This course contains a final exam. Students are required to register for the final exam separately in STEPP.

Description: This course will describe the requirements and responsibilities for approval, installation, inspection, and operation of a Protected Distribution System (PDS). The course will be applicable for all DoD Components. In addition, an optional lesson will provide training on specific implementing requirements for industry under National Industry Security Program (NISP) guidance.

Course Resources: Access this course's resources

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

  • Describe the purpose of a PDS, its categories, and its carrier types
  • Describe how data type, threat environment, and access area affect PDS category selection
  • Identify the roles and responsibilities for installation, approval, operation, and inspection of a PDS
  • Identify standards and procedures for PDS installation
  • Describe requirements to perform PDS inspections

Delivery: eLearning

Length: 85 minutes

Target Audience: This course is intended for personnel who are involved in the planning, acquisition, installation, approval, operation, and inspection of communications systems that process classified national security information (NSI) and use PDS.

In addition, for the specific implementing requirements under NISP guidance, the target audience includes the following Defense Security Service (DSS) employees:

  • DSS Security Control Assessor (SCA)/Information Systems Security Professional (ISSP)
  • DSS IS Representative (IS Rep)
  • DSS Authorizing Official (AO)
  • DSS Counterintelligence Special Agent (CISA)

Number of Student per Course: N/A


  • Clearance Requirement: N/A
  • Attendance Requirement: N/A
  • Exam Requirements: Students must earn a 75 percent grade average on the course exam. (CS140.16)

Prerequisites: N/A

Credits Recommended/Earned

  • ACE Credit Recommendation: (What's this?) N/A
  • Continuing Education Units per IACET: N/A
  • Professional Development Units per SPeD: N/A

Additional 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.