Program Support Assistant (OA)

Richmond, Virginia
Oct 01, 2022
Oct 06, 2022
Full Time

The Program Support Assistant serves as office manager for Chaplain Service, organizing and maintaining an efficient and effective administrative office operation in support of Chaplain Service. Responds to internal and external Chaplain Service inquiries, arranges and assists in the running of educational programs, and assists in accomplishing specialized projects that might be assigned to the Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) educators.

The PSA coordinates all new chaplain staff and CPE students with on-boarding procedures, such as fingerprints/background check taken prior to arrival on station; requesting the computer codes, ensures PIV badges are acquired, issuing keys and cell phones to all new chaplain staff, and CPE students; retrieves the keys and cell phones upon clearance; and prepares employee clearance forms for all paid students to process out of the station.

The PSA acts as primary VATAS timekeeper for staff and trainees in the Service. The PSA submits extended leave and emergency sick leave requests, along with approved overtime requests, and validates all timesheets. The PSA submits schedule changes as needed.

The PSA serves as Records Liaison maintaining files and records, such as policy correspondence files, policy manuals, station memorandum and bulletins, maintains the service electronic inventory list (EIL) and assists in conducting the annual inventory; completes required paperwork for personnel actions, work orders, requests for supplies and services, etc., required for the administrative operation of the service.

The PSA serves as the Automated Data Processing Applications Coordinator (ADPAC) for Chaplain Service and is responsible for coordinating the implementation, direction and support for all Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA). When users require more than an access/verify code in VistA, the incumbent resets particular functions within the templates allowing the user to use the system to its fullest potential.
The PSA prepares for the Chief Chaplain the Chaplain Service Duty Schedule and On-call Schedule (QGenda), providing chaplain on-call coverage 24/7 at all of the CVHCS sites.

The PSA assures that the CPE programs administrative obligations are met and that procedures, practices, and records are established in compliance with Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) standards and administrative protocols. The PSA drafts letters, memoranda, surveys, reports and presentations in concert with overall goals and objectives of the ACPE national program.

Must have sufficient knowledge of grammar (syntax, punctuation, spelling, etc.) in order to compose correspondence, reports, etc. Typing (recording of staff minutes taking dictation for staff members, preparation of correspondence, reports, etc.)

Must be able to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing. Knowledge and skill in the use of a typewriter, calculator, and computer equipment with a wide variety of software such as Word, Excel, Power Point, Outlook and VHA databases such as VISTA, CPRS, Event Capture, and Encounter in order to enter and retrieve data for a variety of reports, records, briefings, programs, produce letters, memorandums and to prepare a variety of reports.

The PSA functions independently most of the time and work decisions are reviewed only in case of new or special assignments. Work is reviewed for conformance with office operating requirements and effectiveness.

Guidelines include policies and procedures of VHA Handbook 1111, medical center directives, and those established by the Chief, Chaplain Service, Coordinator, CPE Program and standard office procedures. Specific guidelines are available as needed for reference purposes including VA manuals, bulletins, memorandums, CPE Student Handbook, Chaplain Service Manual, dictionary, established office files, etc. Must use judgment in determining when and how to adapt guides to various situations.

Automated Data Processing (ADP) Security

Incumbent protects printed and electronic data containing sensitive data in accordance with the provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974, and other applicable laws, federal regulations, VA statutes and policy, and VHS&RA policy. Incumbent protects the data from unauthorized release or from loss, alteration, or unauthorized deletion. Incumbent also follows applicable regulations and instructions regarding access to computerized files, release of access codes, etc., as set out in the computer access agreement which every employee signs.

Work Schedule: Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 4:30pm
Virtual: This is not a virtual position.
Position Description/PD#: Program Support Assistant (OA)/PD02888A
Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized
Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job
  • All applicants tentatively selected for VA employment in a testing designated position are subject to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment with VA.
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
  • You may be required to serve a probationary period
  • Subject to background/security investigation
  • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process
  • Participation in the seasonal influenza vaccination program is a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP)
  • Participation in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination program is a requirement for all Veterans Health Administration Health Care Personnel (HCP) - See "Additional Information" below for details.


To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement, 10/05/2022.

