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Classification & Qualifications Appeal Decisions

Washington, DC

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

[appellant's name]
Supervisory Marine and Family Services Administrator
Marine and Family Programs Department
Marine Corps Community Services
Department of the Navy
[Installation and work location]
(Official title at agency discretion with prefix "Supervisory" added)

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



As provided in section 511.612 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations, 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).

As indicated in this decision, our findings show the appellant’s official position description (PD) does not meet the standard of adequacy described in section III.E. of the Introduction.  Since PDs must meet the standard of adequacy, the agency must revise the appellant’s PD to reflect our findings.  The servicing human resources office must submit a compliance report containing the corrected PD and a Standard Form 50 showing the personnel action taken.  The report must be submitted within 30 days from the effective date of the personnel action to the OPM office that accepted the appeal.

Decision sent to:

[Appellant’s name and mailing address]

[Address of appellant’s servicing human resources office]


Commandant of the Marine Corps

Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, Code ARH

3000 Marine Corps Pentagon Room 2C253

Washington, DC  20350-3000


Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Civilian Human Resources)

1000 Navy Pentagon

Room 4D548

Washington, DC  20350-1000


Director, Workforce Relations and Compensation Division

Department of the Navy

Office of Civilian Human Resources

614 Sicard Street SE, Suite 100

Washington Navy Yard, DC  20374-5072


Director, Office of Civilian Human Resources

Department of the Navy

614 Sicard Street SE, Suite 100

Washington Navy Yard, DC  20374-5072


Compensation and Classification Program Manager

Office of Civilian Human Resources

Department of the Navy

614 Sicard Street SE, Suite 100

Washington Navy Yard, DC  20374-5072


Chief, Classification Appeals Adjudication Section

Department of Defense

Defense Civilian Personnel Advisory Service

4800 Mark Center Drive, Suite 05G21

Alexandria, VA  22311


On June 18, 2013, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) Agency Compliance and Evaluation (ACE)-Atlanta office accepted a classification appeal from [name of appellant]. On October 11, 2013, the appeal was transferred to OPM’s ACE-San Francisco Oversight office.  We received the agency’s complete administrative report on December 5, 2013.  The appellant’s position is currently classified as Supervisory Marine and Family Services Administrator, GS-301-13.  However, she believes it should be classified as Director, Marine and Family Programs, GS-301-14.  The appellant works in the Marine and Family Programs Department (MFPD), Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS), [installation name and work location], Department of the Navy.  We have accepted and decided this appeal under section 5112(b) of title 5, United States Code (U.S.C.). 

On July 1, 2014, OPM issued its original decision on this appeal.  However, based on an error in that decision and review of additional information received from the agency in their letter of July 17, 2014, responding to our letter of July 7, 2014, we have retracted the initial decision and are issuing this new decision for this appeal.

General issues

The appellant makes various statements about the classification review process conducted by her agency, and compares her position to similar but higher-graded MFPD positions at other Marine Corps installations.  In adjudicating this appeal, our responsibility is to make our own independent decision on the proper classification of her position.  By law, we must make that decision solely by comparing her current duties and responsibilities to OPM position classification standards and guidelines (5 U.S.C. 5106, 5107, and 5112).  Since comparison to standards is the exclusive method for classifying positions, we cannot compare the appellant’s position to others, which may or may not be classified correctly, as a basis for deciding her appeal.  Because our decision sets aside any previous agency decisions, the classification practices used by the appellant’s agency in classifying her position are not germane to the classification appeal process. 

Like OPM, the appellant’s agency must classify positions based on comparison to OPM standards and guidelines.  The agency also has primary responsibility for ensuring that its positions are classified consistently with OPM appeal decisions.  If the appellant considers her position so similar to others that they all warrant the same classification, she may pursue the matter by writing to her agency headquarters human resources office.  In doing so, she should specify the precise organizational location, classification, duties, and responsibilities of the positions in question.  If the positions are found to be basically the same as hers, the agency must correct their classification to be consistent with this appeal decision.  Otherwise, the agency should explain to her the differences between her position and the others.

