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Examining Options for Technical and Medical Support Positions

Thursday, May 9, 2002
MSG 2002-034
Human Resources Directors
Ellen E. Tunstall, Assistant Director for Employment Policy
Examining Options for Technical and Medical Support Positions

The Office of Personnel Management has approved a change to the Qualifications Standards for Technical and Medical Support Positions. To afford agencies as much flexibility as possible to compete in this tight labor market, effective immediately, we have eliminated the written test requirement for these positions. The test is no longer available for use. Experience and education requirements are unchanged, as are any certification or licensure requirements.

When making appointments under a delegated examining authority, or using outside the register selection procedures under 5 CFR 333, agencies may use any of the following individually or in combination to assess the qualifications of applicants for technical and medical support positions:

  • Commercially available written tests,
  • Rating schedules and crediting plans,
  • Work samples,
  • Structured interviews, or
  • Examining services provided by the Office of Personnel Management.

We have included a number of attachments that further explain these options and provide information regarding the transition from written test to other assessment tools. Also attached is the revised section of the Operating Manual for Qualification Standards for General Schedule Positions summarizing the occupational series for which written and/or performance tests are still required and the appropriate test to be used.

For further information about this policy, please contact Ms. Suzy M. Barker, Director, Qualifications and Examining Policy Division at (202) 606-0830. Address questions about OPM services to Ms. Karen Leydon at (202) 606-1029.


  1. List of Technical and Medical Support Positions
  2. Technical and Medical Assessment Options
  3. Occupations/Positions for which Written and/or Performance Tests are Required

Attachment 1


· GS-019 Safety Technician

· GS-181 Psychology Aid and Technician

· GS-186 Social Services Aid and Assistant

· GS-189 Recreation Aid and Assistant

· GS-404 Biological Aid and Technician

· GS-421 Plant Protection Technician

· GS-455 Range Technician

· GS-458 Soil Conservation Technician

· GS-459 Irrigation System Operator

· GS-462 Forestry Aid and Technician

· GS-621 Nursing Assistant

· GS-636 Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant

· GS-640 Health Aid and Technician

· GS-642 Nuclear Medicine Technician

· GS-645 Medical Technician

· GS-646 Pathology Technician

· GS-647 Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist

· GS-648 Therapeutic Radiologic Technologist

· GS-649 Medical Instrument Technician

· GS-651 Respiratory Therapist

· GS-661 Pharmacy Technician

· GS-667 Orthotist & Prosthetist

· GS-681 Dental Assistant

· GS-683 Dental Lab Aid and Technician

· GS-698 Environmental Health Technician

· GS-704 Animal Health Technician

· GS-802 Engineering Technician

· GS-809 Construction Control

· GS-817 Surveying Technician

· GS-818 Engineering Drafting

· GS-856 Electronics Technician

· GS-895 Industrial Engineering Technician

· GS-1021 Office Drafting

· GS-1311 Physical Science Technician

· GS-1316 Hydrologic Technician

· GS-1341 Meteorological Technician

· GS-1371 Cartographic Technician

· GS-1374 Geodetic Technician

· GS-1521 Mathematics Technician

· GS-1541 Cryptanalysis

· GS-1981 Agricultural Commodity Aid

Attachment 2

Technical and Medical Assessment Options

Agencies should review any examining or hiring assessment for compliance with the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures, 29 CFR 1607. (The "Guidelines" are located at the following website:

Commercially developed test. Agencies may use any commercially developed test, as long as it is valid and meets the professional standards in the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (29 CFR 1607).

Rating Schedule/Crediting Plan. Raters evaluate a candidate's job-related competencies, knowledge, skills and abilities by reviewing the candidate's experience, education, and accomplishments against a set of pre-determined, job-related benchmarks.

Work Sample. Examiners rate candidates on their performance using exercises that simulate tasks which have been determined (through job analysis) to be important to success in the position to be filled.

Structured Interview. Interviewers ask candidates a set of standardized, job-related questions and rate the candidates' responses based on pre-determined, job-related criteria. These benchmarks provide specific examples of high, medium, and low levels of proficiency.

