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

Job Title:Plant Protection and Quarantine Officer

Department:Department Of Agriculture

Agency:Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Job Announcement Number:24PQ-APHIS-MA-2014-0051

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.

SALARY RANGE:

$32,279.00 to $76,928.00 / Per Year

OPEN PERIOD:

Thursday, July 3, 2014 to Thursday, July 10, 2014

SERIES & GRADE:

GS-0401-05/11

POSITION INFORMATION:

Full-Time - Permanent

PROMOTION POTENTIAL:

11

DUTY LOCATIONS:

1 vacancy - Lihue, HI View Map

WHO MAY APPLY:

US Citizens and Nationals; no prior Federal experience is required. 

SECURITY CLEARANCE:

Public Trust - Background Investigation

SUPERVISORY STATUS:

No

JOB SUMMARY:

About the Agency

Current and former Federal employees, disabled Veterans, candidates with 3 or more years of active duty military service, and candidates eligible for special hiring authorities to Merit Promotion announcement #6PQ-APHIS-MA-2014-0052.

The incumbent is the primary liaison for the Agency on operational activities in a specific geographical area and works with state officials, other agencies, industry, colleges and universities, and others interested in activities affected by Agency plant quarantine programs. The incumbent performs a variety of specialized duties that provide a comprehensive approach to biosecurity minimizing the risk of biological and economic damage caused by exotic, non-native plant and animal organisms to agriculture, natural resources, and U.S. trade initiatives involving overall plant health activities.

APHIS is an emergency response agency. This means that all Agency employees may be asked or assigned to participate in rotating temporary duty assignments to support emergency programs at some time during their careers with APHIS. For details click: APHIS Emergency Response

TRAVEL REQUIRED

  • Occasional Travel
  • Travel may be occasionally

RELOCATION AUTHORIZED

  • No

KEY REQUIREMENTS

  • US Citizenship is required.
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
  • Subject to satisfactory completion of one year probationary period.
  • Subject to satisfactory completion of one year trial period.
  • Valid state driver's license is required at the time of application.
  • Position may be eligible for telework.

DUTIES:

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The duties described are for the full-performance level. At developmental grade levels, assignments will be of more limited scope, performed with less independence and limited complexity.

The duties may include, but are not limited to:

  • Manages multiple program areas and/or a multi-faceted program, such as post-entry quarantine, pre-departure quarantine, gypsy moth, biological control, grasshopper/Mormon cricket, biotechnology, noxious weeds, boll weevil, or other pests for which a program is or will be developed.
  • Provides recommendations to the supervisor and staff on design and development of guidelines, operational standards, and procedures.
  • Drafts proposals or work plans and financial plans to be used for pre-departure quarantine, cargo and passenger inspections, survey, sampling, control, trace back, regulatory, methods development and improvement, and/or eradication phases of programs or other projects.
  • Serves as accredited certifying official regarding export certification, which includes interpreting foreign quarantine regulations to facilitate international trade, issuing Federal Phytosanitary Certificates, and ensuring proper maintenance of the fee collection process.
  • Provides specialized pre-departure quarantine inspection for non-routine passenger baggage situations, distinguishes prohibited and non-prohibited material, and evaluates risk and safeguarding measures for planting media, plants, and plant parts.
  • Plans, conducts, and/or supervises various treatments and remedial measures, such as disinfection, sterilization, fumigation, cold treatment, hot water treatment, and irradiation of regulated articles for plant and animal pests and diseases.
  • Has a broad range of responsibilities under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), including reviewing permits, seizing shipments without proper documents, safeguarding seized or forfeited property, and maintaining accurate files on CITES transactions.


QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:

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Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement including the following specialized experience and/or education, as identified by grade level.

BASIC REQUIREMENT:

Degree: A. biological sciences, agriculture, or a closely related discipline appropriate to the position. Transcripts required. Selective Factor: The qualifying degree must have included at least 20 semester hours in course work such as agronomy, cell biology, botany, entomology, forestry, horticulture, mycology, nematology, plant pathology, soil science, or other closely related courses. Applicants who do not possess or fail to submit documentation of completion of this requirement will be found not qualified.

