Personnel Psychologist

02/23/2018 9:32 AM | Anonymous

Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

Location: Arlington, VA

Vacancy Details

Announcement Number:


Follow this link to access job announcement and apply:

Hiring Agency:

DHS/Transportation Security Administration

Position Title:

Personnel Psychologist

Open Period:

02/20/2018 - 03/05/2018



SV - 0180 J


(USD) $96,552 - (USD) $149,651

Promotion Potential:


Duty Location(s):

2 Vacancies in

Arlington, VA, US

For More Info:

HR Help Desk


Who May Apply:

Open to all U.S. Citizens.

Salary range listed includes Locality Pay of 28.22%.

This position is located in Arlington, VA.

Security Clearance Required:


Duration Appointment:


Marketing Statement:

Do you desire to protect American interests and secure our Nation while building a meaningful and rewarding career?  If so, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is calling.  DHS components work collectively to prevent terrorism, secure borders, enforce and administer immigration laws, safeguard cyberspace and ensure resilience to disasters.  The vitality and magnitude of this mission is achieved by a diverse workforce spanning hundreds of occupations.  Make an impact; join DHS.               


Securing Travel, Protecting People - At the Transportation Security Administration, you will serve in a high-stakes environment to safeguard the American way of life.  In cities across the country, you would secure airports, seaports, railroads, highways, and/or public transit systems, thus protecting America's transportation infrastructure and ensuring freedom of movement for people and commerce. For additional information about our agency please: Click Here

This position is also being announced through Government-Wide procedure under Announcement #HQ-OHC-18-429064-G. Candidates who wish to be considered under both Public (US Citizens) and Government-Wide procedures must apply to both announcements.

Applying to this announcement certifies that you give permission for DHS to share your application with others in DHS for similar positions.

Supervisory Position:


Relocation Authorized:


Travel Required:

Occasional Travel

Occasional travel is required.

Conditions of Employment:

You must possess U.S. Citizenship or be a U.S. National. You must be able to obtain and maintain a Secret Clearance. Selective Service registration is required. See additional "Conditions of Employment" and "Other Information" section


This Personnel Psychologist position is located in the Workforce Assessments Branch of the Workforce Assessments and Position Management & Classification Division, Office of Human Capital (OHC) Recruitment and Hiring Directorate, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS). If selected for this position, you will serve as a principal technical specialist for large and complex assessment projects to meet organizational needs and address workforce management issues requiring the application of new and emerging theories, approaches, and testing methods. Typical duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Serving as a team lead in developing and validating assessments for hiring, promotion, and certification. Evaluating the validity of current and proposed testing methods and applications to ensure job relatedness and the ability of the agency to defend its assessment criteria in third party forums. Reviewing assessment strategies, processes and procedures, making recommendations to management on appropriate assessment tools and procedures, and conducting content and criterion related validation studies of assessment systems.
  • Planning and carrying out comprehensive job analyses and competency modeling studies requiring extensive research, literature reviews, and focus groups in order to ensure effective data collection, survey design, and subsequent data analysis. These team efforts may result in new approaches and methodologies for gathering and assessing information, identifying and evaluating critical competencies, or assessing workforce behaviors.
  • Interpreting data and communicating technical information (e.g., results, recommendations) to non-technical and senior level audiences.

Qualifications and Evaluations



You must meet the qualification requirements for this position no later than the closing date of the vacancy announcement.


You will be evaluated based on a comparison of the position requirements against the quality and extent of the experience and/or related education as reflected in your resume and supporting documentation.  You are encouraged to ensure work experiences clearly show possession of the competencies required for this position.  We will compare your resume and supporting documentation to your responses on the assessment questionnaire. If, after reviewing your resume and any supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have rated yourself higher than is supported by your application materials, your category placement may be adjusted and/or you may be excluded from consideration for this job.

When completing the assessment questionnaire for this position, you will be prompted to elect if you wish for your application to be considered as External (where Veterans’ Preference applies), as Status (current or former Federal Employees), and/or Internal to TSA as a current permanent or competitive temporary employee.  At that time, please select the answer(s) that apply to you and your application to this position.