Both the appellant and her immediate supervisor believe the appellant’s current PD [number] is not completely accurate because it does not reflect the scope of her supervisory responsibilities and reporting relationships, and contains other factual errors.  A PD is the official record of the major duties and responsibilities assigned to a position by an official with the authority to assign work.  A position is the duties and responsibilities that make up the work performed by the employee.  Classification appeal regulations permit OPM to investigate or audit a position and decide an appeal on the basis of the actual duties and responsibilities currently assigned by management and performed by the employee.  An OPM appeal decision classifies a real operating position, and not simply a PD.  This decision is based on the work currently assigned and performed by the appellant. 

Our review disclosed the appellant’s PD contains some factual errors due to changes in her organization which took place after implementation of the current PD.  For instance, the Personal Services Department described in the PD is now called MFPD, and organizations such as the Career/Employment Resources Division and Information Referral Division noted in the PD no longer separately exist.  Those functions are now included in recently established sections of the MFPD.  In addition, the positions and organizations of those listed in the PD whom she directly supervises are outdated, and Factor 2, Supervisory Controls, is incorrect as the appellant now reports directly to the Director of MCCS, rather than his deputy.  She is no longer involved in monitoring the activities and services provided by the American Red Cross and Navy/Marine Corps Relief Society (paragraph B) because they now function under their own charter and memorandums of understanding/agreements with the installation.  Moreover, she advises the [name of installation] Commanding Officer, not “Commanding General” as discussed in paragraph E of the PD.  Finally, she does not conduct inspections of the activities of her subordinate branch units (paragraph D) because the branch managers are responsible for compliance reviews of their respective organizations.  Therefore, the appellant’s PD of record does not meet the standard of adequacy addressed on pages 10-11 of the Introduction, and the agency must revise the PD to reflect our findings.

Position information

The appellant manages, directs, and administers the overall activities of the MFPD at [name of installation].  Her organization is staffed by up to 426 employees covered by either the General Schedule (GS) or Non-appropriated Fund (NAF) pay systems, working in five separate branches including the Family Care Program, Behavioral Health Program, Personal and Professional Readiness Program, Marine Corps Family Team Building Program, and the recently added Semper Fit Program.  Regarding Semper Fit, at the time the appellant filed her appeal that unit was not part of the appellant’s organization.  However, in separate directives from Marine Corps Headquarters dated April 16 and 22, 2014, Semper Fit programs were transferred to various MCCS organizations at installations throughout the Marine Corps including [name of installation].  Consequently, although realignment of the Semper Fit branch to MFPD has not yet been formally reviewed and approved by the installation’s Position Management Board (PMB), by authority of the Director of MCCS in his letter of May 22, 2014, and with the concurrence of the Commanding Officer, [name of installation], the Semper Fit function was assigned to MFPD under the second-level supervision of the appellant.  A letter of August 7, 2014, from the Commanding Officer confirms the realignment of Semper Fit to MCCS, and directs classification staff of Civilian Human Resources Office-[location] to submit an updated Table of Organization and Equipment Change Request (TOECR) with updated PDs and an organizational chart for Semper Fit.  Based on the preceding information, we have included Semper Fit in the appellant’s organization.  The branches have positions in a variety of occupations including general education and services, training instructors, public health education, recreation specialists and technicians, social work, library services, and substance abuse counseling.  Each of these program branches have separate supervisors, and in some cases subordinate supervisors reporting to the branch supervisor.

As the head of MFPD, the appellant develops and manages a wide range of rapidly expanding human services and support programs at [name of installation] primarily servicing approximately 9,400 active duty marines and 6,000 dependents.  The organization furnishes a broad range of family care, behavioral health, educational, and physical fitness services including operating and staffing three child development centers providing day-care for children, and recreational activities for student dependents through their teen years.  The various branches of MFPD also provide family counseling, substance abuse intervention, and family advocacy services; provide lifelong learning, a library, and family team building services; and furnish extensive recreational, youth sports, and physical fitness activities.  As the head of MFPD, the appellant oversees and coordinates all of the functions of the department, reviews the operations of the various sections, and implements additional assigned service programs.  Within prescribed budget parameters, she administers the amount of resources devoted to each program and justifies major expenditures; performs yearly planning in response to changes in functions and programs; and periodically assesses the effectiveness of subordinate branches.

As department head, the appellant responds to significant mandated changes in organizational structures and develops general guidance for operating MFPD functions.  As stated in the PD, she exercises a variety of second-level supervisory authorities and responsibilities.  The record shows the appellant spends all of her time performing supervisory or related managerial responsibilities. 

