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

Job Title:Staff Officer

Department:Department Of Agriculture

Agency:Food Safety and Inspection Service

Job Announcement Number:FSIS-MCE-2013-0011

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$74,872.00 to $115,742.00 / Per Year


Friday, December 07, 2012 to Thursday, December 13, 2012




Full-time - Permanent




1 vacancy - Washington DC Metro Area, DC, US


Open to all U.S. Citizens

Applicants who wish to apply under Merit Promotion procedures should apply to FSIS-MMP-2013-0072


The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is the public health regulatory agency in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Our mission is to protect consumers by ensuring that the commercial supply of  meat, poultry, and egg products moving in interstate commerce or exported to other countries is safe, wholesome and correctly labeled and packaged.

Come join a great FSIS team!

This position is located in the Labeling and Program Delivery Division (LPDD), in the Office of Policy and Program Development (OPPD). LPDD develops labeling policies and administers programs to promote and protect public health, and protect consumers from misbranded and economical adulterated meat, poultry, and egg products. The purpose of the Division is to ensure that all labels are truthful and not misleading. Labeling includes all forms of product identification, claims, net weight, species identification, and nutrition information.

Effective July 19, 2009, FSIS began operating under the PHHRS, a Pay Banding and Pay for Performance Demonstration Project, in which non-bargaining unit positions will be classified by career path, occupational series, and pay bands rather than the traditional General Schedule (GS) grades in the Federal Service. The AP-4 pay band is equivalent to the GS-12/13 grade levels.

This position may be eligible for telework and other flexible work arrangements.

PHHRS will allow FSIS the flexibility to offer exceptional candidates higher salaries than most other Federal agencies. Additionally, employees will be eligible to receive an annual pay increase based upon performance. For more information on PHHRS, including information on its pay tables and how it will benefit employees, please click this link.

If you are found to be one of the best qualified candidates or a non-competitive referral and will be referred to the selecting official for job consideration, you may be asked to develop a written response to narrative/essay type questions in the second round of the application process. If this applies to you, you will be contacted by an agency representative. Please keep your records updated with your current email address.


  • Multiple selections may be made from this vacancy announcement.
  • FSIS utilizes e-verify to verify identity and employment eligibility.
  • Relocation expenses determined in accordance with FSIS Directive 3820.2.


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As a Biologist/Nutritionist/Food Technologist/Chemist (Staff Officer), here are some of the duties you will perform:

1. You will participate in the development of labeling policies and labeling compliance procedures and regulations. You will also interpret policies required for meat, poultry, and egg products maintenance of labeling and packaging requirements.

2. You will provide expertise on the development of regulations pertaining to special labeling statements and claims related to new food process, animal production, nutrient content and organic food production, and irradiation.

3. Serve as an expert in development of regulations pertaining to procedures and regulations for prior label approval. You will provide technical advice about labeling terminology for meat, poultry, and egg products.

4. Examine meat, poultry, egg products, and ingredients that are produced using new technology and provide guidance on product identity within existing regulations and polices.

5. Evaluate the effectiveness of labeling procedures and programs to ensure accuracy and compliance with regulatory requirements for standards and labeling.


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The Biologist/Nutritionist/Food Technologist/Chemist (Staff Officer)position is an interdisciplinary position. This job may be filled by one of four different job series. You must meet all of the requirements for at least one of the job series in order to be considered. The two basic components of your experience that together define the qualifications are:

1. Specialized experience

2. Education


Candidates must have 1 year of specialized experience at the next lower band level, which is equal to what would have been gained if employed in Federal service.

Applicants who are applying for the AP-4 must have 52 weeks of progressively responsible specialized experience equivalent to the next lower band level, AP-3 (GS-11 or equivalent level in another pay system), in the Federal service. Experience may include serving as a recognized scientific expert or technical advisor and writing scientific policies and procedures on a national or organization-wide scale. Specialized experience may also include but is not limited to: performing consumer research studies, knowledge of commercial food processing techniques, and evaluating product formulation and nutrition data or performing biological or chemical analysis on edible goods for human consumption. Applicants must also have one year of specialized experience that demonstrates their ability to assist in providing key leadership to a program national in scope and to ensure that organization policies have strong scientific support.


