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

Job Title:Peer Support Apprentice, GS-0102-05 (T-6)

Department:Department Of Veterans Affairs

Agency:Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration

Job Announcement Number:VHA-552-13-854109-P2P

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$31,886.00 to $46,203.00 / Per Year


Friday, March 15, 2013 to Thursday, April 04, 2013




Full Time - Permanent




2 vacancies in the following location:
Dayton, OH United StatesView Map


All groups of qualified individuals


Vacancy Identification Number (VIN): 854109 

To fulfill President Lincoln's promise – "To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan" – by serving and honoring the men and women who are America's Veterans. 

How would you like to become a part of a team providing compassionate care to Veterans?


The incumbent will serve in an entry level capacity to attain the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to prepare the individual for certification and to be able to perform the full range of the assignments found at the full-performance level of the Peer Specialist position at the Dayton VA Medical Center.  During this entry level assignment, the full performance range and level of key functions will not be delegated to the incumbent.  These vacancies are advertised at the range of grades covered by the VA qualifications standard.  As a VA professional, your opportunities are endless. With many openings in the multiple functions of VA, you will have a wide range of opportunities at your fingertips. Not only is it the largest, most technologically advanced integrated health care system in the nation, but we also provide many other services to Veterans through the Benefits Administration and National Cemeteries.


NOTE:  The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-9The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-5 with target promotional opportunities up to the GS-6 levelThe Professional Standards Board (a peer-review group) will review the selected candidate’s education and experience and recommend the grade and step at which the candidate will be placed.  The salary is based on the grade and step approved for the selected candidate.


VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply


  • U. S. Citizenship
  • Must pass pre-employment examination
  • English Language Proficiency required
  • Designated and-or Random Drug Testing required
  • Background and-or Security Investigation required


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As an entry level position, most duties are performed in assistance to a higher level Peer Specialist (PS) and/or under close supervision of a licensed independent provider in mental health to facilitate learning and the development of skills. In addition, the incumbent will attend the Peer Specialist certification training and must pass the VA's contract vendor's PS certification test to continue employment as a Certified Peer Specialist.  The incumbent serves as a recovery agent by providing and advocating for any effective recovery based services that will aid the Veteran in daily living.  Orients Veterans new to the programs in which they work about the services, hours, locations, staff and other pertinent information necessary for the Veteran to understand the program and how to utilize it.  The incumbent functions as an apprentice interdisciplinary team member, assisting physicians and other professional/non-professional personnel in a rehabilitation treatment program.  Perform a wide variety of therapeutic and supportive tasks that include assisting Veteran patients in articulating their goals for recover, learning and practicing new skills.  As an entry level position, most duties are performed in assistance to a higher level Peer Specialist and/or under close supervision of a licensed independent provider in mental health to facilitate learning and the development of skills.  Additional duties include:


  • Serving as a recovery agent by providing and advocating for any effective recovery based services that will aid the Veteran in daily living;
  • Assist Veterans to articulate personal goals for recovery through the use of one-to-one and group sessions;
  • Observe behaviors that might indicate difficulty adapting or responding to treatment and reports concerns to the treatment or recovery team.
  • Use ongoing individual and group sessions to teach Veterans how to identify and combat negative self-talk and overcoming fears;
  • Teach and role mode the value of every individual's recovery experience;
  • Assist the Veteran in exploring options for obtaining decent and affordable housing;
  • Serves as liaison with community-based consumer-run and/or consumer-supportive organizations to develop and/or foster Veterans' community integration and development of natural supports and self-reliance strategies.


The incumbent must maintain a working knowledge of current trends and developments in the mental health field by reading books, journals and other relevant materials.  At the GS-6 level, you will perform similar duties but under closer supervision.


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  • U.S. citizenship.  
  • Actively pursue becoming certified as a Peer Specialist (38 U.S.C. 7402(b)(13)(B)
  • A Veteran who has recovered or is recovering from a mental health condition.


GRADE DETERMINATIONS: One year of specialized experience at the next lower grade level.


PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS:  The work is primarily sedentary.  Typically, the employee will sit to do the work.  However, there may be some walking, standing, bending, carrying of light items such as books, papers and accessing transportation and/or driving a Government vehicle.  The work requires patience and control emotions.  The work may require occasional use of appropriate techniques to physically restrain clients who present a danger to self or others.


You will be rated on the following knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics (KSAOs) based on your application for this position:


KSA 1 - Ability to establish and maintain effective person-to-person relationships.


KSA 2 - Skill in oral and written communication.


KSA 3 - Ability to inspire confidence and motivate individuals and capacity for leadership.


KSA 4 - Knowledge of the signs and symptoms of mental illness (i.e., auditory and visual hallucinations, aggressive talk and behavior, thoughts of self-harm towards others).


KSA 5 - Ability to assist the Veteran to address symptoms using strategies such as positive self-talk.


