This Position Is No Longer Available
  1. Overview
  2. Duties
  3. Qualifications & Evaluations
  4. Benefits & Other Info
  5. How to Apply

Job Title:Supervisory Rail Accident Investigator (Chief, Railroad Division)

Agency:National Transportation Safety Board

Job Announcement Number:RP-736590-HR

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$123,758.00 to $155,500.00 / Per Year


Friday, September 21, 2012 to Friday, October 12, 2012




Full Time - Permanent




1 vacancy in the following location:
Washington DC, DC United StatesView Map


US Citizens and Status Candidates


The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent U.S. Federal agency that investigates every civil aviation accident in the United States and significant accidents in the other modes of transportation, conducts special investigations and safety studies, and issues safety recommendations to prevent future accidents. Safety Board investigators  are on call 24  hours a day, 365 days a year. 



The National Transportation Safety Board was ranked one of the top ten best places to work in the Federal Government in 2010! 


NTSB Headquarters is conveniently located above the L'Enfant Plaza Metro stop (green, yellow, orange, and blue lines) at 490 L'Enfant Plaza, SW, Washington, DC. 

Come and be a part of this challenging mission!


This position is located in the Office of Railroad, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Investigations.  Incumbent serves as the supervisor of the Railroad Division and is responsible for providing staff supervision and resource management, as well as overall management and direction of rail investigations and reporting processes, recommendation development and evaluation follow-up, and rail safety program advocacy and oversight.




WHO MAY APPLY: U.S. citizens, current and former competitive service Federal employees, and people eligible under special hiring authorities.

Before applying, please read the entire announcement and follow all instructions in the How to Apply section.


  • U.S. Citizenship
  • Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered for Selective Service
  • Relevant experience/eligibility requirements (see Qualifications in Tab 3)
  • Financial Interest in transportation enterprises is prohibited
  • Suitable for Federal employment


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1.       Identifies critical rail safety issues, conducts safety oversight of practices involving any rail related transportation system, works to improve accident investigation procedures, and influences and motivates responsible agencies, companies, and advocacy groups to implement Board recommendations and accomplish meaningful improvements in rail system safety.

2.       Directs around-the clock operations of time critical accident investigation activities.  Provides authoritative advice to the Office Director on accident launch decisions, and is responsible for the overall direction and technical accuracy of investigations and reporting processes for all rail transportation accidents. 

3.       Plans and assigns work to subordinates.  Sets and adjusts short-term priorities and prepares schedules for completion of work.  Assigns work based on priorities and selective consideration of the difficulty and requirements of assignments and capabilities of employees.  Develops performance standards; evaluates work performance; and provides advice, counsel or instruction on technical/investigative work and administrative matters.

4.       Interviews candidates for positions in the organization, and makes recommendations as to selections.  Hears and resolves complaints or, where necessary, refers group grievances/unresolved complaints to the Deputy or Office Director.  Determines and takes minor disciplinary measures; recommends other action in more serious cases.  Identifies, provides or arranges for employee developmental and training needs.

5.       Takes action necessary action to keep projects on schedule.  Develops overall requirements and schedules to accomplish the mission of the railroad safety program.   Develops overall program review documentation, and provides regular status reports.

6.       Develops and justifies estimates for staff resources, including personnel, funding, equipment, and office space.  Develops operating policies and procedures.  Establishes working relationships with other federal agencies; and ensures subordinate personnel maintain a proper interface with other federal agencies. 

7.       Provides for the overall direction and technical accuracy of investigations and reporting processes for all accidents involving rail transportation.  Assigns the Investigator-in-Charge and rail investigator group chairpersons to each investigation.   May launch to accidents to provide additional guidance for complex investigations and those with national significance that have a direct influence on transportation safety.

8.       Oversees the overall planning, direction, and timely execution of work within the Division, including the development, assignment, and higher level clearance of goals and objectives.  Manages major change to the structure and content of the program. 

9.  Leads and coordinates the efforts of senior level accident investigators and the development of comprehensive accident reports and effective recommendations that address key safety issues and improve transportation safety.  Is also charged with preparing testimony for congressional hearings, writing letters and speeches for Board Members and Directors, and responding to all forms of correspondence from Members of Congress, various government agencies, private industry, and the American public.







NOTE:  Investigative assignments may be given on short notice and may involve work at unusual times for long hours at accident sites, sometimes in remote, rugged and hostile settings.  The incumbent must be able to work in physically demanding and adverse conditions such as in swamps and deserts, on steep, uneven and moutainous terrain.  The incumbent will be responsible for the effective, economical, and efficient utilization of all resources commited to the investigation.   The incumbent must qualify for and maintain a government issued travel charge card.


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Applicants must have 1 year of specialized experience at or equivalent to the GS-14 grade level.  Specialized experience is defined as experience that demonstrates expertise in rail accident analysis, rail safety programs, evaluating the effectiveness of federal laws and regulations related to rail transportation, and evaluating the adequacy of consensus standards related to rail transportation.




Federal employees must meet time-in-grade requirements by the closing date of this announcement.



