’s William Loveridge once wrote, “The term ‘eQIP’ . . . strikes fear and angst into even the most experienced security professional or clearance holder.” How true that used to be. I remember fighting with all sorts of password requirements, systems requirements, starting and stopping and losing the work I’d done. Indeed, just getting to eQIP was worse than balancing my checkbook after months of not balancing my checkbook. No more.


NBIB is the National Background Investigations Bureau we watched rise from the ashes of the 2015 OPM hack. Today, NBIB is the “primary service provider of government-wide background investigations for the Federal Government with the mission of delivering efficient and effective background investigations to ensure the integrity and trustworthiness of the Federal workforce.” And if you haven’t already, it’s time to take a moment to explore NBIB’s new website, which walks you right into the eQIP with no pain at all.


From the beautiful, simple, powerfully modest front page alone, you know what NBIB is about, and it’s about one thing, and one thing only: background investigations. That’s nice. Really nice. An achievement of the advent of NBIB is a bureau very singularly focused on its one important mission, and that’s clear from the moment you arrive.

You have only two choices from the front page—learn more about NBIB, or get to eQIP. If you choose the FIND OUT MORE button, you hop right to NBIB’s Mission statement and a snapshot of NBIB’s history. If you click on the ABOUT button on the front page, same thing. You can wade out a little deeper if you want, but not much deeper. There’s a stark menu of only three straightforward topics: NBIB’s Standards, Vision, and the Director’s resume. By the way, it’s nice to see that the Director’s resume is on the bottom of the list. You don’t see that too often.


Your other option from the front page is what NBIB’s all about: eQIP. And only eQIP. And the site very quickly and painlessly offers all the information anybody needs to get on with the Electronic Questionnaires for Investigation Processing. NBIB gives you a reasonable number of Frequently Asked Questions—a dozen (pages and pages of FAQs are overwhelming). Very quickly, you can figure out who to contact to know if your clearance is active. Very quickly, you can figure out what happens if you have to stop eQIP because your boss called a surprise meeting. Very quickly, you can figure out that, yes, you can easily complete eQIP from home.

Completing eQIP from home seems pretty easy. The moment you arrive on the Applicant Site, you see that NBIB’s already determined whether your home browser will work. For me on my antiquated Commodore 64 (kidding), NBIB tells me that my browser is Google Chrome v55.0, that this browser is supported, that both cookies and scripting are allowed, and that I’m ready to proceed. From there, it’s just a matter of signing in or creating an account.


Remembering eQIP of yore, it’s enough to bring tears of joy to your eyes. I’d recommend brewing some green tea, lighting some incense, turning down the lights, and putting some relaxing Zen music for stress relief on the YouTube, and enjoy. Before you know it, you’ll want to complete eQIP, just for the experience of it.

Good luck. Happy Holidays. See you next week.

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Ed Ledford enjoys the most challenging, complex, and high stakes communications requirements. His portfolio includes everything from policy and strategy to poetry. A native of Asheville, N.C., and retired Army Aviator, Ed’s currently writing speeches in D.C. and working other writing projects from his office in Rockville, MD. He loves baseball and enjoys hiking, camping, and exploring anything. Follow Ed on Twitter @ECLedford.