Skip Navigation

Vacancy Questions Preview

Vacancy Questions Preview

Grade: 13
Carefully read each question and all possible answers before selecting a response. Some questions will be used to screen out ineligible applicants. Applicant errors in responses will not be corrected. You are responsible for the accuracy of your application. Your application must describe your work and experience, in your own words. If you fail to provide requested information, or the information submitted is insufficient, you may lose consideration for the position.

* 1.You must have one year of specialized experience at, or equivalent to, the GS-12 grade level as described in the VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT. Do you meet the experience requirements for this position?
  1. Yes
  2. No


* 2.TIME-IN-GRADE REQUIREMENTS: All applicants must meet time-in-grade requirements by the closing date of the vacancy announcement. Select one of the following:
  1. I am a GS/GM employee.
    NOTE: For the purposes of this section, GM employees are equivalent to GS employees.

        BRANCHED: * 1.Select one of the following:
    1. I am currently at the GS-13 grade level or higher, or was previously at the GS-13 grade level or higher.
    2. I am currently at the GS-12 grade level, and will be at the GS-12 grade level for a total of 52 weeks by the closing date of the vacancy announcement.
    3. I was previously at the GS-12 grade level for at least a total of 52 weeks.
    4. I do not meet time-in-grade requirements because as a GS-12 employee, I will not have 52 weeks at the GS-12 grade level by the closing date of the vacancy announcement.
    5. I do not meet time-in-grade requirements because I am below the GS-12 grade level.
  2. I am a WS/WG employee and will be a WS/WG employee for at least the previous 52 weeks by the closing date of the vacancy announcement.
  3. I am a WS/WG employee and have not been a WS/WG employee for at least the previous 52 weeks.

        BRANCHED: 1.If you have not been a WS/WG employee for at least the previous 52 weeks, select one of the following:
    1. I was previously at the GS-13 or higher grade level.
    2. I was previously at the GS-12 grade level for 52 weeks.
    3. I was previously at the GS-12 grade level for less than 52 weeks.
    4. I was previously at a grade level below the GS-12.
    5. I was not previously in the GS pay system.

        BRANCHED: 2.If you were not previously in the GS pay plan, but were in another federal civilian pay plan, please provide your pay plan and salary information below. ( i.e., JS pay system, 44,500 per annum)

       Maximum length of 250 characters.
  4. Other

        BRANCHED: 1.Please provide your salary information below. If you are a federal employee, include your pay plan, and grade or pay band.

       Maximum length of 250 characters.


DETERMINING YOUR NEED TO COMPETE FOR THIS POSITION: Please CAREFULLY read all of the information outlined below.

* 3.In order to determine your need to compete for this position, select the statement which best applies to you.
  1. I am a GS/GM employee.
    Some General Schedule (GS) and LEO (GL) applicants may be considered for selection without "competing" for this position (i.e., completed assessment questions, etc). Examples include applicants eligible for reassignment, changing to a lower grade, or repromoting to a grade previously held on a permanent basis.

    You do not need to compete for this job if you, on a permanent basis (SEE NOTE BELOW ON TEMPORARY PROMOTIONS), are a GS-13 or higher, or are in a job with a career ladder of GS-13, or are in a trainee position which may lead to a non-competitive promotion upon successful completion of a training program. You also would not compete if you were previously a GS-13 on a permanent basis or held a position with a career ladder of GS-13 and were not demoted for disciplinary reasons. You are encouraged to check with your local HR office if you are uncertain of your response to this question.

    What is a career ladder? A career ladder is the normal grade progression through which employees advance to reach the full performance level (top grade of the career ladder) of a particular occupation without having to apply for and compete with other employees. A career ladder consists of grades ranging from the lowest level of the position at which an employee can be hired, to the highest level, also known as the full performance level. For example, for a position that is announced at the GS/GL-5/7/9/11 grade levels, the top grade of the career ladder is GS-11. An employee who is selected at the GS/GL-7 grade level is eligible to receive career ladder promotions up to the GS-11 grade level without further competition.

