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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of July 22, 2014

Title 5: Administrative Personnel


PART 337—EXAMINING SYSTEM


Contents

Subpart A—General Provisions

§337.101   Rating applicants.
§337.102   Evaluating qualifications for employees who are in a retained grade.

Subpart B—Direct-Hire Authority

§337.201   Coverage and purpose.
§337.202   Definitions.
§337.203   Public notice requirements.
§337.204   Severe shortage of candidates.
§337.205   Critical hiring needs.
§337.206   Terminations, modifications, extensions, and reporting.

Subpart C—Alternative Rating and Selection Procedures

§337.301   Coverage and purpose.
§337.302   Definitions.
§337.303   Agency responsibilities.
§337.304   Veterans' preference.
§337.305   Reporting requirements.

Authority: 5 U.S.C. 1104(a)(2), 1302, 2302, 3301, 3302, 3304, 3319, 5364; E.O. 10577, 3 CFR 1954-1958 Comp., p. 218; 33 FR 12423, Sept. 4, 1968; 45 FR 18365, Mar. 21, 1980; 116 Stat. 2290, sec. 1413 of Public Law 108-136 (117 Stat. 1665), as amended by sec. 853 of Public Law 110-181 (122 Stat. 250).

Subpart A—General Provisions

§337.101   Rating applicants.

(a) OPM shall prescribe the relative weights to be given subjects in an examination, and shall assign numerical ratings on a scale of 100. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, each applicant who meets the minimum requirements for entrance to an examination and is rated 70 or more in the examination is eligible for appointment.

(b) OPM shall add to the earned numerical ratings of applicants who make a passing grade:

(1) Five points for applicants who are preference eligibles under section 2108(3)(A) and (B) of title 5, United States Code; and

(2) Ten points for applicants who are preference eligibles under section 2108(3)(C)-(G) of that title.

(c) When experience is a factor in determining eligibility, OPM shall credit a preference eligible with:

(1) Time spent in the military service (i) as an extension of time spent in the position in which he was employed immediately before his entrance into the military service, or (ii) on the basis of actual duties performed in the military service, or (iii) as a combination of both methods. OPM shall credit time spent in the military service according to the method that will be of most benefit to the preference eligible.

(2) All valuable experience, including experience gained in religious, civic, welfare, service, and organizational activities, regardless of whether pay was received therefor.

[33 FR 12423, Sept. 4, 1968, as amended at 72 FR 12954, Mar. 20, 2007]

§337.102   Evaluating qualifications for employees who are in a retained grade.

(a) Employees who are in a retained grade must have the experience they gain subsequent to the downgrading action that placed them in a retained grade considered in the following manner. For placements during the period the employee is in a retained grade, agencies must consider the experience subsequent to the downgrading action to be either:

(1) At the level of the retained grade and in the series of the position which he or she occupied at the time of the downgrading; or

(2) At the grade and in the series of the position to which the employee is downgraded.

(b) Agencies must determine which experience to consider on the basis of which will most likely result in placement. For placements or promotions after the retained grade period, the experience is considered only at the grade level and in the series of the position to which the employee was downgraded.

[45 FR 18365, Mar. 21, 1980]

Subpart B—Direct-Hire Authority

Source: 69 FR 33275, June 15, 2004, unless otherwise noted.

§337.201   Coverage and purpose.

OPM will permit an agency with delegated examining authority under 5 U.S.C. 1104(a)(2) to use direct-hire authority under 5 U.S.C. 3304(a)(3) for a permanent or nonpermanent position or group of positions in the competitive service at GS-15 (or equivalent) and below, if OPM determines that there is either a severe shortage of candidates or a critical hiring need for such positions. It is not required that this direct-hire authority be exercised by a delegated examining unit. Requests for direct-hire authority must be submitted by the agency's Chief Human Capital Officer (or equivalent) at the agency headquarters level. OPM will determine the length of the direct-hire authority based on the justification.

§337.202   Definitions.

In this subpart:

(a) A direct-hire authority permits hiring without regard to the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 3309 through 3318; part 211 of this chapter; and subpart A of part 337 of this chapter.

(b) A severe shortage of candidates for a particular position or group of positions means that an agency is having difficulty identifying candidates possessing the competencies or the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform the job requirements despite extensive recruitment, extended announcement periods, and the use, as applicable, of hiring flexibilities such as recruitment or relocation incentives or special salary rates.

(c) A critical hiring need for a particular position or group of positions means that an agency has a need to fill the position(s) to meet mission requirements brought about by circumstances such as, but not limited to, a national emergency, threat, potential threat, environmental disaster, or unanticipated or unusual event or mission requirement, or to conform to the requirements of law, a Presidential directive or Administration initiative.

§337.203   Public notice requirements.

Agencies must comply with public notice requirements as prescribed in 5 U.S.C. 3327 and 3330, and subpart A of part 330 of this chapter with respect to any position that an agency seeks to fill using direct-hire authority.

[69 FR 33275, June 15, 2004, as amended at 75 FR 67605, Nov. 3, 2010]

§337.204   Severe shortage of candidates.

(a) OPM will determine when a severe shortage of candidates exists for particular occupations, grades (or equivalent), and/or geographic locations. OPM may decide independently that such a shortage exists, or may make this decision in response to a written request from an agency.