OR

B. Combination of education and experience: successful completion of courses equivalent to a major in biological science, agriculture, or a closely related field, including at least 20 semester hours of course work as described above under "selective factor" plus appropriate experience or additional education.Selective Factor: The qualifying degree must have included at least 24 semester hours in course work, such as agronomy, cell biology, botany, entomology, forestry, horticulture, mycology, nematology, plant pathology, soil science, or other closely related courses. Applicants who do not possess or fail to submit documentation of completion of this requirement will be found not qualified.

OR

Combination of Education and Experience: Courses equivalent to a major, as shown in “Selective Factor” above, plus appropriate experience or additional education. Experience may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors.

FOR THE GS-05 LEVEL: Applicants who meet the basic requirements qualify for this grade level.

FOR THE GS-07 LEVEL: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-05 level) that demonstrates:

  • Experience in multiple program areas and/or multifaceted programs, such as post-entry quarantine, pre-departure operations, compliance programs, pest surveyed, etc…
  • Demonstrates the ability to interpret and communicate the rules and regulations of the various quarantine programs.
  • Knowledge of the operations of x-ray equipment to screen and identify quarantine materials and to make quarantine decisions.

OR Successful completion of 1 year of graduate level education from an accredited college or university in biological sciences, agriculture, or a closely related field. Transcripts required if qualifying based on this provision.;

OR Superior Academic Achievement: To qualify based on superior academic achievement, you must have completed the requirements for a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution AND must meet certain GPA requirements. For more details click: Superior Academic Achievement

FOR THE GS-09 LEVEL: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-07 level) that may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors which demonstrates:

  • Professional Knowledge of various treatments and remedial measures, such as disinfection, sterilization, fumigation, etc., for plant and animal pests and disease.
  • Planning, coordinating and conducting plant pest surveys and anticipating and providing solutions for problems in program areas.
  • Planning and overseeing the operations in a pre-departure program.

OR Successful completion of 2 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Master's or equivalent graduate degree from an accredited college or university in biological sciences, agriculture, or closely related field. Transcripts required if qualifying based on this provision. Equivalent combinations of education and experience are qualifying for this grade level.

FOR THE GS-11 LEVEL: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-09 level) that may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors which demonstrates:

  • Professional-level experience executing containment facility inspections.
  • Professional-level experience issuing Phytosanitary certificates.
  • Planning, coordinating and conducting all aspects of operational activities, including special programs, newly emerging programs or operational functions with cooperators, other government entities, industries, etc.
  • Preparing and making formal presentations to internal and external audiences.

OR Successful completion of 3 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. degree or Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree from an accredited college or university in biological sciences, agriculture, or closely related field. Equivalent combinations of education and experience are qualifying for this grade level.

TRANSCRIPTS are required if:

  • This position requires specific coursework or a degree in a specific field to be basically qualified
  • You are qualifying for the position based on education.
  • You are qualifying for this position based on a combination of experience and education.
  • You are qualifying for this position based on Superior Academic Achievement

This education must have been successfully completed and obtained from an accredited school, college, or university. For more information on submitting transcripts, click: Transcripts

COMBINATION OF EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE AT THE GS-7/9/11 GRADE LEVELs: Applicants may have combinations of successfully completed education and specialized experience to meet total qualification requirements. The total percentages must equal at least 100 percent to qualify for that grade level. To learn more about combining education and experience for this series, click the following: Combining Education and Experience for Professional and Scientific Positions


Special Conditions:

  • As a condition of employment, satisfactory completion and favorable adjudication of a background investigation and/or fingerprint check may be required for this position.
  • Must be able to travel on a routine basis and be willing to work at odd times, including overtime, weekends, holidays, and shifts.
  • Required to travel to remote locations at various facilities and may be required to spend extended periods of time at these locations, usually not more than 30 days.
  • May involve driving long distances, occasionally in poor driving conditions.
  • Takes place in offices, airports, cargo areas (maritime and airport), and in a variety of other outdoor locations; some activities occur in isolated rural areas.
  • Field visits may require physical exertion, such as walking over rough or rocky terrain or climbing ladders on rail cars or grain elevators; loading, unloading, and carrying moderately heavy materials is sometimes necessary.
  • Will stand for long periods.
  • May experience discomfort due to adverse weather conditions, including extreme heat and humidity, high noise levels, pesticides, and working around agricultural or industrial equipment.
  • May be required to operate equipment required for a particular Pest Detection Survey Program (e.g. ATVs).
  • May be required to maintain certification for the wearing of personal protective equipment, including respirators such as Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA), and maintain a valid pesticide certification.
  • Must be certified under the USDA- APHIS- PPQ pesticide applicator certification program within 12 months after assuming the duties of the position. Failure to achieve certification within the specified time will result in appropriate corrective action.
  • MUST ATTEND BASIC AGRICULTURE SAFEGUARDING TRAINING (BAST). The purpose of BAST is to provide relevant training to help PPQ Officers acquire new skills and knowledge to enable them to accomplish PPQ's mission. Officers certified through BAST will be able to conduct plant health safeguarding activities authorized by the Plant Protection Act of 2000 and related regulations.
  • The core instruction will take place at the Professional Development Center in Frederick, MD. Additionally, portions of the training will be completed at the employee’s work unit. The time frame for completing BAST is within the first year of employment, but may be extended by the PPQ Program beyond this period, if necessary.

HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:

Applications will be evaluated in accordance with Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) Delegated Examining Procedures using category rating. Applicants who meet basic minimum qualifications will be placed in one of three categories: Best Qualified, Well Qualified, or Qualified. Within these categories, applicants eligible for veteran's preference will receive selection priority over non-veterans. Category placement will be determined based on applicants’ quality of experience and the extent they possess the following knowledge, skills, and abilities (or competencies):

  • Ability to manage program and organizational effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Ability to perform regulatory and complex treatment duties.
  • Ability to facilitate safe trade and export certification in order to make U.S. agriculture competitive in world markets.
  • Ability to carry out permitting and compliance activities.
  • Ability to apply communication skills (interpersonal, oral and written) to establish and maintain effective working relationships with employees, internal and external stakeholders and the general public.
  • Ability to use technology appropriate to the occupation.

The questionnaire will assess your qualifications for the job, and will be used to identify the best qualified applicants to be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration and possible interviews. Your ratings in this Assessment Questionnaire are subject to evaluation and verification based on the documents and references you submit.

Later steps in the selection process are specifically designed to verify your ratings. Attempts to falsify information; inflate your qualifications or providing inaccurate information on federal documents may be grounds to adjust your rating or to not select you. Errors, omissions or providing inaccurate information on federal documents may affect your eligibility. If selected providing inaccurate information on federal documents could also be grounds for dismissing you from the position/agency. Please follow all instructions carefully.


To view the application form, visit: https://aphis.usda.ntis.gov/cp/?event=jobs.previewApplication&jobid=f92be204-ad58-44f2-b34b-a34500b837bc


BENEFITS:

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OTHER INFORMATION:

  • Career Transition Assistance Plan(CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): If you are claiming CTAP/ICTAP eligibility, provide proof of eligibility to include your most recent performance appraisal, SF-50 showing the full performance level or career ladder of your current or previous position, and proof of eligibility such as a RIF separation notice or letter from OPM/your agency. CTAP/ICTAP eligibles will be considered well-qualified if achieving a rating of 85 or above. Information about CTAP/ICTAP eligibility is at: OPM's Career Transition Resources website.
  • More than one selection may be made if another vacancy occurs within 90 days of the issuance of the certification of eligibles.
  • Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc) should contact: USDA's TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).
  • Direct Deposit – Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of your choosing.
  • E-Verify: Federal law requires agencies to use the E-Verify system to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires. If you are selected as a newly hired employee, the documentation you present for purposes of completing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Form 1-9 on your entry-on-duty date will be verified through the DHS 'E-VERIFY' system. Under the system, the new hire is required to resolve any identified discrepancies as a condition of continued employment.


HOW TO APPLY:

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Please read the entire announcement and all the instructions before you begin. The following instructions outline our application process.

  • You must complete this application process and submit all required documents electronically by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.
  • We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday - Friday). Applying online is highly encouraged. If applying online poses a hardship, please contact our office during business hours well before the closing date for an alternate method. All hardship application packages with supporting documents must be submitted no later than noon on the closing date of the announcement in order to be entered into the system prior to its closing.
  • This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us if you require this for any part of the application and hiring process.

