Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program
Agency:  Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Job Announcement Number:  NRC/SESCDP-2013-0002

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$113,735.00 to $155,500.00 / Per Year
Wednesday, October 03, 2012 to Friday, November 30, 2012
This is an 18-month part-time executive development program. - Appointment for this CDP may be permanent or term.
25 vacancies in the following location(s):
Atlanta, GA, USView Map
Lisle, IL, USView Map
Rockville, MD, USView Map
King Of Prussia, PA, USView Map
Arlington, TX, USView Map

All qualified individuals within the Federal Civil Service.

Multiple participants will be selected under this announcement.

Anticipated class size is 20-25 participants.

Selected participants may be placed in one of multiple job series under this vacancy announcement.


The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is proud to be ranked as a BEST Place to Work in the Federal Government.  We've earned our top ratings by creating a work environment rich in opportunity, diversity, leadership training, teamwork, and work life balance.  Begin a challenging career with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission where you can be part of a select group of professionals who protect people and the environment with the peaceful use of nuclear materials in medicine, industry and research.  To find out more about the NRC, we invite you to visit us on the web at

PLEASE NOTE:  The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Senior Executive Service (SES) Candidate Development Program, originally announced under vacancy announcement NRC/SESCDP-2013-0001, has been reissued under vacancy announcement NRC/SESCDP-2013-0002 to:

1.  Revise the Geographical Mobility information in the program announcement to clarify that mobility is primarily focused on candidates in technical disciplines (engineering/scientific disciplines, nuclear security, etc), although opportunities may arise for corporate and legal candidates.  Most NRC executive opportunities for corporate and legal disciplines will be in NRC Headquarters.  NRC will need executives in technical disciplines in each of its Regions as well as Headquarters.

2.  Correct technical difficulties associated with answering online vacancy questions related to applicant disciplines and mobility.

Applicants who previously applied under vacancy announcement NRC/SESCDP-2013-0001 remain in consideration and do not need to reapply under vacancy announcement NRC/SESCDP-2013-0002 unless you wish to update your application before the November 30, 2012, application deadline.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is sponsoring a Senior Executive Service (SES) Candidate Development Program (CDP) which is targeted to begin in September 2013.  The SES Candidate Development Program prepares individuals who have demonstrated executive potential for senior leadership positions at the NRC.  Participants in the program engage in developmental assignments and formal training activities to enhance their executive competencies and to increase their awareness of public policy, programs, and issues. The program promotes the development of a Government-wide, as well as an agency-wide, corporate SES culture through exposure to ideas and concepts across Government, and ensures that NRC has a sufficient pool of well qualified and diverse candidates to meet present and future executive needs. 

Candidates who successfully complete the program and receive certification of their executive qualifications by an Office of Personnel Management Qualifications Review Board under the criterion of 5 U.S.C. 3393(c)(2)(B) will be eligible for noncompetitive appointment to the SES.  Participation in the program does not guarantee placement in an SES position.

Program Location:
Rockville, Maryland

Duty Locations:
The NRC's SES Candidate Development Program prepares executives for SES positions in the following locations upon completion of the program:

Headquarters:  Rockville, Maryland
Region I:  King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
Region II:  Atlanta, Georgia
Region III:  Lisle, Illinois
Region IV:  Arlington, Texas

Target Program Dates:
Selection of Candidates:  June 2013
Program Begins:  September 2013
Program Completed: March 2015


  • You must be a United States Citizen to apply
  • You must be a current Federal Civil Service employee
  • You must qualify; see "Qualifications Required" below
  • This is a Drug Testing position
  • Background investigation leading to a clearance is required for new hires


Back to top

Program Curriculum

Length of Program:  This is an 18-month, part-time program.  Participants normally continue to occupy their regular positions except while they are attending training or seminars, or while on rotational assignments.

Orientation:  After candidates are notified of their selection, an initial one-week mandatory orientation and assessment session is held and senior advisors who serve as candidate mentors are designated.  Each participant is provided with program requirements, policies, and expectations for the program.  If selected, one of the program requirements is that you attend a one-week off-site orientation program tentatively scheduled for the week of September 16, 2013. 