 Applicants to the AP-401, BIOLOGIST series must have : A Bachelor's degree in one of following fields: biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position or courses equivalent to a major in any of these fields, as well as  appropriate experience or additional education.

Applicants to the AP-630, NUTRITIONIST series must have: A Bachelor's degree in dietetics, food, nutrition, food service management, institution management, or related science.  

Applicants to the AP-1382, FOOD TECHNOLOGIST series must have: A bachelor`s degree in: food technology, dairy technology, microbiology, biology, chemistry, physics, or biological or physical science that was comprised of at least 30 semester hours in basic biological and physical sciences, and included 20 semester hours in food technology. Applicants can also meet the education requirements by having college coursework equivalent to a major in any of these fields and appropriate experience as defined in the specialized experience requirements section.

Applicants to the AP-1320, CHEMIST series must have: A bachelor`s degree in physical sciences, life sciences, or engineering that included 30 semester hours in chemistry, supplemented by course work in mathematics through differential and integral calculus, and at least 6 semester hours of physics. Applicants can also meet the education requirements by having college coursework equivalent to a major in related disciplines shown above including 30 semester hours in chemistry, supplemented by mathematics through differential and integral calculus, at least 6 semester hours of physics, and appropriate experience as defined in the specialized experience requirements section.

Excellent interpersonal skills are required.


Applicants are evaluated in accordance with Delegated Examining Procedures using category rating.  All applicants are rated on the extent and quality of experience, education, and training relevant to the duties of the position.  An automated ranking system, based on the online application process is used.  Before a certificate can be issued to the selecting official, the resume is reviewed carefully by an HR Specialist to assure that (a) minimum qualification requirements are met, (b) the resume supports the answers provided to the job-specific questions, (c) the resume addresses experience and education relevant to this position, and (d) copies of any required documents are submitted.

Your resume must thoroughly support your responses to the applicant assessment questions.  High self-assessment in the applicant questions that is not supported by information in your resume may eliminate you from best-qualified status and subsequent referral to the selecting official.

If you are found to be one of the top quality candidates or are eligible for special hiring authorities and will be referred to the selecting official for job consideration, you may be asked to develop a written response to narrative/essay type questions in the second round of the application process. If this applies to you, you will be contacted by an agency representative. Please keep your records updated with your current email address.

The automated system will place applicants in categories based on their responses to the online job related assessment questions, which are based on the duties and competencies required of the position. Competencies for this position include: language, mathematics, information processing, analytical, communication, leadership, personal characteristics (i.e. integrity and professional development), technical skills and knowledge, government laws/regulations, information technology fluency, and industry awareness. The categories are qualified, well qualified, and best qualified. Best qualified is the top category. Veterans who meet qualification requirements and have adjudicated veterans preference will be placed at the top of the category they fall into based on their answers to the assessment questions; this could be one of several categories, however, non-veterans cannot be selected over veterans that are in the same category. Only candidates in the top category are referred to the selecting official, unless categories are merged. Adjudicated veterans are those who meet the requirements for preference and submit legible documentation by the closing date of the announcement. A member 4 copy of the DD-214 must be submitted, or a letter from the Veterans Administration specifying eligibility as a disabled veteran, and in either case, documents must specify an honorable discharge. For disabled veterans, the SF-15 is requested; in the absence of an SF-15, the VA letter specifying eligibility for preference and an honorable discharge is sufficient, assuming all requirements for preference are met.

To preview questions please click here.


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The Federal government offers a number of exceptional benefits to its employees. For an overview of all the benefits programs please click this link.


We are a qualifying employer of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. For more information on the Public Student Loan Forgiveness Program, please visit: PSLF Program.

