OPM releases draft guide for competency-based job hiring

Monday - 4/30/2012, 5:54pm EDT

The Office of Personnel Management has released a draft version of a guide to using competency-based qualification standards, along with a new round of competency-based job requirements for certain clerical and administrative positions.

The new draft qualification standards include core competencies and minimum proficiency scores by grade level for the following positions:

OPM has previously released competency standards for positions in human resources and IT management.

While OPM has already issued drafts of new job qualifications in other areas, a memo from Kimberly Holden, OPM's deputy associate director for recruitment and hiring, suggested agencies wanted more guidance in using the competency-based standards in the federal hiring process.

"Based on comments we received on previous drafts, we have also developed a "Draft Guide to Using Competency-Based Qualification Standards," Holden wrote in a memo to agency human-resources directors. "The guide is intended to provide additional background information on competency-based qualification standards and their role in the overall examining process."

The draft standards are designed as a first step in identifying applicants for certain positions.

"Evaluating applicants on competencies provides a more accurate assessment of qualifications," the draft document states. "OPM has a long-standing, governmentwide, occupational study program where we have identified competencies for many federal occupations and have used this information in the development of the competency-based qualification standards."

The focus on competencies allows agencies to go beyond simply years of experience or education in evaluating applicants.

"While experience and education are useful to consider in reviewing an applicant's qualifications, focusing on only those factors may not cover all of the important competencies required for a job," according to the draft. "The competency-based approach incorporates a focus on the quality, not just the quantity, of education and experience."

Comments on the draft version of the guide, as well as the specific requirements for the different positions are due by June 29.

Click here for the Draft Guide to Using Competency-based Qualification Standards.

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