Staff Specialist

Company Name:
Department Of Agriculture
This announcement is open to all United States citizens. Permanent Full Time This position is located in the Office of the Associate Deputy Administrator, Science, Technology, and Analysis Services (STAS), Veterinary Services (VS), APHIS in Ames, Iowa.
Science, Technology and Analysis Services brings together the VS science centers that provide: diagnostic capability and capacity; regulatory activities related to the approval and monitoring of veterinary biologics; and scientific analysis expertise for addressing animal and public health related issues. It provides a solid scientific and technical foundation to link the multiple disciplines needed to support VS in meeting its mission responsibilities. STAS is comprised of three Centers, each with a unique, yet compatible, mission to safeguard animal and public health.
Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health - To promote and safeguard U.S. agriculture by providing timely and accurate information and analysis about animal health and veterinary public health.
Center for Veterinary Biologics - To implement the provisions of the Virus-Serum Toxin Act to ensure that veterinary biologics available for the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of animal diseases are pure, safe, potent, and effective.
National Veterinary Services Laboratories - To safeguard U.S. animal health and contribute to public health by ensuring that timely and accurate laboratory support is provided by a nationwide animal health diagnostic system.
Office of STAS Interagency Coordination - To coordinate interagency activities related to STAS and VS missions. The Office of STAS Interagency Coordination is responsible for integrating and coordinating animal health issues related to VS science and technology capabilities.
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 You must be a US Citizen or US National. Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered with the Selective Service. Subject to satisfactory completion of one year probationary period. The duties may include, but are not limited to:
This position is primarily involved in providing support for the administrative and operational aspects of the STAS Associate Deputy Administrator's Office.
Conduct studies of clerical work processes in order to identify, analyze, and recommend solutions to problems in organizational structure, staffing, administrative procedures, work processes, and/or workload distribution.
Provides authoritative information to inquiring parties on the STAS Associate Deputy Administrator's views on issues and activities of current interest to the staff; provides guidance and information on the procedures and practices to follow in adherence to the STAS Associate Deputy Administrator's policy.
Through special projects, gathers information and designs special reports relating to operational and/or administrative matters; performs preliminary analyses of administrative issues and develops options for management consideration; makes presentations of findings to management and other interested groups.
Reviews and analyzes new administrative policy issuance to determine the influence on STAS. Outlines the effects of new policies and develops new procedures, when necessary. Makes recommendations for revised procedures to the STAS Leadership Team.
Reviews established clerical policies, practices and procedures to ensure consistent application throughout STAS and identifies the clerical work processes that need restructuring.
Coordinates travel commitments and complex schedule maneuvering for the STAS Associate Deputy Administrator.
From draft notes or verbal instruction, prepares a draft and/or final form of memos, notices, standards, policies, documents and other forms of correspondence for signature by the STAS Associate Deputy Administrator.
Records meeting minutes at STAS Leadership Team meetings. Distributes minutes of the meetings to all STAS leadership team members and tracks items requiring further action. Develops meeting agenda(s) based, in part, on items requiring follow-up.
Special Conditions:
Satisfactory completion and favorable adjudication of a background investigation and/or fingerprint check.
This position is designated a public trust position and is subject to satisfactory completion and favorable adjudication of initial background investigation and reinvestigation as a condition of employment.
We understand that accepting a position with Veterinary Services may require the need for spousal career placement assistance. To help you and your family make a successful career transition, Veterinary Services is dedicated to providing information on career placement assistance. Please visit the following web links for more information:


This position is subject to unscheduled overnight details of undetermined lengths in the event of animal health emergencies or other conditions requiring immediate response, as required by the Agency. (Extensive periods of time may be designated for overnight details.)
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 perform administrative support functions
Ability to manage human resources
Leadership/supervisory/management skills
Oral, written and interpersonal skills
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 preview questions please click here. 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.
FOR THE GS-09 LEVEL: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-08 level) that may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors which demonstrates:
Experience as an Executive Assistant providing advice and instruction to other clerical or administrative support personnel. Has experience organizing, participating on, or leading cross-functional teams to meet the needs of a variety of stakeholders. Communicates sufficiently orally and in writing to a variety of users, stakeholders and other groups.
Ability to gather information and design special reports relating to operational and/or administrative matters. Performs analysis of administrative issues and develops options for management consideration, and presents findings to management or other high-level personnel.
As an assistant to a high-level manager, has experience in evaluating administrative processes, recommending changes, and instituting new procedures.
Experienced in managing multiple tasks and shifting priorities as situations warrant. Has coordinated complex, executive-level schedule maneuvering.
OR Successful completion of a Master''s degree, equivalent graduate degree or 2 years of graduate level education in Public Administration, Human Resources, Business Management, Communication or a closely related field.
Equivalent combinations of education and experience are qualifying for this grade level.
TRANSCRIPTS are required if:
You are qualifying for the position based on education.
You are qualifying for this position based on a combination of experience and education.
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-09 GRADE LEVEL: 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 Administrative and Management Positions
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 . 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.
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 . 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: Certification of Expected Separation, Reduction-In-Force Separation Notice, Notice of Proposed Removal, or appropriate OPM/Agency certification; AND most recent performance evaluation; AND SF-50 demonstrating your separation or the position from which you will be separated.
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.
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 (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.
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