The majority of the work is performed in a normal office setting.  The work is mostly sedentary; however, some walking, bending, lifting is required to perform some tasks. 

This announcement may be use to fill additional like vacancies should they occur within the local commuting area.

FEDERAL LAW REQUIRES ALL EMPLOYERS TO VERIFY THE IDENTITY AND EMPLOYMENT ELIGIBILITY OF ALL PERSONS HIRED TO WORK IN THE UNITED STATES. FSIS utilizes E-Verify to verify identity and employment eligibility by providing to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and, if necessary the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) information from each new employee's Form I-9 to confirm work authorization. E-Verify cannot be used to pre-screen job applicants or to re-verify current employees and may not limit or influence the choice of documents presented for use on the Form I-9. If you have concern that there has been a violation of the E-Verify program or you feel you have been discriminated during the verification process based on your national origin or citizenship status, contact the Office of Special Counsel at 1-800-255-7688 (TDD: 1-800-237-2515). For more information on E-Verify you may contact DHS at 1-888-464-4218.


This Agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities.  If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process, please notify the Agency prior to the closing date.  Decisions on granting reasonable accommodation will be on a case-by-case basis.


If you are selected, you will need to complete a Declaration for Federal Employment (OF-306) if you are coming from another Agency prior to being appointed. False statements or responses on a resume or application can jeopardize employment and may be grounds for disciplinary action, including removal from Federal service. A background investigation is a requirement for this position. Appointment will be subject to the applicant's successful completion of a background investigation and favorable adjudication. Failure to successfully meeting these requirements could lead to adverse action proceedings including possible termination. (Current employees of the Food Safety and Inspection service may already have the required background investigation.)


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You must begin the application process on the USAJOBS website. You will be required to submit a resume, respond to core questions, and to the online vacancy questions. Click the following link to create a resume in the USAJOBS site. Follow the online instructions. Extensive help is available online from the USAJOBS site. Our application system is integrated with USAJOBS. If applying online is a hardship, please contact our office during business hours well before the closing date for alternative methods.

Completed applications include:

1. Answers to all core questions (completed when registering online in USAJOBS and as part of the initial application process).

2. Answers to all vacancy-specific questions (completed for each job).

3. Your online resume. Resumes are entered into USAJOBS. Resumes may be copied and pasted into the personal information area of your application from other word processing documents at any time prior to the closing date. Your resume must include the number of hours that you worked per week, the start date (MM/YY) and end date (MM/YY) of the position(s) you held, job title, name of employer, and a description of the duties that you preformed for all positions listed in your resume. This information is needed in order to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications.

4. Via fax imaging or uploading, providing any supplemental documents needed. Applicants who do not respond to the online vacancy questions and who do not submit supporting resumes will be rated ineligible.


NOTE: If you are a current FSIS employee who is in one of these job series already or have transcripts on file, you do not need to provide these documents again.

All other applicants must submit a copy of their transcripts in order to be considered. Copies of Unofficial transcripts will be accepted at this time; however, if selected a sealed copy of your official transcripts from your school must be provided. These items must include course title, school name/location, date completed, grade, and number of credits.

Status applicants who are not FSIS employees MUST provide a legible copy of their latest of Personnel Action (SF-50) to verify status.

To be well-qualified and exercise selection priority for this vacancy, displaced Federal employees must be rated at 85 or above on the rating criteria for this position. For those instances where the best qualified lists include applicants with scores less than 85, the well-qualified score becomes the lowest score on the best qualified list. CTAP and ICTAP eligible's must submit  a copy of your most recent performance appraisal (at least "fully successful" or equivalent) and one of the following as proof of eligibility for the special selection priority: a separation notice; a "Notice of Personnel Action" (SF-50) noting current position (or position at separation), grade level, and duty location or equivalent that documents separation; an agency certification that you cannot be placed after injury compensation has been terminated; an OPM notification that your disability annuity has been terminated; OR a Military Department or National Guard Bureau notification that you are retired under 5 U.S.C. 8337(h) or 8456. Click here: for more information.

