Click here to skip navigation
An official website of the United States Government.
Skip Navigation

In This Section

Classification & Qualifications Appeal Decisions

Washington, DC

U.S. Office of Personnel Management
Classification Appeal Decision
Under section 5112 of title 5, United States Code

Keith L. Miller
Human Resources (HR) Specialist (Military/HR Development (HRD))
GS-201-9
12 Air Force
Air Combat Command
U.S. Department of the Air Force
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona
HR Specialist (parenthetical titles at agency discretion)
GS-201-9
C-0201-09-06

Robert D. Hendler
Classification and Pay Claims Program Manager
Agency Compliance and Evaluation
Merit System Accountability and Compliance

07/18/2016


Date

As provided in section 511.612 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), this decision constitutes a certificate that is mandatory and binding on all administrative, certifying, payroll, disbursing, and accounting officials of the Government.  The agency is responsible for reviewing its classification decisions for identical, similar, or related positions to ensure consistency with this decision.  There is no right of further appeal.  This decision is subject to discretionary review only under conditions and time limits specified in the Introduction to the Position Classification Standards (Introduction), appendix 4, section G (address provided in appendix 4, section H).

Introduction

On November 30, 2015, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) Dallas Agency Compliance and Evaluation accepted a classification appeal from Mr. Keith L. Miller.  The appellant’s position is currently classified as HR Specialist (Military/HRD), GS-201-9, but he believes it should be classified to the GS-1712 Training Instruction Series at the 12 grade level and titled 12 Air Force (12 AF) Training Manager and Deployment Manager.  The position is assigned to the 12 AF, Air Combat Command (Command), U.S. Department of the Air Force (AF), at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (AFB), Arizona.  We received the complete agency’s administrative report on January 6, 2016.  We have accepted and decided this appeal under section 5112 of title 5, United States Code (U.S.C.).

Background and general issues

Unit Deployment Manager (UDM) duties, as described below, were added to the appellant’s position in July 2014.  His supervisor at the time requested a classification review of the appellant’s position on July 31, 2014, noting the organization’s plan to replace resource advisor duties assigned to his position with UDM duties, and suggested classification of the position as Unit Training and Deployment Manager, GS-301-9.  The resultant Air Force Personnel Center’s (AFPC) February 18, 2015, evaluation determined the UDM work was graded no higher than his other work and found his position properly classified as GS-201-9, while making changes to his official position description (PD), number RVR16592, which reflected his spending 40 percent of his time on UDM duties.  The appellant requested a position review from AFPC on July 1, 2015.  Their October 14, 2015, evaluation found his position correctly classified to the 9 grade level but noted that the GS-301 Miscellaneous Administration and Program Series should “definitely be considered.”  The appellant subsequently filed a classification appeal with OPM.

The appellant raises issues regarding management’s decision to add UDM duties to his position, the delay in communicating to him the addition of duties and revisions to his PD, and that the duties “have had a significant increase to current workload of 40-60 percent.”  He further states the UDM work occupies more time than the duties which he was originally hired to perform.  He submitted character statements and performance appraisals to support his various assertions.  Under 5 U.S.C. 302, agency management is vested with the authority to assign work to positions.  Therefore, agency decisions concerning the assignment of work are not reviewable under the classification appeals process.  Furthermore, volume of work cannot be considered in determining the grade of a position (The Classifier’s Handbook, chapter 5).

The appellant also states the agency initially classified his position at the GS-11 level in October 2005 but subsequently advertised and filled it at the GS-9 level when he was hired in April 2006.  Because our decision sets aside all previous agency decisions, his issues regarding the agency’s prior classification decisions are not germane to this decision.  In adjudicating this appeal, our responsibility is to make our own independent decision on the proper classification of the appellant’s position.

The appellant compares his position to other AF positions classified to different series and to the same or higher grade, as described by various PDs he submitted to OPM.  By law, we must classify positions solely by comparing their duties and responsibilities to OPM position classification standards (PCS) and guidelines (5 U.S.C. 5106, 5107, and 5112).  Since comparison to the PCSs and guidelines is the exclusive method for classifying positions, we cannot compare the appellant’s current duties to other positions, which may or may not be classified properly, as the basis for deciding his appeal.

Positions which may on the surface appear similar may include significantly different duties and responsibilities that affect their classification.  In reviewing the PDs submitted by the appellant, we noted significant differences between his position and the duties described in the various AF PDs.  For example, unlike the appellant’s position, the PD for a GS-1712-12 Education and Training Branch Chief describes responsibility for planning and conducting studies to evaluate the overall effectiveness and efficiency of training programs; and the PD for a GS-1712-9 Unit Training Chief describes developing education and training materials to meet specific training requirements and conducting training courses.  Also unlike his position, the PD for a GS-343-11 Program Analyst describes developing new procedures to furnish information concerning funding, mobility, and readiness inadequacy issues; and the PD for a GS-301-9 UDM describes performing analysis activities such as assessing the efficiency, effectiveness, and compliance with regulatory procedures and analyzing the combat capabilities of the unit through intensive evaluation of training, equipment status, and manning.  We conclude the PDs describe duties and responsibilities materially different from those performed by the appellant and, thus, may support a different classification.

Implicit in the appellant’s rationale is a concern his position is classified inconsistently with other AF positions.  Like OPM, the agency must classify positions based on comparison to OPM’s PCSs and guidelines.  In accordance with 5 CFR 511.612, agencies are required to review their own classification decisions for identical, similar, or related positions to ensure consistency with OPM certificates.  Consequently, the appellant’s agency has primary responsibility for ensuring its positions are classified consistently with OPM appeal decisions.  If the appellant believes his position is classified inconsistently with another, then he may pursue this matter by writing to the human resources office at his agency’s headquarters.  He should specify the precise organizational location, series, title, grade, and responsibilities of the positions in question.  The agency should explain to him the differences between his position and the others, or classify those positions in accordance with this appeal decision.

Position information

The appellant’s position is assigned to the 12 AF, which is headquartered at the AFB.  12 AF is part of the Command, which is one of AF’s ten major commands.  The Command’s mission is to serve as the primary force provider of non-nuclear combat airpower to warfighting commands.  In turn, 12 AF serves as the primary conventional fighter and bomber warfighting headquarters trained and ready for worldwide deployment of airpower.  The 12 AF also serves as the air component for the U.S. Southern Command.  The 12 AF headquarters is a tenant organization of the AFB, which is home to the 355th Fighter Wing.  12 AF is responsible for the combat readiness of the 355th Fighter Wing, six other active-duty wings, and one direct reporting unit.

