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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Interpretive Volunteer Program Manager
Agency:  Smithsonian Institution
Job Announcement Number:  14R-MR-299738-DEU-NMAH

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$52,146.00 to $67,787.00 / Per Year
Wednesday, August 6, 2014 to Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Full-Time, Permanent - Federal
FEW vacancies - Washington DC, DC   View Map
This position is open to all U.S. Citizens or U.S. Nationals.
Note: Federal employees with permanent status or individuals eligible for special appointing authorities should apply to Job Announcement #14R-MR-299738-MPA-NMAH.
Public Trust - Background Investigation


About the Agency

This position is located in Department of Visitor Services within the National Museum of American History (NMAH). The employee is responsible for creating a strategic plan for recruiting, training, and evaluating docents and other interpretive volunteers; develops or contributes to the development of training materials for volunteers; conducts training sessions; and evaluates volunteer performance.


  • Not Required


  • No


  • Pass Pre-employment Background Investigation
  • May need to complete a Probationary Period
  • Maintain a Bank Account for Direct Deposit/Electronic Transfer
  • Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered with Selective Service.


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Recruitment & Training

Identifies recruiting methods to produce a diverse group of applicants and develops a process to interview and select individuals.

Analyzes the future needs and goals of the museums daily programs, the retention rate of current docents, and financial and personnel resources required.

Develops a comprehensive training program including special enrichment lectures, training on the museums collections and exhibitions, and museum interpretation, communication skills, and touring techniques.

He/she independently develops curriculum and training materials for new and continuing docents.

Develops strategies and manages tools to make museum programs accessible to all visitors.

Administration and Communication

Directly supervises all museum docents.

Serves as primary staff liaison between docents and other museum staff.

Provides leadership and guidance to the docent corps, ensuring that volunteers have a strong connection to the Museum and understand its mission.

Develops policies and requirements for docent program.

Develops the master schedule of docent programs, making final decisions regarding the number and variety of docent programs to be offered to support the Museums mission.

Assures docent records document annual training attendance, extended leave, and service hours for each docent in the Smithsonians volunteer database, EVANS.

Regularly communicates with the docents in-person and via phone, email, and mail, providing information about NMAH programs, exhibitions, and procedures and gathering feedback from volunteers. Leads and/or facilitates docent meetings.


Coaches docents to develop their knowledge and skills.

Provides regular feedback to supervisor about efficacy of programs and makes recommendations for changes based on evaluations.

Develops plans for assessing candidate potential for participation in the docent program and for evaluating and monitoring candidates after they have been accepted into the program.

Develops the process and the logistics for evaluating docent performance and the guidelines for presenting programs, presenting complex information, and handling the specialized needs of individuals and groups, which range from visitors with special disabilities to diplomatic dignitaries.

Program Development

Develops new museum programs to support the museums mission.

Stays up-to-date in museum interpretation and makes refinements to existing programs to enhance visitor engagement.

Independently consults with exhibition teams and other Museum offices to make recommendations regarding Visitor Experience, exhibitions and programs during the planning stages, and develops and refines strategies for optimizing visitor experience during periods of peak visitation.


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Experience: You qualify for this position if you possess one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-07 level in the Federal Service or comparable pay band system. For this position Specialized experience is defined as scheduling, overseeing, and training volunteers and docents in a cultural or history museum with high volume visitation (1 million visitors a year or more); implementing or developing policies and procedures related to volunteer management in a cultural or history museum, and interacting directly with large numbers of volunteers (200 or more) on a regular basis.

Part-time and/or unpaid experience related to this position will be considered to determine the total number of years and months of experience. Be sure to note the number of paid or unpaid hours worked each week.

Or Education: Two full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master's or equivalent degree related to the position may be substituted to meet the experience requirements.

Or a Combination: Education and experience may be combined to meet the basic qualifications. For a full explanation of this option please see the Qualification Standards. Special Instructions for Foreign Education: If you are qualifying by education and/or you have education completed in a foreign college/university described above, it is your responsibility to provide transcripts and proof of U.S. accreditation for foreign study. For instructions on where to fax these documents, see the "Required Documents" section of this announcement.

