For Administrators​ - DPSAC Process Overview​

Badge Authorization

What is needed for Badge Authorization/Issuance? 

Before an NIH Badge can be authorized for Issuance, new-hire NIH applicants must complete all DPSAC Prescreening/background investigation, fingerprinting and Badge Enrollment requirements. DPSAC will conduct a review of the individual's Prescreening results to determine their eligibility to be issued a PIV Badge at NIH. 

The applicant will need to bring one form of ID to their issuance appointment and it must be done at an NIH PIV Card Issuance Facility (PCIF). You may find PCIFs located at the NIH Main Office Location in Building 31 and at Other DPSAC Locations (PCIFs).

What if there are issues found on applicant's background investigation?

DPSAC will need to adjudicate any issues that are discovered during the prescreening process before the badge can be issued; this may require additional processing time. To make PIV card eligibility determinations, DPSAC utilizes federal guidelines including, but not limited to:

  • Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12 (HSPD-12)
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Federal Information Process Standard 201-2 Personal Identity Verification (PIV) of Federal Employees and Contractors  
  • Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) HSPD-12 Credentialing Standards 
  • Title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 731

Please feel free to visit our Policy page for more information on what polices drive the Personnel Security process.

What if an applicant completed the Prescreening process and Crossmatch fingerprinting through Fieldprint, but was not able to travel to an NIH PCIF for Badge Enrollment yet?

Badge Enrollment and Badge Authorization/Issuance appointments can only be completed at an NIH PIV Card Issuance Facility (PCIF). You may find PCIFs located at the NIH Main Office Location in Building 31 and at Other DPSAC Locations (PCIFs).

If an applicant completed Crossmatch fingerprints in advance of their Badge Enrollment as part of Prescreening, and DPSAC has made a favorable Prescreening determination in their case, the applicant will be prompted to complete Badge Enrollment and Badge Issuance (on/after their start date). Once the applicant receives the prompt to complete Badge Enrollment, it can be completed at any time the applicant is able to travel to an NIH PCIF. Most applicants in this situation chose to wait to complete both their Badge Enrollment and Badge Issuance appointment on the same day (on/after their listed start date in NED), once they are able to travel to an NIH PCIF, to avoid making two separate appointments.

What if the applicant did not provide their fingerprints during Prescreening?

If the applicant did not provide Crossmatch fingerprints during Prescreening in advance, then the applicant will need to travel to an NIH PCIF to complete their fingerprinting either as part of Prescreening (crossmatch fingerprints if they have not yet been authorized for Enrollment), or as part of their Enrollment appointment (if they were authorized for Enrollment). NIH PCIFs include the NIH Main Office Location in Building 31 or one of these Badge Enrollment offices at other DPSAC locations

For awareness, in this situation, if the individual was not able to complete Crossmatch fingerprints during Prescreening in advance, they will need to wait until the FBI fingerprint results clear. As a result, this will add additional days of processing, due to the amount of time it takes to receive the results from running the FBI fingerprint check after the individual submits their Crossmatch fingerprints. As a reminder, the FBI fingerprint check is one of the Prescreening requirements that must be done before DPSAC can issue the applicant their badge.  

What happens next?

After Badge Issuance, take note of the below:

Badge Maintenance Information:

  • Please visit our Badge Issuance Services page to understand badge maintenance for the applicant.
  • If this is your applicant's first time receiving their NIH badge, your applicant may need to contact OIIT to help access their account to login to their computer for the first time. 
  • If an individual is renewing their badge or certificates, the individual may need to contact OIIT for assistance in re-publishing their certificates to access websites and encrypted email.

For applicants who completed a new Background Investigation request:

  • The background investigation process may take several months with DCSA.
  • Applicants should be aware that a DCSA Investigator may reach out to the applicant to schedule a Subject Interview as part of the background investigation.
    • DCSA will use any of the contact information applicant listed on their forms to contact them.
    • It is imperative that applicants cooperate with their DCSA investigator.
  • If you or your references have any questions about an Agent's/Investigator's identity or status, contact DCSA Security via email or call the hotline:

Background Investigation Adjudication: 

  • Once the DCSA Background Investigation results are returned, DPSAC makes a final determination on the applicant's suitability/fitness for Employment, and final eligibility for the PIV Badge. The applicant will need to pay attention to their email during this process, as DPSAC may contact them regarding their background investigation. Please see our Adjudications page for more information. 


  • DPSAC conducts Reinvestigations as required by federal guidelines at intervals determined by the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA).
  • Applicants continued Badge eligibility and employment suitability at NIH is contingent on the results of the suitability investigations and reinvestigations conducted by DPSAC.
  • DPSAC will contact you by email (personal and NIH) when you need to complete a reinvestigation.