Group Coverage Qualification Standards for
Clerical and Administrative Support Positions
This qualification standard covers positions in the General Schedule that involve the performance of one-grade interval clerical and administrative support work. It contains common patterns of creditable experience and education to be used in making qualifications determinations.
A list of the occupational series covered by this standard is provided below.
This standard may also be used for one-grade interval positions other than those listed if the education and experience pattern is determined to be appropriate.
EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS
The following table shows the amounts of education and/or experience required to qualify for positions covered by this standard.
|3 months||None||High school graduation|
All other positions
|6 months||None||High school graduation|
1 year above high school
|1 year||None||2 years above high school|
All other positions
1 year equivalent to at least GS-4
|4 years above high school|
(except Reporting Stenographer)
|None||1 year equivalent to at least next lower grade level||Generally, not applicable|
|Equivalent combinations of education and experience are qualifying for all grade levels and positions for which both education and experience are acceptable. Proficiency requirements are described below.|
Some of the occupational series covered by this standard include both one- and two-grade interval work. The qualification requirements described in this standard apply only to those positions that typically follow a one-grade interval pattern. While the levels of experience shown for most positions covered by this standard follow the grade level progression pattern outlined in the table, users of the standard should refer to E.3.(o) in the "Policies and Instructions" section for guidance on crediting experience for positions with different lines of progression.
General Experience (All positions except Reporting Stenographer, Shorthand Reporter, and Closed Micro-phone Reporter)--Progressively responsible clerical, office, or other work that indicates ability to acquire the particular knowledge and skills needed to perform the duties of the position to be filled.
Specialized Experience (All positions except Reporting Stenographer, Shorthand Reporter, and Closed Micro-phone Reporter)--Experience that equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA's) to perform successfully the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the position to be filled. To be creditable, specialized experience must have been equivalent to at least the next lower grade level. Applicants who have the 1 year of appropriate specialized experience, as indicated in the table, are not required by this standard to have general experience, education above the high school level, or any additional specialized experience to meet the minimum qualification requirements.
Experience for Reporting Stenographer, Shorthand Reporter, and Closed Microphone Reporter-- One year of experience equivalent to at least the next lower grade level using the skills and equipment appropriate to the position to be filled is required for all positions. Following is a description of qualifying experience for these positions.
- Reporting Stenographer, GS-5: Experience as a clerk-stenographer, secretary, reporting stenographer, or in other positions that included application of stenography and typing skills as a significant part of the work.
- Reporting Stenographer, Shorthand Reporter, and Closed Microphone Reporter, GS-6:Experience as a reporting stenographer, hearing reporter, or in other positions in which the primary duty was to make and transcribe manual or machine-written shorthand records of hearings, interviews, or similar proceedings.
- Shorthand Reporter and Closed Microphone Reporter, GS-7 and above: Experience as a court reporter, or hearing reporter, or in other positions in which the primary duty was to make verbatim records of proceedings.
Education: High school graduation or the equivalent is creditable at the GS-2 level for the occupations listed, except Clerk-Stenographer, where it is creditable at the GS-3 entry level.
Successfully completed education above the high school level in any field for which high school graduation or the equivalent is the normal prerequisite is creditable at grades GS-3 through GS-5 for all positions except Reporting Stenographer, GS-5. This education must have been obtained in an accredited business, secretarial or technical school, junior college, college or university. One year of full-time academic study is defined as 30 semester hours, 45 quarter hours, or the equivalent in a college or university, or at least 20 hours of classroom instruction per week for approximately 36 weeks in a business, secretarial, or technical school.
As a general rule, education is not creditable above GS-5 for most positions covered by this standard; however, graduate education may be credited in those few instances where the graduate education is directly related to the work of the position.
Intensive Short-Term Training-- Completion of an intensive, specialized course of study of less than 1 year may meet in full the experience requirements for GS-3. Courses of this type normally require completion of up to 40 hours per week of instruction rather than the usual 20 hours per week, and are usually of at least 3 months duration. Such courses may have been obtained through a variety of programs such as those offered by business or technical schools, and through military training programs. To be creditable, such a course must have been designed specifically as career preparation for the work of the position being filled, and must have provided the applicant with the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to do the work.
