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Frequently Asked Questions Assessment Policy

When conducting a job analysis, do I have to collect ratings (e.g., Importance, Required at Entry) from the subject matter experts (SME) for the tasks and competencies?

There are many ways to conduct job analyses.  The methodology chosen is impacted by factors such as the number of incumbents and supervisors, the recency of existing job analysis information, and the likelihood the job has changed.

According to the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection (, the documentation for a job analysis performed for selection purposes should include a description of the method used to analyze the job. 

"The work behavior(s), the associated tasks, and, if the behavior results in a work product, the work products should be completely described (essential). Measures of criticality and/or importance of the work behavior(s) and the method of determining these measures should be provided (essential). Where the job analysis also identified the knowledges, skills, and abilities used in work behavior(s), an operational definition for each knowledge in terms of a body of learned information and for each skill and ability in terms of observable behaviors and outcomes, and the relationship between each knowledge, skill, or ability and each work behavior, as well as the method used to determine this relationship, should be provided (essential)." 

These ratings provide valuable information regarding the importance and criticality of the tasks and competencies.  The ratings also provide data to assist you in many aspects of the assessment process, such as selecting competencies (content areas) for occupational questionnaires, deciding which questions to address in a structured interview, and so on.  Rating scales used by OPM can be found in Appendix G of the Delegated Examining Operations Handbook,

NOTE:  Whether or not actual ratings are gathered, your agency should have evidence establishing the importance of the tasks and KSAs.

For more information regarding job analysis, please visit OPM’s Assessment and Selection website,, or contact us at

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