Candidates will be rated and ranked using Category Grouping procedures.  Under Category Grouping, candidates will be rated and ranked into one of three categories:

Best-Qualified: Applicants possessing experience that substantially exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position and demonstrate high proficiency in all of the critical competencies, including all Selective Placement Factors (SPF) and appropriate Desirable (Quality Ranking) Factors as determined by the job analysis.

Well-Qualified: Applicants possessing experience that exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position and demonstrates acceptable proficiency in all of the critical competencies, including all SPFs as determined by the job analysis.

Qualified: Applicants possessing experience that meets the minimum qualifications of the position and demonstrate basic proficiency in most of the critical competencies, including all SPFs as determined by the job analysis.

Veterans: Qualified veterans who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10% are listed in the best-qualified category, except when the position being filled is scientific or professional at the GS-09 grade level, or higher. Other 10-point preference eligibles and veterans with 5-point preference who meet the eligibility and qualification requirements are placed above non-preference eligibles within the category in which they qualify. View information on
veterans’ preference.


BASIC REQUIREMENT: Applicants must have a four year degree with a major or equivalent in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, or a related field, for this position. You must attach copies of your transcripts to this application to verify your degree(s). These can be unofficial copies.

To qualify for the SV-J Pay Band (equivalent to GS-14), you must have one year of specialized experience at the SV-I Pay Band or GS-13 in the Federal service or equivalent experience in the private sector. SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE is defined as experience that has equipped you with the particular knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position.

Specialized experience is defined as: 

  • Applying test theory and utilizing psychometric methodology to develop employment tests and assessments (e.g., job knowledge tests, cognitive ability tests, situational judgement tests, structured interviews);
  • Performing statistical analyses and interpreting the results to examine psychometric properties and determine the effectiveness of assessment tools;
  • Designing and evaluating assessments in accordance with the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) Principles and Uniform Guidelines to ensure legal defensibility.

National Service Experience (i.e., volunteer experience): 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, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Note: Credit for experience is given based on a 40-hour workweek. Part-time experience is credited on a part-time ratio, i.e., working 20 hours per week for two months equals one month of experience. No additional credit is given for overtime. 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, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) must authorize employment offers made to current or former political appointees. If you are currently, or have been within the last 5 years, a political Schedule A, Schedule C, Non-career SES or Presidential Appointee employee in the Executive Branch, you must disclose this information to the Human Resources Office.

Benefits and Other Info


Additional Benefits:

DHS offers competitive salaries and an attractive benefits package, including: health, dental, vision, life, and long-term care insurance; retirement plan; Thrift Savings Plan [similar to a 401(k)]; Flexible Spending Account; Employee Assistance Program; personal leave days; and paid federal holidays. Other benefits may include flexible work schedules; telework; tuition reimbursement; transportation subsidies; uniform allowance; health and wellness programs; and fitness centers. DHS is committed to employee development and offers a variety of employee training and developmental opportunities. For more information, go to the DHS Careers website and select “Benefits.” Disabled veteran leave will be available to any Federal employee hired on or after November 5, 2016, who is a veteran with a service-connected disability rating of 30 percent or more.

Employees who transfer to TSA from an agency that allows employees to maintain an annual leave balance higher than the maximum accumulation for the appointed position will have their leave ceiling set to the maximum accumulation for the appointed position (e.g., United States duty location - 240 hours, foreign duty location - 360 hours, or TSES position - 720 hours). TSA will not make a monetary payment for any leave forfeited under these circumstances.

Other Information:

Eligibility to apply for other Federal positions: TSA is an Excepted Service agency exempt from most of Title 5 United States Code, including regulations which apply to displaced Federal employees (CTAP/ICTAP) of other agencies, and employment with TSA does not confer "Competitive Status" that generally results from selection and service in Competitive Service agencies.  The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has established an Interchange Agreement, which allows most permanent TSA employees to apply and be considered for vacancies in Competitive Service agencies.  Information from OPM on this or other Interchange Agreements is available at:

To ensure the accomplishment of our mission, DHS requires every employee to be reliable and trustworthy.  To meet those standards, all selected applicants must undergo and successfully pass a background investigation as a condition of placement into this position.  

