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Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing (e-QIP)

Quick Reference Guide for the Applicant

Please note: Applicants can only access the e-QIP system if they have been instructed to do so by an appropriate official at their sponsoring agency. Individuals cannot pre-apply for a security clearance, nor update their pre-existing security questionnaire, unless granted access by an appropriate agency official..

System Overview

Welcome to e-QIP, the Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing system. e-QIP is part of an e-government initiative sponsored by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. e-QIP allows applicants to electronically enter, update, and transmit their personal investigative data over a secure Internet connection to their employing agency for review and approval.

Web Browser Requirements

Both Applicant and Agency users must use these settings on their browsers to properly operate e-QIP.

e-QIP is compatible with Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, and Mozilla Firefox. The following specific versions are compatible with e-QIP: (please note any special settings that must be enabled)

If using Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE), you must have version 5.5 or later, with Service Pack 2. Internet Options for IE should be set as follows:

  • Select TOOLS
  • Select the tab labled SECURITY
  • Check the bos to enable ACTIVE SCRIPTING and the OK button to save

To enable TLS 1.0 in IE, on the top menu:

  • Select TOOLS
  • Select the tab labeled ADVANCED
  • Scroll down to the SECURITY section
  • Check the box to enable TLS 1.0
  • Click the OK button to save

If using Mozilla Firefox (or Netscape), you must have version 0.9.4 or newer. Although security settings may already be defaulted to the proper values, you should verify by doing the following in this order:

  • Select "TOOLS"
  • Select "OPTIONS"
  • Select "ADVANCED"
  • Select the "ENCRYPTION" tab
  • Under Protocols, check the boxes to enable "SSL 3.0" and "TLS 1.0"

Mozilla Firefox (or Netscape) users must also verify that they are enabled to use cookies. To do so, go to your browser's toolbar and:

  • Select "TOOLS"
  • Select "OPTIONS"
  • Select "PRIVACY"
  • Under the "COOKIES" section, ensure that "COOKIES FROM SITES" is checked. e-QIP uses one session cookie.

If using JAWS screen-reading software, please note that JAWS requires the use of Internet Explorer, version 5.5 or newer.

Getting Started
  1. Start your internet browser and enter the following URL:
  2. The e-QIP Gateway page will appear. Scroll down and click the button labeled ENTER E-QIP APPLICATN SITE.
  3. A "browser checker" utility will automatically run and test your computer. Click the continue button to proceed.
  4. A Security Alert box will appear, ending with “Do you want to proceed?” Click the “Yes” button with the mouse, or type <CTRL Y> to continue.
  5. The e-QIP Welcome Screen will appear. Enter your Social Security Number in the text entry box, and click the "Submit" button to logon to the e-QIP site. You will now answer the (3) default Golden Questions.
  6. You must then change the default Golden Questions and Answers to your own personal questions. Be sure to enter three (3) Golden Questions and Golden Answers according to the instructions provided in the Help File on the Golden Question Screen.
  7. Complete the investigative form questions and save as instructed.
  8. Be sure to Certify/Submit your form when form is complete and all data has been successfully validated.
  9. Be sure to print and sign any required release forms before releasing your form for agency review.
  10. Make sure to mail your signed signature/release pages to the address provided by your sponsoring agency. Your investigation cannot start until they receive those signed pages
Choosing Your Golden Questions/Answers

It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to provide Golden Questions to uniquely identify you.
Golden Questions help the e-QIP system verify your identity. By creating a combination of Golden Questions that ONLY YOU can possibly know all of the correct answers to, you are assured that no one (including parents, spouses, and close friends) can impersonate you on the e-QIP system. Please carefully consider who else may possibly know the answer to each possible Golden Question you enter. We suggest creating questions concerning different time periods in your life. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT IT MAY BE 5 YEARS BEFORE YOU RETURN TO THE e-QIP SYSTEM! Make sure you create questions you can still answer in the distant future.

