Term - These are Term Appointments not to exceed 24 months. This appointment is to prepare the candidate to be converted into APHIS' Foreign Service.
Many vacancies in the following location:
Relocation expenses reimbursed
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), International Services (IS) supports the Agency's mission overseas by safeguarding the health of animals, plants, and ecosystems in the United States and facilitating agricultural trade. APHIS IS seeks candidates for the APHIS Foreign Service Officer (FSO) training program. Candidates that complete the required training program and fulfill all mandatory qualifications are eligible to become APHIS, Foreign Service Officers.
The duties may include, but are not limited to:
Participates in the analysis of agricultural conditions, government policies, and regulatory processes affecting the agricultural market and import/export interests of U.S. stakeholders.
Participates in the compilation, review, and analysis of technical reports on sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) issues and their effects.
Address specific SPS concerns with host countries; may include negotiations in conjunction with the APHIS programs when trade issues focus on animal and plant health and quarantine matters.
Incumbent manages international SPS trade issues with APHIS programs. Incumbent will plan, coordinate, or conduct analyses relevant to trade issues in the host country.
Trainees receive broad, hand-on exposure to APHIS programs and build a network of program contacts that will help them represent APHIS effectively in a multilateral environment overseas.
Prepares briefing memoranda, correspondence, briefing books, market profiles and other background information for APHIS, USDA, and other entities on a variety of subjects.
Prepares oral/written briefings as required, with thorough analysis of political, policy options and strategies.
Participates in the identification, monitoring, and removal of technical, sanitary and phytosanitary barriers to agricultural trade.
Investigates, researches, prepares, and gives advisories identifying animal disease, pest alerts, new regulations and other updates affecting all entities of export/import trade.
75% or less - Domestic and international travel is required to complete the FSO training program
Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP), Reemployment Priority List (RPL), or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): Visit the OPMwebsite for information on how to apply as a CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP eligible. To exercise selection priority for this vacancy, CTAP/RPL/ICTAP candidates must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors. CTAP/ICTAP candidates must be well qualified, which means having knowledge, skills, abilities, and/or competencies that exceed the minimum qualification requirements for this position.
First time hires to the federal government normally start at the lowest rate of the salary range for the grade selected.
Travel, transportation, and relocation expenses will not be paid. Any travel, transportation, and relocation expense associated with reporting for duty will be the responsibility of the selected employee.
This position is not eligible for telework.
This is a term appointment not to exceed 24 months (Appointment may be extended up to 4 years without reannouncing). For more details click: Term Appointments
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
This is a Direct-Hire Authority position, all applicants who meet the minimum qualifications will be referred to the selecting official. Before a certificate is issued to the selecting official, your application is reviewed to ensure that you meet all the qualification requirements. A rating will not be used; veteran's preference does not apply due to the existence of the Direct Hire authority for this position.
Note: If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and/or experience, you may be found ineligible. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Providing inaccurate information on Federal documents could be grounds for non-selection or disciplinary action up to including removal from the Federal service.
For more information regarding APHIS' Foreign Service, please see the link below:
ASSESSMENT PROCESS: This is a multi-phase assessment process. All the qualified applicants from initial USAJOBS assessment will be invited to participate in an Assessment Center for further consideration.
The Assessment Center will include tests of the candidates' skills in a series of written, group and oral exams. The successful candidates will demonstrate the skills, abilities, and qualities deemed essential to the work of the Foreign Service - interpersonal, intellectual, leadership, client service, communication, and technical knowledge.
The Assessment Center is tentatively scheduled to take place December 5th - December 20th, 2019, at the State Department's Foreign Service Assessment Center (BEX) in Washington, D.C. Invited candidates are responsible for all costs associated with traveling to and from the Assessment Center. APHIS will not reimburse any costs associated with the candidate's Assessment Center participation.
Following the Assessment Center, the candidates' performances will be evaluated and the results will be combined with the application from USAJobs. At this time, the Human Resource Specialist will produce a certificate of eligibles. After reviewing the combined results, the most qualified candidates will be asked to participate in an additional phase of the assessment process, known as "APHIS Day".
APHIS Day will consist of APHIS management and program officials evaluating the candidates for their ability to represent APHIS and its programs worldwide. For APHIS Day, APHIS management has decided that costs associated with travel to attend this part of the assessment will be borne by APHIS. It is estimated that APHIS Day will occur at least four weeks after the conclusion of the Assessment Center.
The hiring supervisor will use this certification to fill any vacancy for the APHIS Foreign Service Officer Trainee. Selections will remain in effect for two years on roster list.
Males born after 12/31/1959 must be Selective Service registered or exempt
Subject to satisfactory adjudication of background investigation and/or fingerprint check. You must be able to obtain and maintain a Top Secret security clearance as a condition of employment.
Direct Deposit: Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to their financial institution
Successfully pass the E-Verify employment verification check. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, visit E-Verify at https://www.e-verify.gov/
Successful completion of one-year trial period.
Testing Designated Position: Selectee must submit to a urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment and random testing thereafter. Final appointment and continued employment is conditional on negative results for illegal drug use.
This position requires you to obtain and maintain a "Class One" world-wide medical clearance issued by the U.S. Department of State as a condition of employment.
Conferred Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree with application. See "Education" section below for more details.
Expenses associated with the Assessment Center will not be paid.
FSO's must retire at the age of 65 with at least 5 years of service in the FS. The program is 2 years in length, overseas tours of duty for FSO's are generally 3 years. The FS training program does not count towards the 5 years of service in the FS.
Members of the Foreign Service are expected to serve worldwide based on the needs of the Agency, this includes situations when family members may not be able to accompany the employee to post as determined by the U.S. Department of State.
Upon acceptance into the APHIS Foreign Service, all candidates will be required to sign a world-wide availability agreement.
While in the FS training program the ability to speak, read, and write a foreign language is preferred, but not required. In order to become a career FSO you must be able to pass a speaking, reading, and writing language proficiency exam.
FSO trainees shall be obligated to serve abroad at a post as determined by APHIS, IS Management.
Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement, including specialized experience and/or education, as defined below.
All applicants must meet the Basic Requirement outlined in the Education section below.
FOR THE GS-11GRADE LEVEL: Applicants who meet the basic requirements as outlined in the "Education" section qualify for this grade level.
TRANSCRIPTS are required. This position requires specific coursework or a degree in a specific field to be basically qualified. This education must have been successfully completed and obtained from an accredited school, college or university.
Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional, philanthropic, religious, spiritual, community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.
Additional Salary Information: Relocation is not paid for trainees to the Washington DC metro area. Once trainees become Officers (after approximately 2 years), relocation is paid to their assigned posts.
About USDA APHIS Foreign Service
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is a multi-faceted Agency with a broad mission area that includes protecting and promoting U.S. agricultural health, regulating genetically engineered organisms, administering the Animal Welfare Act and carrying out wildlife damage management activities. These efforts support the overall mission of USDA, which is to protect and promote food, agriculture, natural resources and related issues.