Next step after agency grants favorable determination?

My husband has been waiting on a top secret clearance to work as a background investigator for some time now. A couple of weeks back, he was informed he was granted favorable determination to work on the contract. When he inquired what that meant and if he could then start training, he was told that their company’s security approved his clearance but that they now need to wait for OPM to approve before he can receive a training date. They estimated an additional 3-4 weeks for OPM to approve.

We’re confused because from everything we’ve read, shouldn’t it be his employer who approves the contract and not OPM? And OPM just conducts the investigation? Or are they really the ones who complete the adjudication process? I guess we’re mainly wondering what we’re waiting on at this point if he’s already been approved. Thanks for any insight!

Contractors don’t grant clearances or access to government programs.

OPM/NBIB decides who can and can not work on their contracts, especially their background investigation contractors. I don’t understand how the company granted a favorable determination - they can’t. The company might have been told that NBIB completed the background investigation or the company might’ve prescreened your husband before the security questionnaire was submitted to NBIB, but the contract company can not grant access or adjudicate the background investigation.

It does sound like the company was told the case was completed and is being adjudicated by NBIB. Then there is a formal process (administrative) to grant your husband access to the NBIB program which allows him to start training.

I hope your husband enjoys his new career and everything goes well.

Thanks for the feedback. What I read on the OPM website confused me, since it sounded like his company would be the one to grant the clearance? “After NBIB provides the completed investigative product, the sponsoring Federal agency will evaluate your case, make the appropriate adjudication or determination and (if required for the position) decide whether to grant you a clearance.” Maybe I’m misinterpreting.

In any case, what you said seems to match what the company is saying in terms of OPM making the final decision, so we’ll have to assume it’s in adjudication and hope that their timeline of 3-4 weeks is accurate. Thank you!

In your husband’s case, OPM/NBIB is the sponsoring Federal agency that evaluates the case.

I see - thanks. I was wondering if that might be the case reading it over again. It’s just a bit confusing since they (his company) obviously approved something with the “favorable determination” but now we’re just not sure what. All of a sudden when he received that notification he was asked to complete security training, go take a photo (and have fingerprints taken, I think?) for a PIV card, and a bunch of other administrative things that seemed like his clearance had been granted. In any case, it seems that’s still under review…

He can’t get the PIV without at least an interim from OPM. It sounds like he has made it into the doorway.

I was hoping to just reply w/ some clarity since he’s been trying to reach his HR contact since last week, but unfortunately she’s not getting back to him. I did find the exact phrasing his email said that made us think perhaps he did get his clearance:

“Please be advised that as of 2/16/2018, per NBIB (OPM), you have received a Favorable Determination to work on the NBIB Contract. Please stand by for further instructions and communication referencing your signature on Security paperwork and required NBIB Training.”

Sounds like it was approved, right? Or are we missing something? HR is advising to be patient while they wait to hear back from OPM, which is confusing and frustrating us as we’d like to get started with training ASAP… We also have a long-distance move to plan before he can start.

What contractor will he be working for? Was he given a training start date?

favorable determination means he was favorably adjudicated by OPM.

Of course after posting today, they finally got back to him and he FINALLY has a start date! (This is following an initial job offer in July, so it feels like forever… though I realize it’s taken others much longer.) Our guess is that his clearance (TS) was really approved on 2/16 and we should have received this a month ago, but at least it finally came. Since I know we were searching for information like this while enduring the wait, here’s his timeline in case it helps anyone else:

11/14/17: Submitted E-Qup
December 2017: Personal interview w/ investigator
2/16/18: Clearance approved (I think??)
3/21/18: Given start date of early May

I should add that his investigation had a rush order on it. Hope that helps someone along the way.

Right there with you @astralskier!
Trying to get a response, much less an actual clear answer, has been difficult if not impossible from both CSRA and OPM.

Answer to a question yesterday;
ME: When selecting from the drop down menu, should it be “A”, “B” or something else?
OPM: Yes, that is correct.