Simple Steps to Gaining Security Clearances

Although there are several agencies that conduct security clearance checks, all government agencies and departments must adhere to the same standards when granting and investigating clearances.

Step 1:

  • Be offered a position at a company that requires clearance.
  • Complete the appropriate security questionaire - usually Stardard Form 86 (SF 86).
  • Complete the questionaire as thoroughly, honestly and with as much candor as possible.
  • The employer, not the employee, will submit the completed security questionnaire and other forms to the appropriate security service.
Step 2:
  • Once the forms are received, record checks and fingerprint checks are conducted.
  • A background check is conducted by a case investigator.
Step 3:
  • Complete a face-to-face interview with the investigator.
  • Investigators verify the information you supplied in your candidacy package.
  • Investigators talk to current and former neighbors, co-workers, classmates, as well as the references candidates have provided.
  • The law enforcement agencies in each of the places a candidate has lived, worked, or attended school are contacted.
Step 4:
Step 5:
  • Clearance will be granted or denied based findings from the investigation.
Interim Security Clearances

If the hiring bureau deems it necessary and appropriate, the OPPS or DSS may be able to grant an interim security clearance a few weeks after a job candidate has submitted a complete security clearance application package. Formal clearances usually are processed and investigated in less than 90 days.

For more information about SF-86, OPM, OPPS, or DSS click the links below:

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