KSA 6 - Knowledge and skill sufficient to use community resources necessary for independent living and ability to teach those skills to other individuals.


KSA 7 - Knowledge of the Recovery process and ability to facilitate Recovery Dialogues using common recovery tools.


KSA 8 - Knowledge of basic group dynamics and how to establish and sustain self-help (mutual support) and educational groups by soliciting input from mental health consumers on their strengths and interests.


If you are referred for consideration, you may be asked to submit additional job related information, which may include, but not limited to; responses to the knowledge, skills and abilities.




References : Input applicable reference and links.   For example:   VA Handbook 5005/59, Part II, Appendix F3, Peer Support Apprentice/Peer Specialist QUALIFICATION STANDARD , dated July 17, 2012 at or you may use the following generic citation) VA Handbook 5005 at (also available in the local Human Resources Office).

APPLICANTS PLEASE NOTE:  Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications (particularly positions with a positive education requirement.)  Therefore, applicants must report only attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.  Applicants can verify accreditation at the following website: All education claimed by applicants will be verified by the appointing agency accordingly.  If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education.

When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference on their application or résumé. Applicants claiming preference based on service-connected disability, or based on being the spouse or mother of a disabled or deceased Veteran, must complete an SF 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference. Veterans who are still in the service may be granted tentative preference on the basis of information contained in their applications, but they must produce a DD Form 214 or other proof prior to appointment to document entitlement to preference.  For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit


Public Law 110-387, Section 405 modifies 38 USC 7402:  Peer Specialist - To  be eligible to be appointed to a peer specialist position, a person must (A) be a Veteran who has recovered or is recovering from a mental health condition; and (B) be certified by (i) a not-for-profit entity engaged in peer specialist position; or (ii) a State as having satisfied relevant State requirements for a peer specialist position.


Your application, résumé and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect consideration for employment.   You may also be evaluated based upon the question responses you provide during a structured interview. In responding to structured interview questions you should be sure to cite specific examples of experience, explain exactly what you did, and the outcome.


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Working for the Department of Veterans Affairs offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation, sick leave, holidays, life insurance, health benefits, thrift savings plan, and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System. In addition to traditional "dollars and cents" benefits, we offer a range of benefits to help balance work and life.  For more information please visit us at



This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.


This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status. 


Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave:  Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee.  


Relocation Expenses: Relocation expenses ARE NOT authorized for this position.


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To begin the process, click the Apply Online button at the right side of this screen 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.

YOU MUST INCLUDE VA FORM 10-2850c IN YOUR APPLICATION PACKAGE TO BE CONSIDERED FOR THIS VACANCY.   You may upload the completed form to your USAJOBS or Application Manager account if you apply online.  Then you can use the uploaded form again and again when applying for future vacancies.  Please see this guide ( for more information on uploading and re-using the form in your applications.  Other required forms and documents can also be saved in your account and used the same way.  Applicants are urged to apply online; this process is much easier and faster.

Note: To return to a previously Saved or Incomplete application, just reapply through your account in USAJOBS.  Check your account ( to see the status of your application after applying, including any messages that may have been sent to you.

If you cannot apply online:

  1. Click the following link to view and print the occupational questionnaire: View Occupational Questionnaire.
  2. Print this 1203FX form to provide your response to the occupational questionnaire:
  3. Fax the completed 1203FX form along with all supporting documents to (478)757-3144.  Your 1203FX form must be placed on top of all materials being faxed and will serve as a cover page for your fax transmission.
  4. Keep a copy of your fax receipt in case verification is needed.

To fax supporting documents you are unable to upload:

  1. Complete this cover page using the following Vacancy ID: 854109.  You must use this fax cover sheet in order for your documents to be matched with your online application.
  2. Fax your documents to (478)757-3144.

The complete Application Package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Thursday, April 04, 2013.


Need additional assistance on How To Apply Online: Click on the link for the Application Manager Quick Start Guide.


You must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

  1. CV or Resume.
  2. VA Form 10-2850c - Application for Associated Health Occupations (Available at (required).
  3. Occupational Questionnaire
  4. Optional Form 306 - Declaration for Federal Employment (Available at  This is a required form and must be submitted with your application.
  5. If prior military service, include all copies of your DD Forms 214 (required).   Applicants claiming preference based on service-connected disability, or based on being the spouse or mother of a disabled or deceased Veteran, must also complete and submit an SF 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference (available at  
  6. If currently employed in the VA system, include latest SF-50 - Notification of Personnel Action. (required).


Mailed documents will not be accepted


Pamela Britt
Phone: (937)268-6511x1860
Agency Information:
Department of Veteran Affairs
4100 West Third Street
HRM Service
Dayton, OH


After we receive your complete application package (including any required documents), your qualifications will be reviewed to decide if you meet the basic requirements.  You will be notified when this decision is made.

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