Qualification requirements must be met within 30 days of the job announcement closing date.


Your application will be evaluated first for the basic qualifications described above. The applications that meet the basic qualifications will be evaluated further against the following criteria:

  1. Knowledge of and experience in volunteer recruitment and training at a museum or similar cultural organization with high-volume visitation.
  2. Knowledge of best practices in administering a program with a docent corps of 200 or more volunteers.
  3. Knowledge of best practices for evaluating interpretive museum volunteers and programs.
  4. Knowledge of best practices for developing interpretive museum programs.
Applicants who meet or exceed minimum qualifications will be assigned to one of three category groups based on job-related criteria: Best Category - Meets the minimum qualification requirements and excels in most of the job related competencies above. Better Category - Meets the minimum qualification requirements and satisfies most of the job related competencies above. Good Category - Meets the minimum qualification requirements, but does not satisfy most of the job related competencies above to a substantive degree. This category rating process does not add veterans' preference points or apply the "rule of three", but protects the rights of veterans by placing them ahead of non-preference eligibles within each category. A selecting official may make selections from the highest quality category (Best Category) provided no preference eligible in that category is passed over to select a non-preference eligible in that category unless the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 3317(b) or 3318(b) are satisfied. Preference eligibles who meet minimum qualification requirements and who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10 percent must be listed in the highest quality category, except when the position being filled is scientific or professional at the GS-9 grade level or higher. Applicants who have not submitted a resume in the USAjobs system and/or have not answered all of the vacancy questions will not be considered for this position. Important Note: Your resume and supporting documentation will be compared to your responses to the occupational questionnaire or other assessment tool for consistency. If a determination is made that you have rated yourself higher than is supported by your resume, you will be assigned a rating commensurate to your described experience. Your resume should provide sufficient information regarding how your education and experience relate to this position, including the major duties and qualifications criteria listed.

To preview questions please click here.


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Click on the "Apply Online" button on the upper right side of the page. Please Note:
  • You must apply for this position online through the 'Apply Online' button and submit required supplemental documents (if they are relevant to you).
  • You may submit required documents by uploading them online during the application process; OR You may manually fax required documents. Faxes are received by an automated system, not a physical fax machine. Documents that are faxed as part of the application process must be sent with the system generated cover sheet by the closing date. Documents faxed without the system generated coversheet are not retrievable and cannot be considered as part of the application package.
  • The complete application package, including any required documents, is due in the Smithsonian Office of Human Resources on the closing date of the announcement by 11:59 PM Eastern Time.
  • If you are unable to apply online, paper applications may be accepted with prior approval of the Contact Person listed below.


Your application package should include the following documents:
  • Detailed resume created in the USAJOBS Resume Builder.
  • Proof of Veteran's Preference - DD214 (Member 4 Copy), if you are a veteran. Additionally, applicants claiming 10-point preference must complete Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, as well as additional documentation required by the SF-15, such as a VA letter.
  • Unofficial school transcripts, if the position has an education requirement or if you are using education to qualify. If selected for the position, you must provide an official transcript before appointment.
  • Proof of U.S. accreditation for foreign study, if applicable.


Madalyn Robinson
Phone: 202-633-6339
Fax: 571-258-5042
TDD: 202-633-6409
Agency Information:
Office of Human Resources
POB 37012, 600 Maryland Avenue, MRC 517
Suite 5060
Washington, DC
Fax: 571-258-5042


At the end of the application process you will be able to create and save a PDF file that contains your responses to the assessment questions. You may save this file as initial receipt of your application. After the job announcement closes, you will receive an email from the Smithsonian with confirmation of receipt. The Smithsonian receives many applications for each job. Each application is reviewed carefully which may take a few weeks. We will send you an e-mail to update you as we go through phases of the application review process. You may also check your application status by logging into and selecting the tab "My USAJOBS;" e-mailing; or by contacting the Office of Human Resources Representative listed. Additional Information:
  • Tips on applying for Smithsonian jobs are available at
  • The Smithsonian does not pay relocation expenses.
  • The Smithsonian embraces diversity and equal employment opportunity (

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