HRDG 4030 - Category Rating - Section D

HRDG 4030 - Category Rating - Section D

Subchapter 4030
Category Rating
Section D - Referral and Selection of Candidates

 

 
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Referral

Eligible candidates are referred in the following order:

  1. Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) eligibles (Note: ICTAP eligibles must meet the Well Qualified category);
  2. Eligible candidates who lost consideration due to erroneous certification; and
  3. Eligible candidates in the highest quality category, using either option described below. (In accordance with Departmental Regulation 4030-337-2, this determination may be made on a case-by-case basis.)
    1. All eligible candidates in the highest quality category, with preference eligibles listed ahead of non-preference eligibles; or
    2. Only the preference eligibles in the highest quality category when the number of preference eligibles equals or exceeds the number of positions to be filled.
      1. If there are fewer than three candidates in the highest quality category, candidates from the next lower category may be combined with those in the highest category. (See Merging Categories below.)


Qualified candidates are referred in the appropriate quality category according to veterans' preference within each category.

Veterans' Preference 

MRP will apply veterans' preference as follows:

  • Within each quality category, veterans' preference eligibles will be listed ahead of non-preference eligibles in alphabetical order by preference type:
    • Compensable disability of 30 percent or more (CPS),
    • Compensable disability of 10 percent or more, but less than 30 percent (CP),
    • Compensable disability of less than 10 percent, derived preference; and other “10 point” preference eligibles (XP),
    • Other preference eligibles not listed above (TP), and then
    • Non-preference eligibles in alphabetical order.
  • Preference eligibles do not receive additional points under category rating procedures.
  • For positions other than professional and scientific at the GS-09 level or higher, qualified preference eligibles with a compensable service-connected disability of 10 percent or more (i.e., 30 p ercent Compensable Disability Preference (CPS) and  Compensable Disability Preference (CP)) are placed at the top of the highest quality category.
  • For professional and scientific positions at the GS-09 level or higher, qualified preference eligibles with a compensable service-connected disability of 10 percent or more (i.e., CPS and CP) are placed at the top of the appropriate quality category for which they qualify.


The following chart illustrates how to apply veterans' preference under category rating:

Applying Veterans' Preference Under Category Rating

Step 1

Place qualified candidates in the appropriate quality category

Step 2

Identify preference eligible candidates

Step 3

Apply veterans' preference

The following are examples of applying veterans' preference:

Example 1:

In this example, the eligible candidates with tentative preference (TP) are placed at the top of their respective categories. However, because this position is not classified in a professional and scientific occupational series at the GS-09 level or higher, the eligible candidate with a service connected disability of at least 30 percent (CPS) “floats” from the Qualified category to the top of the Best Qualified category.

Example 1: Administrative Support Assistant, GS-0303-05

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3
Best Qualified
Peter Elliot
Jennifer Herdez
Sarah Samuel
Best Qualified
Peter Elliot
Jennifer Herdez
Sarah Samuel
Best Qualified
Ava Hawkins (CPS)
Peter Elliot
Jennifer Herdez
Sarah Samuel
Well Qualified
Jim Grant
Fiona Jones
Kelly Lawrence
 
Well Qualified
Jim Grant
Fiona Jones (TP)
Kelly Lawrence
Well Qualified
Fiona Jones (TP)
Jim Grant
Kelly Lawrence
Qualified
Ava Hawkins
Antonio Salvatore
Rashanda Taylor 
Qualified
Ava Hawkins (CPS)
Antonio Salvatore 
Rashanda Taylor (TP)

Qualified
Rashanda Taylor (TP)
Antonio Salvatore 

 

Example 2:
In this example, all of the veterans' preference eligibles are placed at the top of their respective categories. Because this position is classified in a professional occupational series (GS-0486) at or above the GS-09 grade level, the eligible candidate with a service connected disability of at least 30 percent (CPS), does not float to the top of the Best Qualified category.

Example 2: Wildlife Biologist, GS-0486-09

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3
Best Qualified
Brad Bass
Joan Draper
Steve Sanchez
Diane Theron
 
Best Qualified
Brad Bass
Joan Draper
Steve Sanchez
Diane Theron
Best Qualified
Brad Bass
Joan Draper
Steve Sanchez
Diane Theron
Well Qualified
Ellen Nelson
Asher Robertson
Brenda Ulger
 
Well Qualified
Ellen Nelson
Asher Robertson
Brenda Ulger (CPS)
Well Qualified
Brenda Ulger (CPS)
Ellen Nelson
Asher Robertson
Qualified
Jane Arkady
Eli Mendelssohn 
Felix Wagner
 
Qualified
Jane Arkady
Eli Mendelssohn 
Felix Wagner (TP)
Qualified
Felix Wagner (TP) 
Jane Arkady
Eli Mendelssohn 
Merging Categories 

If there are fewer than three candidates in the highest quality category, the two highest categories (e.g., Best Qualified and Well Qualified) may be merged into one category. The newly merged category becomes the new highest quality category. All preference eligibles in the merged category must be placed ahead of non-preference eligibles.

Merging is optional and can only be done when there are fewer than three candidates in the highest quality category. There is no limit to the number of times categories can be merged. The HR practitioner, in conjunction with the hiring manager, may decide to merge categories at two places in the hiring process: (1) before certifying/issuing the Certificate of Eligibles; or(2) before making a selection.

Subsequent mergers may be made if:

  • There are multiple vacancies,
  • The highest quality group was properly merged with the second highest quality group and selections were made from that merged group, or
  • The first merged group may be merged with the next quality group when fewer than three candidates remain in the first merged group.


Example of merging before certifying/issuing the Certificate of Eligibles:

In this example, the Best Qualified category has just two eligible candidates. The SPO consults with the Hiring Manager and they decide to merge categories. The newly merged category becomes the highest quality category and contains all eligible candidates from both categories. The preference eligible from the Well Qualified category is now placed at the top of the newly merged category.


Example

Making Selections 

Example of merging before making a selection:

  • Selection must be made from the highest quality category.
  • Within a quality category, an applicant with veterans' preference must be selected over a non-veteran in the same category, unless a written “pass over” request is prepared and sustained based on proper and adequate reasons. (Consult with your servicing HR practitioner for more information.)
  • Any veterans' preference eligible in the highest quality category may be selected regardless of the type of preference to which he/she is entitled.
  • The “three consideration” rule in 5 CFR 332.405 does not apply under category rating procedures.
  • The hiring manager cannot pass over a preference eligible to select a non-preference eligible unless a written objection is submitted to and sustained in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 3318. Objections to preference eligibles will be processed in accordance with the procedures outlined within Chapter 6 of OPM's Delegated Examining Operations Handbook: http://www.opm.gov/deu/Handbook_2007/DEO_Handbook.pdf.

Example

Applicant Inquiries 

The SPO will provide the following information, if requested, by an applicant:

  • An explanation of the category rating process, and
  • If the applicant was determined to be minimally qualified, the grouping in which the applicant was placed (i.e., Best Qualified, Well Qualified, or Qualified).

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