​For Applicants & Employees​ - 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. 

You will need to bring one form of ID to your Badge 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 I 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 you completed Crossmatch fingerprints in advance of your Badge Enrollment as part of Prescreening, and DPSAC has made a favorable Prescreening determination in your case, then you will be prompted to complete Badge Enrollment and Badge Issuance (on/after your start date). Once you receive the prompt to complete Badge Enrollment, it can be completed at any time that you are able to travel to an NIH PCIF. Most applicants who are 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 my fingerprints were not given during Prescreening?

If you did not provide Crossmatch fingerprints during Prescreening in advance, then you will need to travel to an NIH PCIF to complete fingerprinting either as part of Prescreening (Crossmatch fingerprints if you have not yet been authorized for Enrollment), or as part of your Enrollment appointment (if you 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 you were not able to complete Crossmatch fingerprints during Prescreening in advance, then you 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 submitting your Crossmatch fingerprints. As a reminder, the FBI fingerprint check is one of the Prescreening requirements that must be done before DPSAC can issue you your badge.

What happens next?

After Badge Issuance, take note of the below:

Badge Maintenance Information:

  • Please read our Badge Maintenance Checklist and visit our Badge Issuance Services page to fully understand how to maintain your badge!
  • If this is your first time receiving your NIH ID badge, you may need to contact OIIT to help access your account to login to your computer for the first time.
  • If you are renewing your badge or your certificates, you may need to contact OIIT for assistance re-publishing your certs 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.
  • Please be aware that a DCSA Investigator may reach out to you to schedule a Subject Interview as part of the background investigation.
    • DCSA will use any of the contact information you listed on your forms to contact you.
    • It is imperative that you cooperate with your 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. You must pay attention to your email during this process, as we at DPSAC may contact you regarding your 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.