Plant Protection and Quarantine Officer (Plant Health Safeguarding Specialist)

Employer
USAJobs
Location
Winchester, Virginia
Posted
Jul 13, 2019
Closes
Jul 16, 2019
Function
Administrative
Hours
Full Time
Duties

Summary

If selected you will serve in a vital role to safeguard U.S. agriculture and natural resources in coordination with state officials, other agencies, industry, and colleges, as a federal liaison for plant quarantine programs. The primary work includes import exclusion, complex treatments, export activities, permitting and compliance, as well as pest detection.

Learn more about this agency

Responsibilities

  • The duties described are for the full-performance level. At developmental grade levels, assignments will be of more limited scope, performed with less independence and limited complexity.
  • The duties may include, but are not limited to:
  • Duties are performed at Plant Inspection Stations, International Ports of Entry, and other geographical areas within the United States.
  • Provide specialized inspection, regulation and clearance of propagative plant material, plant products and pest diagnostic identification services at plant inspection stations and other facilities.
  • Interpret and enforce Federal and State domestic quarantines and regulatory orders restricting the inter/intra-state movement of plants, plant products, animal byproduct and other materials.
  • Plan, conduct, and/or supervise various treatments such as disinfection, sterilization, fumigation, cold treatment, hot water treatment, irradiation for plant and animal pests and diseases.
  • Manage multiple program areas such as: post entry quarantine, biological control, gypsy moth, grasshopper/cricket, noxious weeds, boll weevil, or other pests.
  • Review permits, conduct inspections, prepare and execute compliance agreements, enforce policies regarding quarantine, and identify inspection sites.
  • Serve as accredited certifying officials regarding export certification for trade facilitation.
  • Track the progress and submit reports regarding program operations in specific geographical area assigned.


Travel Required

Occasional travel - Must be able to travel on a routine basis and be willing to work at odd times, including overtime, weekends, holidays and shifts.

Supervisory status
No

Promotion Potential
11

Requirements

Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a US Citizen or US National
  • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be Selective Service registered or exempt
  • Subject to satisfactory adjudication of background investigation and/or fingerprint check
  • Direct Deposit: Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to their financial institution
  • Successfully pass the E-Verify employment verification check. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, visit E-Verify at https://www.e-verify.gov/
  • Successful completion of one-year trial period.
  • Valid state driver's license is required at the time of application.
  • This position may have unique physical requirements, if you are asked in for an interview please address any questions at that time.
  • May be required to maintain certification for the wearing of personal protective equipment, including respirators such as Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) and maintain a valid pesticide certification.


Qualifications

Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement, including specialized experience and/or education, as defined below.
BASIC REQUIREMENT:

Degree: biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position.

OR
Combination of education and experience: Courses equivalent to a major, as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

FOR THE GS-07 LEVEL: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-05) grade level that demonstrates:
  • Knowledge of pertinent regulations, policies, and procedures of agricultural quarantine principles and biological and scientific principles, techniques of collection and identification.
  • Experience in multiple program areas and/or multifaceted programs, such as post entry quarantine, gypsy moth, biological control, grasshopper/Mormon cricket, etc.
  • Drafting proposals or work plans and financial plans to be used for survey, sampling, control, trace back, regulatory methods development, etc.
  • Planning, conducting various treatments and remedial measures, such as disinfection, sterilization, fumigation, cold treatment, hot water treatment, etc., for plant and animal pests and diseases
OR
1 year of graduate-level education or superior academic achievement

Superior Academic Achievement: To qualify based on superior academic achievement, you must have completed the requirements for a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution AND must meet certain GPA requirements. For more details click: Superior Academic Achievement

Equivalent combinations of education and experience are qualifying for this grade level.

TRANSCRIPTS are required if:
  • This position requires specific coursework or a degree in a specific field to be basically qualified.
  • You are qualifying for the position based on education.
  • You are qualifying for this position based on a combination of experience and education.
  • You are qualifying for this position based on Superior Academic Achievement.
  • This education must have been successfully completed and obtained from an accredited school, college, or university

COMBINATION OF EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE AT THE GS-07 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 Professional and Scientific Positions

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 and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Education

Please see above for education qualification requirement information.

