I looked over your list of specialty codes and could not find my job listed anywhere. Why not?

The specialty codes are not intended to substitute for job descriptions or to cover all the duties and responsibilities of a given position. They are intended to identify the special knowledge/skills/abilities (KSAs) an incumbent must have to perform effectively within an activity. Special KSAs are those not already described in either the new benchmark job descriptions or in the standard classification guide for the job series associated with your position. Specialty codes work in partnership with the new job descriptions and the current occupational series guidelines, they cannot stand alone.

My supervisor submitted a description of my duties and it does not appear on your list of Specialty Codes. Why not?

The Specialty Codes are intended for use throughout the command. Some were re-written to remove language that would needlessly restrict their use to a single activity or even a single person. Some supervisors submitted language that merely repeated KSAs already well described in the guidelines for a given occupational series and most of these were culled as unnecessary or unresponsive to the task at hand.

I do not see the Specialty Code I need to cover one of my positions, what can I do?

Maintaining and refining our list of Specialty Codes will be a dynamic process. The initial approved list is merely that - a formal starting point. Only, as managers begin to apply the Specialty Codes will some of the shortcomings in our current efforts become apparent. If you have a firm requirement to establish a new Specialty Code, you should contact the Personnel Demonstration Project Point of Contact for your activity.

I do not think my supervisor has adequately represented the KSAs for my position and I have some ideas for improving the Specialty Codes that apply to me.

Certainly, you should discuss your ideas with your supervisor. But, because this project impacts virtually every one of our employees, we want to keep a channel open to all of you as well. We want to continue to enlist your expertise in refining our list of Specialty Codes and to respond to your comments and concerns. So, please remain interested in this important project and be assured that your comments and feedback will be used to good effect in making steady improvements in the responsiveness of the Specialty Codes to mission requirements.

How can I describe my staff if I can only use one Specialty Code per person?

You are not limited in the number of Specialty Codes you may append to a position. Many positions will require two or three! This is especially true where first level managers or supervisors are also working scientists or where technicians have a number of highly specialized functions they perform in addition to their routine duties.

I note that some occupations have no Specialty Codes at all. How can this be?

Many of the standard occupational series classification guidelines (especially for the administrative series) are quite mature, detailed and comprehensive in their description of the KSAs required to perform many familiar functions. Therefore, in some cases, there was no reason to supplement these occupations (as they are currently being used with the Command) with specialty codes.

Why do some Specialty Codes read like job descriptions while others speak more directly to KSAs?

In an organization as complex as ours it would be surprising to find that every manager had exactly the same approach to any task. Understanding of the development and application of Specialty Codes remains uneven. Many managers were contacted directly when there was doubt as to the appropriateness of a particular submission. When appropriate, requests were made to reconsider the language used in dozens of the Specialty Codes and contractors were assigned to re-write and re-title when possible. Despite this, some managers believe that their approach is preferable and that retaining their original submissions is best for their employees and for their mission. These are the individuals closest to our employees and to the specifics of their duties and responsibilities. Considerable deference must be accorded their judgement as subject matter experts, so when they have insisted, we have allowed their submissions to stand unchanged.

I want to match a Chemist position with a Specialty Code, but I do not see the Chemist Series (1320) listed among those at the bottom of the Specialty Code. Does this mean I cannot use this Code with Chemist positions?

No! You may use any Specialty Code with any of the approved Occupational Series. The approved Occupational Series for the Personnel Demonstration Project are listed in the appendix to the hard copy list of Specialty Codes (which you can download from this site). Those Series listed with each Specialty Code were intended as representative guidance only.