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Completing Your New Hire Forms

NIST requires information from new employees to process the appointment personnel action, sometimes called enter-on-duty forms. NIST is committed to safeguarding personal privacy of this information. Precaution is taken to protect all sensitive information, in particular sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) and other types of private information, and to comply with all NIST and department policies regarding the protection of sensitive information. More information can be found in NIST's privacy policy

You will be assigned tasks via USA Staffing, which will include the mandatory forms needed to complete your onboarding.  Benefit-related enrollment forms will also be provided based on your eligibility.  All forms should be completed and returned utilizing your USA Staffing account, per instructions provided by the human resources assistant conducting your onboarding session.

What you should know before you begin

For maximum system performance, we encourage you to access the system using Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge web browser.

You will log into the Onboarding system through with your USAJOBS username and password.

Initial login to the USA Staffing Onboarding system should occur via the unique login link included in your tentative offer letter.

The USA Staffing Onboarding for New Hires will ask you a series of questions and your responses will be used to complete the forms.

For help accepting your tentative offer and completing the New Hire Questionnaire and OF-306, see New Hire Guide for completing New Hire Questionnaire and OF-306.

For help using the USA Staffing Onboarding system, see the New Hire Help Center.

Do not have a USAJOBS account?

  1. Create a profile for access to USAJOBS.
  2. After you’ve created a account and completed your USAJOBS account [or profile], locate the tentative offer e-mail.  This e-mail will include a link to Onboarding – click the link.
  3. Login to USAS Onboarding through using your USAJOBS account username and password.

You may need to login into the system multiple times throughout the onboarding process so make sure you keep your login information handy!

Forms to complete

Forms are assigned based upon your appointment type (e.g. permanent, temporary, etc.).  Read the instructions carefully to determine which forms (if assigned) are submitted electronically and which form to bring to orientation.

NIST’s orientation is a virtual, half-day presentation. You will be sent a separate e-mail that includes the date and time of your virtual orientation appointment and instructions regarding how to attend the virtual session.

Prior to Orientation – Complete the following forms in USA Staffing sent by your HR Assistant:

  • Direct Deposit Form
  • Educational Data Update Form
  • Statement Relating to Employee Responsibilities and Conduct
  • Selective Service
  • Federal and State Tax forms
  • Statement of Prior Federal Service
  • Uniform Service Status Code Information

Prior to Orientation – PART 2:

  • Appointment Affidavit Form (SF-61)
      • Note:  An HR representative will conduct the oath of office via a virtual meeting (e.g., MS Teams) prior to orientation. While logging into the USAStaffing onboarding site, you will review and electronically sign the Oath of Office (SF 61 – Appointment Affidavit) form.
  • Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9)
    • A list of acceptable supporting documents is available at the USCIS website.  If you have a current (not expired) passport, that is all you will need.  If not, you will need a driver’s license AND a social security card OR birth certificate.
    • Prior to your virtual onboarding, upload photos or scanned copies of the supporting forms of identification in the Onboarding site for HR review under “I-9 Supporting Documents Upload”.
  • Declaration for Federal Employment Form (OF-306)
    • NOTE:  After your HR representative reviews this form with you, you will log into the Onboarding site, review, and sign the OF-306 in the onboarding system through your USAJOBS account login.
  • SF 181: Ethnicity and Race Identification
  • SF 256: Self-Identification of Disability
    • You will complete 2 additional questions in your new hire questionnaire under Demographic in your “Biographic Information” first and then come back to electronically sign the forms.
    • These are voluntary and you may choose to not disclose. However, if you choose not to disclose your ethnicity & race, the HR representative will have to do a visual selection.

After Orientation

At orientation, you will receive a benefits presentation.  The presentation will provide information to help you complete the forms listed below which is why they are due AFTER orientation.  Refer to the due dates listed in the Onboarding system for each of the forms.

  • Health Benefits Election Form (SF-2809)
    Upon the submission of the SF-2809, you must also provide proof of family member eligibility.  To obtain the list of acceptable documents for proof of family member eligibility, please view the following link.
  • Life Insurance Election (FEGLI) (SF-2817)
  • Thrift Savings Plan Enrollment (TSP-1)
  • SF 1152: Unpaid Compensation of Deceased Civilian Employee Designation of Beneficiary
  • SF 2823: Federal Employees Group Life Insurance Designation of Beneficiary
  • SF 3102: Designation of Beneficiary – Civil Service and Federal Employees Retirement Systems

Note:  Beneficiary forms may have been assigned to you via the Onboarding system.  You may complete the forms electronically; however, the system will prompt you to print the forms so that you may submit them in hard copy to the NIST Benefits office.  Beneficiary forms can only be accepted via hard copy.

There is no need to complete beneficiary forms if you are satisfied with the order of precedence listed below:

  1. Spouse
  2. Child/Children
  3. Parents
  4. Executor of Estate
  5. Next of Kin

If you are transferring from another agency and you have previously made beneficiary designations, those designations are still valid except the designation for Unpaid Compensation, SF-1152. You may complete the forms electronically; however, these forms must be printed, signed, and uploaded as scanned hard copies into the Onboarding site, OR mailed to the NIST Benefits office. Beneficiary forms can only be accepted via hard copy.

Changing a Form 

If you need to change a form, you must return the questionnaire section of the USA Staffing Onboarding site, make the change, and then re-sign/resubmit any forms modified due to the updated information.


Contact the HR Representative who extended you the job offer.

Visit the USA Staffing Onboarding Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Created June 3, 2021, Updated June 21, 2024