Individual Needs Assessment:  Each participant completes a 360 assessment exercise prior to the orientation week, which is designed to determine those competencies which will be developed or reinforced during the program.  Results of this assessment will be discussed individually with each participant during orientation. 

Senior Advisor (Mentor):  Through their experience, proven capabilities, and management perspective, SES senior advisors assist participants in further clarifying their developmental objectives and in identifying developmental assignments and activities.

Executive Development Plan:  An Executive Development Plan (EDP) is prepared by each participant, together with the immediate supervisor and the senior advisor.  The EDP is used to identify, track, and document completion of competency-based needs of the participants.  It is approved by the NRC Executive Resources Board, and is updated or revised, as needed, throughout the program.

Rotational Assignment:  Significantly challenging rotational assignments totaling at least four (4) months of full-time service are required of all participants.  One assignment must be at least 90 continuous days in a position other than, and substantially different from the candidate’s position of record.  These assignments are designed to help prepare participants for the nature and scope of positions they are likely to assume in the SES.    

Interagency Training:  The program requires at least 80 hours of formal interagency training throughout the duration of the program that addresses the executive core qualifications and their application to SES positions Governmentwide.  The training experience includes interaction with a wide mix of senior managers and executives outside the candidate’s organization or agency to foster a broader perspective.  The interagency training will be conducted at OPM’s Eastern Management Development Center. 

NRC External and Internal Developmental Activities:  Candidates participate in specifically selected external and internal training events, and other NRC planned developmental activities and tailored management seminars which will be scheduled throughout the period of the SES Candidate Development Program.  These seminars and activities supplement the rotational assignment and the interagency training experience.

Progress Review:  Progress in meeting EDP requirements is closely monitored by the SESCDP Program Manager, senior advisor (mentor), and the Executive Resources Board (ERB), and is evaluated periodically to assure timely completion of program activities.

Candidate Certification:  After a candidate completes the program, the ERB determines if the candidate successfully completed all SESCDP requirements and demonstrated that he or she is prepared to serve as a member of the SES or if more development is needed.  Once the ERB determines that a candidate has successfully completed the program, the candidate, in collaboration with the SESCDP Program Manager, prepares all required documentation required by OPM procedures.  If the ERB determines that more development is needed, it provides the candidate with specific recommendations for additional training or development assignments necessary to successfully complete the SESCDP.

Cost:  Travel and per diem costs associated with the program are paid by the NRC’s Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer.  Every effort will be made to accommodate regional and external participants when scheduling group training and program activities.


Back to top


The NRC’s SES Candidate Development Program requires that individuals have at least one year of supervisory/leadership experience and have demonstrated exceptional executive leadership potential.  Leadership experience is normally obtained by serving in positions at the Grade 15 level or equivalent.

Candidates must demonstrate competence or potential for development in the five SES Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) which are the leadership criteria defined by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to certify candidates for SES positions.  OPM will certify candidates primarily on their demonstrated mastery of the ECQs. 

All applicants must submit online written statements (narrative or bullet format acceptable) describing your accomplishments against each of the ECQs.  You must address each ECQ separately and are required to respond to all ECQs.  If you fail to do so, you will be rated as “ineligible.” 

When addressing the ECQs, applicants should include one or two notable examples using the Challenge-Context-Action-Result (CCAR) model:

Challenge:  Describe a specific problem or goal.

Context:  Talk about the individuals and groups you worked with, and/or the environment in which you worked, to tackle a particular challenge (e.g., clients, co-workers, members of Congress, shrinking budget, low morale).

Action:  Discuss the specific actions you took to address a challenge.

Result:  Give specific examples of the results of your actions. These accomplishments demonstrate the quality and effectiveness of your leadership skills.

