Excepted service appointing authorities are critical tools for increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities in the Federal Government. Two of these authorities are particularly relevant:
What it provides:
This authority provides, to those candidates with disabilities who are eligible to use it, an additional mechanism for applying for a Federal position, beyond applying for a position under competitive procedures.
When to use it:
Agencies may use this authority to ensure its workforce reflects all segments of society, including those with disabilities. This authority provides an additional mechanism for applying for a Federal position, beyond applying for a position under competitive procedures. Agencies may make reasonable accommodations for applicants to provide full access to the application process.
Who is eligible:
Select this link
to learn more about what disabilities make an individual eligible to use this authority.
Benefits to hiring manager:
- Provides the agency with a skilled, motivated employee who can be converted, without competition, to a permanent position in the competitive civil service after completing 2 years on the job and demonstrating satisfactory performance (with or without reasonable accommodation)
- Encourages Federal agencies to ensure job opportunities are available to a wide diversity of applicants with varied backgrounds and skills sets
Select this link
to read more about Schedule A directly from 5 CFR Part 213.
To appoint individuals with intellectual, psychiatric, or severe physical disabilities under Schedule A:
- Develop an overall strategic hiring plan and identify appropriate recruiting sources.
- Contact your agency’s selective placement program coordinator to help recruit individuals with disabilities.
- Develop and disseminate information about the requirements associated with provisions for hiring people with disabilities.
- Work with organizations to identify and place individuals with disabilities.
- Determine if candidates are eligible under one of the authorities.
- Evaluate the candidates for the positions to be filled.
- Appoint an individual who has the appropriate proof of disability and is able to perform the duties of the position.
After 2 years of satisfactory service, the agency may convert the individual to career or career-conditional appointment, as appropriate.
When an agency has a hiring issue that is not remedied by using traditional competitive hiring procedures, the agency may ask OPM to grant an exception under Schedule A or B. Requests must describe the specific issue and justify why using traditional competitive procedures prevents the agency from meeting the hiring need for the job(s) or situation. Requests include:
- The occupation and duties involved.
- A complete description of why previous attempts to hire competitively did not work.
- Reasons why recruitment and competitive examining are not possible.
- Remedies and alternatives that have been used to resolve recruitment and examining problems.
Whether the positions are excepted from the competitive service by statute, the President or OPM, there are rules and regulations associated with filling jobs in the excepted service (positions subject to the provisions of title 5) just as there are rules and regulations associated with filling jobs in the competitive service. In fact, many of the requirements are the same, just executed a little differently.
To appoint individuals under an Agency-specific Schedule A or Schedule B authority.
Once an exception has been approved, agencies may fill positions in accordance with the parameters of the appointing authority. In addition,
- Determine recruitment sources.
- Disseminate information about hiring requirements
- Assess or evaluate the qualifications of the candidates.
- Appoint an individual who meets the qualification requirements for the position.
The following information was taken from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission website: