) is ready to perform at the full performance level in the field and successfully graduate.

"The NISPOC workaround that [CDSE] put together was very well received by the field and is working well...grateful for the efforts done to put this process in place."

  • Field Office Chief

We sustained our relationships with our stakeholders.

In September, we conducted the 2020 Curriculum Review Meeting (CRM) virtually. We discussed what worked, where gaps existed, and the importance of communicating available training to the workforce with our stakeholders.

We established the Government and Industry Security Training (GIST) committee, first meeting on August 26, composed of Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) representatives and industry partner representatives.

Curriculum Review

We continued to bring insider threat awareness to DOD and industry personnel.

In 2020, we built a dedicated website that provides awareness materials to build an insider threat program. We built a Case Study Library for studying analyzed accounts of real-world security activities, events, and threats to build awareness and help identify the impacts of adverse behavior on National Security.

This was our year of firsts, with our first app for iOS and Android mobile devices that expands the availability of posters, videos, security awareness games, job aids, case studies, and more. We also hosted the first Insider Threat Awareness Conference in September with 1,669 participants.

screenshot of CDSE Case Study Library screenshot of Sentry app screenshot of NITAM website

We continued to show our excellence with our accreditation.

ACE logo

This year, six education courses and one training course were evaluated and received graduate-level credit recommendations by the American Council on Education, an organization that mobilizes the higher education community to shape effective public policy and foster innovative, high-quality practice. Currently, CDSE has a total of 32 courses with college credit recommendations.

"Our goal was to build a cadre of people to handle the current challenges facing leaders of security programs and prepare them to handle the emerging issues of tomorrow from a leadership perspective. One of the key things about our courses that really adds value to the security community is that they focus on DOD issues and challenges."

  • Scott Hill
  • CDSE Education Division Chief

COE accreditation seal

We submitted our Institutional Reaffirmation Self-Study Report to the Council on Occupational Education (COE), despite the pandemic limitations, and rescheduled the onsite for 2021. COE is a national accrediting agency, recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, for assuring quality and integrity standards in career and technical education.

We automated and digitized the certification program.

In 2020, we optimized the certification process available to security-cleared military, DOD civilians, and defense contractors, streamlining many of the manual tasks, or eliminating them all together, by distributing digital badges. We have issued 8,755 digital badges to SPēD certification holders.

Digital Badging

We used innovative methods to continue to reach out to our customers.

We launched three new outreach methods including "Know Your CDSE Webinars," a monthly Security Awareness "Pulse" Newsletter, and four Public Service Announcements.

screenshot of Know Your CDSE webinar screenshot of CDSE Pulse screenshot of CDSE PSA

We leveraged technology every step of the way.

This year, we hosted many virtual events in our online platform to include five CDSE town halls, two new employee orientations, a NITAM conference, 16 webinars (6,065 live participants), and 15 NISPOC iterations.

We evaluated new software, an eLearning Content Controller, and solicited the participation of nine agencies. We were able to share six courses and had 90,358 course completions.

virtual meeting

Our numbers continued to grow throughout the pandemic.

Certifications with National Level Accreditation
Certifications with National Level Accreditation
Number increments from 0 to 6.

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Courses with ACE™ Credit Recommendations

course completions icon
education advanced-level course completions


conferrals icon
certification conferrals

web views icon
website views


case studies icon
case studies downloaded


security shorts icon
job aids viewed


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security shorts accessed


PDUs icon
certification PDUs earned

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toolkits accessed


course completions icon
OPSEC Campaign course completions

unique to 2020

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course completions


What did you say?

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