A bi-weekly newsletter from the Division of Personnel Security and Access Control
Providing timely information to help keep NIH safe and secure
February 26, 2020 Issue of DPSAC News
In this issue:
  • Using the Position Designation Tool - Step 4: Position Designation Completion and Investigation
  • DPSAC Guide to Common e-QIP Errors - A Valuable Reference for Applicants Preparing to Complete e-QIP
  • REAL ID Deadline: October 1, 2020 - Make Sure You are Prepared
  • Helpful Tips: Avoiding Additional Delays in Processing New Hires
  • AOs Who Wish to Obtain Sponsor Authority
Using the Position Designation Tool: Step 4 - Position Designation Completion and Investigation
NED Release v.5.2 is tentatively scheduled for late March 2020.  This version update will require the NIH administrative community to begin utilizing the Position Designation Tool (PDT) for determining the appropriate background investigation required for a position. As part of the lead-up to the NED Release, DPSAC and the NED Team will be communicating more details about these upcoming changes over the next several weeks.  

  • Part II, Step 1, January 15, 2019 DPSAC News showed readers how to use the tool to determine whether the position being evaluated had any national security duties associated with it. 

In this final installment of the series (Part V, Step 4), DPSAC News describes how the Position Designation Tool calculates the required background investigation for the evaluated position. Step 4 also spells out the required tasks the administrator must complete in order to successfully conclude the process.

Position Designation Completion [STEP 4]
Upon completing Sections 1, 2 and 3 of the PDT, the tool will indicate the required background investigation for the evaluated position (see Figure 1 below). In addition, the tool provides the ability to download a PDF copy of the completed output. This PDF file must be uploaded to the NIH Enterprise Directory (NED) when entering a new person into the system or updating the position information section for existing NED records. The PDF copy of the PDT will then be transmitted to DPSAC to ensure the correct background is initiated for the position.
In addition to uploading the PDT file to NED, the AT/AO completing the position information section in NED must also select the indicated investigation (e.g., Tier 1) from a drop-down menu. NED will compare this selection to the value calculated in the position information section to ensure the values are consistent. If they are not, the AT/AO will be required to either update the position information section in NED to match the PDT designation or complete and upload a new PDT file that matches the NED position information designation.

Where to get help…
The PDT is an interactive tool that can be accessed at https://www.opm.gov/suitability/suitability-executive-agent/position-designation-tool/ . For a quick video tutorial on the PDT, please click here . In addition to this video, DCSA also offers classroom training on the PDT. To register for an in-person training session, please visit https://www.dcsa.mil/mc/tec/upcoming_courses/ and look for the course titled “Position Designation.”

In addition to these DCSA resources, DPSAC has also created a PDT user guide that you can access by clicking here . DPSAC also plans to partner with the NED Team in upcoming training sessions (dates to be determined) and will offer live WebEx sessions (dates to be determined) to demo the online PDT tool.

If you have any questions on using the PDT, please contact DPSAC at ORSPersonnelSecurity@mail.nih.gov or (301) 402-9755.

DPSAC Guide to Common e-QIP Errors

A Valuable Reference for Applicants Preparing to Complete e-QIP 
The background check (also referred to as personnel security investigation) is a Federal Government requirement for individuals working at NIH who need an HHS ID Badge (PIV/RLA Card). Providing the information is voluntary. However, if you choose not to provide the required information, you will not meet the job requirements and will therefore not be considered further.

It is essential to complete e-QIP with 100% accurate and error free information. Failure to do so can lead to extended processing times and can delay NIH badge issuance and employment start dates.

DPSAC has prepared a guide on how to successfully complete e-QIP entitled DPSAC Guide to Common e-QIP Errors. A nyone planning to complete e-QIP is encouraged to read this guide before completing the questionnaire. The administrative community will also find this publication helpful when counseling their customers.

DPSAC’s Case Review team carefully reviews each e-QIP questionnaire submitted by the applicant and works with the applicant to correct any errors before releasing the form to the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA). Once the agency completes the investigation it reports its findings back to DPSAC for adjudication.

The Guide identifies common errors occurring in four major sections of the questionnaire:
  1. Identifying Information 
  2. Residence, Education, Employment, References, Selective Service 
  3. Additional Information (including Employment Information) 
  4. Applicant Responsibility (e.g., answering DPSAC correspondence for corrections or additional information in a timely fashion)
To view the Guide, please click here . Note: at the top of the guide are additional links to the e-QIP Application site, to e-QIP Frequently Asked Questions, and to e-QIP Applicant Click-to-Sign Instructions. 
REAL ID Deadline: October 1, 2020

279 Days Remain Until REAL ID-Compliant Credentials Required for Visitors Entering NIH  
NIH has begun an information campaign to ensure that its workforce and visitors to NIH will be prepared when the October 1 deadline arrives.

Watch for additional information about REAL ID implementation as the deadline draws near. In addition to placing articles in DPSAC News, the NIH Record and other NIH publications over the next several months, the Office of Security and Emergency Response and DPSAC have prepared flyers and table tents that will appear in cafeterias and on NIH bulletin boards to remind staff of the coming deadline and how REAL ID will affect visitors and NIH staff. Yes, NIH staff who forget their PIV card will also need a REAL ID-compliant ID to be admitted to the NIH.

To learn more about REAL ID, visit the Department of Homeland Security website at: https://www.dhs.gov/real-id.
Avoiding Additional
Delays in Processing
New Hires

Processing times are often delayed due to reasons outside of DPSAC control, which include, but are not limited to:
  • Incomplete or not submitted OF-306
  • Candidate response time
  • Issues requiring clarification by the candidate
  • Untimely submission of initial e-QIP or corrected e-QIP

How the AO and HR communities can assist:
  • By ensuring all required documents have been uploaded into HR's 'Onboarding Manager' prior to establishing a NED account
  • By entering candidates as early as possible but no later than 8 weeks prior to their Entry on Duty (EOD) date
  • By working with DPSAC to ensure candidates respond in a timely manner to inquiries

ALT cards -- should be returned to the  IC ALT card coordinator - NOT to DPSAC.
Administrative Officers (AOs) who wish to obtain sponsor authority must complete the sponsor training. To access the training module, click on: Sponsor .

Upon completion, the AO should sign and email a copy of the certificate found at the end of the training module to Alex Salah at: salaha@ors.od.nih.gov . Upon receipt of the certificate, Mr. Salah will authorize the AO as a Sponsor. 

Note: ONLY individuals with an Administrative Officer role in NED are eligible to be HHS ID Badge/PIV Card Sponsors.  
Are there topics you would like to read more about in future issues of DPSAC News?
Please send your suggestions to: Lanny.Newman@nih.gov . Your input is greatly appreciated.
A biweekly e-newsletter from the National Institutes of Health, Office of Research Services, Division of Personnel Security and Access Control (ORS/DPSAC) to keep its readers informed of personnel security and access control policies and practices designed to safeguard the NIH and its workforce. DPSAC is responsible for verifying personal identity, validating suitability, reviewing background checks, authorizing facility access and issuing ID badges for NIH personnel. 

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