To obtain investigative credentials from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, you must first gain employment with the OPM or one of the contractors that conducts background investigations on its behalf. After you accept an offer of employment, you must submit to a specialized background investigation to prove suitability for the credentials you seek. After you're cleared, you will commence with a training program. Upon successful completion of your training and background investigation, you will be granted the necessary credentials to perform your duties.
Obtain employment as an investigator for OPM or one of its contractors. You can locate and apply to OPM job postings on official government recruiting websites. Be patient with the OPM application process. A federal agency may take several months to make a hiring decision. This is typical.
Complete an official OPM "e-QUIP" background investigation package on-line after accepting an offer of employment. Fill in all pertinent information as directed by OPM for expedited processing. When you fill out the e-QUIP package, do so completely and accurately. Inputting too little or even too much information may result in the agency returning your package for corrections. This can seriously delay your background investigation.
Complete any training program required by OPM or the affiliated contractor with whom you are processing.
Obtain your official investigative credential from a federal credentialing center as directed by your employer. You may be required to travel to pick it up.