Additional information

  • Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP), Reemployment Priority List (RPL), or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): Visit the OPM website for information on how to apply as a CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP eligible. To exercise selection priority for this vacancy, CTAP/RPL/ICTAP candidates must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors. CTAP/ICTAP candidates must be rated and determined to be well qualified (or above) based on an evaluation of the competencies listed in the How You Will Be Evaluated section. When assessed through a score-based category rating method, CTAP/ICTAP applicants must receive a rating of at least 85 out of a possible 100.
  • First time hires to the federal government normally start at the lowest rate of the salary range for the grade selected.
  • Travel, transportation, and relocation expenses will not be paid. Any travel, transportation, and relocation expense associated with reporting for duty will be the responsibility of the selected employee.
  • This position is eligible for telework within the local commuting area of the duty location of the position. Employee participation is at the discretion of the supervisor.
  • This is a term appointment not to exceed 13 months. (Appointment may be extended up to 4 years without reannouncing). For more details click: Term Appointments


How You Will Be Evaluated

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

Applications will be evaluated in accordance with Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) Delegated Examining Procedures and USDA policy 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 (KSA) or competencies:

  • Compliance Inspection
  • Pest Control
  • Quality Ranking Factor


Your application, including the online Assessment Questionnaire, will be reviewed to determine if you meet (a) minimum qualification requirements and (b) the resume supports the answers provided to the job-specific questions. Your resume must clearly support your responses to all the questions addressing experience and education relevant to this position. Those determined to be in the best qualified category will be referred to the selecting official for consideration.

Note: If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your score may be adjusted to more accurately reflect your abilities, or you may be found ineligible. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Providing inaccurate information on Federal documents could be grounds for non-selection or disciplinary action up to including removal from the Federal service.

To preview the application questionnaire, please visit: https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/10542785

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Not Required

Drug test required
No

Position sensitivity and risk
Moderate Risk (MR)

Trust determination process
Credentialing , Suitability/Fitness

Required Documents

The following documents are required for your applicant package to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, your system failure or downtime, etc. Encrypted documents will not be accepted. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.
  • Resume that includes:1) personal information such as name, address, contact information; 2) education; 3) detailed work experience related to this position as described in the major duties including work schedule, hours worked per week, dates of employment; title, series, grade (if applicable); 4) other qualifications; and 5) supervisors name and phone number for each work period listed and whether or not they may be contacted for reference checks.
  • If education is required or you are using education to qualify, you must submit a copy of your college transcripts. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application if it includes your name and the necessary course information; however, if you are selected, you will be required to submit official transcripts prior to entering on duty. Education must have been successfully obtained from an accredited school, college or university. If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show that the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program. For further information, visit the following: Foreign Education Evaluation . All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.
  • If claiming 10-point veterans' preference you must provide the DD214 or certification requirements (see above bullet), plus the proof of entitlement of this preference as listed on the SF-15 Application for 10-point Veterans' Preference. The SF-15 should be included but is not required. Failure to submit these documents could result in the determination that there is insufficient documentation to support your claim for 10-point preference. For more information on veterans' preference visit FEDSHIREVETS
  • Surplus or displaced employees eligible for CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP priority must provide: proof of eligibility (RIF separation notice, notice of proposed removal for declining a transfer of function or directed reassignment to another commuting area, notice of disability annuity termination), SF-50 documenting separation (as applicable), last performance appraisal that is at least fully successful or its equivalent, and your most recent SF-50 noting position, grade level, and duty location with your application per 5 CFR 330.
  • Worker's Compensation Separation: Agency certification of inability to place employee AND Notification of Separation OR Separation SF-50.
    • Disability Annuity Termination: Notification from OPM of disability annuity termination AND Separation SF-50 of the last position held. Military Reserve or National Guard Technician Special Disability Retirement Annuity under 5 U.S.C. 8337(h) or 8456: Certification of special disability retirement annuity from a military department or National Guard Bureau AND Separation SF-50 of the last position held.

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