1. Security Clearance FAQs
  2. Getting a Security Clearance

What are the steps to getting a security clearance?

Step-by-step guide to the security clearance process.

For DoD clearances a cleared contractor or DoD Government agency identifies an employee or employment candidate with a need to have access to classified information. Once identified, the contractor’s Facility Security Officer (FSO) or the Government agency’s Security Manager (SM) submits an investigation request through the Defense Information System for Security (DISS) and ensures that the individual completes a clearance application in the eApp. The FSO then reviews, approves, and forwards the completed eApp to DCSA Vetting Risk Office (VRO) for their approval, issuance of an interim clearance, and release to DCSA for investigation. For most federal employees and all military personnel the Government agency SM reviews, approves, makes an interim clearance decision, and releases the completed eApp to VRO.

DCSA conducts an investigation and sends the results of the investigation to DoD Consolidated Adjudication Services. CAS either grants a clearance or issues a Letter of Intent to deny clearance with a Statement of Reasons. Clearances for other federal agencies are processed in essentially the same manner, but can involve a different Investigation Service Provider (ISP).