In reaching our classification decision, we have carefully reviewed all information provided by the appellant and her agency including her official PD which, although not completely accurate, we have incorporated by reference into this decision.  Based on the agency’s letter of July 17, 2014, we performed additional fact-finding with the servicing human resources office but in some cases received conflicting information which we have been unable to resolve primarily regarding the number of staff years of work managed by the appellant.  Therefore, after multiple attempts at clarification, we base this decision on a comprehensive review and analysis of all information received through interviews with the appellant, her supervisor (Director, MCCS), the Family Care Program Branch Manager, and servicing human resources office staff, as well as all other information contained in the case record. 

Series, title, and standard determination

The agency has classified the appellant’s position in the Miscellaneous Administration and Program Series, GS-301, and since there are no titles specified for positions in that series titled it Supervisory Marine and Family Services Administrator.  Although the appellant agrees with the series, she requests her position be titled Director, Marine and Family Programs. 

We concur with the agency’s series determination and note the appellant not only has extensive work experience in family services, but also holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and graduate degree in the field of education administration.  Thus, she possesses the qualifications, knowledge and skill to manage not only the administrative and technical work performed in MFPD but also professional work in the fields of education, counseling, and training covered by the Education Group, GS-1700.  Since there are no titles specified for positions in the GS-301 series, 5 CFR 511.607(a)(4) excludes review of the position’s title under the position classification appeal process.  The agency may construct a title in keeping with the work performed.  In doing so, the agency should adhere to the titling guidance in section III.H.2 of the Introduction.  Because the appellant’s supervisory responsibilities fully meet the coverage requirements for titling as a supervisor addressed in the General Schedule Supervisory Guide (GSSG), the prefix “Supervisory” must be added to the basic title selected by the agency, or a prefix substituted which denotes a level of responsibility which inherently includes supervision as addressed in the Introduction.  Although the agency contends the appellant performs program oversight and coordination duties in addition to her supervisory and managerial responsibilities, we find these functions are integral to those supervisory and managerial functions.  Therefore, we conclude the appellant spends all of her time performing supervisory or related managerial responsibilities, and thus have determined the grade of her position solely by application of the grading criteria in the GSSG.  As such, we have considered her program oversight and coordination duties within the context of the GSSG under Factor 1, Program Scope and Effect, Factor 3, Supervisory and Managerial Authority Exercised, and Factor 4, Personal Contacts. 

The appellant disagrees with her agency’s assignment using the GSSG of Level 2-1 for Factor 2, Organizational Setting; Level 3-3b for Factor 3, Supervisory and Managerial Authority Exercised; and Level 6-4 for Factor 6, Other Conditions.  She agrees with her agency’s assignment of Level 1-3 for Factor 1, Program Scope and Effect; Levels 4a-3 and 4b-3 for Factor 4, Personal Contacts/Purpose of Contacts; and Level 5-6 for Factor 6, Difficulty of Typical Work Directed.  After careful review we concur with the agency’s assignment of Levels 4a-3 and 4b-3 for Factor 4, thus have not specifically addressed it in our discussion that follows.  However, in evaluating the grade of the position we have addressed all other GSSG factors. 

Grade determination

The GSSG is a cross-series guide used to determine the grade level of supervisory positions in the GS.  The GSSG has six evaluation factors, each with several factor- level definitions and corresponding point values.  Positions are evaluated by crediting the points designated for the highest level met under each factor, and converting the total to a grade by using the point-to-grade conversion chart in the guide.  Our evaluation with respect to the five GSSG factors mentioned above follows.

Factor 1, Program scope and effect

This factor assesses the general complexity, breadth, and impact of the program areas and work directed, including its organizational and geographic coverage.  It also assesses the impact of the work both within and outside the immediate organization.  To assign a factor, the criteria dealing with both scope and effect, as defined below, must be met.


This element addresses the general complexity and breadth of the program (or program segment) directed; or the work directed, the products produced, or the services delivered.  The geographic and organizational coverage of the program (or program segment) within the agency structure is included under this element. 


This element addresses the impact of the work, the products, and/or programs described under “Scope” on the mission and programs of the customer(s), the activity, other activities in or out of government, the agency, other agencies, the general public, or others. 


