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Classification Specialist — Entry-Level, GS-5/7/9


Career Stage
Career Stage Flowchart
Flowchart Description: HR Assistants advance to the GS 7 Level, while Student Career Experience Program members advance to the GS 5 Level, and then to the GS 7 Level. From the GS 7 Level employees may advance to the GS 9 Level and then to the Full Performance Level From the GS 9 Level. Employees may be hired into any of the levels from outside the Federal Government and may change to different technical area throughout the advancement procedure.
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General Competencies
General Competencies
Understanding the Competency Information

General Competencies Proficiency Level
GS-5 GS-7 GS-9
Attention to Detail: Is thorough when performing work and conscientious about attending to detail. 2 3 3
Client Engagement/Change Management: Knowledge of the impact of change on people, processes, procedures, leadership, and organizational culture; knowledge of change management principles, strategies, and techniques required for effectively planning, implementing, and evaluating change in the organization. 1 2 2
Creative Thinking: Uses imagination to develop new insights into situations and applies innovative solutions to problems; designs new methods where established methods and procedures are inapplicable or are unavailable. 2 2 2
Customer Service: Works with clients and customers (that is, any individuals who use or receive the services or products that your work unit produces, including the general public, individuals who work in the agency, other agencies, or organizations outside the Government) to assess their needs, provide information or assistance, resolve their problems, or satisfy their expectations; knows about available products and services; is committed to providing quality products and services. 3 3 3
Decision Making: Makes sound, well-informed, and objective decisions; perceives the impact and implications of decisions; commits to action, even in uncertain situations, to accomplish organizational goals; causes change. 2 2 3
Flexibility: Is open to change and new information; adapts behavior or work methods in response to new information, changing conditions, or unexpected obstacles; effectively deals with ambiguity. 2 2 3
Influencing/Negotiating: Persuades others to accept recommendations, cooperate, or change their behavior; works with others towards an agreement; negotiates to find mutually acceptable solutions. 2 2 2
Information Management: Identifies a need for and knows where or how to gather information; organizes and maintains information or information management systems. 2 2 3
Integrity/Honesty: Contributes to maintaining the integrity of the organization; displays high standards of ethical conduct and understands the impact of violating these standards on an organization, self, and others; is trustworthy. 3 4 4
Interpersonal Skills: Shows understanding, friendliness, courtesy, tact, empathy, concern, and politeness to others; develops and maintains effective relationships with others; may include effectively dealing with individuals who are difficult, hostile, or distressed; relates well to people from varied backgrounds and different situations; is sensitive to cultural diversity, race, gender, disabilities, and other individual differences. 3 3 3
Legal, Government, and Jurisprudence: Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, legal practices and documents, Government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, Government organization and functions, and the democratic political process. 1 2 2
Oral Communication: Expresses information (for example, ideas or facts) to individuals or groups effectively, taking into account the audience and nature of the information (for example, technical, sensitive, controversial); makes clear and convincing oral presentations; listens to others, attends to nonverbal cues, and responds appropriately. 2 2 3
Organizational Awareness: Knows the organization's mission and functions, and how its social, political, and technological systems work and operates effectively within them; this includes the programs, policies, procedures, rules, and regulations of the organization. 1 2 2
Planning and Evaluating: Organizes work, sets priorities, and determines resource requirements; determines short- or long-term goals and strategies to achieve them; coordinates with other organizations or parts of the organization to accomplish goals; monitors progress and evaluates outcomes. 2 2 2
Problem Solving: Identifies problems; determines accuracy and relevance of information; uses sound judgment to generate and evaluate alternatives, and to make recommendations. 2 2 2
Project Management: Knowledge of the principles, methods, or tools for developing, scheduling, coordinating, and managing projects and resources, including monitoring and inspecting costs, work, and contractor performance. 1 2 2
Reading: Understands and interprets written material, including technical material, rules, regulations, instructions, reports, charts, graphs, or tables; applies what is learned from written material to specific situations. 2 3 3
Reasoning: Identifies rules, principles, or relationships that explain facts, data, or other information; analyzes information and makes correct inferences or draws accurate conclusions. 2 2 3
Self-Management: Sets well-defined and realistic personal goals; displays a high level of initiative, effort, and commitment towards completing assignments in a timely manner; works with minimal supervision; is motivated to achieve; demonstrates responsible behavior. 2 2 3
Stress Tolerance: Deals calmly and effectively with high stress situations (for example, tight deadlines, hostile individuals, emergency situations, dangerous situations). 2 2 3
Teamwork: Encourages and facilitates cooperation, pride, trust, and group identity; fosters commitment and team spirit; works with others to achieve goals. 2 2 3
Technical Competence: Uses knowledge that is acquired through formal training or extensive on-the-job experience to perform one's job; works with, understands, and evaluates technical information related to the job; advises others on technical issues. 2 2 3
Workforce Planning: Knowledge of HR concepts, principles, and practices related to determining workload projections and current and future competency gaps to align human capital with organizational goals. 2 2 2
Writing: Recognizes or uses correct English grammar, punctuation, and spelling; communicates information (for example, facts, ideas, or messages) in a succinct and organized manner; produces written information, which may include technical material that is appropriate for the intended audience. 2 2 3
Technical Competencies
Technical Competencies
Understanding the Competency Information