DHS uses E-Verify, an Internet-based system, to confirm the eligibility of all newly hired employees to work in the United States. Learn more about
E-Verify including your rights and responsibilities.

If you receive a conditional offer of employment for this position, you will be required to complete an
Optional Form 306, Declaration for Federal Employment, and to sign and certify the accuracy of all information in your application, prior to entry on duty. False statements on any part of the application may result in withdrawal of offer of employment, dismissal after beginning work, fine, or imprisonment.

TSA employees who are absent for the purpose of performing military duty may apply for any vacancies announced in their absence.

It is the policy of the Government not to deny employment simply because an individual has been unemployed or has had financial difficulties that have arisen through no fault of the individual.  Information about an individual’s employment experience will be used only to determine the person’s qualifications and to assess his or her relative level of knowledge, skills, and abilities.  Although an individual’s personal conduct may be relevant in any employment decision, including conduct during periods of unemployment or evidence of dishonesty in handling financial matters, financial difficulty that has arisen through no fault of the individual will generally not itself be the basis of an unfavorable suitability or fitness determination. For more information,
click here.

Payment of relocation expenses (Permanent Change of Station) is not authorized.

More than one position may be filled from this announcement.

If you are entering TSA employment on an appointment without time limitations, you must serve a basic trial period unless you have already met the requirement.

TSA policy requires verification of Selective Service registration for male applicants born after 12/31/59. For more information
click here.

common definitions of terms found in this announcement.

Veterans and persons with disabilities possess a wealth of unique talents, experiences, and competencies that can be invaluable to the DHS mission. If you are a member of one of these groups, you may not have to compete with the public for federal jobs. To determine your eligibility for non-competitive appointment and to understand the documentation that is required, click on the links above or contact the Servicing Human Resources Office listed at the bottom of this announcement.

How to Apply

How to Apply:

Please Note: All of the following must be received in our office by 11:59 PM EST (Eastern Standard Time) on the closing date of this announcement. If we do not receive all required information by the closing date, your application may not be considered.

Your application must include:

1. Resume
2. Self Assessment Questionnaire for this position
3. Applicable supporting documents (see Required Documents Section)

Follow this link to access job announcement and apply:

We strongly encourage you to apply online. If you are unable to apply online, please contact the TSA HRAccess Help Desk before the closing of this announcement for alternative options on how to apply.  The Help Desk is available by phone at 1-877-872-7990 between the hours of: 7:00AM - 10:00PM ET Monday - Friday, 11:00AM - 3:00PM ET Saturday, or 12:00PM - 4:00PM ET Sunday.  If outside these hours, please email your question or concern to or fax 1-877-872-7993.  

When contacting the Help Desk please provide your contact information, the Job Announcement Number of the position you are interested in, and your questions or concerns.  

Required Documents:

In addition to a resume and the assessment questions, you must submit copies of any of the following documents if you are applying based on  Veterans' Preference or eligible Veterans' Service (a veteran who was honorably discharged from the armed forces after completing at least three (3) years of continuous active duty service), or education or a combination of education and experience:

DD-214 - If you are claiming Veterans' Preference or eligible Veterans' Service, provide a copy of your DD-214 (Member Copy 4), Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, or other appropriate documentation to prove your entitlement and to provide verification of an Honorable Discharge.

SF-15 and VA Letter - If you are claiming Veterans' Preference based upon a Compensable Disability, Widow or Spouse Entitlement, or as a Purple Heart recipient, you must submit your DD-214 or other proof of entitlement; an SF-15, and the required proof of disability, i.e., Department of Veterans Affairs letter dated 1991 or later.

Transcripts - If you are qualifying based on education OR if there are mandatory education requirements listed under the Qualifications and Evaluations section, you MUST submit a copy of your college transcript(s) with your application. If selected, an official/sealed college transcript(s) will be required to verify education prior to employment.

What to Expect Next:

The questionnaire will assess your qualifications for the job, and will be used to identify the best qualified applicants to be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration and possible interview. We will notify you of the outcome of these steps when they have been completed. You may also check your application status by visiting the Candidate Dashboard.

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