At Level 1-2, the scope of the program segment or work directed is administrative, technical, complex clerical, or comparable in nature.  The functions, activities, or services provided have limited geographic coverage and support most of the activities comprising a typical agency field office, an area office, a small to medium military installation, or comparable activities within agency program segments. 

At Level 1-3, the position directs a program segment that performs technical, administrative, protective, investigative, or professional work.  The program segment and work directed typically have coverage which encompasses a major metropolitan area, a State, or a small region of several States; or, when most of an area’s taxpayers or businesses are covered, coverage comparable to a small city.  Providing complex administrative or technical or professional services directly affecting a large or complex multi-mission military installation also falls at this level. 

The scope of the appellant’s position meets Level 1-3.  Like this level, she directs a program segment that performs technical and professional work directly affecting a large and complex multi-mission military installation.  Comparable to Level 1-3, her program is carried out at a large military installation whose missions are primarily devoted to supporting the [name of unit] consisting of C-130, Harrier, Prowler, and F-35 Strike Fighter aircraft, and operating an aircraft technician service school.  The total potentially serviced population of [name of installation] consists of approximately 9,400 active duty military personnel and 6,000 military dependents.  These personnel are potentially directly affected (but not supervised) by the appellant’s program, including their dependents who regularly receive services from the five Marine and family programs provided by MFPD.  The appellant indicated that on average there are approximately 43,000 “incidents of service” furnished per year by the various MFPD program areas to clients seeking assistance. 

Scope is evaluated at Level 1-3.


At Level 1-2, the services or products support and significantly affect installation level, area office level, or field office operations and objectives, or comparable program segments; or provide services to a moderate, local or limited population of clients or users comparable to a major portion of a small city or rural county. 

At Level 1-3, the activities, functions, or services accomplished directly and significantly impact a wide range of agency activities, the work of other agencies, or the operations of outside interests (e.g., a segment of a regulated industry), or the general public.  At the field activity level (involving large, complex, multi-mission organizations and/or very large serviced populations) the work directly involves or substantially impacts the provision of essential support operations to numerous, varied, and complex technical, professional, and administrative functions. 

The appellant’s position fails to meet Level 1-3.  Unlike this level, her program functions do not directly and significantly impact a wide range of Marine Corps activities, the work of other agencies, or the operations of outside interests.  Although her program is carried out at a large, multi-mission military installation, and as noted by the agency provides mental and psychological program services to returning Marines and civilian staff from combat areas, unlike Level 1-3 her work does not directly involve or substantially impact the provision of essential support operations to numerous, varied, and complex technical, professional, and administrative functions performed at [name of installation].  On the contrary, her program activities are primarily limited to providing individual personal services to Marines and dependents covering family care, behavioral health, professional readiness, and physical fitness/recreation.  Unlike the Level 1-3 work illustration, the appellant does not direct administrative services (personnel, supply management, budget, facilities management, or similar) which support and directly affect the operations of [name of installation]. 

Effect is evaluated at Level 1-2.

To assign a particular factor level, the full intent of the criteria for both the scope and effect components must be fully met.  Since only scope is assigned Level 1-3, but effect Level 1-2, overall Factor 1 is evaluated at Level 1-2 and 350 points credited. 

Factor 2, Organizational setting

This factor considers the organizational situation of the supervisory position in relation to higher levels of management.

At Level 2-1, the position is accountable to a position that is two or more levels below the first (i.e., lowest in the chain of command) Senior Executive Service (SES), flag or general officer, equivalent or higher level position in the direct supervisory chain.

At Level 2-2, the position is accountable to a position that is one reporting level below the first SES, flag or general officer, or equivalent or higher level position in the direct supervisory chain.

The appellant’s position meets Level 2-1.  Like this level, she is directly accountable to the MCCS Director who reports to the [name of installation] Commander (Marine Corps Colonel), who in turn directly reports to the Commanding General, Marine Corps Installations East, at [name of installation]. 

This factor is credited at Level 2-1 and 100 points are assigned.

Factor 3, Supervisory and managerial authority exercised

This factor covers the delegated supervisory and managerial authorities which are exercised on a recurring basis.  To be credited with a level under this factor, a position must meet the authorities and responsibilities to the extent described for the specific level. 

Level 3-2 requires that the position must meet one of the paragraphs a, b, or c.  Paragraph a discuses production-oriented work, and paragraph b describes situations where work is contracted out.  Because the situations described in paragraphs 3-2a and 3-2b do not apply to the appellant’s position, they are not relevant to our evaluation. 

