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Supporting Documentation

Q: What supporting documentation do I need to send in?
 

A: The required application materials may vary from announcement to announcement. Be certain to read the entire vacancy announcement for the position you are applying to for complete instructions on what to submit. As a general guideline, supporting documentation may include the following:

Documentation of Education:

Documentation of education is required if:

1) The position requires specific coursework or a degree in a specific field (as explained in the Qualifications section.)

2) You are qualifying for the position based on education rather than, or in addition to experience, or you are claiming Superior Academic Achievement (SAA) to qualify at the GS-7 level (as explained in the Qualifications section.)
What to submit:

  • College transcripts; or
  • copy of your college diploma (reflecting the field of study, if a specific degree is required); or
  • A list of all college courses with grades and credits (indicate quarter/semester hours and GPA). (NOTE: If the position you are applying to requires specific hours of coursework or you are claiming Superior Academic (SAA) achievement for a GS-7 position, you MUST submit a transcript or a list of college courses); or
  • A copy of current licenses (e.g., a license to practice veterinary medicine conferred by a state Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners) or a certificate (e.g., Diplomat in a specialty area of veterinary medicine, completion of a qualifying internship, residency, or Fellowship in veterinary medicine or a CPA) that is indicative of possessing the educational requirements of the announcement.
    • For Veterinarians, in addition to a state license to practice, graduates of foreign veterinary medical programs must submit qualifying proof of proficiency in the English language as described under the 'Qualifications' section of vacancy announcements for Veterinarian positions.

**If you are selected for a position that requires specific course work or you were qualified on the basis of an unofficial list of college courses or copies of diplomas, licenses, or certificates of membership you MUST submit copies of official college transcripts BEFORE your selection may be confirmed.

***All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation

NOTE: Foreign education must be evaluated by an approved organization. The U.S. Department of Education may be of some help in providing information on these organizations. Visit the U.S. Department of Education at the following web site: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html 
 

Documentation of Foreign Education: 
 

NOTE: Foreign education must be evaluated by an approved organization. The U.S. Department of Education may be of some help in providing information on these organizations. Visit the U.S. Department of Education at the following web site: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html ***Your application package must include an English translation of the foreign transcript.***

Documentation of Superior Academic Achievement 

***To qualify based on Superior Academic Achievement; you must submit proof that you have completed all the requirements for a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution AND that you meet at least one of the following criteria based on (1) class standing, (2) grade-point average, or (3) honor society membership.

1. To qualify based on class standing, applicants must be in the upper third of the graduating class in the college, university, or major subdivision, such as the College of Liberal Arts or the School of Business Administration, based on completed courses.

2. To qualify based on grade-point average, applicants must have a grade-point average of:

  • 3.0 or higher out of a possible 4.0 (“B” or better) as recorded on their official transcript, or as computed based on 4 years of education, or as computed based on courses completed during the final 2 years of the curriculum; or
  • 3.5 or higher out of a possible 4.0 (“B+” or better) based on the average of the required courses completed in the major field or the required courses in the major field completed during the final two years of the curriculum.

Grade-point averages will be rounded to one decimal place. For example, 2.95 will round to 3.0 and 2.94 will round to 2.9.

3. Applicants may also qualify based on membership in a national scholastic honor society, which meets the minimum requirements of the Association of College Honor Societies. Membership in a freshman honor society cannot be used to meet the requirements of this provision.

Veterans Preference Documents:

***If you are claiming Veterans' Preference, you should submit the following proof of eligibility:

  • Five Point Preference: DD-214 (Please submit the DD-214 (Member Copy 4) for the period of service which you are claiming Veterans Preference)
  • Ten Point Preference: DD-214 (Please submit the DD-214 (Member Copy 4) for the period of service which you are claiming Veterans Preference), Standard Form 15 (Application for 10-Point Veterans Preference) and the proof requested on the Standard Form 15. For an on-line exact replica of Standard Form 15, visit: http://www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/SF15.pdf

*Special note to those currently on active duty:

If you don't have a DD-214 because you are on active duty and are in within 120 days of discharge or release from active duty, you must submit a certification of expected discharge or release under honorable conditions with your application.

