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Operating Manual for Qualification Standards for General Schedule Positions

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Group Coverage Qualification Standards for
Administrative and Management Positions

This qualification standard covers positions in the General Schedule that involve the performance of two-grade interval administrative and management 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 two-grade interval positions other than those listed if the education and experience pattern is determined to be appropriate.


The following table shows the amounts of education and/or experience required to qualify for positions covered by this standard.

GS-5 4-year course of study leading to a bachelor's degree 3 years, 1 year of which was equivalent to at least GS-4 None
GS-7 1 full year of graduate level education


superior academic achievement
None 1 year equivalent to at least GS-5
GS-9 master's or equivalent graduate degree


2 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree


LL.B. or J.D., if related
None 1 year equivalent to at least GS-7
GS-11 Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree


3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree


LL.M., if related
None 1 year equivalent to at least GS-9
None None 1 year equivalent to at least next lower grade level

Equivalent combinations of education and experience are qualifying for all grade levels for which both education and experience are acceptable.

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 two-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.(p) in the "Policies and Instructions" for guidance on crediting experience for positions with different lines of progression.

Undergraduate Education: Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in any field leading to a bachelor's degree, in an accredited college or university, meets the GS-5 level requirements for many positions covered by this standard. Others have individual occupational requirements that specify that applicants must, in general, (1) have specific course work that meets the requirements for a major in a particular field(s), or (2) have at least 24 semester hours of course work in the field(s) identified. Course work in fields closely related to those specified may be accepted if it clearly provides applicants with the background of knowledge and skills necessary for successful job performance. One year of full-time undergraduate study is defined as 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours.

Superior Academic Achievement: The superior academic achievement provision is applicable to all occupations covered by this standard. See the "General Policies and Instructions" for specific guidance on applying the superior academic achievement provision.

Graduate Education: Education at the graduate level in an accredited college or university in the amounts shown in the table meets the requirements for positions at GS-7 through GS-11. Such education must demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work.

One year of full-time graduate education is considered to be the number of credit hours that the school attended has determined to represent 1 year of full-time study. If that information cannot be obtained from the school, 18 semester hours should be considered as satisfying the 1 year of full-time study requirement.

Part-time graduate education is creditable in accordance with its relationship to a year of full-time study at the school attended.

For certain positions covered by this standard, the work may be recognized as sufficiently technical or specialized that graduate study alone may not provide the knowledge and skills needed to perform the work. In such cases, agencies may use selective factors to screen out applicants without actual work experience.

General Experience: For positions for which individual occupational requirements do not specify otherwise, general experience is 3 years of progressively responsible experience, 1 year of which was equivalent to at least GS-4, that demonstrates the ability to:

  1. Analyze problems to identify significant factors, gather pertinent data, and recognize solutions;
  2. Plan and organize work; and
  3. Communicate effectively orally and in writing.

Such experience may have been gained in administrative, professional, technical, investigative, or other responsible work. Experience in substantive and relevant secretarial, clerical, or other responsible work may be qualifying as long as it provided evidence of the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA's) necessary to perform the duties of the position to be filled. Experience of a general clerical nature (typing, filing, routine procedural processing, maintaining records, or other nonspecialized tasks) is not creditable. Trades or crafts experience appropriate to the position to be filled may be creditable for some positions.

For some occupations or positions, applicants must have had work experience that demonstrated KSA's in addition to those identified above. Positions with more specific general experience requirements than those described here are shown in the appropriate individual occupational requirements.

Specialized Experience: Experience that equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the work of the position to be filled. To be creditable, specialized experience must have been equivalent to at least the next lower grade level in the normal line of progression for the occupation in the organization. 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.

Combining Education and Experience: Combinations of successfully completed post-high school education and experience may be used to meet total qualification requirements for the grade levels specified in the table, and may be computed by first determining the applicant's total qualifying experience as a percentage of the experience required for the grade level; then determining the applicant's education as a percentage of the education required for the grade level; and then adding the two percentages. The total percentages must equal at least 100 percent to qualify an applicant for that grade level. Only graduate education in excess of the amount required for the next lower grade level may be used to qualify applicants for positions at grades GS-9 and GS-11. (When crediting education that requires specific course work, prorate the number of hours of related courses required as a proportion of the total education to be used.)

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 Quality Assurance Specialist, GS-1910-5. An applicant has 2 years of general experience and 45 semester hours of college that included 9 semester hours in related course work as described in the individual occupational requirements. The applicant meets 67 percent of the required experience and 38 percent of the required education. Therefore, the applicant exceeds 100 percent of the total requirement and is qualified for the position.

  • The position to be filled is a Management Analyst, GS-343-9. An applicant has 6 months of specialized experience equivalent to GS-7 and 1 year of graduate level education. The applicant meets 50 percent of the required experience but none of the required education, since he or she does not have any graduate study beyond that which is required for GS-7. Therefore, the applicant meets only 50 percent of the total requirement and is not qualified for the position. (The applicant's first year of graduate study is not qualifying for GS-9.)

