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Recruitment Policy Studio

Federal Section
Planning for Recruiting - Pathways
Pathways for students and recent graduates to federal careers

Qualifications and Assessments

The Pathways regulations require recent graduates to meet OPM Qualification Standards. Does this mean agency-specific qualification standards may not be used for the Recent Graduates Program? (READ MORE)
Yes. Agencies may not develop their own qualification standards for positions filled through the Pathways Recent Graduates Program. Agencies must use the OPM or OPM-approved qualification standards for the position being filled (or any qualification standards for the position required by law, if applicable).

Are agencies required to use OPM Qualification Standards for Pathways Internship Positions? (READ MORE)
No. Agencies may establish agency-specific qualification requirements, or use the OPM qualification requirements for the competitive service in place of the Group Coverage Qualification Standard for Schedule D, Pathway Internship Positions. (See 5 CFR 362.303(d))

Are agencies required to use assessments as a part of the selection process? (READ MORE)
For the Intern and Recent Graduate Programs, agencies must use valid job-related assessments such as crediting plans, which are the same thing as rating schedules (i.e., occupational questionnaires) or structured interviews. Agencies may also use the Administrative Careers With America (ACWA) written test or ACWA rating schedules when making selections for Pathways Programs positions. Depending on the selection methodology used to fill a particular job (see 5 CFR part 302), agencies may assess only for general eligibility/minimum qualifications. OPM assesses for a list of Finalists for the Fellows Program.