The appellant’s work mainly falls into two categories, i.e., Unit Training Manager (UTM) and UDM, as follows:

The appellant’s UTM work differs depending on the population being serviced.  First, his UTM work supports all of 12 AF.  The primary purpose of his position is to plan, organize, and oversee 12 AF training and education issues.  He provides advice on training matters to 12 AF Commanders, managers, supervisors, and other staff.  When the 12 AF Commander (his third-level supervisor) identifies a training initiative, the appellant conducts research on its feasibility and provides recommendations on implementing, standardizing, and streamlining the initiative across 12 AF.  He provides advice to 12 AF training managers and instructors on training requirements, improving training instruction, writing effective test questions, etc.  For example, he provided training plan recommendations on class size, class composition, and scheduling to a program coordinator tasked with disseminating mandatory sexual assault training to approximately 8,000 participants.

In addition, the appellant’s UTM work supports the estimated 300 enlisted military members, officers, and civilians assigned to 12 AF headquarters.  He schedules, tracks, and reports on their Self Air and Buddy Care, Law of Armed Conflict, suicide awareness, weapons, and other mandatory training requirements.  He provides career development and other advice to 12 AF headquarters staff.  Enlisted members especially are on a continuum of training.  AF has a selection of career fields or occupational specialties, which are grouped within many different AF specialty codes (AFSC).  AF Career Field Managers are assigned to each AFSC and tasked with designing, developing, and establishing common training requirements for the AFSC.  The appellant’s role is to identify, monitor, and track AFSC-specific training requirements for 12 AF headquarters staff.  Should a military member fail a career development test multiple times, he meets with the member, his/her supervisor, and management officials to examine study methods used; identify reasons for the test failure; and discuss possible outcomes for the member including waiving test requirements if warranted by medical or other reasons, retraining, requesting job reclassification, or discharging from the military.  The appellant’s 12 AF Weighted Airmen Promotion System Monitor work requires preparing military members taking the promotion test, up to the Chief rank, by identifying appropriate reference and study materials.  In addition, he arranges classes such as the Squadron Officer School by confirming and advertising class dates, identifying participants, and screening eligibility.

Since 12 AF headquarters is a tenant on the home base of the 355th Fighter Wing, the appellant performs UTM work in support of its host AFB and Wing.  As the Air University Test Examiner, he safeguards classified test material and proctors classified tests when necessary.  He provides the AF Training Course to discuss with new supervisors or instructors topics such as principles of instruction, document requirements, and other program directives.  In addition to visiting work centers (i.e., the lowest subordinate level in an organization) to dispense training advice to staff, the appellant conducts Staff Assistance Visits (SAV), which are required every 18 months, to evaluate the work center’s overall training program.  Approximately 40 training managers, who are mostly military members, are assigned to the 355th Fighter Wing on a collateral or full-time basis.  The appellant advises new training managers, for example, by having a manager shadow him while conducting an SAV.

As UDM, the appellant is responsible for the deployment readiness and execution of deployment actions for 12 AF headquarters staff, as well as for individuals accompanying deploying personnel.  He monitors, organizes, and ensures completion of tasks required to maintain deployment eligibility and to verify staff scheduled to deploy meet all clearance requirements in accordance with the Department of Defense (Defense) Foreign Clearance Guide.  The appellant tracks and verifies passport and visa, medical, dental, insurance, and ancillary training clearance requirements relating to deployment readiness.  He ensures deploying personnel have current identification, weapons, and other gear required for the foreign area.  When necessary, he schedules deploying personnel for immunizations and other medical appointments, as well as for security briefings and other required training.  He maintains and periodically reviews mobility folders to ensure completeness, currency, and accuracy.  When he receives a request for a particular skill (e.g., a dentist), the appellant conducts a search for an individual with that AFSC.

Although he and the Section Commander (a Captain position and his first-level supervisor) certified to the accuracy of the duties described in his official PD, the appellant states the PD fails to clearly identify the appropriate clearance level, is inconsistent regarding his emergency essential designation, includes a new shift work requirement, and other issues unrelated to his major duties.  Such issues, however, are not germane to the classification of his position; i.e., they are not germane to determining the proper pay plan, series, title or grade of the position.  Therefore, they will not be addressed further in this decision.

A PD is the official record of the major duties and responsibilities assigned to a position or job by an official with the authority to assign work.  Major duties are normally those occupying a significant portion (at least 25 percent) of the employee’s time.  OPM considers a PD to be accurate for classification purposes when the major duties and responsibilities of the position are listed and proper classification can be made when the description is supplemented by otherwise accurate, available, and current information on the organization’s structure, mission, and procedures.  Based on these criteria, we find the appellant’s PD is adequate for classification purposes, and we incorporate it by reference into this decision.

To help decide this appeal, we conducted telephone audits with the appellant on April 25 and May 10, 2016, in addition to follow up correspondence.  We also conducted a telephone interview with his first-level supervisor on May 18, 2016.  In reaching our classification decision, we carefully considered all of the information gained from these interviews, as well as the written information furnished by the appellant and his agency.

Series, title, and standard determination

The appellant’s position involves performing different kinds and levels of work which, when evaluated separately in terms of duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required, are at different grade levels.  Grade-controlling work normally determines the series.  Since his UTM work is the highest level of work assigned to his position as explained later in the decision, we will consider the proper series of his UTM work.

The appellant disagrees with his agency’s assignment of his position to the GS-201 HR Management Series, which covers two-grade interval administrative positions that manage, supervise, administer, advise on, or deliver HR management products or services.  He believes his position warrants classification to the GS-1712 Training Instruction Series, which covers positions concerned with administration, supervision, training program development, evaluation, or instruction in a program of training when the paramount requirement of the work is a combination of practical knowledge of the methods and techniques of instruction and practical knowledge of the subject matter being taught.  This series covers positions involved in the direct delivery of instruction or training services of a nonprofessional nature.  It covers classroom instructors, supervisors, or managers in Government-operated training programs.  The GS-1712 series also covers staff specialists engaged in course development, test development, or similar staff work.

In contrast to the GS-1712 series definition, the appellant’s position does not require practical knowledge of the subject matter being taught as a paramount requirement.  Since he is not a classroom instructor other than providing periodic train-the-trainer classes, his position does not entail the direct delivery of instruction nor does it involve course development, test development, or similar staff work regularly performed by GS-1712 positions.  The GS-1712 series also excludes from coverage positions, like the appellant’s, involved in planning, administering, or evaluating programs designed to develop employees and manage learning in the organization, which are instead classified to the GS-201 series.  We thus conclude the appellant’s position is properly classified to the GS-201 series and evaluated his UTM work by application of the grading criteria in the Job Family Position Classification Standard (JFS) for Administrative Work in the HR Group, GS-200.