  • The position to be filled is a Music Specialist, GS-1051-11. An applicant has 9 months of specialized experience equivalent to GS-9 and 2 1/2 years of creditable graduate level education in music. The applicant meets 75 percent of the required experience and 50 percent of the required education, i.e., the applicant has 1/2 year of graduate study beyond that required for GS-9. Therefore, the applicant exceeds the total requirement and is qualified for the position. (The applicant's first 2 years of graduate study are not qualifying for GS-11.)


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. For example, while the individual occupational requirements for Recreation Specialist provide for applicants to meet minimum qualifications on the basis of education or experience in any one of a number of recreational fields, a requirement for knowledge of therapeutic recreation may be needed to perform the duties of a position providing recreation services to persons with physical disabilities. If that is the case, such knowledge could be justified as a selective factor in filling the position.


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-006 Correctional Institution Administration*
GS-011 Bond Sales Promotion*
GS-018 Safety and Occupational Health Management*
GS-023 Outdoor Recreation Planning*
GS-028 Environmental Protection Specialist
GS-030 Sports Specialist*
GS-062 Clothing Design*
GS-080 Security Administration
GS-105 Social Insurance Administration
GS-106 Unemployment Insurance*
GS-107 Health Insurance Administration
GS-132 Intelligence
GS-142 Workforce Development
GS-160 Civil Rights Analysis
GS-188 Recreation Specialist*
GS-201 Human Resources Management
GS-244 Labor Management Relations Examining*
GS-260 Equal Employment Opportunity
GS-301 Miscellaneous Administration and Program
GS-340 Program Management
GS-341 Administrative Officer
GS-343 Management and Program Analysis
GS-346 Logistics Management
GS-360 Equal Opportunity Compliance
GS-362 Electric Accounting Machine Project Planning
GS-391 Telecommunications*
GS-501 Financial Administration and Program
GS-505 Financial Management*
GS-526 Tax Specialist*
GS-560 Budget Analysis
GS-570 Financial Institution Examining*
GS-669 Medical Records Administration*
GS-670 Health System Administration*
GS-671 Health System Specialist*
GS-672 Prosthetic Representative
GS-673 Hospital Housekeeping Management*
GS-685 Public Health Program Specialist*
GS-828 Construction Analyst*
GS-901 General Legal and Kindred Administration
GS-920 Estate Tax Examining
GS-930 Hearings and Appeals
GS-950 Paralegal Specialist
GS-958 Pension Law Specialist*
GS-965 Land Law Examining*
GS-967 Passport and Visa Examining*
GS-991 Workers' Compensation Claims Examining
GS-993 Railroad Retirement Claims Examining
GS-996 Veterans Claims Examining
GS-1001 General Arts and Information*
GS-1008 Interior Design*
GS-1010 Exhibits Specialist*
GS-1020 Illustrating*
GS-1035 Public Affairs
GS-1040 Language Specialist*
GS-1051 Music Specialist*
GS-1054 Theater Specialist*
GS-1056 Art Specialist*
GS-1071 Audiovisual Production*
GS-1082 Writing and Editing
GS-1083 Technical Writing and Editing*
GS-1084 Visual Information*
GS-1101 General Business and Industry*
GS-1103 Industrial Property Management*
GS-1104 Property Disposal
GS-1130 Public Utilities Specialist
GS-1140 Trade Specialist*
GS-1144 Commissary Store Management*
GS-1145 Agricultural Program Specialist*
GS-1146 Agricultural Marketing*
GS-1147 Agricultural Market Reporting
GS-1150 Industrial Specialist*
GS-1160 Financial Analysis*
GS-1161 Crop Insurance Administration*
GS-1162 Crop Insurance Underwriting*
GS-1163 Insurance Examining*
GS-1165 Loan Specialist*
GS-1169 Internal Revenue Officer*
GS-1170 Realty
GS-1171 Appraising
GS-1173 Housing Management
GS-1176 Building Management
GS-1361 Navigational Information*
GS-1397 Document Analysis*
GS-1421 Archives Specialist
GS-1630 Cemetery Administration
GS-1640 Facility Management*
GS-1654 Printing Management*
GS-1670 Equipment Specialist*
GS-1702 Education and Training Technician
GS-1712 Training Instruction*
GS-1715 Vocational Rehabilitation*
GS-1801 General Inspection, Investigation, Enforcement, and Compliance Series*
GS-1805 Investigative Analysis Series
GS-1810 General Investigation
GS-1811 Criminal Investigation*
GS-1849 Wage and Hour Investigation Series*
GS-1850 Agricultural Commodity Warehousing Examining*
GS-1860 Equal Opportunity Investigation
GS-1889 Import Compliance Series*
GS-1894 Customs Entry and Liquidating*
GS-1910 Quality Assurance*
GS-1980 Agricultural Commodity Grading*
GS-2001 General Supply
GS-2003 Supply Program Management
GS-2010 Inventory Management
GS-2030 Distribution Facilities and Storage Management
GS-2032 Packaging
GS-2050 Supply Cataloging
GS-2101 Transportation Specialist*
GS-2110 Transportation Industry Analysis*
GS-2123 Motor Carrier Safety*
GS-2125 Highway Safety*
GS-2130 Traffic Management*
GS-2150 Transportation Operations*
GS-2161 Marine Cargo*