Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program

Washington, D.C
Jul 01, 2022
Jul 07, 2022
Full Time

The Department of Education invites qualified individuals to apply to its prestigious Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program (SESCDP), expected to begin in December 2022. Qualified individuals are those who have demonstrated through their performance and experience the potential to assume executive-level positions within the Federal Government.

Status applicants:
are employees serving under career or career-type appointments in the civil service. Status candidates are not entitled to veteran's preference. Participants selected for the Department of Education's SESCDP who are serving in career or career-type positions will remain employees of their current agencies/organizations, and will retain the grade, series, pay, and status of their current positions, including eligibility for step increases and career ladder promotions.
Non-status applicants:
are employees who occupy other than career or career-type appointments within the civil service, e.g., temporary appointments. Participants selected for the Department of Education's SESCDP who are serving in other than career or career-type appointments will receive an excepted appointment under the Schedule B authority for the duration of the program, which may be extended not to exceed a total of three (3) years.
*Applicants will be asked to indicate status through the questionnaire. Only one category can be identified; candidates may not apply under both categories.


The Department of Education's SESCDP is designed to provide a series of developmental experiences which include formal courses and seminars, developmental work assignments, and individual mentoring from current SES members. Participation in this year-long SESCDP will require approximately 6 months away from the candidate's position of record for formal SESCDP activities. Selected candidates' home organization will be responsible for any travel expenses related to training sessions and travel for the developmental assignment. In addition, tuition costs are the responsibility of the candidate's organization.
Key Program Features:
-A 12-month program, requiring extensive time away from the position of record
-Senior Executive Assessment Center
-An Executive Development Plan
-Program orientation
-Formal mentoring program with assigned mentors
-A developmental assignment of at least 120 days, outside the participant's organization
-At least 80 hours of executive education; training will be a combination of in person and virtual sessions
-Leadership focused site visits
-Developmental activities that may include events and projects that further develop a candidate's understanding of the Department of Education's mission, programs and challenges.
Upon completion of the SESCDP and approval by the Executive Resources Board (ERB), the candidate's Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) will be reviewed by an Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualifications Review Board (QRB) for certification. QRB certification allows for non-competitive placement into SES positions.
NOTE: Participation in the program does not guarantee placement in a SES position.
The SESCDP is designed to provide a series of developmental experiences for high potential individuals to prepare them to serve in SES positions. These developmental experiences include formal training and seminars, a four-month assignment outside of the participant's home organization/bureau, core learning sessions that focus on the competencies for successful SES-level performance, and working with an executive mentor. All program selectees will participate in the Senior Executive Assessment Program, resulting in a tailored Executive Development Plan that will guide program development experiences. The SES CDP is a rigorous program, and the curriculum must be completed while balancing current day-to-day job assignments.


Conditions of Employment

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen.
  • One year of supervisory experience at the GS-14 level or above is required.
  • Must submit all required documents by 11:59pm EDT on vacancy closing date.

Conditions of Employment
Applicants may be required to accept developmental assignments away from their current duty station.
Geographic mobility is required as a condition of the Department of Education SESCDP. The applicant is expected to accept developmental activities that may require functional, organizational and geographical mobility.
U.S. Citizenship is required.
One year of supervisory experience at the GS-14 level or above is required.
You must submit all required application documents by 11:59pm EDT on the closing date of the announcement.


The Department of Education SESCDP requires that all qualified individuals within the civil service have at least one full year of supervisory experience at the GS-14 level or above (REQUIRED), and have demonstrated exceptional executive leadership potential. Supervisory experience includes planning, assigning, and evaluating the work of subordinate employees.
(Note: Your resume must explicitly demonstrate one full year of supervisory experience).
In addition, you must demonstrate executive leadership potential. Applicants must demonstrate a level of competence and potential sufficient to lead, direct, and evaluate programs and activities related to accomplishing a major program's mission. This experience must demonstrate an applied knowledge of management principles, developments, trends, and generally-accepted practices and techniques utilized in effective program planning and problem solving. The applicant should also demonstrate competence in executing the business functions necessary to support a large, complex organization, including those related to resource allocation, budget and finance, human capital management, organization development, contracting and information technology.
Candidates must demonstrate competence and potential for executive development in the five SES ECQs, which are the leadership criteria defined by OPM to certify candidates for SES positions. OPM's Guide to the SES Qualifications provides detailed information on the ECQs. You can access OPM's Guide to SES Qualifications here
ECQ 1 - LEADING CHANGE: The ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment.
Competencies: Creativity and Innovation, External Awareness, Flexibility, Resilience, Strategic Thinking and Vision
ECQ 2 - LEADING PEOPLE: The ability to lead people toward meeting the organization's vision, mission, and goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts.
Competencies: Conflict Management, Leveraging Diversity, Developing Other, and Team Building
ECQ 3 - RESULTS DRIVEN: The ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks.
Competencies: Accountability, Customer Service, Decisiveness, Entrepreneurship, Problem Solving and Technical Credibility
ECQ 4 - BUSINESS ACUMEN: The ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.
Competencies: Financial Management, Human Capital Management, and Technology Management
ECQ 5 - BUILDING COALITIONS: The ability to build coalitions internally and with other Federal agencies, State and local governments, nonprofit and private sector organizations, foreign governments, or international organizations to achieve common goals.
Competencies: Partnering, Political Savvy, and Influencing/Negotiating
Other Information:
Selection for this program will be based solely on merit, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, physical disability, political affiliation, marital status, sexual orientation, or membership in an employee organization.
The Department of Education provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application, evaluations, and/or hiring process, please notify the announcement point of contact at the bottom of this announcement. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
Current Department of Education employee's salary and benefits will be paid by their current employing office. Travel and training costs are to be paid by the candidate's current employing office.
Non-Department of Education federal participants' salary and benefits will be paid by the participant's employing agency. Travel and training costs are to be paid by the candidate's current employing office.


This job does not have an education qualification requirement.

Additional information

The Federal Government is committed to expanding access to employment by hiring people with disabilities; providing technical assistance and information on reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities; and identifying and removing barriers to work. Persons with disabilities may apply for jobs filled either competitively (where qualified individuals compete with one another through a structured process), noncompetitively (where a qualified individual may be selected based on a special appointing authority), or through an excepted appointing authority for people with disabilities (i.e. Schedule A). People who are selected for a Federal job must meet the qualification requirements for the position and be able to perform the essential duties of the job with or without reasonable accommodation. For information on "People with Disabilities" please visit