The certification is any written document from the armed forces that certifies you are expected to be discharged or released from active duty service under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is signed.

Please also include the following information in your application:

- Date of service (e.g. 1/5/08 to present);
- Branch of Service; and
- Rank and a description of duties and responsibilities.
 

Veteran Hiring Authority Documents:

***If you are applying under a Veteran Appointing Authority you should submit the following proof of eligibility:

  • VRA: DD-214 (Please submit the DD-214 (Member Copy 4) for the period of service which you are claiming Veterans Preference)
  • VEOA: DD-214 (Please submit the DD-214 (Member Copy 4) for the period of service which you are claiming Veterans Preference)
  • 30% Disabled Veteran: DD-214 (Please submit the DD-214 (Member Copy 4) for the period of service which you are claiming Veterans Preference), Standard Form 15 and the proof requested on Standard Form 15. For an on-line exact replica of Standard Form 15, visit: http://www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/SF15.pdf

*Special note to those currently on active duty:

If you don't have a DD-214 because you are on active duty and are in within 120 days of discharge or release from active duty, you must submit a certification of expected discharge or release under honorable conditions with your application.

The certification is any written document from the armed forces that certifies you are expected to be discharged or released from active duty service under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is signed.

Please also include the following information in your application:

- Date of service (e.g. 1/5/08 to present);
- Branch of Service; and
- Rank and a description of duties and responsibilities.

*NOTE: For more information about Veterans' Preference or Veteran Appointing Authorities click here. Or, reference OPM's VetGuide at http://www.fedshirevets.gov/hire/hrp/vetguide/index.aspx

Documentation of Federal Employment:

With the exception of current APHIS, GIPSA, and AMS employees, ALL current Federal employees and former Federal employees eligible for reinstatement must submit a copy of an SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action that shows their current grade, full performance level, and competitive civil service status when applying under merit promotion procedures. (The “position occupied” block on the SF-50 should show a “1” and the “tenure” block should show a “1” or “2”.)

ALL Merit Promotion Application: If your current grade is not your highest permanent grade, submit an additional SF-50 showing the highest grade held on a permanent basis.

CTAP Documentation

Selection priority for CTAP/ICTAP is limited to positions at or below the grade level of the position from which an individual is (or will be) separated that does not have more promotion potential.

To receive special priority selection, CTAP and ICTAP applicants must submit proof of eligibility as described below, meet all qualification and eligibility requirements, be rated well-qualified (i.e., receive a score of 85 or higher without points added for veterans' preference) and be able to perform the duties of the position upon entry.

CTAP/ICTAP applicants must submit proof that they meet the requirements of 5 CFR 330.605 (a) for CTAP and 5 CFR 330.704 for ICTAP. Therefore if you are applying to an announcement as CTAP or ICTAP you must submit the following:

1. Documentation proving eligibility (RIF separation notice, notice of removal for declining a reassignment, etc.)

2. A copy of your most recent Performance Rating (must be at least Fully Successful)

3. A copy of your most recent SF-50 showing the position, grade level, and duty location of the position from which you were (or will be) separated. Please annotate your application to reflect that you are applying as an CTAP or ICTAP eligible.

For additional information, visit the following OPM sites:
 

Interchange Agreement Documentation 

Appointment Conditions

An agency may noncompetitively appoint an employee covered by an interchange agreement to a career or career-conditional appointment subject to the conditions listed below. Each interchange agreement specifies these conditions. The conditions do not appear in the Code of Federal Regulations. Individuals who do not meet the requirements for appointment under the interchange agreement may apply for a position under competitive examining or other appointment procedures, provided the individual satisfies all applicable eligibility requirements.

