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Technical Standards in the Uniform Guidelines

Monday, March 1, 2010
Human Resources Directors
Nancy H. Kichak, Associate Director, Employee Services
Technical Standards in the Uniform Guidelines

Using validated (i.e., job-related) assessment tools is essential for identifying applicants who have the competencies needed to contribute to an agency’s mission and objectives.  As noted in 5 CFR part 300, and the Delegated Examining Operations Handbook, 2007 (DEOH, 2007) (Chapter 2, Section C), these assessment tools must be consistent with the technical standards in the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (Uniform Guidelines) (see 29 CFR part 1607).

We understand Federal hiring managers and human resources specialists often need help navigating and comprehending the technical information contained in the Uniform Guidelines.  We are exploring the possibility of developing a user-friendly, nontechnical summary of the Uniform Guidelines as an educational tool for agency hiring personnel.  In the meantime, we recommend you consult your agency’s general counsel for help with interpreting any legal or technical issues.  Keep in mind the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) offers a number of resources for those seeking guidance on proper assessment tool development and use, for example:

§ Delegated Examining Operations Handbook (DEOH): A Guide for Federal Agency Examining Offices – The DEOHprovides guidance, options, and, where necessary, specific operational procedures to ensure competitive examining programs comply with merit system laws and regulations.  Chapter 5 of the DEOH addresses assessing applicants.  The DEOH is located at

§ Personnel Assessment and Selection Resource Center – This online resource center provides information on the evaluation and use of assessment tools to improve the match between jobs and applicants.  The resource center offers an extensive library of assessment-related materials.  The resource center is located at

If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact your agency’s assigned OPM Human Capital Officer.