(b) An agency when requesting direct-hire authority under this section, or OPM when deciding independently, must identify the position or positions that are difficult to fill and must provide supporting evidence that demonstrates the existence of a severe shortage of candidates with respect to the position(s). The evidence should include, as applicable, information about:

(1) The results of workforce planning and analysis;

(2) Employment trends including the local or national labor market;

(3) The existence of nationwide or geographic skills shortages;

(4) Agency efforts, including recruitment initiatives, use of other appointing authorities (e.g., schedule A, schedule B) and flexibilities, training and development programs tailored to the position(s), and an explanation of why these recruitment and training efforts have not been sufficient;

(5) The availability and quality of candidates;

(6) The desirability of the geographic location of the position(s);

(7) The desirability of the duties and/or work environment associated with the position(s); and

(8) Other pertinent information such as selective placement factors or other special requirements of the position, as well as agency use of hiring flexibilities such as recruitment or retention allowances or special salary rates.

(c) A department or agency head (other than the Secretary of Defense) may determine, pursuant to section 1413(a) of Public Law 108-136, as amended by section 853 of Public Law 110-181, that a shortage of highly qualified candidates exists for certain Federal acquisition positions (covered under section 433(g)(1)(A) of title 41, United States Code). To make such a determination, the deciding agency official must use the supporting evidence prescribed in 5 CFR 337.204(b)(1)-(8) and must maintain a file of the supporting evidence for documentation and reporting purposes.

[69 FR 33275, June 15, 2004, as amended at 70 FR 44847, Aug. 4, 2005; 74 FR 61263, Nov. 24, 2009]

§337.205   Critical hiring needs.

(a) OPM will determine when there is a critical hiring need for particular occupations, grades (or equivalent) and/or geographic locations. OPM may decide independently that such a need exists or may make this decision in response to a written request from an agency.

(b) An agency when requesting direct-hire authority under this section, or OPM when deciding on its own, must:

(1) Identify the position(s) that must be filled;

(2) Describe the event or circumstance that has created the need to fill the position(s);

(3) Specify the duration for which the critical need is expected to exist; and

(4) Include supporting evidence that demonstrates why the use of other hiring authorities is impracticable or ineffective.

§337.206   Terminations, modifications, extensions, and reporting.

(a) Termination and modification. On a periodic basis, for each direct-hire authority, OPM will review agency use of the authority to ensure proper administration and to determine if continued use of the authority is supportable. OPM will terminate or modify a direct-hire authority if it determines that there is no longer a severe shortage of candidates or a critical hiring need. Likewise, when an agency finds there are adequate numbers of qualified candidates for positions previously filled under direct-hire authorities, based on severe shortage of candidates, the agency is required to report this change of events to OPM. OPM may also terminate an agency's authority when the agency has used an authority improperly.

(b) Extension. OPM may extend direct-hire authority if OPM determines, based on relevant, recent, and supportable data, that there is or will continue to be a severe shortage of candidates or a critical hiring need for particular positions as of the date the authority is due to expire. In their requests for extensions of direct-hire authorities, agencies must include an update of the supporting evidence that demonstrated the need for the original authority.

(c) Reporting requirement. On a periodic basis, OPM may request information from agencies regarding their use of these direct-hire authorities. The requested information may include numbers of positions, title, series, and grade of positions advertised under the direct-hire authority, the number of qualified applicants, the specific qualification criteria, and the number of applicants appointed under the authority.

(d) No new appointments may be made under the provisions of section 1413 of Public Law 108-136 after September 30, 2012.

[69 FR 33275, June 15, 2004, as amended at 70 FR 44847, Aug. 4, 2005; 74 FR 61263, Nov. 24, 2009]

Subpart C—Alternative Rating and Selection Procedures

Source: 69 FR 33276, June 15, 2004, unless otherwise noted.

§337.301   Coverage and purpose.

This subpart implements the category rating and selection procedures at 5 U.S.C. 3319. This law authorizes agencies with delegated examining authority under 5 U.S.C. 1104(a)(2) to develop a category rating method as an alternative process to assess applicants for jobs filled through competitive examining.

§337.302   Definitions.

In this subpart:

(a) Category rating is synonymous with alternative rating as described at 5 U.S.C. 3319, and is a process of evaluating qualified eligibles by quality categories rather than by assigning individual numeric scores. The agency assesses candidates against job-related criteria and then places them into two or more pre-defined categories.

(b) Quality categories are groupings of individuals with similar levels of job-related competencies or similar levels of knowledge, skills, and abilities.

§337.303   Agency responsibilities.

To use a category rating procedure, agencies must:

(a) Establish a system for evaluating applicants that provides for two or more quality categories;

(b) Define each quality category through job analysis conducted in accordance with the “Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures” at 29 CFR part 1607 and part 300 of this chapter. Each category must have a clear definition that distinguishes it from other categories;

(c) Describe each quality category in the job announcement and apply the provisions of part 330, subparts B, F, and G of this chapter;

(d) Place applicants into categories based upon their job-related competencies or their knowledge, skills, and abilities; and

(e) Establish documentation and record keeping procedures for reconstruction purposes.

§337.304   Veterans' preference.

In this subpart:

(a) Veterans' preference must be applied as prescribed in 5 U.S.C. 3319(b) and (c)(2);

(b) Veterans' preference points as prescribed in section 337.101 of this part are not applied in category rating; and

(c) Sections 3319(b) and 3319(c)(2) of title 5, U.S.C. constitute veterans' preference requirements for purposes of 5 U.S.C. 2302(b)(11)(A) and (B).

[71 FR 3409, Jan. 23, 2006]

§337.305   Reporting requirements.

Any agency that uses category rating must forward to OPM a copy of the annual report that it must submit to Congress pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 3319(d). Agencies must send their annual reports to the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate. The report must include the following information:

(a) The number of employees hired under the system;

(b) The impact that system has had on the hiring of veterans and minorities, including those who are American Indian or Alaska Natives, Asian, Black or African American, and native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islanders; and

(c) The way managers were trained in the administration of category rating.



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