HR University Logo, Teaching the Business of HR; and CHCO Council seal



Recruitment Policy Studio

Federal Section
Hiring Toolkit

Competitive Service Hiring


Understanding the Competitive Service


Competitive examining is the traditional method for making appointments to competitive service positions and requires adherence to title 5's competitive examining requirements. OPM may delegate authority, by agreement, to an agency to examine for all of its competitive service positions (except administrative law judges). Vacancies filled through the competitive examining process are open to the public.

The Presidential Memorandum – Improving the Federal Recruitment and Hiring Process issued on May 11, 2010, requires agencies to use the category rating approach (as opposed to the rule of 3) to assess and select candidates for positions filled through competitive examining.

Resources: