As a basic requirement for entry into the SES, applicants must provide evidence of progressively responsible leadership experience that is indicative of senior executive level managerial capability and directly related to the skills and abilities outlined under Mandatory Technical Qualifications and Executive Core Qualifications. Typically, experience of this nature will have been gained at or above the GS-15 grade level in the Federal service, or its equivalent with state or local government, the private sector, or non-governmental organizations. Your resume needs to emphasize your level of responsibilities, the scope and complexity of programs managed, and your program accomplishments, including the results of your actions.
Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study leading to a bachelor's or higher degree from an accredited college or university with a major study in biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, or allied disciplines pertinent to the work of the position to be filled; OR four years experience demonstrating an acquired knowledge and understanding which would have been obtained through completion of a 4-year course described above. Ph.D. in one of the aforementioned disciplines is desirable.
Failure to meet the basic qualification requirement and all Mandatory Technical and Executive Core Qualification factors automatically disqualifies an applicant.
HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:
A. EXECUTIVE CORE QUALIFICATIONS (ECQ): All applicants must submit written statements. Your narrative response must not exceed two (2) pages per ECQ.
The ECQs were designed to assess executive experience and potential not technical expertise. They measure whether an individual has the broad executive skills needed to succeed in a variety of SES positions. All applicants must submit written statements describing accomplishments that would satisfy the ECQs.
You must address each ECQ separately. You are required to respond to all ECQs. If you fail to do so, you will be rated as 'ineligible.'
Each accomplishment should be clear, concise, and emphasize your level of responsibilities, the scope and complexity of programs managed, and results of your actions.
Additional information on the ECQs is available at
ECQ 1 LEADING CHANGE: This core qualification involves 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: This core qualification involves 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. In addition to this ECQ, you must also describe your accomplishments in EEO and/or CIVIL RIGHTS. This includes opportunities provided to minorities and women to receive grants and/or contracts, employment and advancement, training, award recognition, and program benefits. (Competencies: Conflict Management, Leveraging Diversity, Developing Others, Team Building)
ECQ 3 RESULTS DRIVEN: This core qualification involves 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: This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically. (Competencies: Financial Management, Human Capital Management, Technology Management)
ECQ 5 BUILDING COALITIONS: This core qualification involves the ability to build coalitions internally and with other Federal agencies, State and local governments, nonprofit and private sector organizations, foreign governments, or international organizations to achieve common goals. (Competencies: Partnering, Political Savvy, Influencing/Negotiating)
Fundamental Competencies: These competencies are the foundation for success in each of the Executive Core Qualifications; Interpersonal Skills, Oral Communication, Continual Learning, Written Communication, Integrity/Honesty, Public Service Motivation. The Fundamental Competencies are crosscutting; they should be addressed over the course of your ECQ narrative. It is not necessary for you to address the Fundamental Competencies directly as long as the narrative, in its totality, shows mastery of these competencies on the whole.
B. MANDATORY TECHNICAL QUALIFICATIONS (TQ): All applicants must submit written statements. Your narrative response must not exceed two (2) pages per TQ.
The following applicants may omit the mandatory ECQ narrative statements, but must provide proof of status as stated below.
1. Applicants who are currently serving under a SES-Career appointment or who are eligible for reinstatement into the SES. You must provide a recent Standard Form 50 (SF-50) that documents career appointment to the SES.
2. Applicants who are graduates of an OPM-approved SES Candidate Development Program. You must provide proof of OPM Qualification Review Board certification. To preview questions please click here.