Technical Competencies Proficiency Level
GS-5 GS-7 GS-9
Classification: Knowledge of classification concepts, principles, and practices related to structuring organizations and positions and determining the appropriate pay system, occupational grouping, title, and pay level of positions. 1 1 2
Critical Developmental Activities
Critical Developmental Activities
Understanding the Critical Developmental Activities

To Strengthen General Competencies
  • Actively participate on a team.
  • Volunteer to participate in a high-visibility project.
  • Learn about the agency where you work.
  • Learn new technologies (e.g., through self-study, seminars).
  • Study technical writing as it applies to your work role.
  • Attend technical conferences, meetings, or seminars.
  • Join an industry or professional association.
  • Read technical publications to keep up-to-date on new development in your field (e.g., books, professional newsletters, trade journals).
  • Conduct briefings.
  • Build an informal network of peers through which you can exchange ideas and discuss issues relevant to technical advances in your field.
  • Learn from others on the job (e.g., obtain on-the-job training, ask others for guidance).
  • Find a mentor for technical and/or career guidance.
  • Study lessons learned from reviews of failed and successful projects.
  • Gain an understanding of basic position management and classification.
  • Gain an understanding of job analysis.
  • Gain a basic understanding of the agency budgeting process.
To Strengthen Technical Competencies
  • Learn about the General Schedule and Federal Wage System.
  • Learn about your agency’s classification system, if applicable.
  • Interpret and apply position classification standards to positions and determine the correct pay category, occupational series, title, and grade level.
  • Learn Title 5 USC 51 Classification and Federal Wage System classification.
  • Learn about your agency’s classification and position management policies, procedures, and supplemental classification guidance.
  • Learn about the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.
  • Understand the impact on incumbents when positions are reclassified.
  • Draft white collar and blue collar position descriptions — supervisory and nonsupervisory.
  • Assist higher-level specialists in providing classification management advisory services.
  • Classify noncontroversial positions in a variety of occupational groups.
  • Draft position evaluation statements.
  • Assist higher level specialists in developing training/briefing materials.
Job Tasks
Job Tasks
Works with Senior Human Resources Specialists to: GS-5 GS-7 GS-9
Collect information from position descriptions, organizational charts, classification standards, and other materials to begin a classification study. checkmark checkmark N/A
Ensure position review files and other classification documents are accurate and current. checkmark checkmark N/A
Maintain a library of position descriptions and position description numbers. checkmark checkmark N/A
Assist with processing classification actions. checkmark checkmark N/A
Conduct desk audits and position reviews for positions to ensure jobs are accurately classified and obtain senior review. N/A N/A checkmark
Prepare evaluation statements on classification actions, obtains senior review, and participates in discussions of findings with management and employees. N/A N/A checkmark
Review a manager’s request for a grade increase for a position. N/A N/A checkmark
Apply grading criteria to lower grade positions (not exceeding own current grade level) and assists with preparing standard classification evaluation statements. checkmark checkmark checkmark
Training Areas
Training Areas
Understanding the Training Areas

Qualifications
Please note that this information is for development purposes only and does not address position requirements or your eligibility for a particular job. For information about Governmentwide qualifications requirements, please refer to www.opm.gov/qualifications/Standards/IORs/gs0200/0201.htm. Additionally, there may be position-specific requirements, including specialized experience. Your supervisor can provide more information on these additional requirements.


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