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NPR 3319.1C
Effective Date: September 02, 2021
Expiration Date: September 02, 2026
Printable Format (PDF)

Subject: Management of Scientific and Professional (ST) and Senior-Level (SL) Positions (Updated with Change 1, on August 3, 2023)

Responsible Office: Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer

| TOC | ChangeLog | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | Chapter5 | Chapter6 | Chapter7 | Chapter8 | Chapter9 | AppendixA | AppenixB | AppendixC | AppendixD | ALL |

Chapter 4. Staffing

4.1 Staffing Procedural Requirements

4.1.1 The Agency goal is to select the best qualified ST and SL discipline expertise from the widest recruitment sources, including sources that target minority and female candidates and candidates with disabilities. The extent of the recruitment area depends upon the position and the potential sources of candidates for the position.

4.1.2 ST and SL positions are often based on the qualifications of the incumbents and may represent a specialized need that may or may not continue; these positions are often filled on a time-limited basis (temporary promotion or term appointment) to afford flexibility in staffing, and may be made permanent.

4.2 Qualification Standards and Requirements

4.2.1 The Administrator, or designee, is responsible for establishing qualifications standards and approving the qualifications of SL and ST appointees. Qualification standards will be in writing and identify the breadth and depth of the knowledge, skills, and abilities, or other qualifications required for successful performance in the position. Each criterion in the standard will be job related. The standard may not include any criterion prohibited by law or regulation.

4.2.2 Time-in-grade requirements do not apply to ST and SL positions.

4.2.3 Aerospace Technologist (AST) qualifications (education and experience) do not apply to ST and SL positions.

4.2.4 NASA Supplemental Classification System AST Specialty Definitions are used to place ST positions into the appropriate NASA Classification Code on the position description.

4.2.5 Qualification Requirements for SL Positions: When an SL position is being filled on a competitive basis, the standard will be specific enough to enable applicants to be rated and ranked according to their degree of qualification. The standard may not include a minimum length of experience or minimum education requirement beyond that authorized for similar positions in the General Schedule.

4.2.6 Qualification Requirements for ST Positions: Unless the Agency obtains the approval of OPM:

a. The candidate will have at least 3 years of specialized experience in, or closely related to, the field in which the candidate will work.

b. At least 1 year of this experience (specified in a. above) will have been in planning and executing difficult programs of national significance or planning and executing specialized programs that show outstanding attainments in the field of research or consultation.

c. At least 1 year of the specialized experience must be at least equivalent to experience at GS-15.

4.3 Recruitment and Selection

4.3.1 ST Positions

a. There is no requirement to follow OPM delegated examining regulations or merit promotion procedures for initial appointments to ST positions, including temporary and term appointments. Follow procedures in paragraph 4.4 of this directive.

b. Veterans' Preference does not apply when filling ST positions.

c. The Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) and Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) do not apply when filling ST positions.

d. An evaluation of a candidate's qualifications, accomplishments, and credentials based on the criteria in the OPM Research Grade Evaluation Guide or the OPM Equipment Development Grade Evaluation Guide will be performed by the EPM, or designee, before submission of a candidate to the ERB for approval.

4.3.2 SL Positions

a. SL positions are in the competitive service, unless the position is excepted from the competitive service by or under statute or regulation (e.g., attorney positions).

b. Recruitment actions are processed in accordance with 5 CFR pt. 319.

c. Initial appointments to SL positions in the competitive service are filled using competitive procedures under merit promotion or OPM delegated examining procedures (for external recruitment).

d. Guidelines in Merit Promotion and Placement, NPR 3335.1 will be applied for internal staffing of SL positions in conjunction with procedures in this directive.

e. OPM's Delegated Examining procedures will be used to recruit, assess, and appoint external applicants for SL positions. Veterans' Preference applies.

f. The CTAP and ICTAP do not apply to recruitment for SL positions.

g. Excepted Service. Regulatory provisions related to the excepted service in general apply to SL positions in the excepted service (e.g., attorneys). SL positions established in the excepted service are filled in accordance with the requirements of Employment in the Excepted Service, 5 CFR pt. 302 and Excepted Service, 5 CFR pt. 213. Temporary appointments may be made consistent with the requirements of 5 CFR 213.

4.4 Applicant Evaluation Procedures

4.4.1 Regardless of the recruitment and selection method used, standard qualification criteria will be applied to identify selectee(s) for ST and SL positions.

4.4.2 Candidate(s) are evaluated by a panel of subject-matter experts (SMEs). The panel of SMEs will include individuals capable of assessing the technical competency of the candidate(s) as well as the needs of the organization. The panel should include at least one ST or SL, as appropriate, with a designated chair. The panel of SMEs will evaluate all applicants/candidates against the qualification requirements for the position and the NASA ST or SL Evaluation Criteria and group the candidates into Highly Qualified, Qualified, and Not Qualified groups. The panel may interview candidate(s) prior to providing a recommendation to the EPM. The panel's determinations will be recorded in the staffing case file. The panel of SMEs will document its recommendations and a brief rationale for all Highly Qualified candidates who apply for the position. Information on candidates not in the Highly Qualified group will be maintained in the staffing case file.

| TOC | ChangeLog | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | Chapter5 | Chapter6 | Chapter7 | Chapter8 | Chapter9 | AppendixA | AppenixB | AppendixC | AppendixD | ALL |
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