The agency evaluated the appellant’s UDM work by application of the GS-200 JFS.  However, his UDM work is one-grade interval support work that cannot be evaluated by application of the aforementioned GS-200 JFS.  The appellant’s work supports the readiness of 12 AF headquarters staff for mission-related deployments.  He ensures deployment actions comply with UDM requirements in AF Instruction (AFI) 10-403 and instructions specific to the foreign area, meet customer needs, and are coordinated timely.  Due to the nature of the work, the appellant must follow instructions explicitly or risk the individual not being cleared for deployment.  Thus, like one-grade interval support work, his UDM duties require following established methods, procedures, and guidelines, and may require a high degree of technical skill, care, and precision.  Also typical of support work, UDM-related guidelines are clear, well-established, and do not require that he apply a high level of analysis or judgment to make the information fit his particular situation.  Moreover, the appellant’s UDM work is of a continuing, repetitive nature and can be performed based on a practical knowledge of the purpose, operation, procedures, techniques, and guidelines of the specific program area or functional assignments.

The appellant’s UDM work is classifiable to the Miscellaneous Clerk and Assistance Series, GS-303, which covers positions the duties of which are to perform or supervise clerical, assistant, or technician work for which no other series is appropriate.  The work requires knowledge of the procedures and techniques involved in carrying out the work of an organization and involves application of procedures and practices within the framework of established guidelines.  As instructed by the GS-303 PCS, we evaluated the appellant’s UDM work by application of the Grade Level Guide for Clerical and Assistance Work (Guide), which provides general criteria for use in determining the grade level of non-supervisory clerical and assistance work from GS-1 through GS-7.  Administrative support work of the kind described in the Guide is performed in offices, shops, laboratories, hospitals, and numerous other settings in all Federal agencies.  The Guide covers the work of processing transactions and performing various office support and miscellaneous clerical and assistance duties within a framework of procedures, precedents, or instructions.

The agency titled the appellant’s position as HR Specialist (Military/HRD).  We concur with the agency’s determination of basic title.  As noted in the GS-200 JFS, agencies may assign parenthetical specialty titles to official position titles if individual circumstances dictate.  Therefore, selection of a parenthetical title is at the discretion of the agency.

Grade determination

Evaluation of UTM work using the GS-200 JFS

The GS-200 JFS is written in the Factor Evaluation System format, under which factor levels and accompanying point values are assigned for each of the nine factors.  The total is converted to a grade level by use of the grade-conversion table provided in the JFS.  Under this system, each factor-level description demonstrates the minimum characteristics needed to receive credit for the described level.  If a position fails to meet the criteria in a factor-level description in any significant aspect, it must be credited to a lower level unless an equally important aspect that meets a higher level balances the deficiency.  Conversely, the position may exceed those criteria in some aspects and still not be credited at a higher level.

The JFS provides specialty-specific illustrations as a frame of reference for applying factor-level concepts.  The illustrations describe examples of work meeting or exceeding the threshold for a particular factor level while still falling within the coverage of the factor level.  Comparisons to illustrations may not be solely relied upon to exclude credit at a factor level, because they do not necessarily describe the minimum threshold of the factor level.  Each illustration is to be used in its entirety in conjunction with the factor-level description.

Factor 1, Knowledge Required by the Position

This factor measures the nature and extent of information or facts the employee must understand to do acceptable work (e.g., steps, procedures, practices, rules, policies, regulations, and principles) and the nature and extent of the skills needed to apply the knowledge.

At Level 1-6, the position requires knowledge of, and skill in applying, fundamental HR management (HRM) laws, principles, systems, policies, methods, and practices; as well as interviewing, analytical, and research techniques sufficient to conduct fact-finding and recommend solutions to moderately difficult but well-precedented and/or recurring issues and problems.  This level also requires knowledge of, and skill in applying, fundamental HRM methods, principles, and practices of the specialization(s); and standardized analytical, and evaluative methods and techniques sufficient to:  advise on and/or resolve moderately complex, non-controversial, well-precedented factual, procedural, and/or recurring issues for which there are one or more readily apparent solutions; make informed judgments on problems and issues; perform management advisory services for specific requests related to immediate problems of limited scope; and analyze segments of broader HRM issues or problems; e.g., the functional relationships between specializations and the impact of decisions made in one specialization on the entire HR system.

The specialty-specific illustration at Level 1-6 describes work requiring knowledge of, and skill in applying, basic principles, practices, laws, and regulations of HRD sufficient to:  conduct training needs surveys and analyze the information and data obtained in order to anticipate HRD and training needs for specific categories of positions that involve fairly well-defined and readily understood duties (e.g., custodial, administrative support and assistance); identify management barriers and/or problems that adversely affect employee career growth opportunities; and advise management on the implementation of standardized practices and principles for incorporating career development strategies into the workplace to remedy such obstacles.

At Level 1-7, positions require knowledge of, and skill in applying, a wide range of HRM concepts, laws, policies, practices, analytical, and diagnostic methods and techniques sufficient to solve a wide range of complex, interrelated HRM problems and issues.  This level also requires knowledge of, and skill in applying:  a wide range of HR concepts, practices, laws, regulations, policies, and precedents sufficient to provide comprehensive HR management advisory and technical services on substantial organizational functions and work practices; analytical and diagnostic techniques and qualitative and quantitative techniques sufficient to identify, evaluate, and recommend to management appropriate HR interventions to resolve complex interrelated HR problems and issues; techniques for developing new or modified HR work methods, approaches, or procedures for delivering effective HR services to clients; consensus building, negotiating, coalition building, and conflict resolution techniques sufficient to interact appropriately in highly charged emotional situations; and written and oral communication techniques sufficient to develop and deliver briefings, project papers, status/staff reports, and correspondence to managers to foster understanding and acceptance of findings and recommendations.

The specialty-specific illustration at Level 1-7 describes a work requiring knowledge of, and skill in applying, HRD learning theories, principles, and methods; and the relationships between agency strategic plans and goals with HRD programs sufficient to:  perform analysis and research for a variety of HRD initiatives, advise management on developing and maintaining the proper balance between organization strategic plans and goals and the HRD program, and utilize a wide variety of learning methods including technology-based methodologies to provide consultative services.