Entering Your Golden Questions/Answers

After you have selected your set of Golden Questions/Answers, enter each Question under a "Question" header and enter the corresponding Answer under the "Answer" header directly under that question. You must provide a non-blank answer for each question you provide, and vice versa. You must provide three Golden Questions.

It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to protect the answers to your Golden Questions.

Golden Answers are your "password" to the e-QIP system. The text entry fields for Golden Answers are NOT password protected, to allow more accurate entry of your answers. Asterisks automatically mask Golden Answers, but if you choose, you can view your answers by clicking the "Allow me to see my Golden Answers" checkbox. Do not allow someone to see your computer screen while your answers are on the screen. If someone acquires your answers, they will be able to logon to the e-QIP system under your identity, allowing them to see and change your personal data.

Entering Your Data

NOTE: Click “Help” from any screen for specific guidance on functions for that screen.

First Time Data Entry: Before you begin entering data for the first time, read each instructions document listed on the Read Instructions screen. Indicate that you have read and understand each document by checking the corresponding checkbox. When finished, click the SUBMIT button to continue. You must read each document and indicate that you have done so before you may continue.

Question Navigation: From any question screen, you may use the Navigation pull-down menu to go to any question, in any order, by selecting the desired section and clicking GO. The Navigation Bar is located in the top right-hand corner of the screen.

Errors and Warnings: After clicking SAVE, if the system displays the same screen with "Validation Results" listed at the top, you must satisfy validation criteria (i.e., there was a problem with your submission that needs to be addressed).

For validation "Error" messages, you may correct your data by scrolling to the appropriate field and editing. After making corrections, click the SAVE button at the bottom of this page to save your changes.

For validation "Warning" messages, you may either provide the requested information or click the EXPLAIN button next to the message to explain why the information cannot be supplied. Upon clicking the EXPLAIN button you may provide an explanation in the text field or check the box labeled "I do not know the requested information". After choosing an action, click the SAVE button to save your changes.

For validation "Error" and "Warning" messages, you may also choose to click the SAVE/ CONTINUE button. If you click the SAVE/ CONTINUE button, you may advance to the next question screen and correct the information at a later time prior to the final submission of your form.

If you decide to not make any changes, click on the CANCEL button to go back to the previous screen.

If you make a mistake and want to start over on a given screen, click on the RESET THIS SCREEN button at any time prior to clicking the SUBMIT button. This will clear all of your answers on that screen.

When you are finished and ready to proceed, click on the SAVE button. Upon clicking the SAVE button, your information will be saved.

Displaying Your Data

When you are ready to display and/or print your personal form information that has been entered into e-QIP, click on the "Display" link located in the upper left hand corner of any e-QIP screen. A new browser window will then appear which will display on the screen all the data that has been entered up to that point. If desired, one can print the displayed data by first selecting "File," then "Print" from the new browser window.

Listing Expected Attachments

If desired, you may include additional explanatory information with your signed release forms that will be forwarded to your sponsoring agency. Please ask your sponsoring agency if you are not sure what attachments you are required to provide.

To create a list of "expected attachments", select the List Expected Attachments page from the e-QIP Navigation Bar. This screen allows you to create, delete and edit attachments that you will send with your request. This feature does not allow one to upload a document, this is a notation advice to give notice to your sponsoring agency what you will be providing to them by mail or fax.

Then you must mail, drop off, or fax your attachments to your sponsoring/hiring agency, along with your signature forms, per your agency's instructions.

Certifying Your Data

When you have completed all the questions on the form and are ready to submit, click the Validate, Review, Certify hyperlink from the Navigation bar, click GO, and follow the instructions.

Certify that the answers you provided on the Questionnaire are correct and accurate. After certification, your answers to the Questionnaire will be locked and unavailable for editing. You should print an official copy of your data for your records and must print a copy of your release forms after you complete certification.

After certification, you must then select "Release Request/Transmit to Agency"

ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS? Contact the agency that gave you access to e-QIP.