1. Security Clearance FAQs
  2. Getting a Security Clearance

How are security clearance investigations carried out?

Details of the clearance investigation process.

National Agency Check (NAC), police record checks, and credit check are components of all clearance investigations. When possible these are done centrally by an Investigation Service Provider (ISP), like the Defense Counterintelligence Agency (DCSA), which also relies on contractors to complete investigative work. Some police record checks must be done locally by field investigators. “Letter Inquiries” to employers, employment supervisors, etc. are also done centrally by an ISP. For investigations requiring other record checks, reference interviews, and a Subject Interview, tasking is sent from the ISP simultaneously to different field offices and assigned to individual investigators (either federal agents or contract investigators) in all locations involved. If the investigation develops information that requires additional action in another location, tasking is sent from the investigator that developed the information to another field office. Investigative reports are electronically submitted as the work is completed. When all reports have been received at the ISP, the case is reviewed for completeness, and then forwarded to the appropriate adjudicative facility.