The appellant’s position meets Level 1-6.  Similar to Level 1-6, his work requires knowledge of, and skill in applying, fundamental HRM laws, principles, systems, policies, methods, and practices to plan, organize, and oversee the 12 AF training program and address its issues.  Typical of this level, his work requires interviewing, analytical, and research techniques sufficient to conduct fact-finding and recommend solutions to moderately difficult issues and problems to, for example, improve the efficiency and effectiveness of training at 12 AF.  When providing train-the-trainer classes, the appellant provides guidance to new supervisors or instructors on planning, conducting, and evaluating training as well as developing exercise materials and other training tools.  As at this level, he provides training instruction recommendations at the request of an instructor or work center to assess and/or improve training effectiveness.  The specialty-specific illustration at Level 1-6 describes a position identifying management barriers and/or problems adversely affecting career growth opportunities and advising management on the implementation of standardized practices and principles.  Although he does not perform the same work, the appellant’s recommendations geared towards improving training courses similarly requires knowledge of basic HRD principles and practices to identify problems adversely impacting training and advising instructors and/or management of a work center on strategies to remedy obstacles hindering participants from meeting training objectives.  This work requires practical knowledge of instructional concepts, methods, and techniques to evaluate a variety of training materials.  Like Level 1-6, the appellant performs advisory services for specific requests related to immediate problems of limited scope.  He advises on and/or resolves moderately complex, non-controversial, well-precedented factual, procedural, and/or recurring issues for which there are one or more readily apparent solutions as expected at Level 1-6.

The appellant’s position does not meet Level 1-7.  Unlike this level, his duties do not require application of a wide variety of HRM concepts, laws, policies, practices, analytical and diagnostic methods and techniques sufficient to solve a wide range of complex, interrelated HRM problems and issues.  His work entails scheduling training events and activities, managing reporting requirements, and mentoring new training managers.  The SAVs he conducts to assess an organization’s training program as well as provide guidance, assistance, and specific recommendations for correcting deficiencies require understanding the organization’s mission, reviewing training information and previous SAV reports, briefing the organization’s leaders on the purpose of the visit, and reporting on the specific areas needing improving and outlining required actions.  In contrast to Level 1-7, this and other work does not require providing comprehensive HR management advisory and technical services on substantial organizational functions and work practices; identifying, evaluating, and recommending HR interventions to resolve complex interrelated HR problems and issues; developing new or modified HR work methods, approaches, or procedures for delivering effective HR services to clients; consensus building, negotiating, coalition building, and conflict resolving techniques to interact appropriately in highly charged emotional situations; and written and oral communication techniques sufficient to develop and deliver briefings, project papers, status/staff reports, and correspondence to managers to foster understanding and acceptance of findings and recommendations.  Furthermore, the appellant identifies, monitors, and tracks training requirements based on a military member’s AFSC.  The AF outlines the requirements for skill-level progression for the over 100 different career fields, and the military member is required to complete the on-the-job, correspondence, online, or other training to meet AFSC-specific or ancillary training requirements.  Thus, unlike the specialty-specific illustration at Level 1-7, this and the appellant’s other work is performed by applying established training policies, procedures, and requirements rather than within the broader consideration of agency strategic plans and goals.

Factor 1-6 is credited for 950 points.

Factor 2, Supervisory Controls

This factor covers the nature and extent of direct or indirect controls exercised by the supervisor, the employee’s responsibility, and the review of completed work.

At Level 2-3, the supervisor outlines or discusses possible problem areas and defines objectives, plans, priorities, and deadlines.  Assignments have clear precedents requiring successive steps in planning and execution.  The employee independently plans and carries out the assignments in conformance with accepted policies and practices; adheres to instructions, policies, and guidelines in exercising judgment to resolve commonly encountered work problems and deviations; and brings controversial information or findings to the supervisor’s attention for direction.  The supervisor provides assistance on controversial or unusual situations that do not have clear precedents; reviews completed work for conformity with policy, the effectiveness of the employee’s approach to the problem, technical soundness, and adherence to deadlines; and does not usually review in detail the methods used to complete the assignment.

At Level 2-4, the supervisor outlines overall objectives and available resources.  The employee and supervisor, in consultation, discuss timeframes, scope of the assignment including possible stages, and possible approaches.  The employee determines the most appropriate principles, practices, and methods to apply in all phases of assignments, including the approach to be taken, degree of intensity, and depth of research in management advisories; frequently interprets regulations on his/her own initiative, applies new methods to resolve complex and/or intricate, controversial, or unprecedented issues and problems, and resolves most of the conflicts that arise; and keeps the supervisor informed of progress and of potentially controversial matters.  The supervisor reviews completed work for soundness of overall approach, effectiveness in meeting requirements or producing expected results, the feasibility of recommendations, and adherence to requirements.  The supervisor does not usually review methods used.

The appellant’s position exceeds Level 2-3 in certain aspects in that his supervisor does not outline or discuss possible problems as described at this level.  Rather, the appellant has continuing responsibility for administering the training program in compliance with established laws, regulations, policies, procedures, timeframes, reporting mechanisms, and interpretive guidance.  Program guidelines are furnished by the Command, AF, and Defense, and he must apply and adapt them to suit the needs of his customers.  The 12 AF Commander provides broad guidance and direction by identifying training initiatives or objectives, priorities, or deadlines.  Similar to Level 2-3, the appellant carries out the work in conformance with accepted policies and practices; adheres to instructions, policies, and guidelines in exercising judgment to resolve commonly encountered work problems and deviations; and brings controversial information or findings to others for action (e.g., he keeps the 12 AF Commander apprised of the training completion rate of staff and other program updates).  Like Level 2-3, how the appellant completes his work and the technical methods he uses are normally not reviewed.  Also like this level, the supervisor evaluates his work for conformance with prescribed deadlines, quality, and effectiveness of training work through ad hoc feedback from staff.

The appellant’s position does not meet Level 2-4.  This level considers not just the degree of independence from supervision, but also the degree to which the nature of the work permits exercising judgment and making independent decisions and commitments.  The appellant’s work regularly requires judgment and decision-making in advising staff on training matters.  However, this work does not require the level of judgment described at Level 2-4, where work involves independently interpreting regulations and applying new methods to resolve complex and/or intricate, controversial, or unprecedented issues and problems.  These issues are instead referred for clarifying guidance to Command-level training program staff responsible for promulgating policy and overseeing the training programs for 12 AF and the Command’s other subordinate organizations.  Also unlike Level 2-4, the appellant’s work involves implementing well-established, comprehensive guidance to ensure training activities are carried out in compliance with established requirements.  This type of environment limits his need for or opportunity to negotiate with the supervisor on timeframes, assignment scope, and work approaches as expected at Level 2-4.

Level 2-3 is credited for 275 points.

