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Frequently Asked Questions Policy on Political Appointees

Which types of political appointments are subject to OPM’s pre-hiring approval?

Agencies must request OPM approval to appoint the following current or former (within five-years) Executive Branch political appointees to permanent competitive service, non-political excepted service, or career SES positions:


  • Political appointees requiring Senate confirmation (PAS);
  • Political appointees not requiring Senate confirmation (PA);
  • Political appointees, as defined under 5 U.S.C. sections 5312 through 5316 (relating to the Executive Schedule);
  • Political Schedule A;
    • Appointments made by the President without confirmation by the Senate [5 CFR § 213.3102(c)].
    • Assistants to top-level Federal officials if the position is being filled by a person designated by the President as a White House Fellow [5 CFR § 213.3102(z)].
  • Schedule C [5 CFR §§ 213.3301-3302];
  • Noncareer SES [5 U.S.C. § 3132(a)(7); and 5 CFR § 317, subpart F];
  • Limited Term SES [5 U.S.C. § 3132(a)(5); and 5 CFR § 317, subpart F];
  • Limited Emergency SES [5 U.S.C. § 3132(a)(6); and 5 CFR § 317, subpart F];
  • Appointees serving in a political capacity under agency-specific authority; and
  • Provisional Political Appointments [applicable to positions listed above].

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