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russ4h  
#1 Posted : Friday, January 31, 2014 1:03:25 AM(UTC)

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I'm still relatively new with the Federal Government and I am currently in the competitive service with a GS rating. There is a strong chance that I could be offered a position under the excepted service with a GG rating.

From what I have read about the excepted service, it seems as though you can be fired with the same ease as the private sector and time spent at whatever grade in the excepted service does not count as experience if applying to a competitive service position (i.e. a year spent as a GG-11 would not qualify me for a GS-12 merit promotion position in the competitive service).

It basically seems like if I take the DCIPS excepted service position, I will limit my career mobility and I could pretty much only apply to other excepted service positions if I ever wanted to move around or change jobs.

Does anyone have any experience that they would mind sharing about DCIPS and excepted service positions and their ability to go back to the competitive service?russ4h2014-01-31 09:13:04
TotallyRetired  
#2 Posted : Friday, January 31, 2014 2:21:05 AM(UTC)

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russ4h wrote:
...Does anyone have any experience that they would mind sharing about DCIPS and excepted service positions and their ability to go back to the competitive service?


I did a mid-career transfer from a competitive service agency to an excepted service agency (not DCIPS) & it worked out well. The reason for the transfer was to accept a promotion (in the same job series) at the excepted service agency. The excepted service agency promoted me a second time, so I stayed there until retirement.

Regarding competitive status, I didn't lose it; however, it is limited to holding a position at the highest grade I held in the competitive service.

There were several other differences that might be of interest to you.
--I had to do a second one year probation.
--I was able to start work before my background investigation was finished.
--My job series was the same as that of the competitive service, so my specialized experience is the same as I would have gained at those two higher grade levels in the competitive service.
Tony  
#3 Posted : Friday, January 31, 2014 2:25:03 AM(UTC)
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russ4h wrote:
I'm still relatively new with the Federal Government and I am currently in the competitive service with a GS rating. There is a strong chance that I could be offered a position under the excepted service with a GG rating.

From what I have read about the excepted service, it seems as though you can be fired with the same ease as the private sector and time spent at whatever grade in the excepted service does not count as experience if applying to a competitive service position (i.e. a year spent as a GG-11 would not qualify me for a GS-12 merit promotion position in the competitive service).

It basically seems like if I take the DCIPS excepted service position, I will limit my career mobility and I could pretty much only apply to other excepted service positions if I ever wanted to move around or change jobs.

Does anyone have any experience that they would mind sharing about DCIPS and excepted service positions and their ability to go back to the competitive service?

Are you already serving is a competitive service position and have career status (at least three years)? If so, it is my understanding that another agency may appoint you by reinstatement to a competitive service position. Therefore, your mobility from an excepted service position depends on your current status. You should also double check the MSPB rules regarding appeals of adverse personnel actions. From the MSPB web site regarding jurisdiction:

"Generally, employees who may appeal adverse actions and performance-based actions are those in the competitive service who have completed a probationary period and those in the excepted service (other than the Postal Service) with at least two years continuous service. Postal Service employees who may appeal adverse actions are preference-eligible employees with one year continuous service and certain Postal Service supervisors, managers, and employees engaged in personnel work."
russ4h  
#4 Posted : Friday, January 31, 2014 3:20:25 AM(UTC)

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TotallyRetired wrote:
russ4h wrote:
...Does anyone have any experience that they would mind sharing about DCIPS and excepted service positions and their ability to go back to the competitive service?


I did a mid-career transfer from a competitive service agency to an excepted service agency (not DCIPS) & it worked out well. The reason for the transfer was to accept a promotion (in the same job series) at the excepted service agency. The excepted service agency promoted me a second time, so I stayed there until retirement.

Regarding competitive status, I didn't lose it; however, it is limited to holding a position at the highest grade I held in the competitive service.

There were several other differences that might be of interest to you.
--I had to do a second one year probation.
--I was able to start work before my background investigation was finished.
--My job series was the same as that of the competitive service, so my specialized experience is the same as I would have gained at those two higher grade levels in the competitive service.


I noticed that I would have to do a 2 year probationary period even though I have already completed my probationary period in the competitive service.

The position offers a ladder to a GG-12 and I have aspirations to go beyond that so in essence, I will not be able to apply to all GS-13 status positions, I will only be able to apply to status announcements in the excepted service and if I wanted to go back to a competitive service job, I only qualify for whatever the highest rating is that I held before I took the excepted service job.

This seems dumb to me. Taking an excepted service job coming from the competitive service seems like it will hurt me in the long run.
russ4h  
#5 Posted : Friday, January 31, 2014 3:27:24 AM(UTC)

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TheRealOrange wrote:
russ4h wrote:
I'm still relatively new with the Federal Government and I am currently in the competitive service with a GS rating. There is a strong chance that I could be offered a position under the excepted service with a GG rating.