Factor 3, Guidelines

This factor covers the nature of guidelines and the judgment employees need to apply them.

At Level 3-3, the employee uses a wide variety of reference materials and manuals; however, they are not always directly applicable to issues and problems or have gaps in specificity.  Precedents are available outlining the preferred approach to more general problems or issues.  The employee uses judgment in researching, choosing, interpreting, modifying, and applying available guidelines for adaptation to specific problems or issues.

At Level 3-4, the employee uses guidelines and precedents that are very general regarding agency policy statements and objectives.  Guidelines specific to assignments are often scarce, inapplicable, or have gaps in specificity that require considerable interpretation and/or adaptation for application to issues and problems.  The employee uses judgment, initiative, and resourcefulness in deviating from established methods to:  modify, adapt, and/or refine broader guidelines to resolve specific complex and/or intricate issues and problems; treat specific issues or problems; research trends and patterns; develop new methods and criteria; and/or propose new policies and practices.

The appellant’s guidelines meet Level 3-3.  Similar to this level, his work involves using a wide variety of readily available reference materials, manuals, handbooks, and instructions in all facets of training.  Guidelines include program requirements in AFI 36-2201, career field education and training plans for the AFSCs, and other program directives issued by the Command, AF, and Defense.  As at Level 3-3, the appellant uses judgment to interpret, modify, and apply available instructions and program requirements to particular situations.

The appellant’s guidelines do not meet Level 3-4.  Unlike Level 3-4, the appellant’s work does not require interpreting scarce, inapplicable, or incomplete guidelines as discussed previously.  His work also does not require modifying, adapting, or refining broader guidelines to resolve specific complex and/or intricate issues and problems; treat specific issues or problems; research trends and patterns; develop new methods and criteria; and/or propose new policies and practices as expected at Level 3-4.  Questions regarding unclear or complex training requirements and situations (e.g., on documentation requirements) are directed to Command-level training program staff.

Level 3-3 is credited for 275 points.

Factor 4, Complexity

This factor covers the nature, number, variety, and intricacy of tasks, steps, processes, or methods in the work performed; the difficulty in identifying what needs to be done; and the difficulty and originality involved in performing the work.

At Level 4-3, work consists of applying established analytical techniques to problems and issues more of a technical rather than an advisory nature, and issues and problems of the same type.  The employee determines the most effective technical approaches to the problem requiring the application of established analytical techniques and methods and standard regulations and procedures; verifies and assesses relevant facts from several sources, examines documentation, ensures compliance with applicable regulations and procedures, analyzes and reconciles discrepancies or inconsistencies, and researches precedent studies; and/or resolves a moderate range of problems or situations requiring the use of established analytical techniques to isolate and evaluate appropriate precedents, to examine and analyze documentation, to reconcile discrepancies or inconsistencies, and to develop supportable conclusions based on standardized research.  The employee identifies a variety of issues and their factual relationships, analyzes relevant factors and conditions, and chooses a course of action from many alternatives; considers and integrates management’s request with the appropriateness and applicability of established HR policies, regulations, and procedures; recognizes the need to modify established procedures in response to persistent problems; and/or analyzes appropriate principles, laws, practices, and procedures to determine interrelationships between existing conditions and issues.

The specialty-specific illustration at Level 4-3 describes  assessing skills training needs for an organizational segment of an operating HRD program at a small field facility.  Generally, positions covered are well-defined; e.g., custodial, mechanical, manual-labor, and/or administrative support and assistance.  The work entails performing the following duties:  conducts surveys of training needs, analyzes the information obtained, and submits recommendations; monitors on-the-job training of employees; takes follow-up action to assure that employees receive the needed training; answers inquiries about available training; and clarifies eligibility requirements and application procedures.  Within previously established parameters, the employee exercises judgment in making such decisions as choosing between several clearly defined alternatives.

At Level 4-4, work consists of resolving problems and issues that often involve conflicting or incomplete information; applying analytical techniques that frequently require modification to accommodate a wide range of variables; and/or addressing substantive technical issues or problems characterized by complex, controversial, and/or sensitive matters that contain several interrelated issues.  The employee conducts detailed planning to gather and interpret information and data for assessing complex problems, issues and unusual circumstances; determines the most effective and efficient approach to meet customer requirements; identifies ways to improve or enhance current HR services to ensure that services meet management’s business objectives; assesses situations that are complicated by ambiguous, disputed, conflicting, and/or incomplete data requiring significant reconstruction to isolate issues and/or problems; participates in analyzing the effects of changes in law and regulations; identifies and clarifies problems and issues to propose recommendations; reconciles conflicting or incomplete information; identifies and extracts additional information; defines the problem in terms compatible with appropriate laws, policies, or regulations; and/or weighs pertinent facts in formulating a legal and/or factually supportable position.  The employee exercises originality by analyzing and refining existing work methods and techniques; and/or analyzes specific legal issues and problems by refining existing analytical techniques.

The specialty-specific illustration at Level 4-4 describes serving as principal advisor to serviced activities/organizations on a wide variety of issues and topics related to HRD, including providing career development and counseling services.  The employee advises management on how the benefits of a comprehensive, on-going training needs identification and training program will yield positive organizational results; and on training and HRD problems, needs, and issues that affect individual career progression or that impact on specific occupational groups.  The employee also identifies ways to prioritize training and development programs relative to management needs and points of view; identifies performance deficiencies due to lack of training; provides guidance in developing individual development plans to assist employees in reaching short- and long-term career goals; tracks and reports trends in the distribution of training effectiveness, and assesses costs and benefits; and provides career counseling to employees to assist in identifying realistic career objectives and in determining required qualifications and training.  The employee exercises originality and ingenuity in solving problems and developing options related to reduced productivity, underutilization of employees, low employee morale, obsolete workforce skills, and the challenges of organizations in transition.

The appellant’s position meets Level 4-3.  Similar to this level, his work consists of applying established analytical techniques to problems or situations associated with the day-to-day training program matters of the 12 AF.  Program guidance provided by him serves to clarify requirements and explain local procedures but does not deviate from established training requirements.  As at Level 4-3, the appellant’s work is accomplished by verifying and assessing relevant facts from several sources, examining documentation, ensuring compliance with applicable regulations and procedures, and analyzing and reconciling discrepancies or inconsistencies.  The appellant’s work compares favorably with the specialty-specific illustration for Level 4-3.  Although he does not conduct surveys of training needs, analyze information obtained, and submit recommendations like the illustrated position, the appellant’s SAVs similarly require analyzing information to identify deficient areas and recommending corrective actions.  Also similar to the Level 4-3 illustration, he monitors on-the-job training of employees, takes follow-up action to assure that employees receive the needed training, answers inquiries about available training, and clarifies eligibility requirements and application procedures.  The appellant exercises judgment within previously-established parameters in making such decisions as choosing between several clearly defined alternatives as described by the Level 4-3 illustration.