At Level 3-2c, the position must have responsibility for carrying out at least three of the first four and a total of six or more of the ten authorities and responsibilities listed.  The agency indicates the appellant’s position meets Level 3-2c, the appellant does not disagree, and after review we concur with the agency’s determination.  Therefore, we have not specifically addressed the ten authorities of Level 3-2c in our analysis of the appellant’s position, and assignment of Level 3-2 is warranted. 

To meet Factor Level 3-3, a position must meet either 3-3a or 3-3b as described below:

At Level 3-3a, a position exercises delegated managerial authority to set a series of annual, multi-year, or similar types of long-range work plans and schedules for in-service or contracted work.  These positions assure implementation (by lower and subordinate organizational units or others) of the goals and objectives for the program segment(s) or function(s) they oversee.  They determine goals and objectives that need additional emphasis; determine the best approach or solution for resolving budget shortages; and plan for long range staffing needs, including such matters as whether to contract out work.  These positions are closely involved with high-level program officials (or comparable agency-level staff personnel) in the development of overall goals and objectives for assigned staff function(s), program(s), or program segment(s).  For example, they direct development of data; provision of expertise and insights; securing of legal opinions; preparation of position papers or legislative proposals; and execution of comparable activities which support development of goals and objectives related to high levels of program management and development or formulation.

The appellant’s position does not meet Level 3-3a.  Although the appellant develops annual and multi-year work plans for her immediate organization, she is not closely involved with high-level program officials (or comparable agency-level staff personnel) in developing overall goals and objectives related to high levels of program management and development or formulation.  In contrast to Level 3-3a, the appellant’s work primarily involves coordinating delivery of a variety of Marine and family services to clients at the local installation.  Level 3-3a describes the program management type work delegated to headquarters level MCCS program officials involved in making decisions related to broad staffing, budgetary, policy, and regulatory matters affecting the overall program at the agency level.  While the appellant provides input to higher levels of management on basic program execution, and comments on proposed policies or changes, she does not have independent authority to make the types of managerial decisions described in the examples at Level 3-3a. 

To meet Factor Level 3-3b, a position must exercise all or nearly all of the delegated supervisory authorities and responsibilities described at Level 3-2c of this factor and, in addition, at least eight of the fifteen responsibilities listed at Level 3-3b.  Our analysis of those responsibilities follows:

Responsibility 1 is credited.  Like number 1, the appellant directs, coordinates, and oversees work through the use of subordinate supervisors. 

Responsibility 2 is credited.  Similar to number 2, the appellant exercises significant responsibility in dealing with officials of other units at [name of installation] including heads of other departments within MCCS, the Commanding Officer, and a variety of tenant unit commanders on matters dealing with her program area. 

Responsibility 3 is credited.  Like number 3, the appellant ensures reasonable equity among her subordinate units of performance standards and rating techniques developed by her subordinate supervisors.  In particular, she assures that elements and standards align with prescribed organizational goals and objectives. 

Responsibility 4 is not credited.  While the appellant administers an annual program budget of $14.5 million, these funds are specifically allotted to certain program functions.  Thus she cannot re-program funds at her discretion.  Any such changes must be approved by her supervisor. 

Responsibility 5 is credited.  Like number 5, the appellant makes decisions on work problems presented by her subordinate supervisors. 

Responsibility 6 is credited.  Like number 6, she evaluates the performance of her subordinate supervisors, and serves as the reviewing official on evaluations of certain non-supervisory employees rated by subordinate supervisors. 

Responsibility 7 is not credited.  Unlike number 7, she does not make or approve selections for subordinate non-supervisory positions.  Such authority is delegated to her immediate subordinate supervisors. 

Responsibility 8 is credited.  Like number 8, she recommends selections to her supervisor for subordinate supervisory positions, particularly her direct report branch supervisors. 

Responsibility 9 is credited.  Like number 9, she hears and resolves group grievances or serious employee complaints. 

Responsibility 10 is credited.  Like number 10, she reviews and approves serious disciplinary actions (e.g., suspensions) proposed by her subordinate supervisors. 

Responsibility 11 is credited.  Like number 11, she makes decisions on non-routine, costly, or controversial training needs and training requests related to employees of MFPD.  For example, she made the decision to send certain behavioral health program staff members to controversial training on sexual addiction therapy. 

