Personnel Security Specialist, ZA-0080-3 (DE/CR)

Washington D.C.
Mar 28, 2019
Mar 28, 2019
Full Time

Not required

Relocation expenses reimbursed No

  • You must be a suitable for Federal employment.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen.
  • You must be registered for Selective Service if applicable (
  • Selectee will be subject to random drug testing.
    • A one year probationary period may be required.
    • Payment of relocation expenses is not authorized.
    • Selectee may be required to submit a Form OGE-450 annually.
    • This position is designated as a drug testing position; selectee will be subject to random drug testing. 
    • This position requires a comprehensive background investigation and Top Secret-SCI security clearance. Any required investigations and clearances must be completed prior to appointment.

    Security Clearance: You must be able to obtain and maintain a Top Secret-SCI Security Clearance. 

    Qualification requirements in the vacancy announcement are based on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualification Standards Handbook, which contains federal qualification standards. This handbook is available on the Office of Personnel Management website located at

    To qualify for the ZA-3 position: Applicants must possess one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-09 in the Federal Service. Specialized experience is experience that has equipped the applicant with the particular competencies/knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position.

    For this position, specialized experience is:

    Specialized experience is that which equipped you with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position and should include work activities such as, but not limited to: knowledge of standard principles, policies, concepts and methods of personnel security; ability to independently interpret and analyze personnel security guidelines and policies; and the ability to adjudicate and grant access to National Security Information. Experience serving as a Federal Acquisition Certification – Contracting Officer’s Representative (FAC-COR) is desirable, but not required.



    Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree


    3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree


    LL.M., if related None 1 year equivalent to at least GS-9


    Applicants may qualify based on a combination of specialized experience and education. Experience and successfully-completed education at the appropriate level (see above) may be combined to meet the total qualification requirements for the GS-9/11.

    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; religious; 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.

    Please see Qualifications section for Education requirements. 

    CTAP and ICTAP candidates will be eligible if it is determined that they have exceeded the minimum qualifications for the position by attaining at least a rating of 85 out of 100.  Information about ICTAP eligibility is on the Office of Personnel Management’s Career Transition Resources website at: Employee Guide to Career Transition

    CTAP applicants MUST submit the following documents:

    1. A copy of your specific RIF notice; notice of proposed removal for failure to relocate; a Certificate of Expected Separation (CES); or certification that you are in a surplus organization or occupation (this could be a position abolishment letter, a notice eligibility for discontinued service retirement, or similar notice).
    2. A copy of your SF-50 “Notification of Personnel Action”, noting current position, grade level, and duty location;
    3. A copy of your latest performance appraisal including your rating; and
    4. Any documentation from your agency that shows your current promotion potential.

    ICTAP applicants MUST submit the following documents:

    1. A copy of your RIF separation notice; notice of proposed removal for failure to relocate; notice of disability annuity termination; certification from your former agency that it cannot place you after your recovery from a compensable injury; or certification from the National Guard Bureau or Military Department that you are eligible for disability retirement;
    2. A copy of your SF-50 “Notification of Personnel Action” documenting your RIF separation, noting your positions, grade level, and duty location, and/or Agency certification of inability to place you through RPL, etc;
    3. A copy of your latest performance appraisal including your rating; and
    4. Any documentation from your agency that shows your current promotion potential.

    The following links provide information on various hiring authorities that do not fall under competitive examining procedures; however, they may enable you to apply through merit assignment procedures, or be eligible for a non-competitive appointment.

    1. Veterans Recruitment Act (VRA)
    2. Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA)
    3. 30% or more disabled veterans
    4. Persons with disabilities
    5. Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP)
    6. Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP)

    Read more

    You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

    We will review your resume, optional cover letter and supporting documentation to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications for the position.  If you meet the minimum qualifications stated in the vacancy announcement, we will compare your resume, optional cover letter and supporting documentation to your responses on the scored occupational questionnaire (True/False, Yes/No, Multiple Choice questions) and place you in one of the three pre-defined categories.  The categories are “gold”, “silver” and “bronze”.  However, your resume or optional cover letter must support your responses to the scored occupational questionnaire, or your score may be lowered.  Candidates placed in the “gold” category will be identified for referral to the hiring manager and may be invited for an interview.

    How you will be evaluated for preference eligibility:  Within each category, those entitled to veterans’ preference will be listed at the top of the pre-defined category for which they are placed.  Preference eligible with a service-connected disability of 10% or more will be listed at the top of the highest quality category (gold) depending on the position and grade level of the job. For more information on Category Rating, please go to Category Rating.

    The scored occupational questionnaire will evaluate you on the following competencies; please do not provide a separate written response:

    1) Knowledge of government personnel security/suitability regulations.
    2) Skill in analyzing and evaluating personnel security/suitability cases.
    3) Skill in conducting interviews and/or second reviews of clearance holders/applicants and applying the National Adjudicative Guidelines for making an access authorization determination, to include preparing Administrative Review packets associated with the access authorization denial action.
    4) Knowledge of major security disciplines, specifically personnel security, to include eligibility for access to classified or sensitive information.
    5) Ability to effectively communicate verbally and in writing in order to accurately and clearly present information to senior officials.
    6) Ability to interpret and apply statutes, regulations and procedures pertaining to personnel security programs.

    To preview questions please click here.

    Read more Security clearance Top Secret

    Drug test required Yes