The complexity of the appellant’s position does not meet Level 4-4.  Unlike this level, his work does not involve resolving problems or issues with oftentimes conflicting or incomplete information.  Instead, he reviews training plans to provide suggestions for improvement, mentors new training managers, and advises management and others of the advantages and disadvantages of training options.  For example, he is conducting research for the 12 AF Commander’s training initiative to consolidate the suicide awareness, sexual assault, privacy act, and other mandatory training required by the AF and Defense.  After contacting the U.S. National Guard, which implemented a similar initiative, the appellant obtained access to their training materials.  Information will be provided to the 12 AF Commander based on his review of those training materials, along with recommendations on the feasibility of consolidating (e.g., which courses can be consolidated), number of sessions, instructors, etc.  However, these and other duties do not involve analysis requiring frequent modification of analytical techniques to accommodate a wide range of variables, nor are they typically characterized by complex, controversial, and/or sensitive matters containing several interrelated issues as expected at Level 4-4.  In addition, the appellant’s position does not involve the full range of responsibilities described by the Level 4-4 illustration.  Unlike the illustration, his position does not exercise originality and ingenuity in solving problems and developing options related to reduced productivity, underutilization of employees, low employee morale, obsolete workforce skills, and the challenges of organizations in transition.

Level 4-3 is credited for 150 points.

Factor 5, Scope and Effect

This factor measures the relationship between the nature of the work, as measured by the purpose, breadth, and depth of the assignment, and the effect of work products or services both within and outside the organization.

At Level 5-3, work involves applying accepted criteria, principles, and standard methods to resolve a variety of conventional issues and problems; and/or portions of broader studies that require developing detailed procedures and guidelines to supplement existing guidance.  Work reports and recommendations influence the decisions made by managers and other employees; and affect customer perception of the overall quality and service of the HR program.  The specialty-specific illustration at Level 5-3 describes providing established HRD services, including executing tasks and procedures to develop HRD system competency models and assessments, for a local facility.  Work products ensure that the office’s HRD activities are consistent with the employing organization’s HRD needs.

At Level 5-4, work involves resolving or advising on complex problems and issues that typically require analyzing and/or troubleshooting a wide range of unusual conditions.  Work ultimately affects the objectives and effectiveness of agency HR activities, missions, and programs.  The assessment, analysis, and ultimate resolution of problems promote the overall quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of program operations.  The specialty-specific illustration at Level 5-4 describes providing HRD management advisory services to top management of the organization and designing, developing, and evaluating major portions of the organization’s HRD program.  Results of the work contribute to the overall effectiveness of program offices throughout the organization, and may serve as a basis for the office to commit to specific courses of action.

The appellant’s position meets Level 5-3, where work involves resolving a variety of conventional training issues and problems requiring application of accepted criteria, principles, and standard methods in performing work such as providing advice on training activities to 12 AF staff and ensuring compliance with training requirements.  Similar to the specialty-specific illustration at Level 5-3, the appellant’s work products ensure HRD activities are consistent with the employing organization’s HRD needs.  Through his training initiative recommendations, instructional guidance, and other work, his position influences the decisions made by 12 AF managers, supervisors, and employees, as well as the perceptions of the overall quality and service of the training program as expected at Level 5-3.

The appellant’s position does not meet Level 5-4, where work involves resolving or advising on complex problems and issues or a wide range of unusual conditions.  Rather, his work includes coordinating, scheduling, and tracking completed training; reporting training statistics to 12 AF headquarters management, Command-level training program staff, and others on a regular or as-needed basis; and advising on various conventional training matters typical of Level 5-3.  For example, the appellant provided advice to management on a serviced organization opting, at their own discretion, to add an annual operations security awareness course to the ancillary training requirements.  This and his other work typically involves resolving recurring types of situations or problems encountered by a serviced organization, requiring he select and apply appropriate guidance/precedents from available sources.  Although he provides advisory services to the top management of his organization similar to the specialty-specific illustration at Level 5-4, unlike the illustration, the appellant does not design, develop, and evaluate major portions of the organization’s training program.  His work on 12 AF-wide training initiatives (e.g., to consolidate training) requires tailoring information he gathers from other Defense organizations to fit the particular local situation and/or clarifying requirements without deviating from the intent of AFI-36-2201 and other higher-level program guidance.  This is not equivalent to designing, developing, or evaluating major portions of the training program as described by the Level 5-4 illustration.

Level 5-3 is credited for 150 points.

Factors 6 and 7, Personal Contacts and Purpose of Contacts

Personal contacts include face-to-face and telephone contacts with persons not in the supervisory chain.  Levels described under this factor are based on what is required to make the initial contact, the difficulty of communicating with those contacted, and the setting in which the contact takes place.  These factors are interdependent.  The same contacts selected for crediting Factor 6 must be used to evaluate Factor 7.  The appropriate level for personal contacts and the corresponding level for purpose of contacts are determined by applying the point assignment chart for factors 6 and 7.

            Personal Contacts

At Level 2, contacts are primarily with employees and managers in the agency, both inside and outside the immediate office or related units, as well as employees, representatives of private concerns, applicants, retirees, beneficiaries, and/or the general public.  The contacts take place in moderately structured settings; i.e., the exact purpose of the contact may be unclear at first to one or more of the parties; and one or more of the parties may be uninformed concerning the role and authority of other participants.  Contact with employees and managers may be from various levels in the agency such as headquarters, regions, districts, field offices, or operating offices at the same location.

At Level 3, contacts are primarily with persons outside the agency, including consultants, contractors, or business executives, in moderately unstructured settings; i.e., the contacts are not established on a routine basis, the purpose and extent of each contact is different, and the role and authority of each party is identified and developed during the course of the contact.  This level may also include contacts with agency officials who are several managerial levels removed from the employee when such contacts occur on an ad hoc basis.

The appellant’s personal contacts meet Level 2, as his contacts primarily include managers, supervisors, and employees from his serviced activities throughout 12 AF.  Although agency officials may be several managerial levels removed from him as described at Level 3, we find these contacts are in moderately structured situations; contacts are established on a routine basis, the exact purpose may not be clear at first to one or more parties, and one or more parties may be uninformed concerning the role and authority of the participant, rather than the unstructured setting typical of Level 3.