The ECQs and their associated competencies are:

ECQ 1 - Leading Change:  The ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals.  Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment.  Competencies:  Creativity and Innovation, External Awareness, Flexibility, Resilience, Strategic Thinking, Vision

ECQ 2 - Leading People:  The ability to lead people toward meeting the organization’s vision, mission, and goals.  Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts.  Competencies:  Conflict Management, Leveraging Diversity, Developing Others, Team Building

ECQ 3 - Results Driven:   The ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations.  Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks.  Competencies:  Accountability, Customer Service, Decisiveness, Entrepreneurship, Problem Solving, Technical Credibility

ECQ 4 - Business Acumen:  The ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.  Competencies:  Financial Management, Human Capital Management, Technology Management

ECQ 5 - Building Coalitions:  The ability to build coalitions internally and with other Federal agencies, State and local governments, non-profit and private sector organizations, foreign governments, or international organizations to achieve common goals.  Competencies:  Partnering, Political Savvy, Influencing/Negotiating

Additional information on the ECQs is available at  Example ECQ statements are available at

Your experience must also demonstrate you will be able to plan, coordinate, and lead engineering, scientific, corporate support, or legal activities associated with the regulation of nuclear facilities and nuclear materials, including waste, security, and safeguards.


NRC uses merit staffing procedures to evaluate and select participants for the SES Candidate Development Program.  Candidates will be separately considered in three disciplines:  technical (engineering/scientific disciplines, nuclear security, etc.), corporate support (general administration, financial management, human capital management, information technology management, etc.) and legal.  The NRC expects to select larger numbers of candidates in disciplines where there are currently fewer potential successors, including candidates for corporate and legal positions, and candidates who are willing to commit to being geographically mobile upon completion of the program as SES opportunities occur.   

Candidate Selection Process:  The candidate selection process will have several phases. 

Phase I:  Initial Review of Application Package
The Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer will conduct an initial review of applications for completeness, basic qualifications, and eligibility.  Applicants who submit an incomplete application or are found not qualified will be notified.  Applications of qualified candidates will move on to Phase II.

Phase II:  Preliminary Review and Evaluation
Individual agency executives will rate candidates against the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) and assign a tentative category rating.  To ensure fairness and consistency, all applications will be evaluated against the same set of criteria.  All qualified candidates move on to Phase III.

Phase III:  Executive Resources Board Evaluation
The NRC’s Executive Resources Board (ERB) will convene and review and evaluate applications of all qualified candidates.  At this phase basically qualified candidates will be further evaluated on the quality and extent of their total accomplishments, experience, education, training, competencies, and potential to master the five Executive Core Qualifications.  During this process, applications will be ranked and assigned an overall score.  The ERB will determine the cutoff for the highly qualified candidates who will move on to Phase IV.

Phase IV:  Assessment Center
Highly qualified candidates will participate in a one-day assessment center operated by Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which will evaluate the candidates’ performance in carefully constructed scenarios and role-playing situations.  Prior to the assessment exercise, applicants will be provided information outlining the assessment process.  The ERB will consider the results of the assessment center in finalizing its selection recommendations.  Each candidate will receive written feedback from OPM.
The assessment center is tentatively scheduled for the week of March 18, 2013, in Rockville, Maryland.  Candidates selected to participate must be available to attend the one day assessment center during that timeframe and must be available on their scheduled date.  The NRC will pay any travel related costs to attend the Assessment Center  .

Phase V:  Selection
The ERB will make final selection recommendations based on all available information about the candidate’s qualifications, NRC’s succession planning needs, and projected future vacancies in the SES.

To preview questions please click here.


Back to top

Selected candidates who are serving in career or career-type appointments will continue to enjoy the same excellent Federal benefits including:  comprehensive health and life insurance plans; Flexible Spending Account Program for health and dependent care; Long Term Care Insurance; Federal Dental and Vision Insurance Program; retirement savings and investment plan similar to 401(k) (Thrift Savings Plan); annual (vacation) and paid sick leave; family friendly leave policies; 10 paid holidays per year; and transit benefits.

Benefits for selected candidates serving in other than a career or career-type appointments will be determined at time of appointment.


