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Homeland Security

Interagency Security Committee Standards and Best Practices

The Interagency Security Committee’s (ISC’s) mandate is to enhance the quality and effectiveness of physical security in and the protection of buildings and non-military federal facilities in the United States. All non-military federal facilities in the United States will implement ISC standards regardless if the facility:

  • Is government-owned, leased, or managed.
  • Will be constructed or modernized.
  • Will be purchased.

ISC standards and best practices can be used to help federal security professionals implement security policies and mandatory standards. The ISC reviews and updates its products on a regular basis. Please be sure you are using the correct version, as some of the previous documents may have been superseded.

Standards                                             

August 2013/1st Edition – Risk Management Process: An Interagency Security Committee Standard

This ISC standard defines the criteria and processes that those responsible for a facility's security should use in determining its security level. This standard provides an integrated, single source of physical security countermeasures for all non-military federal facilities. It also provides guidance on countermeasure customization for federal facilities.
This standard incorporates the following appendices:

  • The Design-Basis Threat: An Interagency Security Committee Report, 9th Edition - Appendix A.
  • The Interagency Security Committee Countermeasures - Appendix B.
  • The Child Care Centers Level of Protection Template - Appendix C.

The subsequent standards and guidance have been superseded by the Risk Management Process Standard:

  1. March 2008/1st Edition - Facility Security Level Determinations for Federal Facilities: An ISC Standard.
  2. June 2009/1st Edition - Use of Physical Security Performance Measures.
  3. April 2010/1st Edition - Physical Security Criteria for Federal Facilities: An ISC Standard.
  4. January 2012/2nd Edition - Facility Security Committees: An Interagency Security Committee Standard.

September 2014/9th Edition - Design-Basis Threat (FOUO)

This report creates a profile of the type, composition, and capabilities of adversaries. This document can be updated easily and correlates with countermeasures in the ISC Risk Management Process for Federal Facilities: An Interagency Security Committee Standard. To keep pace with the changing nature of threats to federal facilities, updates to the Design-Basis Threat report are made every 6 months, and a full membership review of the document is conducted annually.

Users with a need-to-know may access this standard. To request access, please send an e-mail to ISCAccess@DHS.gov with your full name and contact information, including email, agency name, and reason for access.

February 2013/1st Edition – Items Prohibited from Federal Facilities – An ISC Standard

A standard that establishes a guideline process for establishing control of prohibited items into federal facilities and that identifies how to deny entry to those individuals who attempt to enter with such items.

January 2012/1st Edition – Security Specialist Competencies, An ISC Guideline

A guideline providing the range of core competencies that federal security specialists should possess to perform their basic duties and responsibilities.

Best Practices

November 2014/1st Edition - Best Practices for Working with Lessors: An Interagency Security Committee Guide

This guide provides a framework for federal agencies working with lessors to identify required security countermeasures early in the leasing process and to implement those measures in a risk-based approach before finalizing the lease agreement.

April 2013/2nd Edition – ISC – Best Practices for Armed Security Officers in Federal Facilities

This ISC best practices document recommends a set of minimum standards to be applied to all contract armed security officers assigned to U.S. buildings and facilities occupied by federal employees for non-military activities.

April 2013/1st Edition - Violence in the Federal Workplace: A Guide for Prevention and Response

This guide provides important information to assist department and agency security planners in addressing acts of violence in the workplace.

March 2013/1st Edition – ISC - Occupant Emergency Programs: An Interagency Security Committee Guide

This guide assists department and agency security planners in developing and reviewing Occupant Emergency Programs for the safety and security of employees and visitors at non-military federal facilities.

September 2012/1st Edition – CTTSO TSWG/ISC - Best Practices for Managing Mail Screening and Handling Processes: A Guide for the Public and Private Sectors (NON-FOUO)

This is a non-FOUO guide that provides mail center managers, their supervisors, and agency security personnel with a framework for understanding and mitigating risks posed to an organization its received and delivered the mail and packages. The original version of this document was produced with restricted dissemination and was only available to federal government agencies. The Interagency Security Committee has modified this document to be fully releasable to private individuals and organizations.

September 2011/1st Edition – Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office, Technical Support Working Group (CTTSO TSWG)/ISC - Best Practices for Mail Screening and Handling (FOUO)

This is a guide that provides mail center managers, their supervisors, and agency security personnel with a framework for understanding and mitigating risks posed to an organization by its received and delivered mail and packages.

Users with a need-to-know may access this guide. To request access, please send an e-mail to ISCAccess@DHS.gov with your full name and contact information, including e-mail, agency name, and reason for access.

Contact Information

Interagency Security Committee
Department of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20528
ATTN: Executive Director
E-mail: ISC@dhs.gov

Last Published Date: November 24, 2014
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