Veteran preference eligible’s or veterans who have been separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions after at least three consecutive years of active duty military service may also be considered. A DD-214 that includes beginning and ending dates of service and character of discharge (Member Copy 4) must be submitted to verify eligibility. Click here: for more information.

If you are claiming eligibility for consideration under a noncompetitive special hiring authority, you will need to provide the appropriate supporting documentation to verify eligibility.

Uploading/Faxing Supporting Documentation: The next step of the application process is to upload or fax all the required supporting documentation specified in the required documents section of this vacancy announcement. You do not need to have all of your supporting documentation submitted in order to continue with the online portion of the application process. Please carefully follow the instructions below to ensure your supporting documents are properly uploaded/faxed and received. All required documents must be received by midnight Eastern Time on the closing date of the vacancy announcement. ***Not all of the document types listed will pertain to you; only submit documents needed to complete your application package. For example, the Schedule A Certification document must only be submitted by individuals applying based on eligibility for appointment due to a disability. The SF-50 is a form current and former Federal employees submit to document their Federal employment status.

For information on uploading your documents follow this link: upload information. If you are unable to upload your documents, you may still fax your documents.


1. If you have previously faxed supporting documentation the status of those documents will indicate Received. There is no need to resubmit documents which show a status of received unless you are submitting an updated copy. (If a document is resubmitted, it replaces the previous submission, which means the previous document is no longer available to the human resources office. If you are adding to, rather than replacing, a previous submission, you must fax both the old document and the new document for them both to be accessible to HR.)

2. You must use a separate cover sheet for each category of supporting documentation (i.e., transcripts, SF-50, DD-214). Choose the document cover sheet(s) you would like to print by selecting the appropriate check boxes in the Selected Documents column.

3. Click the [Print Cover Sheets] button. A window will pop-up containing the fax cover sheet(s) you selected. Print the cover sheet(s). NOTE: You must be connected to a printer in order to print the cover sheets. Additionally, you must allow pop-ups.

4. Once you have reviewed the list of documents and printed any required fax cover sheets click on [Done]. You will be moved forward in the application process.

5. Before faxing your document(s), take care to ensure the document is legible and all information is complete and signed, if necessary. Fax only documents which are clear and legible. Original documents with light or faded print and/or dark or patterned backgrounds will not be legible upon receipt. Illegible faxed documents cannot be used for qualification or verification purposes.

6. Place the corresponding cover sheet on top of the document and fax the cover sheet and document together to the fax number specified on the cover sheet. NOTE: If you are faxing documents from more than one category of supporting documentation, you must submit them with the appropriate cover sheet. EACH DOCUMENT TYPE MUST BE FAXED SEPARATELY under its corresponding cover sheet. DO NOT FAX ALL DOCUMENTS TYPES UNDER ONE COVER SHEET. (i.e., Transcripts are one type of document; fax all pages of your transcript and other education-related documents under the transcript cover sheet; the SF- 50 is another document type, if you are faxing more than one SF-50, fax them all under the SF-50 cover sheet.)

7. Be sure to save these cover sheets in the event you need to re- fax your supporting documents. Each fax transmission includes a unique identification number and bar code, which ensures your document is processed correctly.

8. You will receive an e-mail confirming the fax has been successfully received by Human Resources. You should retain your e-mail confirmation and confirmation of your fax transmittal report as proof of submission. Your application will be considered incomplete and YOU WILL BE FOUND INELIGIBLE if you fail to submit the required documentation as specified under the required documents section by midnight Eastern Time on the closing date of the vacancy announcement.


Kevin Bjork
Phone: 800-370-3747
Fax: 612-370-2376
TDD: 800-877-8339
Agency Information:
Human Resources Field Office
Butler Square West, Suite 420C
100 North 6th Street
Minneapolis, MN
Fax: 612-370-2376


Once your complete application is received we will conduct an evaluation of your qualifications and determine your ranking. The most highly qualified candidates will be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration and possible interview.

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