​​​For Applicants & Employees - DPSAC Process Overview​
Suitability Adjudication
Suitability Adjudication

There are two steps to the suitability process: (1) Interim evaluation/prescreening; and (2) the full scope suitability adjudication when the Defense Counterintelligence Service Agency (DCSA) completes the background investigation and creates a Report of Investigation (ROI).

A suitability determination as it relates to an individual’s background investigation is spelled out  in Title 5 Code of Federal Regulations 731 (5 CFR 731). According to the DCSA, suitability determinations are “those determinations based on a person's character or conduct that may have an impact on the integrity or efficiency of the service.”  The determination is based on the presence or absence of one or more of the specific factors outlined in 5 CFR 731.

Visit the DCSA website to read more about suitability and background investigations.

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The purpose of suitability adjudication is to reduce the potential for abuse of the public trust and to ensure government-wide uniformity and fairness for applicants, appointees, and employees.

Things we consider:

  • Voluntarily reported and unfavorable information
  • Has demonstrated positive changes in behavior and employment
  • Nature and seriousness of the offense(s)
  • History of misconduct
  • Rehabilitation efforts
  • Financial responsibility

When an issue(s) is present in a person’s background, the adjudicator will need to assess the issue(s) to determine the impact on the individual’s suitability.

To read more about Suitability Adjudication, including FAQs on this topic, please refer to the Office of Personnel Management website at: https://www.opm.gov/suitability/suitability-executive-agent/suitability-adjudications/.  

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