Combining Education and Experience: Equivalent combinations of successfully completed post-high school education and experience may be used to meet total experience requirements at grades GS-5 and below, except for Reporting Stenographer, GS-5.
- For GS-3 and GS-4 level positions, determine the applicant's total qualifying experience as a percentage of the experience required for the grade level; then determine the applicant's education as a percentage of the education required for the grade level; then add the two percentages. The total percentage must equal at least 100 percent to qualify an applicant for that grade level.
- For GS-5 level positions (except Clerk-Stenographer, which does not require specialized experience), only education in excess of the first 60 semester hours (i.e., beyond the second year) is creditable toward meeting the specialized experience requirement. One full academic year of study (30 semester hours) beyond the second year is equivalent to 6 months of specialized experience.
The following are examples of how education and experience may be combined. They are examples only, and are not all inclusive:
- The position to be filled is a Payroll Clerk, GS-4. An applicant has 8 months of qualifying experience and 20 semester hours of college. The applicant meets 67 percent of the required experience and 33 percent of the required education. The applicant meets 100 percent of the total requirements and is qualified for the position.
- The position to be filled is a Clerk-Typist, GS-4. The applicant has 4 months of qualifying experience and 1 year of business school. The applicant meets 33 percent of the required experience and 50 percent of the required education. The applicant meets 83 percent of the total requirements and is not qualified for the position.
- The position to be filled is a Clerk-Stenographer, GS-5. An applicant has 1 year of qualifying experience and 90 semester hours of college. The applicant meets 50 percent of the required experience and 75 percent of the required education. The applicant exceeds 100 percent of the total requirements and is qualified for the position.
- The position to be filled is an Editorial Assistant, GS-5. The applicant has 9 months of specialized experience and 75 semester hours of college (15 semester hours beyond the second year and the equivalent of 3 months of specialized experience). The applicant meets 75 percent of the required experience and 25 percent of the required education. The applicant meets 100 percent of the requirement for 1 year of specialized experience and is qualified for the position.
Clerk-Typist, Office Automation Clerk/Assistant, Clerk-Stenographer, Data Transcriber, and Positions with Parenthetical Titles of (Typing), (Office Automation), (Stenography), or (Data Transcription)
In addition to meeting experience or education requirements, applicants for these positions must show possession of the following skills, as appropriate. Applicants may meet these requirements by passing the appropriate performance test, presenting a certificate of proficiency from a school or other organization authorized to issue such certificates by the Office of Personnel Management local office, or by self-certifying their proficiency. Performance test results and certificates of proficiency are acceptable for 3 years. Agencies may verify proficiency skills of self-certified applicants by administering the appropriate performance test.
Clerk-Typist, GS-2/4; Office Automation Clerk/ Assistant (any grade); (Typing) (any grade); and (Office Automation) (any grade):
40 words per minute typing speed1
Data Transcriber, GS-2/4; and (Data Transcription) (any grade):
skill in operating an alphanumeric data transcribing machine,
or 20 words per minute typing speed1 for GS-2 transcription duties
or 25 words per minute typing speed1 for GS-3 and GS-4 transcription duties
- Clerk-Stenographer, GS-3/4:
40 words per minute typing speed1 and
80 words per minute dictation speed2
- Clerk-Stenographer, GS-5:
40 words per minute typing speed1 and
120 words per minute dictation speed2
- (Stenography) (any grade):
40 words per minute typing speed1 and either
80 words per minute dictation speed2 for GS-3 and GS-4 stenographic duties
or 120 words per minute dictation speed2 for GS-5 stenographic duties
NOTE: The level of proficiency for stenographic and data transcribing duties required by positions with parenthetical titles is based on the grade level of those duties and not necessarily on the overall grade of the position. For example, a position classified as Secretary (Stenography), GS-318-5, may require either 80 or 120 words per minute dictation speed depending upon the level of difficulty of the stenographic duties. A position classified as Payroll Clerk (Data Transcription), GS-544-4, may require either 20 or 25 words per minute typing speed depending upon the level of difficulty of the transcribing duties. Therefore, before filling positions of this type, first determine the grade level of the duties that require the additional skill, and then determine the skill level required.
Reporting Stenographer, Shorthand Reporter, and Closed Microphone Reporter
In addition to meeting the experience requirements, applicants for these positions must show possession of the following skills with equipment appropriate to the specific position.
