Individuals can only gain access to the online eApp system if they are invited by a defense contractor or sponsoring government agency. But what if you are running into an error message as you are filling out your security clearance application? This thread on the ClearanceJobsBlog had a few users who were experiencing these error prompts.

The data you submitted resulted in validation errors.

  • Answer “Do you have an additional employment activity to enter?” question yes or no.
  • Account for your employment activities, without breaks, for the previous 10 years. Do not list employments before your 18th birthday unless to provide a minimum of 2 years of employment history.

I went through 5 times. I have no break in my employment. Then I click ‘no I have no more employment to submit’ and the error keeps popping back up I don’t understand.

ERROR MESSAGES FIX in security clearance app

In 2018, we all learned about the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) rolling out a new and improved version of the online background investigation application for security clearance, Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing (eQIP). eApp has officially replaced eQIP as the electronic security clearance application. And like all new systems, it’s not without learning hurdles.

While eApp offers more intuitive features than the eQIP, it’s still critical to ensure that all information, including dates, are entered correctly. Take a break from staring at the screen, then triple check that there are no gaps. Your employment dates must match up precisely – for example, if you left a job on January 1, 2021, your next entry should start as January 2, 2021.

The new eApp system will urge applicants to review the questions and answers before moving the next portion of the application, along with an auto-save failsafe.


Per DCSA’s website, the National Background Investigation Services (NBIS), along with eApp, is still in development. “DCSA assumed operational control and responsibility for NBIS from the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) on October 1, 2020. NBIS will build upon and replace a suite of legacy background investigation IT systems, decommissioning them in stages through 2023.”

Gaps: the eApp Enemy

Other respondents note that gaps are likely the issue. If filling out exact dates, it’s better to have some overlap than to leave dates blank. It’s worth noting that the form also asks for indication of dates of unemployment. It’s not enough to leave a blank and assume the system will understand that gap is a time of unemployment. When in doubt, it’s better to ‘over’ estimate a date to ensure there’s no gap than to leave time unfilled. Where you’re estimating dates, just indicate that in the additional comments section.


Subscribe to the Security Clearance Careers Podcast for more security clearance application horror stories.

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Much about the clearance process resembles the Pirate’s Code: “more what you’d call guidelines than actual rules.” This case-by-case system is meant to consider the whole person, increase process security, and allow the lowest-risk/highest-need candidates to complete the process. However, it also creates a  lot of questions for applicants. For this reason, we maintain – a forum where clearance seekers can ask the cleared community for advice on their specific security concerns. Ask CJ explores questions posed  on the ClearanceJobs Blog forum, emails received, and comments from this site.

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Katie Helbling is a marketing fanatic that enjoys anything digital, communications, promotions & events. She has 10+ years in the DoD supporting multiple contractors with recruitment strategy, staffing augmentation, marketing, & communications. Favorite type of beer: IPA. Fave hike: the Grouse Grind, Vancouver, BC. Fave social platform: ClearanceJobs! 🇺🇸