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Frequently Asked Questions Classification

Are classification and qualifications the same thing?

"Classification" and "qualifications" are often confused; however, each has its own distinct function.

  • Classification pertains to a position or job and the evaluation process that determines the appropriate pay system, occupational series, title, and grade/pay band.
  • Qualifications pertain to a person and describe the knowledge skills and/or abilities a person must have to be successful in a particular occupation.

OPM publishes minimum qualifications for white collar jobs in the Federal service in the Operating Manual: Qualifications Standards for General Schedule Positions. For trades, craft, and labor positions, refer to The Job Qualifications System for Trades and Labor Occupations. HR specialists use these manuals to evaluate applicants for vacant positions in the Federal service.

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