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What is the FWS Policy on the use of SPDs?

FWS promotes the use of SPDs to consistently apply classification principles across the Service and to streamline the recruitment process for managers and supervisors. To use an SPD, the manager/supervisor should:

  1. Locate the SPD that most closely applies to the work of the position. Your HR Specialist may be able to suggest an applicable SPD for your use. When you select an SPD, talk with your HR Specialist about the qualifications requirements that go along with the occupational series of the SPD that you have selected.
  2. Determine the appropriate grade for your position. Often many similar positions exist. To determine the correct full performance level of the position, consider the size of the organization, authorities or functions delegated, the scope and impact of the position’s responsibilities, and other important information found in the classification factors of the PD. Your HR Specialist can help you with the position management review.
  3. Sign blocks 20a and 20b of the PD coversheet, Optional Form (OF) – 8. The form is signed by the first and second level supervisors for the position.
  4. Develop a job analysis and crediting plan for the position if one does not already exist. Eventually all SPDs in the Library will have a job analysis and crediting plan, but until those products are developed, that responsibility lies with the manager. The Branch of Human Resources estimates that all SPDs in the Library will have a job analysis and crediting plan available by December 2009.

SPDs should be used:

  1. When the SPD covers at least 80% of the major duties of the position;
  2. The work reflects a number of positions whose duties are basically the same at various locations within an organization; and
  3. To establish uniformity for work that is profoundly performed throughout the organization. They are best utilized when a general organizational assessment is completed to identify how a proposed SPD relates to others in maintaining a position structure that is effective in meeting workforce needs.

In the case that an SPD cannot be used for a position, the manager/supervisor should contact the Servicing Personnel Office for assistance in developing an accurate position description.

Authority and Accountability:
Supervisors have the authority to establish positions and selects SPDs for use. Along with this authority, supervisors are accountable for applying effective position management practices, ensuring a cost-effective organization that remains within budgetary allocations, and complying with classification and merit systems principles. The supervisor is accountable to ensure the SPD selected accurately reflects the work assigned.

The Human Resources Office serves as a technical resource regarding position classification and position management. HR Specialists are authorized to conduct periodic PD reviews or question a specific action based on their knowledge of the organization or classification standards. They are there to assist you in designing and developing an effective organization through application of position management, classification, and merit systems principles.

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