Responsibility number 12 is not credited.  Although contractors provide building cleaning services to her facility units, she does not determine whether their work meets standards of adequacy necessary for authorization of payment.  That responsibility is solely held by agency contracting personnel.  

Responsibility number 13 is not credited.  While the appellant approves within-grade increases and employee travel, she is not delegated authority to approve extensive overtime.  Such authority is held by her supervisor. 

Responsibility number 14 is credited.  Like number 14, the appellant recommends monetary awards for non-supervisory personnel, and changes in PDs and position classification for appropriated positions, i.e., GS.  Such classification recommendations are made (with her supervisor’s approval) to the installation’s Manpower Division. 

Responsibility 15 is not credited.  It involves finding and implementing ways to eliminate or reduce significant bottlenecks and barriers to production, promote team building, or improve business practices; e.g., a large production or processing unit.  This would apply to large organizations whose missions would be susceptible to the application of such methodological or structural improvements.  The work supervised by the appellant does not lend itself to these types of management applications.  The appellant’s authority in this area would not exceed that described in responsibility nine of Level 3-2c. 

The appellant’s position exercises all ten of the delegated supervisory authorities and responsibilities described at Level 3-2c of this factor, and ten of the fifteen listed responsibilities under Level 3-3b.  Therefore, the appellant’s position meets Factor Level 3-3b. 

At Level 3-4, in addition to delegated managerial and supervisory authorities included at lower levels of Factor 3 (including meeting both Levels 3-3a and 3-3b), positions at Level 3-4 must meet the criteria in paragraphs a or b below.  As previously discussed, the appellant’s position does not meet Level 3-3a.  Therefore, we are precluded from crediting Level 3-4.  However, in order to be responsive to the appellant’s concerns, we have addressed Level 3-4 as compared to her position. 

At Level 3-4a, the supervisor exercises delegated authority to oversee the overall planning, direction, and timely execution of a program, several program segments (each of which is managed through separate subordinate organizational units), or comparable staff functions, including development, assignment, and higher-level clearance of goals and objectives for supervisors or managers of subordinate organizational units or lower organizational levels.  At this level the supervisor approves multi-year and longer-range work plans developed by supervisors or managers of subordinate organizational units and subsequently manages the overall work to enhance achievement of the goals and objectives.  The supervisor oversees the revision of long range plans, goals and objectives, for the work directed, and manages the development of policy changes in response to changes in levels of appropriations or other legislated changes.  The supervisor also manages organizational changes throughout the organization directed, or major changes to the structure and content of the program or program segments directed, and exercises discretionary authority to approve the allocation and distribution of funds in the organization’s budget. 

At Level 3-4b, the supervisor exercises final authority for the full range of personnel actions and organization design proposals recommended by subordinate supervisors.  This level may be credited even if formal clearance is required for a few actions, such as removals and incentive awards above set dollar levels. 

The appellant’s position does not meet Level 3-4a.  Unlike this level, she does not exercise delegated authority to oversee the overall planning, direction, and timely execution of the entire Marine Corps Marine and family services program, or several program segments of that agency-wide program, each of which is managed through separate subordinate organizational units at the program headquarters level.  Although the appellant manages her program through subordinate organizational units each with its own supervisor, these are at the local operating installation level rather than headquarters or major command-wide level described at Level 3-4a.  Thus she is not concerned with the overall command-wide management of that program.  In contrast to Level 3-4a, she does not manage the development of policy changes in response to changes in appropriations or other legislated changes.  Such actions are performed at higher agency levels beyond the installation.  Unlike Level 3-4 a, the appellant does not manage major changes to the structure and content of the program segment(s) directed, and does not exercise the authority to approve the allocation and distribution of funds. 

Positions at Level 3-4a are found at higher levels in the organizational hierarchy than the appellant’s position.  They include positions of staff-level program managers responsible for policy development and oversight of agency-wide program areas, or managers of several program functions such as at a regional office level.  The appellant supervises one program segment at a field office/installation level within the broader scope of an agency-wide program administered and controlled at the program headquarters level.  Therefore, she does not have the higher-level policy, planning, and budgetary authorities associated with positions at the headquarters level. 

