​For Administrators​ - DPSAC Process Overview

Administrative Sponsorship

As an Administrative Officer (AO), you will be assigned candidates/applicants at NIH who require access to NIH resources such as physical access to facilities/doors and logical access to information systems. AOs are typically assigned to candidates from their Institute or Center. AOs will need to sponsor a request in the NIH Enterprise Directory (NED) for the candidate in order for the candidate to start the process in receiving an NIH badge and account needed to access such resources. 

Candidates who require more than 6 months of physical and/or logical access to NIH resources are subject to a background investigation commensurate with the duties and responsibilities of the position they hold at NIH. Please note that you should not be encouraging candidates who require more than 6 months of physical and/or logical access to NIH to use the Gateway Center. Please note that there may be candidates who do not require physical or logical access to NIH but may still require a background investigation due to the work they are performing on behalf of NIH. It is recommended that AOs sponsor these records at least 6-8 weeks in advance of the individual's start date, to allow time for DPSAC prescreening.​ 

Please note: NED will automatically terminate open tasks 120 days (approximately 17 weeks) after the sponsorship date, effective August 19, 2023. To avoid onboarding issues related to terminated tasks, please make sure that an individual’s task is complete (e.g., badge is issued) before the automatic termination deadline, which is 120 days after the individual’s sponsorship date. A terminated task cannot be restored, so if the individual's task is not completed within 120 days, AOs/ATs will need to recreate a previously terminated task in NED.

Only certain NED requests are processed by DPSAC:

  • Sponsored HHS PIV Badge Requests (Long term, more than 6 months; Employees, Contractors, Fellows, Guest Researchers, etc.)
  • Sponsored Restricted Local Access (RLA) Badge Requests (Foreign Nationals in the U.S. less than 3 years; Short Term less than 6 months; Summer Students)​
  • Employee classification changes requiring a badge change or DPSAC prescreening (i.e. conversion from non-FTE to FTE)
    • Please note: Submitting and sponsoring the conversion in NED will send a new conversion case to DPSAC for processing. All conversions from contractor to FTE will require applicants to complete DPSAC prescreening, which may include a new fingerprint submission, an updated OF-306 and possibly a new investigation if the applicant's previous investigation does not meet or exceed the Position Sensitivity Level required for the new position. Prescreening may take some time to complete as it depends on the applicant, so it is recommended to submit the conversion at least one month in advance. Additionally, the current contractor badge for a contractor converting to FTE will remain active until the new FTE badge is issued.
  • Background Investigation Position Sensitivity/Risk Level upgrades/downgrades
  • Critical Data Changes requiring a badge change or DPSAC validation (Name change or Citizenship change)

The following requests are processed by the NIH Police: 

  • ​Legacy badges for Special Government Employees (these individuals undergo an NCIC check)​​
  • Extended Visitor Badges for patients, service providers, blood donors, etc. (these badges do not require NED entries)

​​Badge Types:

The badge type requested is determined by employee classificationcitizenship status and duration of access needed:

  1. Long-term (greater than 6 months) physical & logical access:
    • Subject to prescreening & background investigation and will receive either:
      • Personal Identity Verification (PIV) badge (U.S. Citizens)
      • Restricted Local Access (RLA) (Non-U.S. Citizens/under 3 years U.S. Residency)
      • Blue Stripe PIV (Non-U.S. Citizens/over 3 years U.S. Residency)
  2. Short-term (less than 6 monthsphysical & logical access:
    • Subject to a fingerprint check (SAC) and will receive the short term RLA badge

Badge Classification Chart​​​:

For a better understanding of the different badge types, please see the Badge Classification chart​​​.

Information Regarding Alternative Login Token (ALT) Cards

If an individual is in a special circumstance where he/she needs to continue working for the FDA or another HHS Agency while working at NIH, and this individual will be keeping his/her FDA or other HHS PIV card, then the individual's NIH Institute Program Office will need to process the individual for an Alternative Login Token (ALT) Card.

An ALT Card is a smart card used by NIH system administrators for privileged access to NIH computers and information systems and networks. The individual will need to check with their AO for a referral to their Institute's ALT Card Coordinator if this reflects the individual's situation. 

For physical access to the NIH campus in situations like this, the individual's AO can put in a request to our Access Control group to program the individual's FDA PIV card or other agency PIV card for physical access through NIH gates and doors.  

Please note that DPSAC does NOT process ALT Cards. In order to make a request for an ALT card, the AO will need to create an account in the NIH Enterprise Directory for the individual. Then, the AO or the individual's program office will need to submit a request through the NIH IT Service Desk for an ALT Card. Once the ALT Card is approved, an ALT Coordinator will issue you an ALT Card for access to NIH Systems.