Geographical Mobility

The willingness of individuals to be geographically mobile is an important aspect of the SES and SES Candidate Development Program.  A cadre of qualified executives willing to serve where most needed clearly benefits the NRC and the Federal Government.  Mobility is primarily focused on candidates in technical disciplines (engineering/scientific disciplines, nuclear security, etc), although opportunities may arise for corporate and legal candidates.  Most NRC executive opportunities for corporate and legal disciplines will be in NRC Headquarters.  NRC will need executives in technical disciplines in each of its Regions as well as Headquarters.  Although mobility is a preference, it is only one factor considered in the selection process and is not mandatory for selection.  However, NRC is specifically interested in seeking candidates who are mobile, in particular to NRC regional offices.  Additional consideration will be given to applicants who indicate they are willing and able to relocate to another geographic location upon completion of the NRC’s SES Candidate Development Program as SES opportunities occur.  This may include obtaining upfront commitments from candidates willing to be geographically mobile to NRC Headquarters (Rockville, MD) or one or more NRC regional offices (Region I: King of Prussia, PA; Region II; Atlanta, GA; Region III; Lisle, IL; Region IV: Arlington, TX) at the time of selection.

Candidate Status 

Candidates selected from within the NRC serving in career or career-type appointments retain their grade, pay, and status of their current position while completing the program and remain employees of their current organizations. 

Candidates selected from outside of NRC who are currently serving in career or career-type appointments in other agencies may participate in the program while serving in their current agencies upon negotiation of a Memorandum of Understanding with the candidate’s home agency.   Alternatively, NRC may offer a career type General Grade Schedule (GG) 15 position to a career civil service candidate selected from another agency.  Considerations in deciding between a Memorandum of Understanding and an offer of employment may include availability of full-time grade 15 work for which the candidate is well qualified, willingness or ability of the candidate’s home agency to enter into a mutually acceptable agreement, budget, etc.

Candidates selected who are serving in other than career or career-type appointments (e.g., temporary appointments) are offered limited-term excepted service appointments (comparable to a Schedule B appointment) at Grade 15 level for the duration of their participation in the program, but not to exceed 3 years.  Such appointments are made to full-time positions created for SESCDP developmental purposes and may not be used to fill regular positions on a continuing basis.  The appointments do not confer civil service status.  If an SESCDP participant serving on a limited-term excepted service appointment discontinues participation in the SESCDP for any reason, his or her employment with NRC terminates because it is authorized only for executive development positions established in conjunction with the SESCDP.  Similarly, if the participant graduates from the SESCDP, but does not obtain an SES position before the appointment expires, his or her appointment with the NRC also terminates.


Back to top

We strongly encourage you to read the entire announcement before you submit your application.  Your application for this vacancy must be received online via the USAJOBS application system BEFORE midnight Eastern Time on the closing date of this announcement.  If you fail to submit a complete online application, you will not be considered for this position.  Paper applications will not be accepted unless hardship circumstances can be demonstrated. Requests for extensions will not be granted.  If applying online poses a hardship for you, the Human Resources Specialist listed on the announcement will provide assistance to ensure that applications are submitted online on or before the closing date.  Applicants must contact the Human Resources Specialist before the closing date to speak to someone who can provide assistance for online submission.  

We recommend that your resume and your narratives addressing the Executive Core Qualifications include examples that are clear, concise, and emphasize your level of responsibilities, the scope and complexity of the programs, activities, or services you managed; program accomplishments; policy initiatives undertaken; level of contacts; the sensitivity and criticality of the issues you addressed; and the results of your actions. 

To begin the application process, select the "Apply Online” button on the right side of the screen.  Follow the prompts to login/register, submit all required supplemental documents, and complete the application process.  Please be sure to click the Finished button when completing your online application.