OPM provides the following examining services:

Case examining uses an automated staffing system. The automated staffing system develops the vacancy announcement, supplemental qualifications statement and rating schedule; posts the announcement on USAJOBS; mails application materials; determines minimum qualifications and rates applicants; conducts quality review, issues applicant notices; produces and audits a list of eligible candidates; and answers applicant inquiries.

Inventory-based examining produces multiple lists of eligible candidates. OPM updates candidate information; opens/closes the inventory based on need of the requesting agency; mails application materials; receives and reviews applications; determines minimum qualifications and rates applicants; conducts quality review; issues applicant notices; produces lists of eligible candidates; and answers inquiries regarding candidate eligibility.

Examination administration covers the administration of a written examination. OPM manages all logistical details relating to test site selection, competitor scheduling, scoring and issuance of competitor results. Upon request, OPM can also issue a referral list.

Structured interview training and question development are available through OPM.

For more information on services available through OPM, please refer to the following web-site: http:\\

Attachment 3

Operating Manual, Qualifications Standards for General Schedule Positions, Section V, Test Requirements

0011 Bond Sales Promotion 5/7 ACWA
0018 Safety and Occupational Health Management 5/7 ACWA
0023 Outdoor Recreation Planning 5/7 ACWA
0025Park Ranger 5/7 ACWA
0028 Environmental Protection Specialist 5/7 ACWA
0080 Security Administration 5/7 ACWA
0082 United States Marshal 5/7 written test
0083 Police 2 written test
0083 Capitol Police written test
0083 Park Police 5 written test
0083 Federal Protective Officer 4/5 written test
0083 Police (Secret Service) 4/5 written test
0085 Smithsonian Police 4/5 written test
0085 Security Guard 2 written test
0105 Social Insurance Administration 5/7 ACWA
0106 Unemployment Insurance 5/7 ACWA
0107 Health Insurance Administration 5/7 ACWA
0132 Intelligence 5/7 ACWA
0142 Manpower Development 5/7 ACWA
0187 Social Services 5/7 ACWA
0201 Human Resources Management 5/7 ACWA
0244 Labor Mgmt Relations Examining 5/7 ACWA
0249 Wage & Hour Compliance 5/7 ACWA
0301 Misc Administration & Program 5/7 ACWA
0312 Clerk-Stenographer 3/4/5 performance test or self certification
0312 Reporting Stenographer 5/6 Performance test mandatory for competitive appointment & inservice placement
0312 Shorthand Reporter 6/7/8/9 Performance test mandatory for competitive appointment & inservice placement
0319 Closed Microphone Reporting 6/7/8/9 Performance test mandatory for competitive appointment & in-service placement; also outside certification
0322 Clerk-Typist 2/3/4 performance test or self certification
0326 Office Automation Clerical and Assistance 2/3/4 performance test or self certification
0341Administrative Officer 5/7 ACWA
0343 Management and Program Analysis 5/7 ACWA
0346 Logistics Management 5/7 ACWA
0356 Data Transcriber 2/3/4 performance test or self certification
0391 Telecommunications 5/7 ACWA
0501 Financial Administration & Program 5/7 ACWA
0512 Internal Revenue Agent 5/7 written test
0526 Tax Specialist 5/7 ACWA
0560 Budget Analysis 5/7 ACWA
0570 Financial Institution Examining 5/7 ACWA, except for FDIC positions
0673 Hospital Housekeeping Management 5/7 ACWA
0685 Public Health Program Specialist 5/7 ACWA
0901 General Legal and Kindred Administration 5/7 ACWA
0950 Paralegal Specialist 5/7 ACWA
0958 Pension Law Specialist 5/7 ACWA
0965 Land Law Examining 5/7 ACWA
0967 Passport & Visa Examining 5/7 ACWA
0987 Tax Law Specialist 5/7 ACWA
