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Position Classification Guidance

Position Classification Guidance

Classification Topics and Tools


Creating Position Descriptions

Position descriptions (PD) capture the major duties and responsibilities assigned to positions in organizations. Often, there is already a PD in place for the work of a given position either in USGS’s standard PD library, in your organization, or in another organization within USGS doing work similar to yours. Your servicing HR specialist can tell you when a classification action is required, provide advice, sample PDs, and assistance in finding current PDs or creating new PDs. The presentation, Supervisor's Guide to Writing Position Descriptions, provides an overview of the process.

When using standard or identical additional (I/A) PDs, you can customize one PD of a group of similar PDs by adding a DI-625 PD Classification Amendment Form. A PD amendment may be added to any currently classified PD, whether Standard, I/A, or a stand-alone, unique position, as long as the amendment does not change the previous classification determination with regards to pay plan, title, series, or grade of the position. A typical use would be to add a collateral duty (such as safety point of contact) or an ancillary requirement (such as the positions that have incidental driving requirements). 

Template PDs are available to assist in writing 9 Factor FES PDs6 Factor Supervisory PDs, and 4 Factor RGE/EDGE PDs. While not mandatory, these templates may help focus PD writing efforts.

Keep in mind that classification decisions such as title, series, and grade of positions is often dependent on where in an organization a position is located; so not every PD that looks similar will have the same classification. An assistant in a supply organization may have duties similar to an assistant in a human resources office, but one may be a Supply Clerk and the other a Human Resources Assistant.


Completing Classification Forms

Standard personnel forms can be found in the Supervisor’s Toolkit. They can be completed online and printed for use or forwarded to your servicing HR specialist electronically.


More Information

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that address position management and classification issues such as "Why do I need a PD?" are available for reference.

  • Position Management Overview — Tips and tools for managing work efficiently and effectively in your organization. Positions (and PDs) don’t exist in a vacuum. This introduction to position management provides an overview of how positions are managed within the larger context of an organization

  • Research and Development Evaluation Guidance

    Provides an overview of policies, practices and guidance on the Research and Development Evaluation Processes (RGE panel).



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