The appellant’s position does not meet Level 3-4b.  While she is delegated authority to take a variety of personnel actions, prior consultation with her supervisor is required before taking any action which may be subject to appeal or review by an outside authority.  In addition, the appellant does not have authority to make organizational design changes where positions are eliminated, or where the changes are not in keeping with MCCS headquarters mandated organizational design and program functions.  Moreover, any potential changes the appellant might propose affecting the operational efficiency of the installation would require higher-level review and approval by her supervisor and the installation commander. 

This factor is credited at Level 3-3 and 775 points are assigned.

Factor 5, Difficulty of typical work directed

This factor measures the difficulty and complexity of the basic work most typical of the organization directed as well as other line, staff, or contracted work for which the supervisor has technical or oversight responsibility, either directly or through subordinate supervisors, team leaders, or others.  In applying this factor, separate instructions are provided for evaluating first- level supervisors and second-level supervisors (and higher).  For first-level supervisors, the level is determined by identifying the highest grade which best characterizes the nature of the basic (mission-oriented) nonsupervisory work performed or overseen by the organization directed; and which constitutes 25 percent or more of the workload (not positions or employees) of the organization.  In determining the highest level of work, developmental positions below the normal full performance levels are considered at the full performance levels.  Certain positions are excluded from consideration in making the determination.  These include work of lower-level positions that primarily support or facilitate the basic work of the unit; any subordinate work graded based on criteria in the GSSG or the General Schedule Leader Grade-Evaluation Guide (GSLGEG); work that is graded based on an extraordinary degree of independence from supervision, or personal research accomplishments; and work for which the supervisor or a subordinate does not have the responsibilities defined under Factor 3. 

In evaluating second-level supervisors (and higher) under this factor, the GSSG instructs to first use the method described for first level supervisors.  It notes that for many second-level supervisors, the base level arrived at by that method will be the correct one.  In some cases, however, a heavy supervisory or managerial workload related to work above that base level may be present.  In such instances, the alternative method involves determining the highest grade of non-supervisory work directed which requires at least 50 percent of the duty time of the supervisory position under evaluation. The resulting grade may be used as the base level for second-level supervisors (and higher) over large workloads. 

The GSSG notes that in assessing the level of any work performed by non-GS employees, the pertinent classification standards should be consulted to derive an appropriate GS equivalent. 

The MFPD has a current workforce of 426 authorized positions consisting of 362 NAF, 63 GS, and 1 WG.  The agency notes that the number of actual employees (assistants) working in the Child Development Centers (as opposed to the official number listed on the organization chart and table of organization) may vary depending on “staff to demand” ratios.  Nevertheless, we have included all authorized positions in the total workforce figure as they are officially reflected in manning documents.  Moreover, the Family Care Program Branch Manager stated that while the actual number of employees may vary, the organization can be fully staffed, as needed, to meet mandated employee to child/student ratios.  Of the total staff, because of the large number of lower level support positions in the Child Development, Youth Recreation, and Community Centers, and the predominance of such positions in the Semper Fit unit, we excluded a total of 304 positions (including clerical and other support positions dispersed throughout MFPD) from the workload calculation.  This yields 122 positions performing the basic, mission-oriented work of the organization which was used to determine base level. 

In determining the mission-oriented work, we included the nonsupervisory work (at various grade levels) performed by the 18 supervisors identified by the agency.  We also included the work of 56 CY-1702-II Child and Youth Program Assistant (Leader Level) positions which function as child development leaders performing substantive, mission-oriented work in the Child Development Center, Youth Recreation Branch, and Community Center.  According to Marine Corps Order P12000.11.A, Chapter 3 (12 July 2011), and DoD Instruction 1400.25-V1405, Appendix 3 to Enclosure 3 (June 26, 2014), the grade of such NAF positions is equivalent to the GS-5 level.  The positions do not meet the criteria for exclusion based on application of the GS Leader Grade-Evaluation Guide.  To determine the appropriate GS equivalency of the NAF positions we cross-referenced to various GS classification standards covering particular series, and functional guides including the Grade Level Guide for Instructional Work; Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant Series, GS-636; Recreation Specialist Series, GS-188; Recreation Aid and Assistant Series, GS-189; Library Technician Series, GS-1411; and Social Work Series, GS-185. 

