Q&A: Position Reclassification


Q: I am currently an engineering technician NT-04 (802-GS-12) and would like to be promoted to a 1550/801 GS-13/14 Computer Scientist. I have met all of the training and experience requirements needed for the position. The duties and responsibilities I’ve performed over the last five years have been those typically fulfilled by personnel hired as a computer scientist or general or electrical engineer at the GS-13/14 level.

A: The knowledge, skills and experience you have are not something that is contingent upon the position you are in, your position description, or series. However, those skills may not be recognized and compensated for if you obtained them outside of your current position and your current position does not have promotional opportunities within the series that recognize the expanded knowledge and skills you possess. In addition, from your letter, you appear to be looking at positions outside your series.

You are currently in a position classified in the 800 series Technical Work in the Engineer and Architectural Group, Engineering Technician 802. Computer Scientist is in the 1550 Series which is the Computer Science Series. The position you are in and the position you would like to be in, or have the skills for, are in two different series. What you seem to be asking is to be moved into a position different that the position you hold because you have acquired new skills since you were first hired. It is not, however, as simple as changing your current position to Computer Scientist and adjusting your pay. There either needs to be an available, funded vacant position as a Computer Scientist in your department (or somewhere else in the Agency), or your position would need to be re-classified based on the duties and responsibilities you are presently performing.

Your most direct option is to apply for a vacant, advertised position in the series you seek, paying close attention to the qualifications and tailoring your resume to address these qualifications. Your application will be evaluated based on the demonstrable skills, knowledge and abilities (“KSAs”), you possess, not simply your current job classification.

If there are no advertised positions, or if you believe the crux of the issue is that you are performing work outside your position classification, you can request, in writing to the Agency human resources office, that your position be audited to ensure the position classification reflects your actual duties and responsibilities.

This response was written by Lisa A. Kleine, associate attorney at Shaw Bransford & Roth P.C., a federal employment law firm.

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Shaw Bransford & Roth

Shaw Bransford & Roth provides legal representation on a wide range of employment and federal employment law issues. For more information visit us at: http://www.shawbransford.com

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