Reporting Stenographer, GS-5/6: 120 words per minute dictation speed3
Shorthand Reporter and Closed Microphone Reporter, GS-6: 160 words per minute dictation speed3
Shorthand Reporter and Closed Microphone Reporter, GS-7 and above: 175 words per minute dictation speed3
Applicants must also be able to produce accurate typewritten transcripts of recorded proceedings.
Applicants for competitive appointment and inservice applicants for initial assignment to these three positions at all grade levels must demonstrate the specific skill and level of proficiency required by the position to be filled. Also, inservice applicants for promotion to positions that have a higher proficiency requirement than the position previously held must demonstrate the higher level of proficiency. Applicants may demonstrate that proficiency by either passing a dictation test at the required speed or presenting a certificate of proficiency showing speed and accuracy equivalent to those used in the Office of Personnel Management performance tests for these positions. The certificate must show that the candidate demonstrated the required proficiency, i.e., dictation speed and accuracy, to a teacher of stenography, shorthand reporting, or closed microphone reporting, within the past year. Applicants for these positions may not self-certify dictation proficiency.
USING SELECTIVE FACTORS FOR POSITIONS COVERED BY THIS STANDARD
Selective factors must represent knowledge, skills, or abilities that are essential for successful job performance and cannot reasonably be acquired on the job during the period of orientation/training customary for the position being filled. It is unlikely, for example, that a requirement for experience with a particular brand of word processing software could be justified as a selective factor for an Office Automation Clerk position. Since knowledge of that software may be desirable, such knowledge could be appropriately used as a quality ranking factor. On the other hand, proficiency in the correct use of medical terminology may be needed immediately to perform the duties of a Medical Records Technician position to provide continuity in an agency's medical records program. If that is the case, knowledge of medical terminology could be used as a selective factor in filling the position.
The maximum number of errors allowed in a dictation sample equals 10 percent of the required dictation speed (80 words per minute or 120 words per minute) multiplied by the number of minutes in the sample.
A list of the occupational series covered by this qualification standard is provided below. The occupational series marked with an asterisk have individual occupational requirements.
GS-029 Environmental Protection Assistant
GS-072 Fingerprint Identification
GS-086 Security Clerical and Assistance
GS-134 Intelligence Aid and Clerk
GS-203 Human Resources Assistance
GS-303 Miscellaneous Clerk and Assistant
GS-304 Information Receptionist
GS-305 Mail and File
GS-309 Correspondence Clerk
GS-312 Clerk-Stenographer and Reporter
GS-319 Closed Microphone Reporting
GS-326 Office Automation Clerical and Assistance
GS-332 Computer Operation
GS-335 Computer Clerk and Assistant
GS-344 Management and Program Clerical and Assistance
GS-350 Equipment Operator
GS-351 Printing Clerical
GS-356 Data Transcriber
GS-359 Electric Accounting Machine Operation
GS-361 Equal Opportunity Assistance
GS-382 Telephone Operating
GS-390 Telecommunications Processing
GS-392 General Telecommunications
GS-394 Communications Clerical
GS-503 Financial Clerical and Assistance
GS-525 Accounting Technician
GS-530 Cash Processing
GS-540 Voucher Examining
GS-544 Civilian Pay
GS-545 Military Pay
GS-561 Budget Clerical and Technician
GS-592 Tax Examining
GS-593 Insurance Accounts
GS-675 Medical Records Technician
GS-679 Medical Support Assistance
GS-962 Contact Representative
GS-963 Legal Instruments Examining
GS-986 Legal Assistance
GS-998 Claims Assistance and Examining
GS-1001 General Arts and Information
GS-1046 Language Clerical*
GS-1087 Editorial Assistance
GS-1101 General Business and Industry
GS-1106 Procurement Clerical and Technician
GS-1107 Property Disposal Clerical and Technician
GS-1152 Production Control
GS-1411 Library Technician
GS-1421 Archives Technician
GS-1531 Statistical Assistant
GS-1702 Education and Training Technician
GS-1802 Compliance Inspection and Support
GS-1897 Customs Aid
GS-2005 Supply Clerical and Technician
GS-2091 Sales Store Clerical
GS-2102 Transportation Clerk and Assistant
GS-2131 Freight Rate
GS-2135 Transportation Loss and Damage Claims Examining