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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-MPA-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 Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Full-Time, Permanent - Federal
FEW vacancies - Washington DC, DC   View Map
This position is open to current and former Federal employees with permanent status or reinstatement eligibility. Individuals who are eligible for a special appointing authority may also apply such as applicants with a disability; former Peace Corps volunteers; certain military spouses; or individuals eligible under various programs for Veterans.
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: If there is an Education substitution please input the requirement here. If there is no Education substitution please delete this section and the one below ("Or a Combination").

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, including one year time-in-grade at the next lower grade level for promotion candidates, 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.
BASIS OF RATING: Once the announcement closes, your application will be automatically evaluated and rated by the system and a Human Resources Specialist. To determine if you are qualified for this job, a review of your application and supporting documentation will be made and compared against your responses to the occupational questionnaire. The numeric rating you receive is based on your responses to the questionnaire. The score is a measure of the degree to which your background matches the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of this position. If, after the Human Resources Specialist reviews your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that the score you have received is not a true reflection of your qualifications and/or experience, your score can and will be adjusted to more accurately reflect the information you provided that support your abilities. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Your resume should provide detailed information regarding how your education and experience relate to this position, including the major duties and qualifications criteria listed.

Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA): If you applying as for a VEOA appointment, you must be a veteran must be honorably separated and either a preference eligible or have substantially completed 3 or more years of active service. ("Active Service" under this law means active duty in a uniformed service and includes full-time training duty, annual training duty, full-time National Guard duty, and attendance, while in the active service, at a school designated as a service school by law or by the Secretary concerned.) A veteran who is released under honorable conditions shortly before completing a 3-year tour is also eligible.

Noncompetitive Appointment Authorities: The following links contain information on the eligibility requirements to be considered under a noncompetitive appointing authority:

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;
    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 prior federal service such as the latest SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action.
  • 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.
  • A recent performance evaluation
  • Proof of Veteran's Preference - DD214 (Member 4 Copy) if you are requesting a special appointment authority, such as VRA or VEOA
  • Proof of severe disability if you are requesting special placement consideration.
  • Proof of eligibility for a military spouse appointment, such as a permanent change station military order.
  • Proof of eligibility for any other special appointing authority not specifically mentioned here


Madalyn Robinson
Phone: 202-633-6339
Fax: 571-258-4052
TDD: 202-633-6409
Agency Information:
Office of Human Resources
POB 37012, 600 Maryland Avenue, MRC 517
Suite 5060
Washington, DC
Fax: 571-258-4052


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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