From what I have read about the excepted service, it seems as though you can be fired with the same ease as the private sector and time spent at whatever grade in the excepted service does not count as experience if applying to a competitive service position (i.e. a year spent as a GG-11 would not qualify me for a GS-12 merit promotion position in the competitive service).

It basically seems like if I take the DCIPS excepted service position, I will limit my career mobility and I could pretty much only apply to other excepted service positions if I ever wanted to move around or change jobs.

Does anyone have any experience that they would mind sharing about DCIPS and excepted service positions and their ability to go back to the competitive service?

Are you already serving is a competitive service position and have career status (at least three years)? If so, it is my understanding that another agency may appoint you by reinstatement to a competitive service position. Therefore, your mobility from an excepted service position depends on your current status. You should also double check the MSPB rules regarding appeals of adverse personnel actions. From the MSPB web site regarding jurisdiction:

"Generally, employees who may appeal adverse actions and performance-based actions are those in the competitive service who have completed a probationary period and those in the excepted service (other than the Postal Service) with at least two years continuous service. Postal Service employees who may appeal adverse actions are preference-eligible employees with one year continuous service and certain Postal Service supervisors, managers, and employees engaged in personnel work."


I do not have permanent status yet as I have only been with the Federal Govt for 2 years. From what I understand, I can go back to the competitive service but only as what ever GS rating I held before I left for the excepted service. Any promotions I incur as an excepted service employee will not count as experience if I want to keep moving up.

Pretty disappointed to find out about this and it seems dumb to me. As an excepted service employee, you can only move to other excepted service positions (unless you want to apply to competitive positions that are open to all us citizens). However, as a competitive service employee, I can apply to whatever I want (including excepted service positions).
TotallyRetired  
#6 Posted : Friday, January 31, 2014 4:11:33 AM(UTC)

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russ4h wrote:
... Taking an excepted service job coming from the competitive service seems like it will hurt me in the long run.


IMO, if you decide to move to the excepted service, you should wait until after you have three years in the competitive service. It's too soon to go right now.

I can see why you would view the excepted service as a bad career move. This is probably a good time to mention that my excepted service agency co-workers did not share that view.

I should have defined "excepted service" a bit, as my earlier post could be mis-interpreted.

Each excepted service agency is like an island unto itself with its own way of doing things. My agency had a bunch of HR policies that were unique to it. Consequently, all excepted service work experience is not viewed as identical or even transferrable.
TotallyRetired  
#7 Posted : Friday, January 31, 2014 4:18:59 AM(UTC)

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russ4h wrote:
...as a competitive service employee, I can apply to whatever I want (including excepted service positions).


If I were in your position, I would not rule out the excepted service. It has many interesting, good-paying jobs, some of which might be a perfect long-term fit for you.

If the job responsibilities at the excepted service agency are ones that you like & are good at, you aren't taking much of a career risk. Staying at one grade level in one agency is also a risk.   
russ4h  
#8 Posted : Friday, January 31, 2014 4:33:54 AM(UTC)

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TotallyRetired wrote:
russ4h wrote:
... Taking an excepted service job coming from the competitive service seems like it will hurt me in the long run.


IMO, if you decide to move to the excepted service, you should wait until after you have three years in the competitive service. It's too soon to go right now.

I can see why you would view the excepted service as a bad career move. This is probably a good time to mention that my excepted service agency co-workers did not share that view.

I should have defined "excepted service" a bit, as my earlier post could be mis-interpreted.

Each excepted service agency is like an island unto itself with its own way of doing things. My agency had a bunch of HR policies that were unique to it. Consequently, all excepted service work experience is not viewed as identical or even transferrable.


I appreciate your advice and I think I'm going to take it. It sucks because the excepted service position would get me to a GS/GG-12 which is where I want to be as I am only in a 7/9 right now. So if I wanted to move on to a GS-13, my only option is other excepted service vacancies or hoping that I can move up in my current agency. I won't be able to cast a wide net like I am able to do from the competitive service now. If I wanted to take a job with a competitive service agency, I'd have to go back to a GS-9.

I'm sure the agency is good and well, but I hate being limited or held back in any way as we all know some agencies have the "in crowd" and if you aren't a part of it, your chances of upward mobility are limited. It won't be like I can simply apply to other agencies like I can do now. I'd be stuck at that agency.

If I was already a GS-12 in the competitive service then I wouldn't have a problem since I could simply transfer back to the competitive service and not have to downgrade. My first 2 agencies were terrible so mobility is of the utmost importance to me right now. I realize that I may get there and see that it's the best job ever and that I could spend the rest of my career there, but I'm apprehensive given my experiences so far. I like that I have the ability to leave a bad situation.russ4h2014-01-31 12:48:03
TotallyRetired  
#9 Posted : Friday, January 31, 2014 4:44:11 AM(UTC)

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russ4h wrote:
... I hate being limited or held back in any way as we all know some agencies have the "in crowd" and if you aren't a part of it, your chances of upward mobility are limited. It won't be like I can simply apply to other agencies like I can do now. I'd be stuck at that agency.