0991 Workers' Comp Claims Examining 5/7 ACWA
0993 Social Insurance Claims Examining* 4 written test
0993 Railroad Retirement Claims Examining 5/7 ACWA
0994 Unemployment Comp Claims Examining 5/7 ACWA
0996 Veterans Claims Examining 5/7 ACWA
0998 Claims Assistance and Examining 4 written test
1001 General Arts & Information 5/7 ACWA, except for fine arts positions
1016 Museum Specialist & Technician 2/3 written test
1035 Public Affairs 5/7 ACWA
1082 Writing & Editing 5/7 ACWA
1083 Technical Writing & Editing 5/7 ACWA
1101 General Business and Industry 5/7 ACWA
1101 International Trade Analyst 5/7 ACWA
1102 Contracting 5/7 ACWA
1103 Industrial Property Management 5/7 ACWA
1104 Property Disposal 5/7 ACWA
1130 Public Utilities Specialist 5/7 ACWA
1140 International Trade Specialist 5/7 ACWA
1140 Trade Specialist 5/7 ACWA
1145 Agricultural Program Specialist 5/7 ACWA
1146 Agricultural Marketing 5/7 ACWA
1146 Grain Marketing Specialist 5/7 ACWA
1147 Agricultural Market Reporting 5/7 ACWA
1150 Industrial Specialist 5/7 ACWA
1160 Financial Analysis 5/7 ACWA
1163 Insurance Examining 5/7 ACWA
1165 Loan Specialist 5/7 ACWA
1169 Internal Revenue Officer 5/7 ACWA
1170 Realty 5/7 ACWA
1171 Appraising & Assessing 5/7 ACWA
1173 Housing Management 5/7 ACWA
1176 Building Management 5/7 ACWA
1412 Technical Information Services 5/7 ACWA
1421 Archives Specialis t 5/7 ACWA
1715 Vocational Rehabilitation 5/7 ACWA
1801 Civil Aviation Security Specialist 5/7 FAA only
1801 Center Adjudications Officer 5/7 written test
1801 Deportation Officer (INS) 5/7 written test
1801 District Adjudications Officer 5/7 written test
1801 Customs Air Enforcement Officer 5/7 written test
1802 Compliance Inspection & Support 2/3/4 written test
1802 Detention Enforcement Officer 2/3/4/5 written test
1810 General Investigating 5/7 ACWA
1811 Criminal Investigating 5/7 ACWA
1811 Criminal Investigator (INS) 5/7 written test
1811 Treasury Enforcement Agent (IRS) 5/7 written test
1811 Treasury Enforcement Agent (Customs) 5/7 written test
1811 Treasury Enforcement Agent (Customs) 13 written test
1811 Treasury Enforcement Agent (Customs) 14 written test
1811 US Marshal 5/7 written test
1812 Game Law Enforcement 5/7 ACWA
1812 Special Agent (Wildlife) 7 written test
1816 Immigration Inspection 5/7 written test
1831 Securities Compliance Examining 5/7 ACWA
1854 Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms Inspection 5/7 ACWA
1863 Food Inspection 5/7 written test
1864 Public Health Quarantine Inspection 5/7 ACWA
1884 Customs Patrol Officer 5/7 written test
1889 Import Specialist 5/7 ACWA
1890 Customs Inspector/ Canine Enforcement Officer 5/7 written test
1890 Customs Inspector (Promotion to Senior 11) 11 written test
1890 Customs Inspector (Promotion to 12) 12 written test
1896 Border Patrol Agent 5/7 written
1910 Quality Assurance 5/7 ACWA
2001 General Supply 5/7 ACWA
2003 Supply Program Management 5/7 ACWA
2010 Inventory Management 5/7 ACWA
2030 Distribution Facilities & Storage Management 5/7 ACWA
2032 Packaging 5/7 ACWA
2050 Supply Cataloging 5/7 ACWA
2101 Transportation Specialist 5/7 ACWA
2101 Airway Transportation System Specialist
Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration
5/7 written test
2110 Transportation Industry Analysis 5/7 ACWA
2125 Highway Safety 5/7 ACWA
2130 Traffic Management 5/7 ACWA
2150 Transportation Operations 5/7 ACWA
2152 Air Traffic Control 5/7 written tests
2181 Customs Pilot written test
2210 Information Technology Management (formerly GS-0334) 5/7 ACWA for Alternative B only, may also use a written test

* If you currently use the clerical test battery for GS-993, the examination options are applicable, however, if you use Test 650 for these positions at the GS-4 level, these options do not apply, and you must continue to use Test 650.