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.
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.
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.
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
- 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