Time-In-Grade Requirement: Applicants who are current Federal employees and have held a GS grade any time in the past 52 weeks must also meet time-in-grade requirements by the closing date of this announcement. For a GS-07 position you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-06. The grade may have been in any occupation, but must have been held in the Federal service. An SF-50 that shows your time-in-grade eligibility must be submitted with your application materials. If the most recent SF-50 has an effective date within the past year, it may not clearly demonstrate you possess one-year time-in-grade, as required by the announcement. In this instance, you must provide an additional SF-50 that clearly demonstrates one-year time-in-grade. Note: Time-In-Grade requirements also apply to former Federal employees applying for reinstatement as well as current employees applying for Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA) appointment. You may qualify based on your experience as described below:
  • Specialized Experience: You must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the next lower grade GS-05 in the normal line of progression for the occupation in the organization. Examples of specialized experience would typically include, but are not limited to: Performing administrative functions, office operations and technology support for an organization; establishing and maintaining filing systems; experience using automated software applications such as Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint); typing letters, memos, reports; maintaining calendars and schedules.
You will be rated on the following Competencies for this position:Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religions; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.Note: A full year of work is considered to be 35-40 hours of work per week. Part-time experience will be credited on the basis of time actually spent in appropriate activities. Applicants wishing to receive credit for such experience must indicate clearly the nature of their duties and responsibilities in each position and the number of hours a week spent in such employment.

Physical Requirements: The work of this position is primarily sedentary. For more information on these qualification standards, please visit the United States Office of Personnel Management's website at .

An extremely high level of initiative, self-confidence, and personal judgment are required. Each situation must be analyzed while establishing necessary control and support to determine the appropriate response required, including the establishment of priorities. Performs administrative, clerical, receptionist, bookkeeping, timekeeping, and other office duties for staff, and coordinates all functions and activities of various staff members. Incumbent impacts both public and private citizens in and around the facility by the decisions incumbent makes regarding dispatching, release of information, report accuracy, and customer service.

The primary purpose of this position is to provide administrative assistance to the Chief, Chaplain Service, CPE Educator, chaplain staff and clerical support for the CPE program in order to free the managers of all possible administrative details that they might perform their major duties. The duties performed by this person contribute to the efficient, smooth-flowing operations of the Chaplain Service and the proper referral of patients and/or families, visitors, and other staff.

The purpose of the contacts are to resolve problems; make recommendations; gather, exchange, and provide information for reports and other various requested reasons; information to properly transfer calls, clarify the requests and intent of regulations, and assemble facts and determinations relating to the assignment; outreach for potential students, contacting students, scheduling meetings, arranging conferences and travel accommodations, providing assistance and advice when coordinating the duties of this Service with other sections/services and management personnel.

Physical Demands

The work is sedentary. Typically, the incumbent sits comfortably in location to do the multifaceted work. However, there will be walking, standing; bending; carrying of light items such as papers, books and electronic devices; or driving an automobile, etc. No special physical demands are required to perform work. The work area is adequately lighted, heated and ventilated.


There is no educational substitution at this grade level.

A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education.

Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: . If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For further information, visit: .

Additional information

Receiving Service Credit or Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. Selected applicants may qualify for credit toward annual leave accrual, based on prior work experience or military service experience. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed.

Special Employment Consideration: VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply, including those eligible for hiring under 5 CFR 213.3102(u), Schedule A, Appointment of persons with disabilities [i.e., intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities], and/or Disabled veterans with a compensable service-connected disability of 30% or more. Contact the Agency Contact for information on how to apply under this appointment authority via the Selective Placement Coordinator.

The Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) and Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) provide eligible displaced Federal/VA competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. To be qualified you must submit appropriate documentation (a copy of the agency notice, your most recent performance rating, and your most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty location) and be found well-qualified for this vacancy. To be well-qualified : applicants must possess experience that exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position including all selective factors, and who are proficient in most of the required competencies of the job. Information about ICTAP and CTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website at .

Pursuant to VHA Directive 1193.01, VHA health care personnel (HCP) are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 subject to such accommodations as required by law (i.e., medical, religious or pregnancy). VHA HCPs do not include remote workers who only infrequently enter VHA locations. If selected, you will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit documentation of proof of vaccination before your start date. The agency will provide additional information regarding what information or documentation will be needed and how you can request a legally required accommodation from this requirement using the reasonable accommodation process.

To ensure compliance with an applicable preliminary nationwide injunction, which may be supplemented, modified, or vacated, depending on the course of ongoing litigation, the Federal Government will take no action to implement or enforce the COVID-19 vaccination requirement pursuant to Executive Order 14043 on Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees. Therefore, to the extent a VA job announcement includes language requiring applicants to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 pursuant to Executive Order 14043, that requirement does not currently apply to this Job Announcement. VA may request information regarding your vaccination status, if selected, for the purposes of implementing other workplace safety protocols, such as masking, physical distancing, testing, travel, and quarantine.