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U.S. Geological Survey Manual

370.308.3 - Student Career Experience Program


OPR: Office of the Director, Office of Human Resources

Purpose. This chapter revises the USGS Student Career Experience Program's (SCEP) qualification standard.

Background. The Department of the Interior (DOI) recently updated its qualification standard for excepted service SCEP positions filled under rules described in 5 CFR 213.3202(b). This Survey Manual chapter implements the revised DOI SCEP qualification standard. It also provides for qualification requirements for the GS-6, GS-8, GS-10, and GS-11 (non-research) grade levels based on the Office of Personnel Management Qualification Standards Operating Manual which permits using graduate education or internship experience to qualify for levels above the GS-5 if it is directly related to the work of the position.

Qualification Standard. Attachment A sets forth the USGS SCEP qualification standard in chart format.

Coverage. Student trainee occupational series covered by this standard follow below:

GS-099 General
GS-199 Social Science
GS-299 Personnel Management
GS-399 Administrative and Office Support
GS-499 Biological Science
GS-599 Financial Management
GS-899 Engineering and Architecture
GS-999 Legal Occupations
GS-1099 Information and Arts
GS-1199 Business and Industry
GS-1399 Physical Science
GS-1499 Library and Archive
GS-1599 Mathematics and Statistics
GS-1699 Equipment and Facilities Management
GS-1799 Education
GS-1899 Investigation
GS-1999 Quality Inspection
GS-2099 Supply
GS-2199 Transportation

Special Provisions for Student Trainees with Previous Related Education or Experience. For initial appointment, subsequent promotions, and conversion from the student trainee program, the applicant's previous education and/or experience (both student trainee and non-student trainee experience) should be evaluated using the qualification standard of the target position to determine whether it is creditable. If any portion of the education or experience meets the requirements in the qualification standard for the target position, then both the initial appointment and conversion may be made at the highest grade level for which the applicant is qualified and eligible.

Explanation of Terms.

1. For clerical and administrative support positions, an academic year of undergraduate education is defined as 30 semester hours, 45 quarter hours, or equivalent in an accredited college or university, or approximately 36 weeks for at least 20 classroom hours per week in an accredited business, technical, or secretarial school. For other occupational groups (e.g., Administrative/Management and Professional/Scientific), please refer to the specific group coverage qualifications standard to determine the definition of what is creditable/equivalent experience for that occupation. Also see the "General Policies and Instructions" for the Operating Manual for Qualification Standards for General Schedule Positions for the definition of a full year of graduate education.

2. Pre-professional study is study in fields that require a post-baccalaureate degree at the entry level (e.g., social worker).

3. For purposes of the standard, a period of student trainee work experience is the equivalent of 2 months (320 hours) of work experience.


1. Students who are U.S. citizens may be non-competitively converted from the Student Career Experience Program to a term, career, or career-conditional appointments under Executive Order 12015 (as amended by Executive Order 13024) when all of the requirements for non-competitive conversions established in 5 CFR 213.3202(b)(11) have been met.

2. A student may be non-competitively converted in another Federal agency provided all parties agree that the appointment is in the best interest of the Federal Government.

3. Students may be non-competitively promoted using this standard immediately prior to conversion.

4. Non-competitive conversions are excluded from time-in-grade restrictions by 5 CFR 300.603(b)(2).

5. When converting students, the following conditions must be met:

a. Students must meet the qualification standard for the position, including any minimum educational, licensing, or certification requirements; however, students who are converted at the same grade as their final student trainee grade need not meet any length of experience requirements for that grade level;

b. The position must be in the field, or a closely related field, for which the students were trained; and

c. Students must meet all the program requirements in 5 CFR 213.3202(b).

Test Requirements. A written test is not required for student trainee positions at the time of initial appointment or upon conversion.

Attachment A

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U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, USA
Contact: APS, Office of Policy and Analysis
Last modification: 08-Jan-2013@15:48 (kk)
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