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Frequently Asked Questions Employment

  • Under the new 5 CFR 213.3102(u) appointing authority, a hiring agency may also, in addition to the temporary appointments identified in the question above, make:
    • A time-limited appointment of an individual who provides proof of disability, when the duties of the position do not require it to be filled on a permanent basis. (Refer to 5 CFR 213.104 for the definition of time-limited appointment.)
    • A permanent appointment of an individual who provides proof of disability.  Note to hiring agencies: the intent of Executive Orders 12125 and 13124 is to permit these deserving individuals (upon meeting the requirements) to obtain civil service competitive status which is obtained through conversion to the competitive service rather than remaining in the excepted service.
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  • Students are classified to an appropriate GS or Wage Grade (WG) series and grade and paid according to that classification. See 5 CFR § 213.2302(a)(11).
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  • There is no single civil service "test" covering all civil service positions. To apply for many Federal jobs you do not have to take a traditional paper and pencil test. The vacancy announcements on the USAJOBS website will indicate if a specific written test is necessary. Otherwise, you should refer to the vacancy announcement to obtain information regarding how qualifications and abilities are evaluated
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  • The following is a list of some examples of documents agencies may accept as proof of an intellectual disability, severe physical disability or psychiatric disability. Ultimately, it is the agency's choice what type(s) of documentation will be acceptable:
    • Statements or letters on a physician's/medical professional's letterhead stationary.
    • Statements, records or letters from a Federal Government agency that issues or provides disability benefits.
    • Statements, records or letters from a State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency counselor.
    • Certification from a private Vocational Rehabilitation or other Counselor that issues or provides disability benefits.

    As the regulation is implemented and used by agencies, this list may grow to include other types of certification. OPM will issue additional guidance to agencies on what constitutes "appropriate documentation" on an "as needed" basis.

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  • Agencies develop their own procedures for interview practices. The decision to interview may depend on a variety of factors, including your ranking against other candidates, the number of positions being filled, and the number of people who applied.
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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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  • The Federal Register has posted the new regulation on the Federal Register website at http://origin.www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/ and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has posted it on its website at www.opm.gov/fedregis and www.opm.gov/disability. OPM provided notification to Federal agencies through the Chief Human Capital Officer Council.
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  • OPM does not publish qualification standards for positions in the Excepted Service. Therefore agencies have the option of (1) developing their own qualification standards or (2) using OPM competitive service qualification standards. If an agency chooses option (1), it may develop its own standards or adopt or modify the former Schedule B student trainee qualification standard as their own. If an agency chooses option (2), it may use the competitive service qualification standard for the target position, or the competitive service student trainee qualification standards. See 5 CFR § 213.3202(a)(12) and 213.3202(b)(15).
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  • Yes. An individual participating in the Student Career Experience Program who otherwise meets the program requirements for conversion (i.e., work hours, satisfactory performance, educational requirements, etc.) may be converted to a position that has an established career ladder. For instance, a SCEP GS-0201-04 Human Resources Trainee may be noncompetitively converted to a GS-0201-05/7/9/11 Human Resources Specialist career ladder position. See 5 CFR § 213.3202(b)(11).
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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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