Click here to skip navigation
This website uses features which update page content based on user actions. If you are using assistive technology to view web content, please ensure your settings allow for the page content to update after initial load (this is sometimes called "forms mode"). Additionally, if you are using assistive technology and would like to be notified of items via alert boxes, please follow this link to enable alert boxes for your session profile.
An official website of the United States Government.

Latest News News

You have reached a collection of archived material.

The content available is no longer being updated and as a result you may encounter hyperlinks which no longer function. You should also bear in mind that this content may contain text and references which are no longer applicable as a result of changes in law, regulation and/or administration.


News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 27, 2005
Contact: Edmund D. Byrnes
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Director Kay Coles James Announces Stricter Guidelines Regarding Diploma Mills

"There is no place in the federal government for degrees or credentials from diploma mills."

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Office of Personnel Management Director Kay Coles James today announced key revisions to OPM's Qualifications Standards Operating Manual in regard to educational requirements of those seeking to qualify for federal government employment. This new guidance is aimed at helping Agencies better understand how to judge the credibility of an applicant's credentials and claimed professional training.

"OPM policy is absolutely clear," James said. "Bogus degrees from so called diploma mills may not be used to qualify for federal jobs or salaries. The American people expect their public servants to be honest and forthcoming. "

The issue of diploma mill degrees has been a front burner issue since it came to light in 2003 that several high level officials within the federal government received "degrees" from mail order companies that charged thousands of dollars and required little or no study in exchange for a diploma from their "institution". James has been actively involved with other members of the federal team including the Department of Education (DoED) in attempts to cut down on the practice of bogus degrees.

"I am grateful for the leadership that has been shown by the Department of Education and the Federal Trade Commission in the federal government's battle against diploma mills," said James. "In addition, I want to thank Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) for her dedication to federal employees, her belief in the Merit System Principles, and the resolve she has shown to curtail those submitting fraudulent academic degrees. I would also like to thank Congressman Tom Davis (R-VA) for his firm leadership in the House of Representatives on this critical issue."

"The Office of Personnel Management is the guardian of the Merit System Principles," said James. "Those who purposely attempt to deceive the federal government by misrepresenting their education level should not be allowed to use that deception when competing for positions against others who have legitimate credentials."

OPM has outlined a number of steps that agencies may use to protect both themselves and their employees who may be considering furthering their education, including a review of legal and regulatory policy governing the use federal funds for coursework leading to a degree.

- end -

Our mission is to Recruit, Retain and Honor a World-Class Workforce to Serve the American People. OPM supports U.S. agencies with personnel services and policy leadership including staffing tools, guidance on labor-management relations and programs to improve work force performance.


Control Panel