​For Administrators

DPSAC Process Overview


The National Institutes of Health (NIH), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the nation’s premier biomedical research agency — making important discoveries that improve health and save lives. 

For the next few days, you will be working closely with DPSAC to help your applicant satisfy all of the federally mandated requirements for (1) obtaining access to NIH facilities or NIH network, such as email or government information systems, (2) obtaining a Personal Identity Verification (PIV) or other NIH ID badge, or (3) completing the background investigation required for their position with the U.S. Government.

These requirements must be completed before the applicant can start their new position or be granted access to NIH resources, so your help is vital in allowing the process to go smoothly for them in a timely manner. 

The following steps are shared to help you help the applicant​ successfully complete the DPSAC process. For more information on each step, please click on the corresponding page listed in this section on the left.

Please note, to complete the DPSAC process, it takes on average 30 business days from administrative sponsorship in NED to badge issuance/authorization. However, this is subject to the applicant's timely response to DPSAC requests sent via email.dpsac process overview pic.png

Quick Checklist for Navigating the Beginning of the DPSAC Process:

1. Administrative/NED Sponsorship & DIS Verification: Register and sponsor the applicant in NED no later than 6 to 8 weeks prior to Entry on Duty (EOD). NED sponsorship kicks off DPSAC prescreening!

  • Enter the applicant's Personally identifiable information (PII), particularly Citizenship and Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) data, into NED and make sure the information is accurate and matches applicant's legal documentation.
  • Make sure the applicant's email address is entered in NED correctly, as this is the primary form of communication between DPSAC and the applicant. If it is spelled incorrectly, applicants will not be able to receive DPSAC's emails, which will significantly delay the process.
  • For non-LPR Foreign Nationals: Consider additional processing time! DIS validation for non-LPR Foreign Nationals & receipt of SSN are required for DPSAC Processing.
  • Have applicants actively check for emails from DPSAC after they are sponsored in NED and, if applicable, validated by DIS.

2. Prescreening: Have your applicant complete all DPSAC prescreening requirements within 7 days of notice to avoid delays. This should be done no later than 4 weeks prior to EOD. The DPSAC Prescreening process includes the collection of the following:

  • OF-306 Declaration for Federal Employment (Federal applicants will complete this through the USA Staffing Onboarding system)
  • Fingerprint Submission for criminal history checks
  • Resume that the applicant submitted for their NIH position 
  • eApp Background Investigation Electronic Questionnaire, if a new background investigation is required
  • Other sources of suitability information, such as court disposition documentation, may be requested if required

    Additional Notes: 
    • For applicants who have a prior investigation on file that DPSAC is trying to use, DPSAC will send initial prescreening instructions to applicant via ORSPrescreening@mail.nih.gov
    • For applicants who need a new background investigation for their position at NIH, DPSAC will send eApp instructions via ORSeApp@mail.nih.gov.

3. Enrollment: The process in tying the applicant's biometrics, fingerprints and photo to their badge.

  • The applicant will receive an automatic email from DPSAC once they are ready for Enroll​ment in NED. The applicant must schedule an Enrollment appointment and travel in-person to an NIH PIV Card Issuance Facility (PCIF). You may find all PCIF locations under our Contact​ page. Please note that this Enrollment appointment is different than their Prescreening appointment. 

4. AOs and supervisors should actively check on their applicant to ensure completion of DPSAC requirements. 

  • Please remind your applicant that they must bring two forms of valid government identification to all appointments, one of which must contain a picture. Visit the FIPS 201-3 PDF to view a complete list of approved identification documents.​
  • As part of any investigation, there is a possibility of getting contacted by a DCSA investigator. It is important to emphasize that individuals must still cooperate with the requests, even if they may have already received their badge. Failure to do so can result in the individual's investigation being cancelled, which can result in revocation of the individual's NIH badge (if issued one). Please look under the Adjudication tab for more information.