            Purpose of Contacts

At Level b, the purpose is to plan, coordinate, or advise on work efforts, or to resolve issues or operating problems by influencing or persuading people who are working toward mutual goals and have basically cooperative attitudes.  Contacts typically involve identifying options for resolving problems.

At Level c, the purpose is to influence and persuade employees and/or managers to accept and implement findings and recommendations.  The employee may encounter resistance due to such issues as organizational conflict, competing objectives, or resource problems.  At this level, the employee must be skillful in approaching contacts to obtain the desired effect; e.g., gaining compliance with established policies and regulations by persuasion or negotiation.

The appellant’s position meets Level b, as the purpose of his contacts ranges from exchanging factual information to resolving issues with individuals typically working towards the same goals.  His contacts are for the purpose of clarifying information, coordinating work efforts, resolving problems pertaining to training matters, explaining the basis for his recommendations and actions, and providing management advisory services.  The AF conducts an annual occupational analysis survey, which the appellant is responsible for distributing and encouraging participation from staff.  While he must be persuasive in dealing with this and other contacts, participants typically have mutual goals.  Unlike Level c, he does not normally encounter resistance due to organizational conflict, competing objectives, or resource problems.  If, for example, there is serious resistance from a military member to complete required training, the problem is elevated to the member’s supervisor or other management officials for further action.  The appellant does not regularly encounter resistance like that described at Level c, requiring him to gain compliance with AFI 36-2201 and other regulations through persuasion or negotiation.  Overall, the purpose of his contacts meets Level b.

Level 2-b is credited for 75 points.

Factor 8, Physical Demands

This factor covers the requirements and physical demands placed on the employee by the work assignment.

Similar to Level 8-1, the only level described by the JFS, the appellant’s work is sedentary.  Some work may require walking in offices and similar areas for meetings and to conduct HR work.  Employees may carry light items.  Work does not require any special physical effort. 

Level 8-1 is credited for 5 points.

Factor 9, Work Environment

This factor considers the risks and discomforts in the employee’s physical surroundings or the nature of the work assigned and the safety regulations required.

Similar to Level 9-1, the only level described by the JFS, the appellant’s work area is adequately lighted, heated, and ventilated.  His work environment involves everyday risks or discomforts requiring normal safety precautions. 

Level 9-1 is credited for 5 points.

Summary
Factor Level Points
1.  Knowledge Required by the Position 1-6    950
2.  Supervisory Controls 2-3    275
3.  Guidelines 3-3    275
4.  Complexity 4-3    150
5.  Scope and Effect 5-3    150
6. & 7.  Personal Contacts and Purpose of Contacts 2-b      75
8.  Physical Demands 8-1        5
9.  Work Environment 9-1        5
Total 1,885

 

A total of 1,885 points falls within the GS-9 range (1,855 to 2,100) on the grade conversion table provided in the JFS.

Evaluation of UDM work using the Guide

The Guide provides general criteria for use in determining the grade level of nonsupervisory clerical and assistance work.  Administrative support work of the kind described in the Guide is performed in offices, hospitals, and numerous other settings in Federal agencies.  The Guide describes the general characteristics of each grade level from GS-1 through GS-7, and uses the following two criteria for grading purposes:  Nature of Assignment (which includes knowledge required and complexity of the work) and Level of Responsibility (which includes supervisory controls, guidelines, and contacts).

For the purpose of applying the Guide, the appellant’s UDM work is clerical in nature involving such work as preparing, receiving, reviewing, and verifying documents; maintaining office records; locating and compiling data or information from files; compiling information for reports; and informing others of deadlines and other important dates.  Thus, only the grade level criteria for clerical work will be addressed below.

Nature of Assignment

At the GS-5 level, work consists of performing a full range of standard and non-standard clerical assignments and resolving a variety of non-recurring problems.  Work includes a variety of assignments involving different and unrelated steps, processes, or methods.  The employee must identify and understand the issues involved in each assignment and determine what steps and procedures are necessary and the order of their performance.  Completion of each transaction typically involves selecting a course of action from a number of possibilities.  The work requires extensive knowledge of an organization’s rules, procedures, operations, or business practices to perform the more complex, interrelated, or one-of-a-kind clerical processing procedures.

At the GS-6 level, work typically entails processing a wide variety of transactions for more than one type of assigned activity or functional specialization.  Assignments are subject to different sets of rules, regulations, and procedures.  Such issues must be examined that a course of action has substantive impact on the outcome of the assignment.  Work requires comprehensive knowledge of rules, regulations, and other guidelines relating to completing assignments in the program area assigned.  This knowledge is usually attained through extensive, increasingly difficult, and practical experience and training in the subject matter field.  This work also requires ability to interpret and apply regulatory and procedural requirements to process unusually difficult and complicated transactions.

The appellant’s UDM work meets the GS-5 level.  As at this level, his work supporting the readiness of 12 AF headquarters staff for deployment to combat zones, emergencies, exercises, and other missions involves different and unrelated processes such as retrieving and reviewing deployment notifications, compiling information for reports, informing and scheduling personnel for appointments and training, querying databases, and filing and maintaining documents and records.  The appellant’s work involves performing a full range of clerical assignments where he must understand the issues involved and determine the steps and procedures to be followed when tracking medical, dental, insurance, ancillary training, and other requirement for deploying personnel; maintaining documentation and mobility folders in accordance with AFI 10-403, Defense Foreign Clearance Guide, system manuals, and other instructions; preparing status reports on deployment readiness; and coordinating with the Personnel Readiness Unit to ensure the orderly and timely scheduling of travel for deploying personnel.

As at the GS-5 level, the appellant performs standard and non-standard clerical assignments requiring application of a broad working knowledge of the deployment process, requirements, and systems.  His records maintenance duties would be considered standard clerical assignments as the work is basically repetitive and involves carrying out the same steps without variation, for example, by ensuring mobility folders are complete, current, and accurate.  The appellant’s work requires working knowledge of numerous databases to perform nonstandard clerical assignments such as extracting data and querying systems depending on the destination of deployment.  Since a foreign area has its own unique set of reporting instructions, each deployment notification involves selecting a course of action from a number of possibilities.  After identifying the reporting instructions for an individual’s deployment destination, the appellant verifies the individual’s medical, dental, insurance, ancillary training, and other requirements are consistent with the appropriate instructions.  If not, he schedules medical and other appointments for the member, arranges additional training specific to deployment needs, and ensures supplies on the standard packing list are obtained.  The appellant purchases supplies and other gear required for the foreign area such as book bags, hats, boots, and weapons, while contacting finance management personnel for approval should a single purchase exceed $3,500.  He queries databases including, but not limited to, the Logistics Module to monitor deployment processing status, Aerospace Medical Information System to track medical status, and Aerospace Reporting Tool to confirm, by comparison with manning documents, an individual’s training skill level to ensure the right people are deployed for missions.  His position requires extensive knowledge of the deployment rules, procedures, operations, or business practices to perform the more complex, interrelated, or one-of-a-kind clerical processing procedures (e.g., to identify the need to request a waiver of clearance requirements) characteristic of the GS-5 level.

