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Frequently Asked Questions Employment

  • No. A student is eligible to be noncompetitively converted in any Federal agency. Agency student employment coordinators are urged to try and place the graduates with other agencies, if placement in their own agency is not possible. Checking the job listings on the USAJOBS is one way to locate appropriate positions for graduated students.
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  • Agencies should use this hiring authority for a number of good reasons:
    • Individuals with disabilities are a source of excellent applicants.
    • No public notice is required. This may shorten the time to hire a well qualified candidate
    • It can support an agency's Career Patterns initiative. Technological advances and growing emphasis on telework may dovetail with the needs of many applicants with disabilities.
    • Agencies don't have to clear surplus employees lists prior to using the appointing authority.
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  • The time it takes to be contacted to schedule an interview or to be notified of non-selection for a position may vary. Agencies have a 45-day timeline goal for hiring, and OPM has developed a 45-day hiring model to increase efficiency in the hiring process. The model focuses on a series of recommended steps from the date the vacancy announcement closes until the time an offer is made to a candidate. OPM holds agencies accountable for the degree to which they achieve the 45-day goal, but the goal is not legally binding upon the agency and confers no particular rights on applicants. It is recommended you maintain the vacancy point-of-contact information so you can obtain the status of your application and the position for which you applied.
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  • No. Students in the Student Educational Employment Program must be paid according to the criteria set forth in the appropriate general schedule or wage grade classification standard for the job. See 5 CFR § 213.3202(a)(11).
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  • Reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that allows an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job functions, or enjoy equal access to benefits available to other individuals in the workplace. Agencies are required by law to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship to the agencies. In addition, Executive Order 13164 requires Federal agencies to develop written procedures for providing reasonable accommodation. For more information on reasonable accommodation, refer to the reasonable accommodation policy for your particular agency, the Reasonable Accommodation section in the HR Professionals chapter of this website, and the EEOC.
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  • Pursuant to 5 CFR § 302.101(c)(8)), each agency is required to follow the principle of veterans' preference as far as administratively feasible and, on the request of a qualified and available preference eligible, to furnish him or her with the reasons for his or her non-selection.
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  • An agency may noncompetitively convert to a career or career-conditional appointment in the competitive service an employee who has completed 2 years of satisfactory service under this authority. Satisfactory service is service that begins with a non-temporary (e.g., permanent or indefinite) 5 CFR 213.3102(u) appointment. (Refer to 5 CFR 315.709)
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  • Students are appointed under Schedule B, 5 CFR § 213.3202. This is the type of appointment authority regardless of the type of academic program.
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  • If you have no prior Federal civilian service and are not eligible for any special appointing authority, you may only be considered for announcements which are open to the public or all sources or U.S. citizens. If you meet the criteria for a special appointing authority, you may apply under that authority as well; however, you may have to submit separate applications if you wish to be considered under more than one appointment authority. Each vacancy announcement will include qualification criteria outlining the minimum education or experience requirements an applicant must possess to be considered qualified. Follow the instructions provided in the “How to Apply” section of each vacancy announcement. You will be competing against other applicants based on the information provided in your application and job-specific question responses; therefore, you must ensure you provide a complete and accurate explanation of your experience and qualifications.
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  • Special appointment authorities may be used by agencies to appoint specific groups of individuals who meet the respective eligibility requirements to positions in the Federal Government. The following are a few examples where special appointment authorities may be used. Federal hiring officials are authorized to use a special appointment authority when considering certain people with disabilities (e.g., those with intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilitie, or psychiatric disabilities). Use of this authority is at the discretion of each agency. Individuals may contact agency Special Placement Program Coordinators (SPPC) to inquire about opportunities under this authority. SPPC contact information can be found by visiting: http://apps.opm.gov/sppc_directory/. For more information on Federal employment for people with disabilities, please visit: http://www.opm.gov/disability/appempl.asp. Veterans Recruitment Appointment (formerly known as the Veterans Readjustment Appointment or VRA): the VRA is an excepted appointment, made without competition, to positions otherwise in the competitive service. Use of the authority is entirely discretionary, and no one is entitled to a VRA. This special authority allows agencies to non-competitively appoint a qualified covered veteran to any position for which he or she is qualified up to a GS-11 or equivalent. Upon completion of two years of satisfactory service, the covered veteran is converted to the competitive service. For more information on the VRA, including eligibility requirements, please visit: http://www.usajobs.opm.gov/EI4.asp. 30% Disabled Veterans: Federal agencies have the authority, by law, to give a non-competitive temporary or term appointment of not less than 60 days to any veteran who has a compensable service-connected disability of 30% or more and who meets the qualification requirements of the position. Like the VRA, this authority is discretionary with the agency. To be eligible, the individual must be a disabled veteran who has a compensable service-connected disability of 30% or more officially documented by the Department of Defense or the Department of Veterans Affairs. For more information on this hiring authority, please visit: http://www.opm.gov/veterans/html/vetsinfo.asp.
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