Click here to skip navigation Home  |  Subject Index  |  Important Links  |  Contact Us  |  Help

U.S. Office of Personnel Management - Ensuring the Federal Government has an effective civilian workforce

Advanced Search

Frequently Asked Questions

Supervisory Qualification Guide – Question and Answers

  1. Question:  Why did OPM revise the Qualification Standard for Supervisory Positions?

    Answer:  OPM developed a competency-based Supervisory Qualification Guide in an effort to modernize and more accurately assess supervisory skills. This guidance reflects current Governmentwide job analysis data and a competency-based approach, and replaces the Qualification Standard for Supervisory Positions.

  2. Question:  Are agencies required to use the Supervisory Qualification Guide when filling supervisory positions?

    Answer:  No.  While not mandatory, use of this Supervisory Qualification Guide is strongly recommended to be consistent with other leadership assessment tools such as those used in performance evaluation and development.  Ten (10) competencies listed in this Guide reflect those considered most important for successful performance of Federal supervisory work.  Candidates should possess proficiency or the potential to develop proficiency in these competencies prior to entry into a supervisory position.

  3. Question:  Will applicants still need to meet any technical qualification standards?

    Answer:  Yes.  Many supervisory positions have specific subject-matter knowledge and skill/competency requirements that candidates must meet.  If the supervisory position requires such subject-matter expertise or technical knowledge, then the Supervisory Qualification Guide should be used in conjunction with the occupation-specific qualification standard appropriate to the position to be filled.

  4. Question:  How were the competencies for the Supervisory Qualification Guide identified?

    Answer:  The competencies for the Supervisory Qualification Guide were identified based on a Governmentwide job analysis of supervisory positions.

  5. Question:  Must current supervisors be evaluated using this Supervisory Qualification Guide for the position they currently hold?

    Answer:  This is not required.  The Supervisory Qualification Guide is intended to be used when evaluating the qualifications of candidates for supervisory positions.  Individuals who currently occupy a supervisory position are not required to be re-assessed for the position they currently hold.

  6. Question:  How will agencies determine proficiency levels?

    Answer:  Agencies will determine proficiency levels for each competency based on a job analysis of their specific positions.

  7. Question:  How will agencies assess competencies, including levels of proficiency?

    Answer:  Agencies may use the full range of assessment options when examining for supervisory competencies.  For example, agencies may require applicants to provide written responses to address the competencies; answer a set of on-line questions in the application process; undergo a structured interview; or use any other appropriate assessment.  For more information refer to the Delegated Examining Operations Handbook (DEOH) and the Assessment Decision Guide on OPM's website