Step 1: Create a USAJOBS account (if you do not already have one) at www.usajobs.gov. It is recommended that as part of your profile you set up automatic email notification to be informed when the status of your application changes. If you choose not to set up this automatic notification, then you will have to log into your USAJOBS account to check on the status of your application.

Step 2: Create a Resume with USAJOBS or upload a Resume into your USAJOBS account. You may want to customize your resume to ensure it documents duties and accomplishments you have gained that are directly related to this position in order to verify that qualifications are met. In addition, your resume must support your responses to the online questionnaire (you may preview the online questionnaire by clicking on the link at the end of the How You Will Be Evaluated section of the job announcement).

Step 3:
Click "Apply Online" and follow the prompts to complete the Occupational Questionnaire and attach any additional documents that may be required. You can update your application or documents anytime while the announcement is open. Simply log into your USAJOBS account and click on "Application Status." Click on the position title, and then select "Update Application” to continue.



REQUIRED DOCUMENTS:

You must submit a complete Application Package, prior to 11:59, ET, on the closing date of this announcement. The following documents must be submitted for your application package to be considered complete. It is your responsibility to ensure all required documents are received within the required timeframes. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in the mail service, system failure or downtime, etc. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.

  • Resume that includes the following information: 1) job information for which you are applying; 2) personal information; 3) education; 4) work experience including the work schedule and hours worked per week as well as dates of employment; and title, series and grade if applicable; 5) supervisors phone number and e-mail address for each work period listed and whether or not we may contact them for reference checks; and, 6) other qualifications.
  • College Transcripts if education is required for meeting basic qualifications and/or used as a substitute for specialized experience. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application; however, if selected, an official college transcript will be required prior to entering on duty. All education must have been successfully completed and obtained from an accredited school, college, or university. Foreign education must be evaluated by an approved organization. For additional information, refer to the U.S. Department of Education web site at http://www.ed.gov. All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.
  • DD-214 (Member 4 Copy) if claiming Veterans’ Preference. Veterans claiming 10 point preference must also submit a VA Letter and an SF-15 Application for 10-point Veteran Preference. Current active duty members must submit a certification that they are expected to be discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted.
  • Other required documents may include:
    • CTAP/ICTAP Required Documentation Reduction-In-Force: Certification of Expected Separation, Reduction-In-Force Separation Notice, or Notice of Proposed Removal; AND most recent performance evaluation; AND SF-50 demonstrating your separation or the position you will be separated from.
    • Worker's Compensation Separation: Agency certification of inability to place employee AND Notification of Separation OR Separation SF-50.
    • Disability Annuity Termination: Notification from OPM of disability annuity termination AND Separation SF-50 of the last position held. Military Reserve or National Guard Technician Special Disability Retirement Annuity under 5 U.S.C. 8337(h) or 8456: Certification of special disability retirement annuity from a military department or National Guard Bureau AND Separation SF-50 of the last position held.

NOTE: 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 upload both the old document and the new document. Please verify that documents you are uploading from USAJOBs transfer into the Agency's staffing system as there is a limitation to the number of documents that can be transferred. However, once in the Agency's staffing system, you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents. Uploaded resumes must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX).

AGENCY CONTACT INFO:

Human Resources
Phone: 612-336-3345
Fax: 612-336-3560
Email: Mary.M.Buresh@aphis.usda.gov
Agency Information:
USDA APHIS MRPBS
100 N. 6th Street, Butler Sq Bldg, Suite 510C
Minneapolis, MN,
55403
United States
Fax: 612-336-3560

WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT:

If you set up your USAJOBS account to send automatic email notifications, you will receive an email acknowledging: 1) the submission of your online Occupational Questionnaire and resume was successful, 2) if you were referred to the selecting official for consideration, and 3) if you were selected or not selected. If you choose not to set up automatic email notifications, you must check your USAJOBS account for the latest status of your application. Your application may be reviewed to verify that you meet the qualifications and eligibility requirements for the position prior to issuing lists to a selecting official. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. We expect to make a final job offer within 40 days after the closing date of the announcement.


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Job Announcement Number:

24PQ-APHIS-MA-2014-0051

Control Number:

373995800