Program Specialist

Washington, D.C
Feb 19, 2021
Feb 27, 2021
Program Manager
Full Time


This position is located in the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, Office of the Under Secretary for Health (USH). The incumbent serves as a Program Specialist in the Office of the Under Secretary for Health.

Learn more about this agency


The incumbent serves as a Program Specialist in the Office of the Under Secretary for Health and provides staff level assistance in the overall management of the office with the responsibility for planning and carrying out a variety of administrative and policy related activities.MAJOR DUTIES:
  • Works with the senior staff of the Under Secretary for Health, Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Health and VHA Chief of Staff in developing approaches and solutions to administrative and management problems. Initiates and conducts majors studies involving issues brought to the attention of the senior staff. These issues involve policies or programs of a complex nature that may cut across organizational lines within the Department or may involve relationships between central office and field facilities. The incumbent will analyze findings and presents recommendations on substantive operating programs and policies.
  • Coordinates critical and sensitive activities. Manages a wide range of policy matters prior to their presentation to the staff of the Under Secretary for Health, Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Health or VHA Chief of Staff for decision. Maintains close coordination with staff to ensure consistency in approach in the decision-making process.
  • Coordinates special and confidential assignments as necessary to help support the Under Secretary for Health in executing the mission of the office. Participates in all phases of organizational and management matters. Develops and recommends efficient general management and administrative practices for the office.
  • Reviews incoming correspondence and conducts substantive review of correspondence for the signature of the Under Secretary for Health. Works directly with individual staff offices to resolve any issues that arise. Prepares responses to correspondence, reports, etc. on behalf of or for the signature of the Under Secretary for Health.
  • Develops information needed on short notice by the Under Secretary for Health. Personally researches and extracts information from various sources and develops summaries as appropriate and/or contacts other offices or outside sources for needed information.
  • Coordinates the preparation of trips taken by the Under Secretary for Health. Works with key officials to ensure that all aspects of the Under Secretary's travel meets all expectations. Develops associated materials as required.
  • Plans and coordinates preparation for functions held by the Under Secretary for Health. Coordinates with program offices and other key staff offices to ensure that all of the needs of the Under Secretary for Health are met and protocols observed. Coordinates with outside groups resolving complex problems that could affect the success of the functions.
  • Reviews appointments and events for the Under Secretary's schedule. Manages and resolves issues involving scheduling concerns. Gathers information from variety of sources such as interviews, telephone conversations, research in riles, etc. In analyzing information, takes into account relationship between and among the Under Secretary's office, other VA organizations, Veterans Service Organizations and other organizational entities outside of VA. Prepares the Under Secretary's daily binder for the following day.
  • Performs basic analysis, reviews reports and resolves discrepancies with the appropriate office. Assures that all information is properly authorized documented. Brings discrepancies and/or inconsistencies to the attention of the supervisor. Monitors and tracks milestones for various on-going projects. Conducts follow-up as needed. Monitors reports and processes to ensure that operating program objectives are met.
  • Keeps informed of administrative and related problems and issues confronting the Under Secretary in order to advise him/her of priorities and ramifications or various actions being considered. Works with key officials and subject matter experts to ensure the consistent presentation and dissemination of written and verbal data and reports.
  • Manages a record control program for the immediate Office of the Under Secretary for Health, to include centralized records keeping, standardized handling/retention, improved records, and management of any conversion from paper to film/electronic data, and document searches. Analyzes problems and issues involved the development of records management systems and ensures effective coordination.

Work Schedule: 8:00am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday
Compressed/Flexible: Available
Telework: Ad Hoc Only
Virtual: This is not a virtual position.
Position Description/PD#: PD02190-A
Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job
  • Designated and/or random drug testing may be required
  • 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


To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement, 02/25/2021.