Based on our analysis of the work of the 122 positions (including FTE calculations, as appropriate) we determined the substantive work of MFPD consisted of FTE workload equivalent to the following grades:  23 GS-11; 26 GS-9; 17 GS-7; and 56 GS-5.  Thus calculated individually, 19 percent of the organization’s workload is at the GS-11 level; the GS-9 workload equals 21 percent; the GS-7 workload equates to 14 percent; and the GS-5 workload equates to 46 percent.  However, by combining the GS 9and 11 workload we find that GS-9 constitutes 40 percent of the workload of the organization, thus exceeding the threshold requirement (i.e., 25 percent) of Factor 5 and establishing the base level of the appellant’s position at the GS-9 level. 

We find the alternative method for determining the base level of second- level supervisors (and higher) is not applicable to the appellant’s position.  Although there are 23 positions constituting workload above the GS-9 base level, our fact-finding disclosed that given the presence of intervening-level supervisors between the appellant and these positions, it is unlikely the appellant would devote 50 percent or more of her time to overseeing the work performed by these particular positions.  Therefore, this work is not considered a “heavy supervisory or managerial workload” within the meaning of the GSSG.  Second, these higher-grade positions do not represent a separate and distinct mission within MFPD but rather encompass a variety of occupational fields dispersed throughout the organization.  Thus, there is no practical means of determining how much time the appellant may devote to supervising the specific workloads.  As such, the alternative method is considered not applicable to the appellant’s position and the base grade level derived through use of the first method is appropriate. 

Using the conversion chart in the GSSG for Factor 5, a GS-9 base level equates to Level 5-5 and 650 points are credited. 

Factor 6, Other conditions

This factor measures the extent to which various conditions contribute to the difficulty and complexity of carrying out supervisory duties, authorities, and responsibilities.  There are two steps involved in assigning a level under Factor 6:  (1) select the highest level that the position meets, and (2) if the level selected in step 1 is either 6-1, 6-2, or 6-3, refer to the Special Situations section of Factor 6.  If the position meets 3 or more of the situations, then a single level is added to the level selected in the first step.  If the level selected under step 1 is either 6-4, 6-5, or 6-6, the Special Situations section does not apply, and no level is added to the one selected in step 1.

At Level 6-4b, the position directs subordinate supervisors and/or contractors who each direct substantial workloads comparable to the GS-9 or 10 level.  Such base work requires coordination similar to that described at Factor Level 6-3a, for first-line supervisors. 

At the corresponding Level 6-5c, the position manages work through subordinate supervisors, and/or contractors who each direct substantial workloads comparable to the GS-11 level.  Such base work requires coordination as that described at Factor Level 6-4a.for first-line supervisors.  

While not all of the appellant’s subordinate supervisors each direct substantial workloads comparable to the GS-9 base level identified in Factor 5, OPM interpretive guidance regarding re-configuration of the organization permits removing the unit where all of the lower-  level work is assigned (i.e., Child Development Center) leaving the requisite base level in each of the remaining subordinate units.  Based on that guidance, the GS-9 base level is creditable for the appellant’s subordinate supervisors.  Additionally, their work requires coordination and integration of work similar to that described at Factor 6-3a for first line supervisors.  This aligns with Factor Level 6-4b.  The position does not meet the corresponding Factor Level 6-5c, where subordinate supervisors each direct substantial workloads comparable to the GS-11 level, with similar coordination as that described at Factor Level 6-4a.  In keeping with the preceding instructions for Factor 6, because Factor Level 6-4 is credited the Special Situations are not considered. 

This factor is evaluated at Level 6-4 and 1120 points are assigned. 


By application of the GSSG, we have evaluated the appellant’s supervisory duties as follows:

Factor Level Points
1.  Program scope and effect 1-2 350
2.  Organizational setting 2-1 100
3.  Supervisory & managerial authority exercised 3-3 775
4.  Personal Contacts
A.  Nature of Contacts 4A-3 75
B.  Purpose of Contacts 4B-3 100
5.  Difficulty of typical work directed 5-5 650
6.  Other Conditions 6-4 1120
Total points 3170

A total of 3170 points falls into the GS-13 grade range (3155-3600) by reference to the point-to-grade conversion chart in the GSSG.  Therefore, the appellant's supervisory duties are graded at the GS-13 level.


The appellant’s position is properly classified in the GS-301 series at the GS-13 grade level.  Selection of an appropriate title is at the discretion of the agency but with the prefix “Supervisory” added to the title selected. 

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