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Our Work

OPM leads workforce management for the federal government. Whether you’re a federal jobseeker, a current or retired federal employee, a human resources professional, or a member of the public, our work affects you. Our responsibilities cover three broad categories:

  • We set and enforce the background-check processes that determine individuals’ fitness to serve in the federal workforce.
  • We provide human resources policies, services, and oversight to federal agencies, so they can hire and manage their workforces effectively.
  • We develop and administer quality, cost-effective employee benefits programs, including the federal retiree pension program.

Use the tabs below to learn more about each of these categories.

Every person hired into the federal workforce undergoes a vetting process, called “suitability,” that evaluates whether job candidates are fit for federal employment. OPM oversees this process, and it’s a critical step in building a trustworthy workforce. Suitability checks determine people’s eligibility to serve in a sensitive position, in the military, or as a contractor, to access classified material, or to be issued a federal credential.

OPM's director is designated by the president to serve as the Suitability and Credentialing Executive Agent and is responsible for:
• the suitability, fitness, and credentialing standards agencies use in hiring;
• the position designation system, which classifies every federal position based on how much risk it carries to the integrity and efficiency of the civil service;
• investigative standards, policies, and procedures for reviewing suitability decisions;
• reciprocity standards, which allow agencies to use the results of other authorized agencies’ background investigations instead of duplicating effort; and
• suitability determinations and actions to enforce those determinations.

For more information about our suitability services for agencies, visit our Suitability Hub

OPM guides and supports federal agencies’ workforce management. We develop and oversee government-wide workforce policies and systems and are responsible for certain government-wide personnel management activities, such as the pay classification system. We provide technical support and guidance to help agencies successfully implement these policies and systems. We also steward and implement Administration workforce-related priorities and goals.

Our support for agencies includes:

  •, the official job site of the federal government, relied on by federal agencies and 70 million annual visitors as the main portal for recruitment for federal employment opportunities.
  • Leadership development programming for federal executives, managers, and aspiring leaders, through our Federal Executive Institute, the Eastern and Western Management Development Centers, the Presidential Management Fellows Program, and the Lab at OPM.
  • The modernization of human resources information technology, including systems such as Enterprise Human Resource Integration, USALearning, USA Staffing, USA Hire, and USA Performance.
  • Access to and oversight of pre-vetted private contractors able to serve agencies’ needs in human capital management, organizational design, and learning and development.
  • Oversight and evaluation of human resources programs and systems to ensure their effectiveness, compliance with federal law, and adherence to merit system principles.
  • Protection of federal employees’ procedural rights through the adjudication of position classification appeals, job grading appeals, Fair Labor Standards Act claims, and compensation and leave claims.

For more information about our services for agencies, visit our hub for HR Professionals.

A great workforce deserves great benefits. OPM is proud to deliver quality, cost-effective benefits to the millions of dedicated federal employees who serve the American public.

We develop and administer policies and programs that give feds access to competitive benefits such as:
• a broad range of healthcare and insurance plan options, including vision, dental, flexible spending accounts, and life insurance
• comprehensive retirement savings programs, including both a traditional pension and the Thrift Savings Plan, a tax-deferred savings plan similar to a 401K
• paid vacation, sick leave, and 11 federal holidays annually
• retirement health insurance coverage for retirees and their eligible family members
• up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave
• a robust Employee Assistance Program
• flexible work schedules and telework and hybrid work opportunities
• professional development and leadership training opportunities
• childcare subsidies
• transit subsidies
• so much more!

Want more information about our benefits? Visit our benefits page.

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