What are the steps to getting a security clearance

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 Joint Personnel Adjudication System (JPAS) and ensures that the individual completes a clearance application in the Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing (e-QIP). The FSO then reviews, approves, and forwards the completed e-QIP to DSS PSMO-I for their approval, issuance of an interim clearance, and release to Office of Personnel Management ( OPM) 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 e-QIP to OPM. OPM conducts an investigation and sends the results of the investigation to DoD CAF. DoD CAF 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).