A complete application package will consist of:

  1. Online resume
  2. Online responses to the Executive Core Qualifications and other vacancy questions
  3. Please submit a copy of your most recent performance appraisal
  4. SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, documenting your current Federal status, tenure and grade (Note:  NRC employees applying to this announcement do not need to submit an SF-50).
  5. If you are a Federal non-status candidate claiming 5-point Veteran’s Preference, please submit a copy of your DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, or other proof of eligibility
  6. If you are a Federal non-status candidate claiming 10-point Veterans’ Preference, please submit an SF-15, Application for 10-point Veterans' Preference, plus the proof required by that form. You can find additional information about Veterans' Preference at
  7.  SES Candidate Development Program Management Evaluation Form

NRC Employees:  The Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer will forward the applications of internal NRC applicants to the respective Office Director or Regional Administrator to complete the SES Candidate Development Program Management Evaluation Form.

Applicants Outside of NRC:  Applicants outside of NRC should submit an SES Candidate Development Program Management Form Evaluation Form, preferably completed by their first- or second-level SES supervisor.  The SES Candidate Development Program Management Evaluation Form is available on the NRC website at

All supplemental documents may be submitted electronically and should be submitted before the closing date of this vacancy announcement.  You have three choices for submitting your supplemental documents:

  1. Use the "USAJOBS" feature to download documents from your USAJOBS portfolio;
  2. Use the "Upload" feature to upload documents directly from your computer.  The following types of documents can be uploaded: .gif, .jpeg, .png, .rtf, .pfg, .pdf, .doc, .docx; or
  3. Use the "Fax" feature to print the Fax Cover Sheet and fax it, along with your supplemental documents to 1-571-258-4052.

If you experience a problem submitting the supplemental documents electronically, you may submit by email directly to Darlene Negrin at

By submitting an application, you agree to fully participate in and complete all requirements of the program, if selected.  This may require rescheduling activities previously planned during the program.  Program requirements cannot be waived.  If selected as a CDP participant, one of the program requirements is that you attend a one-week off-site orientation program tentatively scheduled for the week of September 16, 2013. 

CDP Program Announcement

For more information on the NRC SES Candidate Development Program, contact:
Tamra Thompson 
Phone: 301-492-2204

For more information on Application Procedures, contact:
Darlene Negrin
Phone: 301-415-2965


Darlene T. Negrin
Phone: 301-415-2965
Fax: 301-415-3818
Agency Information:
11555 Rockville Pike
Atten: Darlene T. Negrin; Mailstop O-3E17A
Rockville, MD
Fax: 301-415-3818


Applicants will receive an email confirming receipt of their application upon the closing date of the announcement.  Applicants who submit an incomplete application or are found not qualified will be notified at the time of that determination.  All qualified applicants will be notified in writing whether or not they are selected for the program at the conclusion of the selection process.

Individuals who are eligible for non-competitive appointment under an OPM special appointing authority may apply for consideration under a comparable NRC non-competitive appointing authority.

The NRC provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate.  If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process, please notify the Disability Program Coordinator at (301) 492-2256.  Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Selectees will be required to complete a "Declaration of Federal Employment", (OF-306), prior to being appointed to determine their suitability for Federal employment and to authorize a background investigation.  False statements or responses on your resume or questionnaire can jeopardize your employment opportunity and subject you to disciplinary action, including removal from Federal service.

A transferable security clearance from another agency or a background investigation leading to a clearance is required for all new hires.  To begin work at the NRC without a security clearance, you must be granted a temporary waiver of the required clearance, referred to as a 145(b) waiver.  To be eligible for a 145 (b) waiver you need favorable education verification, and reference, credit, and criminal history checks.  If a wavier is granted, the successful completion of a background investigation and favorable
adjudication is required for continued employment.  If you have resided outside the U.S. for an extended period of time, the agency may not be able to (1) grant the 145(b) waiver where the required investigation cannot be completed in a timely manner, or (2) achieve timely completion of the background investigation required for a security clearance.

The NRC is a zero tolerance agency with respect to illegal drug use.  Individuals selected for this position will be subject to pre-appointment drug testing unless currently in a NRC position subject to random drug testing AND will be subject to random drug testing upon appointment to the NRC.

Back to top
EEO Policy Statement | Reasonable Accommodation Policy Statement | Veterans Information | Legal and Regulatory Guidance