Introduction to Special Access Programs (SAPs) SA101.01

Description: This course focuses on the Department of Defense (DOD) Special Access Program (SAP) fundamentals and is designed to prepare students to become SAP Security Professionals. The lessons address security enhancements across all security disciplines, compliance inspections and their requirements, annual reviews, and audits. The course is administered through eLearning prerequisites and synchronous elements using the collaborative learning environment (CLE) STEPP. Class activities include group and individual practical exercises, quizzes, a team capstone, and a final course exam. The prerequisite eLearning courses/exams that provide a comprehensive introduction to SAP must be successfully completed prior to requesting enrollment into the Instructor-led course.

Learning Objectives: This course is designed to enable students to:

  • Apply SAP policy documents
  • Demonstrate the rationale for enhanced personnel security requirements
  • Apply the requirements of the National Industrial Security Program and the DD Form 254
  • Identify SAP Cybersecurity procedures
  • Illustrate the requirements for security awareness and training
  • Identify proper visit request procedures
  • Understand requirements and documentation involved in establishing a SAP facility
  • Explain the characteristics of the five SAP-accredited areas
  • Describe items that are prohibited in SAP facilities
  • Differentiate between authorized methods of transmission and transportation of SAP material
  • Categorize security incidents and causes
  • Analyze fundamental investigative practices for security incidents
  • Recommend corrective actions for security incidents
  • Apply SAP marking procedures to classified documents
  • Describe the roles and responsibilities of oversight agencies
  • Discuss the five-step Operations Security (OPSEC) process
  • Develop an annual refresher training session and present to the entire class

Delivery Method: Instructor-led

Length: 3.5 days

Target Audience: Newly assigned DOD and Federal civilian, military, and contractor SAP security professionals, SAP non-security professionals, and security professionals needing refresher training on SAP policy.


  • Clearance Requirement: If you are attending the course in Linthicum, MD, no clearance eligibility is required. If you are attending the course at a location other than Linthicum, MD (mobile offering), a Secret clearance is required.
  • Attendance Requirement: Full-time attendance at all sessions and participation in practice exercises.
  • Exam Requirements: Students must earn an 80 percent cumulative grade average of all practical exercises, quizzes and exams.


  • Students may enroll for the Introduction to Special Access Programs (SAPs) Prerequisite Page (SA101.10PR) at any time and begin completing the list of prerequisites. NOTE: Students do not need to retake courses they have already completed, but are encouraged to review courses if more than one year has lapsed.
  • Upon completion of the prerequisites, students will be able to request registration for an offering they wish to attend.
  • Approximately 60 days prior to their course selection date, students will be placed in an Action Required status and will have access to the Pre-course Comprehensive Examination. After completing the Pre-course Comprehensive Examination, the course administrator will review the student’s registration request. If the course is full, the student will be placed on the WAIT LIST pending a cancellation. Should a student not receive a seat for their registered iteration, the student will receive an email stating their registration has been cancelled. The student will have a one-year grace period to register for another iteration. If the year expires, the student must retake the Pre-course Comprehensive Examination.

Prerequisites: You are required to successfully complete all prerequisites prior to requesting enrollment in the Instructor-led course.

  • Introduction to Information Security Course and Exam IF011.16
  • Marking Special Categories of Classified Information and Exam IF105.16
  • Special Access Programs (SAP) Overview Course and Exam SA001.16
  • Developing a Security Education and Training Program Course and Exam GS104.16
  • Transmission and Transportation for DOD Course and Exam IF107.16
  • Introduction to Physical Security Course and Exam PY011.16
  • Introduction to Personnel Security Course and Exam PS113.16
  • Preparing the DD Form 254 IS128.16
The following video is required:

*NOTE: You are required to successfully complete all eLearning courses/exams before requesting enrollment to the course. A prerequisite exam will be assigned to your dashboard 60 days prior to your selected offering which you must pass before course attendance can be approved.

Introduction to Special Access Programs Pre-course Comprehensive Exam:  
  • Assigned 60 days prior to the course start date. The status of your registration request will be updated to Action Required. Follow the instructions on the dashboard of your STEPP account to access the exam.
  • The passing score is 80 percent.
  • The examination has a one-hour time limit and is open book.
  • Must be passed before course attendance can be approved.

Credits Recommended/Earned:

  • ACE Credit Recommendation: (What's this?): 2 semester hours, lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category
  • Professional Development Units per SPēD: PDUs are determined by length of course and IAW with current Certification Maintenance Guidelines
  • Continuing Education Units (CEUs): Contact CompTIA to find out about CEUs for this course.

System Requirements: Check if your system is configured appropriately to use STEPP.

CDSE courses are intended for use by Department of Defense and other U.S. Government personnel and contractors within the National Industrial Security Program.

Course Schedule

Mar 19 - 22, 2024 (El Segundo, CA)
April 23 - 26, 2024 (Linthicum, MD)
May 14-17, 2024 (Linthicum, MD) 
Sep 10-13, 2024 (Huntsville, AL)

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SA101 Digital Badge

Students earn a CDSE Digital Badge upon course completion which can be shared on your social media page like LinkedIn or Facebook. The digital badge confers the ACE Learning Evaluation credit recommendation for the course.