Qualifying for appointment in other merit systems

To be eligible for career or career-conditional appointment, a person must:
 

a. Be currently serving under an appointment without time limit in the other merit system or have been involuntarily separated from such appointment without personal cause within the preceding year; AND

b. Be currently serving in or have been involuntarily separated from a position covered by an interchange agreement (some agreements do not cover all positions of the other merit system); AND

c. Have served continuously for at least 1 year in the other merit system prior to appointment under the interchange agreement
 

Therefore, if you are applying to an announcement based on your eligibility for appointment under an interchange agreement, you must submit the following:

  • A copy of your most recent SF-50 (Notification of Personnel Action) and/or other appropriate documentation that reflects that you meet the above requirements.

For additional information, visit the following OPM website: https://www.opm.gov/hr_practitioners/lawsregulations/appointingauthorities/index.asp#InterchangeAgreementsWithOtherMeritSystems 

Individuals with Disabilities

People with Mental Retardation, Severe Physical Disabilities, or Psychiatric Disabilities and have documentation from a licensed medical professional (e.g., a physician or other medical professional certified by a state, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. territory to practice medicine); a licensed vocational rehabilitation specialist (i.e., state or private); or any Federal agency, state agency, or agency of the District of Columbia or a U.S. territory that issues or provides disability benefits may apply for non-competitive appointment through the Schedule A (5 C.F.R. 213.3102(u)) hiring authority. Such documentation must be submitted with the application.

Peace Corps and Vista Volunteer Eligibility Documentation

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) who have successfully completed their service are granted one year of noncompetitive eligibility for federal appointments, under Executive Order 11103. The certification for noncompetitive eligibility is contained in the RPCV's “description of service (DOS).” This document is signed by the country director of the RPCV's country of service.

Returned Vista Volunteers who have satisfactorily completed a full year of service, earn non-competitive eligibility for federal jobs for one year. This one year of non-competitive eligibility begins the first day after you complete your full year of service. To establish your non-competitive status, you'll need VISTA certification as proof of eligibility. 

***If you are eligible for appointment based on any other special authority, please submit proof of eligibility.

Spouse or Widow/Widower of an Armed Forces Member

***If you are applying under the authority for spouses and widows/widowers of certain members of the armed forces, you must submit the following proof of eligibility:

A spouse accompanying a military member on permanent change of station orders must submit:

A copy of the service member's active duty orders which authorize a permanent change of station. This authorization must include:
 

  • A statement authorizing the service member's spouse to accompany the member to the new permanent duty station;
  • The specific location to which the member of the armed forces is to be assigned, reassigned, or transferred pursuant to permanent change of station orders; and
  • The effective date of the permanent change of station; and

Documentation verifying marriage to the member of the armed forces (i.e., a marriage license or other legal documentation verifying marriage).
 

A spouse of a 100 percent disabled service member must submit:

  • Documentation showing the member of the armed forces was released or discharged from active duty due to a service-connected disability;
  • Documentation showing the member of the armed forces retired, or was released or discharged from active duty, with a disability rating of 100 percent; and
  • Documentation verifying marriage to the member of the armed forces (i.e., a marriage license or other legal documentation verifying marriage)

A widow or widower of a service member killed while on active duty must submit:
 

  • Documentation showing the individual was released or discharged from active duty due to his or her death while on active duty;
  • Documentation verifying the member of the armed forces was killed while serving on active duty; and
  • Documentation verifying marriage to the member of the armed forces (i.e., a marriage license or other legal documentation verifying marriage); and
  • A statement certifying that he or she is the un-remarried widow or widower of the service member.

Appointment eligibility lasts for two years from the date of the permanent change of station orders. Spouses of deceased and 100 percent disabled veterans are eligible indefinitely.

 

Q: How do I send my supporting documentation?
 

A: Once you have been transferred from USAJOBS to the USDA recruitment system, your supporting documentation may be sent one of the three ways. You may upload your documents, download any stored documents from USAJOBS, or print a fax cover sheet and fax your documents into the system.


To upload your document(s), simply click [Upload] next to the type of document you would like to submit. You will then have the option to enter a document description. Once you have entered your description, click [Browse] to locate the document(s) on your computer and click [Upload Document].

