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Foreign Travel Training

UPDATE - 2022 Extension of Blanket FACT Waivers Due to COVID-19 EXPIRES on April 1, 2023

Foreign Affairs Counter Threat (FACT) training remains ongoing utilizing COVID-19 mitigation protocols and there are FACT seats available, and personnel are encouraged to enroll in FACT as soon as possible and not to wait for the FACT waiver period to end. 

With the COVID-19 pandemic ongoing, the Department of State has extended the current blanket FACT waiver for certain categories of personnel.

To ensure personnel can undertake official travel to foreign areas when required, an extension of the blanket FACT waiver was granted for U.S. government personnel from any department, agency, or entity for whom FACT training requirements would normally apply and who are traveling abroad on official duty (regardless of whether the travel is PCS or TDY) to posts with at least one Security Environment Threat List (SETL) rating in the High range for Crime, Terrorism, or Political Violence until April 1, 2023.

However, personnel assigned to or traveling to posts rated Low, Medium, or High in these categories must take or recertify Counter Threat Awareness Training (CTAT) if those personnel do not have a valid CTAT training completion certificate from within the last year, or do not meet an exemption from taking CTAT.

FACT training remains required for posts with at least one SETL rating in the Critical range and posts designated as High-Threat/High-Risk (HTHR).

The extended blanket waiver will remain in effect until those personnel to which it applies travel back to the United States on official orders following the blanket waiver dates applicable to the post where they are serving.

Counter Threat Awareness Training (CTAT)

Traveling internationally fewer than 90 days cumulative for the calendar year?

CTAT fulfills a Department of State mandatory training requirement for all personnel traveling internationally for less than a cumulative 90 days for the calendar year. CTAT is not required for, and does not include, non-official (personal) international travel.

CTAT training on the CLC takes approximately 5 hours to complete all modules. The CTAT completion certificate is valid for 6 years, at which time the training must be completed again.

If an individual is executing official international travel and does not have access to the CLC, the CTAT is accessible via the Department of State Foreign Service Institute (FSI) website which temporarily is offered free of charge.

Foreign Affairs Counter Threat (FACT)

Traveling internationally for 90 days or more (e.g. Permanent Change of Station to overseas post) cumulative for the calendar year?

Personnel who will incur 90 days or more of official international travel cumulative for the calendar year on temporary duty [or on permanent change of station (PCS) orders] are required to complete the 5-day FACT course. Enrollment procedures, cost, course schedule and other information regarding this training can be found at the Department of State (DOS) Foreign Service Institute (FSI) website. This course is valid for 6 years.

A valid FACT course certificate will be recognized in lieu of the CTAT requirement for official international travel.

Counterintelligence Briefings

The Department of State requires specific Counterintelligence briefings prior to approving official government travel to some countries.

Applicable DOC travelers will be notified of this requirement via their eCountry Clearance response message directing them to contact Diplomatic Security's Counterintelligence division (DOS/DS/CI) to receive this briefing. DOC is able to provide the counterintelligence briefings directly to Department travelers so please contact your bureau’s Field Servicing Security Office to ensure compliance with this requirement.


For questions related to CTAT or FACT training requirements:

If you are Commerce personnel, please contact the Office of Security Training Program POC at OSY-PPCD@doc.gov

If you are not Commerce personnel, please visit the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) for answers and contact information: https://www.state.gov/contact-us-foreign-service-institute/