The appellant’s work does not meet the GS-6 level.  His UDM work does not require the considerable evaluative judgment found at this level.  Assignments at the GS-6 level involve processing a wide variety of transactions using different rules, regulations, and procedures where the work requires extensive practical experience and training in the subject matter field and the ability to interpret and apply regulatory and procedural requirements to process unusually difficult and complicated transactions.  The appellant’s UDM work, in considering the evaluative judgment required, does not involve or permit him to examine the issues involved in a given transaction or task to determine the best course of action.  Instead, the work involves carrying out the same or similar basic steps for each task as governed by AFI 10-403, Defense Foreign Clearance Guide, and other instructions.  The narrow range of his UDM work does not require either a comprehensive knowledge of rules, regulations, and other guidelines relating to completing assignments or that he interpret the rules and procedures for the purpose of seeking alternative solutions to issues as found at the GS-6 level.  For example, the appellant described having received notification of staff being deployed to South America in less than a week.  Visas and travel documents were mailed to his office, but he said the individuals were able to deploy timely as a result of his making arrangements to pick up the package at the Fed Ex office rather than it arriving late as a result of it being routed through the mail room.  Regardless, although occasionally dealing with time pressures requiring he give priority to deployment actions with short deadlines, dealing as he did with the aforementioned assignment did not rise to the level of devising alternative solutions to the substance of work performed as envisioned at the GS-6 level.  Most of the appellant’s UDM work involves recurring processes and procedures with his actions repetitive in terms of the procedures to be applied and problems to be handled with each task.  Also in contrast to the GS-6 level, his assignments usually involve problems or situations following either precedents or operating procedures where there is only one correct solution (e.g., reporting the status of manning and readiness, maintaining files, and tracking deployment readiness).

This factor is properly evaluated at the GS-5 level.

Level of Responsibility

At the GS-5 level, the supervisor assigns work by defining objectives, priorities, and deadlines and provides guidance on assignments which do not have clear precedents.  The employee works in accordance with accepted practices and completed work is evaluated for technical soundness, appropriateness, and effectiveness in meeting goals.  Extensive guides in the form of instructions, manuals, regulations, and precedents apply to the work.  The number and similarity of guidelines and work situations require the employee to use judgment in locating and selecting the most appropriate guidelines for application and updating them according to circumstances of the specific case or transaction.  A number of procedural problems may arise which also require interpretation and adaptation of established guides.  Contacts are with a variety of persons within and outside the agency for the purpose of receiving or providing information relating to the work or resolving operating problems in connection with recurring responsibilities.

At the GS-6 level, the supervisor reviews completed work for conformance with policy and requirements.  The employee is recognized as an authority on processing transactions or completing assignments within a complicated framework of established procedures and guidelines, often when there are no clear precedents.  This recognition typically extends beyond the immediate office or work unit to the overall organization or, in some cases, outside the organization.  The employee is regarded as an expert source of information on regulatory requirements for the various transactions, and is frequently called upon to provide accurate information rapidly on short notice.  Guidelines for the work are numerous and varied, making it difficult for the employee to choose the most appropriate instruction and decide how the various transactions are to be completed.  Guidelines often do not apply directly, requiring the employee to make adaptations to cover new and unusual work situations.  This may involve deviating from established procedures to process transactions which cannot be completed through regular channels or involve actions where guidelines are conflicting or unusable.  Contacts are with employees in the agency, their companions in other agencies, or with management or users or providers of agency services.  The employee provides information, explains the application of regulations, or resolves problems relating to the assignment.

The supervisory controls over the appellant’s work are not as close as GS-5 positions in terms of the manner in which work is assigned, in that his supervisor does not assign work, priorities, or deadlines.  However, like the GS-5 level, the appellant independently manages and carries out successive steps of the day-to-day activities according to established policies or procedures.  Though not conducting a review for technical soundness, his supervisor reviews his work in terms of customer service through ad hoc feedback and effectiveness in meeting goals, e.g., that 12 AF headquarters staff deploy timely.  His guidelines require selecting the most appropriate one for application and adaptation to the matter at hand.  Typical of the GS-5 level, his contacts are with persons within and outside 12 AF headquarters, including the individuals who are accompanying 12 AF headquarters staff on deployments, finance management personnel, Personnel Readiness Unit staff, and others for the purposes of receiving or providing information related to the work, coordinating efforts, and resolving problems associated with the day-to-day operations.

Unlike the GS-6 level, the appellant carries out processes that are relatively uncomplicated and governed by a limited set of administrative procedures rather than by regulatory requirements he must interpret and apply.  He retrieves and reviews deployment notifications, monitors and maintains deployment readiness statistics, schedules appointments and training, queries databases, and performs other recurring work.  Carrying out these limited processes does not provide the framework wherein the appellant would be providing authoritative information or expertise to others on how the work must be accomplished, for example, explaining how a particular transaction must be handled or what regulations apply to a given situation as expected at the GS-6 level.  Also in contrast to this level, he does not work with numerous and varied guidelines from which it is difficult to choose the most appropriate instruction and decide how the various requests and other actions are to be completed.  The decisions he makes are based on database queries, records, practical logistical considerations, and other readily available information.  The appellant supports the Isolated Personnel and Recovery Program by ensuring deploying personnel update their personal information prior to departure in the event of a capture.  The parameters of this and other UDM work are well defined in that he is not authorized to deviate from established procedures.  Although he works independently, the appellant carries out a structured set of processes with limited opportunity for the application of any independent judgment or action.  His work does not routinely require or permit him to deviate from established procedures or deal with actions where guidelines are unusable or conflicting.  Thus, the appellant’s position does not involve the range of case actions and advisory issues intended at the GS-6 level.

This factor is properly evaluated at the GS-5 level.

Grade summary

Based on application of the Guide, GS-5 is determined to be the proper grade of the appellant’s UDM work since both factors, Nature of Assignment and Level of Responsibility, meet that level.

Decision

The appellant’s position is properly classified as HR Specialist (parenthetical titles at agency discretion), GS-201-9.

 

 

Back to Top

Control Panel