We will review your resume to ensure you meet the basic qualification requirements.  Applicants meeting the basic qualifications requirements will be further evaluated on the information provided in the Occupational Questionnaire.  The Occupational Questionnaire collects information on your education, training, and experience related to critical competencies/ksas, such as:


  • Railroad Operations
  • Federal Roadroad Admiistration (FRA) Regulations
  • Reasoning and Analysis
  • Accident Investigation and Reconstruction
  • Leadership
  • Organizational Awareness
  • Ability to Supervise, Motivate and Effectively Lead Others
  • Written Communication
  • Oral Communication
  • Project Management
  • Presentation Skills
  • Planning and Evaluating
  • Problem Solving
  • Information Management
  • Influencing Others

    NOTE: We do NOT require a separate statement responding to each of these competencies.  However, your resume should CLEARLY show possession of these competencies.

    For Competitive Applicants/All US Citizens (Delegated Examinig): Applicants will be rated using the Category Rating System.  If you meet the eligibility and specialized experience requirements for this position you will be rated on your possession of the competencies listed above.  Your resume and supporting documentation will be compared to your responses to the Screening Questions/Occupational Questionnaire for consistency. If a determination is made that you have rated yourself higher than is supported by your resume, you will be assigned a rating commensurate to your described experience.  Based on the extent and quality of your experience, education, and training in relation to these competencies, you will be placed into one of the following two/three/ categories:


    ·         Highly Qualified – Applicants with a background that demonstrates a superior level of possession of all competencies.

    ·         Well Qualified – Applicants with a background that demonstrates a satisfactory level of possession of the competencies.

    ·         Qualified – Applicants possessing the specialized experience described above and any education or selective factor if also required.

    The Category Rating Method does not add Veterans' preference points or apply the "rule of three", but protects the rights of veterans by placing them ahead of non-preference eligibles within each category. Documented Preference eligibles who meet minimum qualification requirements and who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10% will be listed in the highest quality category, except when the position being filled is scientific or professional at the GS9 grade level or higher.


    For Merit Promotion Applicants: If you meet the minimum requirements and your application is among the top candidates you will be referred to the selecting official for further consideration.


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    The Federal government offers a number of exceptional benefits to its employees.  We offer a broad array of benefits programs and family friendly flexibilities to meet your needs, as well as your family's needs.  These benefits include, but are not limited to: health care, life insurance, flexible spending and dependent care accounts, annual and sick leave, long term care insurance, and retirement savings plans.  For more information about these benefits, please visit:



    • Before entering on duty, you will be required to complete a Confidential Financial Disclosure Report, OGE-450, and on a continuing annual basis.   


    Moving expenses associated with a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) are not authorized for this position. See benefits section for information on relocation and/or recruitment incentives.

    • New hires are subject to a one-year probationary period.
    • If you left Federal employment and received a buyout and you are selected for this position, you may be required to repay the full amount of the buyout to the agency that paid you.
    • You may be required to serve a 12-month probationary period for supervisors.
    • Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP):To be well-qualified and exercise selection priority for this vacancy, displaced Federal employees must be rated at or above a score of 80 against the rating criteria for this position.   For information on how to apply as an ICTAP eligible see


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    To apply for this position, you must provide a complete application package (see the required documents section). The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Friday, October 12, 2012.

    To begin the process, click the Apply Online button to create an account or log in to your existing USAJOBS account.  Follow the prompts to complete the occupational questionnaire.  Please ensure you click the Submit My Answers button at the end of the process. 

    NOTE: To check the status of your application or return to a previous or incomplete application log into your USAJOBS account, select Application Status, and click on the More Information link under the application status for this position. 

    To fax supporting documents you are unable to upload, complete this cover page : using the following Vacancy ID 736590.  Fax your documents to 1-478-757-3144.

    If you cannot apply online:

    • Click the following link to view and print the occupational questionnaire View Occupational Questionnaire
    • Print this 1203FX form to provide your response to the occupational questionnaire,
    • Fax the completed 1203FX form along with any supporting documents to 1-478-757-3144.  Your 1203FX will serve as a cover page for your fax transmission.

    Merit Promotion / Status Candidate Eligibility:

    This position is open to All Sources / All U.S. Citizens and Merit Promotion / Status Candidates.  If you do not meet one of the categories below, you should apply All U.S. Citizens.  Merit Promotion / Status Candidate eligibles may also elect to be considered under All Sources / All U.S. Citizens.

    • Current NTSB employees with competitive service appointments or who are eligible under special hiring authorities.
    • Current career or career-conditional federal employees
    • 30% Disabled Veterans
    • Veterans Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA)
    • Veterans' Recruitment Appointment (VRA)
    • Certain Military Spouses
    • Reinstatement
    • Family Member Preference (Derived Preference)
    • A severely physically handicapped Schedule A appointment
    • A former Peace Corps or VISTA Volunteers appointment


    • Resume
    • Responses to the occupational questionnaire
    • Veterans Preference documentation (DD-214 or equivalent, SF-15 and VA Letter)
    • 10-point veterans' documentation (SF-15)
    • Most recent SF-50, "Notification of Personnel Action" listing your Position Title, Series and Grade and Step, Tenure and Position Occupied to verify eligibility (if you are a current or former Federal employee)
    • Most recent performance rating of record (if you are a current or former Federal employee)


    Human Resources Division
    Phone: (202)314-6230
    TDD: 202-314-6206
    Agency Information:
    NTSB Office of Administration
    Human Resources Division
    AD 30
    490 L Enfant Plaza East SW
    Washington, DC


    After a review of your resume, required documents and assessment questionnaire is complete, you will be notified of your application status.  If further evaluation or interviews are required you will be contacted. We expect to make a selection within 45 days of the closing date of this announcement. Applicants will receive notification when a final selection is made. 

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