I totally understand what you are saying but want to mention that being stuck is just a state of mind. Unless you live in a place without many federal jobs in your career field, you are not stuck.

If you stay current in your career field & have a way to network outside of your agency, you are not stuck. Some of the people you meet at training & professional seminars will try to recruit you.

Being ambitious is fun & makes life interesting. Don't let yourself get frustrated, as you are very blessed.
HR Bubba  
#10 Posted : Friday, January 31, 2014 4:48:58 AM(UTC)

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Lot of moving parts in this one, I'll start with the easy ones.
1. Any experience you obtain in the excepted service is qualifying experience. "Specialized experience" statements on job announcements state that qualifying experience must be at the GS-?? grade level OR EQUIVALENT. GG-11 is equivalent to GS-11, GG-12 to GS-12, etc..
2. With regard to Time In Grade (TIG) - Job announcements state that people who have held a GS position in the last 52 weeks must meet TIG requirements. If you transition over to GG, then after 1 year you no longer have to meet TIG when appyling back to GS jobs.
3. You would not be "reinstateable" as you would still be a current federal employee. Reinstatement applies to ex-federal employees.
4. After completion of your probationary period in the competitive service you have attained "personal competitive status (for life)". I mention this because Army allows DCIPS (excepted service ) employees who have personal competitive status to compete for competitive service positions. I can't speak for other agencies, but my guess is that they offer similar type exceptions.

I'll leave the employee rights/appeals questions to MER types.
russ4h  
#11 Posted : Friday, January 31, 2014 4:57:37 AM(UTC)

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HR Bubba wrote:
Lot of moving parts in this one, I'll start with the easy ones.
1. Any experience you obtain in the excepted service is qualifying experience. "Specialized experience" statements on job announcements state that qualifying experience must be at the GS-?? grade level OR EQUIVALENT. GG-11 is equivalent to GS-11, GG-12 to GS-12, etc..
2. With regard to Time In Grade (TIG) - Job announcements state that people who have held a GS position in the last 52 weeks must meet TIG requirements. If you transition over to GG, then after 1 year you no longer have to meet TIG when appyling back to GS jobs.
3. You would not be "reinstateable" as you would still be a current federal employee. Reinstatement applies to ex-federal employees.
4. After completion of your probationary period in the competitive service you have attained "personal competitive status (for life)". I mention this because Army allows DCIPS (excepted service ) employees who have personal competitive status to compete for competitive service positions. I can't speak for other agencies, but my guess is that they offer similar type exceptions.

I'll leave the employee rights/appeals questions to MER types.


The experience portion sounds good, but what about if I want to apply to status announcements? From what I have been told and what I have read, I cannot apply to competitive service status announcements.

For example: I leave a GS-9 competitive service and take an excepted service position and eventually obtain a GG-12.. If I wanted to apply to a GS-13, I'd have to apply to excepted service vacancies or open to all us citizen vacancies. The GS-13 competitive service status announcements would not be available to me.
TotallyRetired  
#12 Posted : Friday, January 31, 2014 5:01:43 AM(UTC)

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HR Bubba,

Thanks for getting involved in this discussion, as I am not an HR person.

My take on our discussion is that the OP is not concerned about reinstatement. We are talking about the boundaries of competitive status after a person is working for an excepted service agency.










russ4h  
#13 Posted : Friday, January 31, 2014 5:03:13 AM(UTC)

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TotallyRetired wrote:
russ4h wrote:
... I hate being limited or held back in any way as we all know some agencies have the "in crowd" and if you aren't a part of it, your chances of upward mobility are limited. It won't be like I can simply apply to other agencies like I can do now. I'd be stuck at that agency.


I totally understand what you are saying but want to mention that being stuck is just a state of mind. Unless you live in a place without many federal jobs in your career field, you are not stuck.

If you stay current in your career field & have a way to network outside of your agency, you are not stuck. Some of the people you meet at training & professional seminars will try to recruit you.

Being ambitious is fun & makes life interesting. Don't let yourself get frustrated, as you are very blessed.


Thank you again for your advice. I'm just not sure I want to give up my ability to easily leave a bad situation, but I'll give it some thought about going to the excepted service. My first two agencies were terrible and I enjoyed being able to cast a wide net to escape. I'm not ready to give up my net.
TotallyRetired  
#14 Posted : Friday, January 31, 2014 5:08:09 AM(UTC)

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russ4h wrote:
... My first two agencies were terrible and I enjoyed being able to cast a wide net to escape. I'm not ready to give up my net.


There are some agencies that are not good places to work. For this reason, I think it is always advisable to request a face-to-face interview during the hiring process.

Additionally, you can ask around or ask in this forum about the reputation of the agency. Best of all, is to get acquainted with some agency employees through working on committees at professional organizations.

Good luck!
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