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-12 position you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-11. 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. 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-11 in the normal line of progression for the occupation in the organization. Examples of specialized experience would typically include, but are not limited to: research and analyze problems, issues, program requirements in support of program; research and analyze administrative processes used to plan, track and evaluate wide array of long-standing programs and special initiatives; determine pertinent issues and collect relevant information from variety of resources; apply standard analytical techniques to develop recommendations and proposals Plan and accomplish special projects; conduct extensive research and compilation of data from diverse sources; interact with individuals from diverse backgrounds; create data tables and reports for existing data systems and sources; coordinate projects through planning, implementation and coordination of daily activities and special initiatives; coordinates and prepares conference packages for processing; coordinates and prepares trip packages in accordance with travel policies and procedures; schedules and maintains appointment calendars for senior leaders; provides logistical support to include arranging and scheduling space for meetings, preparing agendas and supporting documents as required; plan and carry out projects to improve efficiency and productivity of organization and employees in administrative support activities; plan and organize studies to include estimating costs, coordinating with staff and line management personnel and conducting all phases of project; coordinate wide variety of correspondence and action items internal and external to VA; track and monitor correspondence to ensure action items are completed accurately and within established timelines; interact with subject matter experts to develop, gather and evaluate information and data and/or draft response for final review; organize, manage, coordinate, track and prioritize administrative work; research and interpret policy, regulations, guidelines, procedure and pertinent laws to evaluate issues and propose recommendations; and adheres to policies and procedures, including timeframes, for all milestones and requirements.
You will be rated on the following Competencies for this position:
  • Organizational Knowledge
  • Oral Communication
  • Organizational Skills
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Problem Solving
  • Self-Management
  • Administration and Management

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: No special physical exertions required. The work is primarily performed while sitting, though some work may require periods of standing. The regular and recurring work of the position involves sitting at a desk, conferences, meetings, etc.

For more information on these qualification standards, please visit the United States Office of Personnel Management's website at http://:// .


There is no educational substitution at this grade level.

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

The Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) provide eligible displaced 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 (have a final rating of 85 or more) for this vacancy. Information about CTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website at .

Placement Policy: The posting of this announcement does not obligate management to fill a vacancy or vacancies by promotion. The position may be filled by reassignment, change to lower grade, transfer, appointment, or reinstatement. Management may use any one or any combination of these methods to fill the position.

It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment.

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

Veterans and Transitioning Service Members: Please visit the VA for Vets site for career-search tools for Veterans seeking employment at VA, career development services for our existing Veterans, and coaching and reintegration support for military service members.

For more information on the "Who may apply" eligibility requirements, please refer to the OHRM Status Candidates and Other Candidate Definitions document.

If you are unable to apply online or need to fax a document you do not have in electronic form, view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application .

How You Will Be Evaluated

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


Narrative responses are not required at this time. If you are referred for consideration, you may be asked to submit additional job related information, which may include, but not limited to; responses to the knowledge, skills and abilities; completion of a work sample, and/or contact for an interview.Your resume and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating or consideration for employment.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Required Documents

To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:
  • Resume
  • Most recent SF-50 if you are a current or former Federal employee
  • If you are a current or former Federal employee applying for a higher grade and your SF-50 has an effective date within the past year, it may not clearly demonstrate you meet the one year time-in-grade requirement so you will need to provide an SF-50 which clearly demonstrates you meet the time-in-grade requirements. Examples of appropriate SF-50's include:
    • Within grade increases at the highest grade held; or
    • Promotions with an effective date more than one year old; or
    • SF-50's at the highest grade held with an effective date more than one year old
    The following documents are accepted, and may be required if applicable to your eligibility and/or qualifications for this position. Please use this checklist to make sure you have included other documents required for your application, such as a copy of your transcript (if using education to qualify), SF-50's (current/former Federal employees), documentation to support Veterans Preference claims, or ICTAP/CTAP documentation (for displaced Federal employees). You will not be contacted for additional information.
    • Cover Letter
    • SF50 That Reflects Time in Grade (see announcement for examples)
    • VA Displaced/Surplus Employee Notification (SF50/Reduction in Force Memorandum)
    • Additional Documents
    • Performance Appraisal
    • Resume
    • Separation Notice (RIF)
    • SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action

    Veterans' Preference: When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference for 5pt (TP), 10pt (CP/CPS/XP), or for Sole Survivor Preference (SSP) in the questionnaire. You must provide a legible copy of your DD214(s) which shows dates and character of service (honorable, general, etc.). If you are currently serving on active duty and expect to be released or discharged within 120 days you must submit documentation related to your active duty service which reflects the dates of service, character of service (honorable, general, etc.), and dates of impending separation. Additionally, disabled veterans and others eligible for 10-point preference (such as widows or mothers of eligible Veterans) must also submit an SF-15 "Application for 10 Point Veteran Preference" with required proof as stated on the form. Documentation is required to award preference. For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit .

    If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

    Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

    Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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