If you’re in the process of applying for multiple government positions, you may find yourself undergoing multiple clearance investigations. While the vast majority of security clearance investigations are conducted by the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) on behalf of the DoD and more than 105 government agencies, the Intelligence Community and other government agencies also have their own background investigation resources and processes.
Particularly if applying for a position with the IC and also another government agency, you may be the subject of multiple security clearance investigations. But that’s not an issue or a problem you should be concerned about – as long as you’re up front in your clearance application.
The SF-86 will ask about previous or ongoing security clearance background investigations. Be up front on those forms, and you should be fine. One complication to consider is that if your background is a bit sticky, and you are denied a security clearance with an IC agency – that denial will trickle down to another government agency, even if they would or had favorably adjudicated your case. The good news is the reasons for a security clearance denial are straightforward – make sure to read them and understand them before you apply. If you have issues that need to be mitigated, or if you’re unsure of your chances of obtaining a clearance, wait for a determination rather than pursuing multiple agencies hoping one will take you.
One of the aims of the Trusted Workforce 2.0 process is to improve reciprocity and move more agencies under the same technological umbrella through the National Background Investigation Services (NBIS), and eApp. But as that process remains underway, note that you may find yourself encountering multiple systems as you apply. Make sure they’re legitimate and verify them through your hiring manager, but don’t be concerned if applying for multiple jobs means multiple investigations.