To download any documents you previously uploaded to the USAJOBS website, click [USAJOBS]. You will then reach a drop down menu where you may select from your USAJOBS documents. Select the appropriate document and click [Download from USAJOBS].

If you do not have an electronic copy of your documents, you may also fax them into the system. To do this, click [Fax]. Then click [Generate Fax Cover Sheet]. A fax cover sheet will open in a new window. (Be sure your pop-up blockers are disabled.) Fax your documents to the number listed on the fax cover sheet. Each document type should be faxed separately. For example, if you are faxing transcripts and a performance appraisal rating, you would need to send two separate faxes, one transmission for the transcripts and one transmission for the performance appraisal rating.

***Be certain to submit only documents which are clear legible. Original documents with light or faded print and/or dark or patterns may not be legible upon receipt.

***If a document is resubmitted, it replaces the previous submission, which means the previous document is no longer available to the human resources office. If you are adding to, rather than replacing, a previous submission, you must subit both the old document and the new document for them both to be accessible to HR.)

Supporting documentation sent via email will NOT be accepted.

 

Q: Do I need to submit separate supporting documentation for each announcement I am applying to?
 

A: No, if you upload and/or download your documents into the system or if you fax your supporting documentation using the fax cover sheets obtained through the application process, your supporting documents will be attached to your profile in the USDA system. Once attached to your profile they will be automatically submitted each time you apply for a position with the USDA.

If you do not use the fax cover sheets obtained through the application process but instead fax your supporting documents directly to the HR office, your documents will only be submitted for the specific announcement to which you are applying. Faxing directly to the office will require you to send a new set of documents for every announcement to which you are applying.
 

Q: How do I check to see if you have received my supporting documentation?
 

Once you have faxed your supporting documentation you should receive an automated email confirmation to the email address in your USAJOBS account indicating receipt of your fax. If you do not receive this email confirmation, your fax was not successfully received and attached to your profile.

If you do not receive the email confirmation, try faxing your documents again or you may email apphelp@aphis.usda.gov for additional assistance.

You may also check to see if your supporting documents have been received on-line throughout the hiring process. To do this go to the USAJOBS website: http://www.usajobs.gov/ and click My USAJOBS.

Once there fill in your My USAJOBS username and password. Then click [My Applications]. Scroll to the appropriate announcement and your USAJOBS status should read &quotResume Received&quot with a link titled &quotinformation…&quot Click on the link &quotinformation...&quot and you will be transferred to the USDA system.

Once transferred, you will be prompted with two options. Select &quotView/Generate Fax Cover Sheets&quot and then click [Continue]. You will now be able to view a list of fax cover sheets. The appropriate fax cover sheets should read &quotNot Applicable&quot under the announcement number. The &quotNot Applicable&quot fax cover sheets will attach to your profile which means they will also be automatically attached to any position to which you apply in the future. If a fax has been sent it will state &quotReceived&quot and the date the fax was received.

If your USAJOBS status reads &quotApplication Started&quot, it means the application process was exited early and you may not have properly completed the application. You may receive further assistance by sending an email to the following address: apphelp@aphis.usda.gov.
 

Q: Do I need to submit supporting documentation for all types of documents requested through the application process?
 

A: No, the documents listed in the Document Manager section of the application process are all of the possible documents you may need to submit. Not all of the document types listed will pertain to you; only submit those documents needed to complete your application package. For example, the Schedule A Certification document must only be submitted by individuals applying based on eligibility for appointment due to a disability. The SF-50 is a form current and former Federal employees submit to document their Federal employment status.
 

Q: When I check my Application Status at the USAJOBS website my “Uploaded Document Status” reads “None.” I submitted by supporting documentation. Why aren't they showing up as received on USAJOBS?
 

A: USAJOBS allows users to attach uploaded documents to their USAJOBS profile. However, the documentation that may be uploaded to your USAJOBS profile is completely separate from the documents that we accept via direct upload to the USDA recruitment system and the auto-generated fax cover sheets. Your Uploaded Document Status on USAJOBS will only be updated if you chose to Download your documents from USAJOBS in the application process.
 

 

 



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