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DEO 2006-01
Office of the Director
United States
Office of Personnel Management
Washington, DC 20415-1000


Linda M. Springer

Category Rating Guidance
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Download pdf version of Transmittal. (1.90 mb)

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is pleased to issue the Category Rating Fact Sheet to provide additional information on using category rating. The attached fact sheet is in a question and answer format, and includes such topics as defining quality categories, using an assessment(s) that generates a numerical score to place candidates into quality categories, and applying veterans' preference. The Category Rating Fact Sheet is available on OPM's website:

Category rating, an alternative ranking and selection procedure authorized under the Chief Human Capital Officers Act of 2002 (Title XIII of the Homeland Security Act of 2002) and codified at 5 United States Code ยง 3319, is part of the competitive examining process. The category rating process ranks candidates that have been evaluated/rated against minimum qualification requirements by placing them into one of two or more predefined quality categories instead of ranking them using the traditional numerical procedures.

The purpose of category rating is to increase the number of qualified applicants from which a selecting official can choose while preserving veterans' preference rights. Ranking using category rating procedures enables the selecting official to select applicants in the highest quality category without regard to the "rule of three" procedures.

To use category rating, an agency must have a category rating policy established. The agency's policy should identify the requirements to implement category rating, including such considerations as the type of position(s) for which category rating can be used and/or the type of assessment(s) used to evaluate candidates.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Daniel Fusco, Manager, Recruiting, Examining, and Assessment by email, by telephone (202)606-0830, or by fax (202)606-2390.


cc: Human Resources Directors Our Mission is to Recruit, Retain and Honor a World-Class Workforce to Serve the American People.
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