    NOTE: If you have "competed" for a temporary promotion (i.e., completing assessment questions, etc), AND the vacancy announcement stated that the temporary promotion could be made permanent without further competition, you do not need to compete for this position. You must provide the promotion SF-50. Failure to do so will result in you being considered competitively.

        BRANCHED: * 1.Do you meet the condition listed above?
    1. Yes, I am currently at the GS-13 grade level or higher; or, the position I currently hold is a career ladder position which goes to the GS-13 grade level or higher without my having to compete.
    2. Yes, I was previously at the GS-13 grade level or higher; or, I previously held a career ladder position which went to the GS-13 grade level without my having to compete.
    3. Yes, I have competed for a temporary promotion to the GS-13, AND the vacancy announcement stated that the temporary promotion could be made permanent without further competition. YOU MUST PROVIDE PROMOTION SF-50.
    4. No, I am currently on a temporary promotion to the GS-13, not to exceed 120 days.
    5. No, my current grade level is GS-12 or lower.
    IF YOU ANSWERED 'YES' ABOVE, YOUR APPLICATION WILL BE PROCESSED AS AN EXCEPTION. IF YOU ANSWERED 'NO' ABOVE, YOU ARE A COMPETITIVE APPLICANT AND MUST ENSURE YOU COMPLETE THE ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS ON THE PREVIOUS SCREEN.
  2. I am a WS/WG employee.
    For WS applicants to be considered for this position without competing (i.e., be eligible to be reassigned, changed to a lower grade or repromoted), WS EMPLOYEES MUST meet one of the conditions described below:
    • A) You must have been a WS employee for the preceding 52 weeks; AND Your current annual salary MUST BE equal to or greater than the representative rate identified in the remarks section of the vacancy announcement.

      OR


    • B) If you are a WS employee, but have not been a WS employee for the preceding 52 weeks, THEN the career ladder of the position you held on a permanent basis as a GS employee MUST BE equal to or greater than the GS-13 grade level.

      OR


    • C) If you previously held, on a permanent basis, a position which went to the GS-13 grade level or higher.


        BRANCHED: * 1.Do you meet any of the conditions listed above?
    1. Yes, I have been a WS employee for the last 52 weeks; AND my current salary is equal to or greater than the representative rate of the position as indicated on the VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT.
    2. Yes, I am a WS employee, but I have not been a WS employee for the last 52 weeks, and the position I held on a permanent basis as a GS employee was a career ladder position which went to the GS-13 grade level or higher without my having to compete.
    3. Yes, I have been in a position which went to the GS-13 grade level or higher, on a permanent basis.
    4. No, I am a WS employee and do not meet any of the conditions listed above.
    IF YOU ANSWERED 'YES' ABOVE, YOUR APPLICATION WILL BE PROCESSED AS AN EXCEPTION. IF YOU ANSWERED 'NO' ABOVE, YOU ARE A COMPETITIVE APPLICANT AND MUST ENSURE YOU COMPLETE THE ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS ON THE PREVIOUS SCREEN.
  3. I am a civilian, federal employee in a different pay plan.
  4. I am applying under a special hiring authority (Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA) or 30% or More Disabled Veterans).

        BRANCHED: * 1.Please select the special hiring authority under which you are requesting consideration.
    1. Veterans` Employment Opportunities Act
    2. 30% or More Disabled Veterans
    NOTE: This vacancy is not open to VEOA eligibles. You will not receive consideration for this position applying under this special hiring authority.

    In order to receive consideration as a 30% or More Disabled Veteran, you MUST provide ALL supporting documentation, as stated in the VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT by the closing date and time of the vacancy.


ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS

LISTED BELOW ARE GROUPED STATEMENTS RELATING TO THE ASSESSMENTS/COMPETENCIES NECESSARY FOR THE POSITION. Read each question carefully and select the answer choice that best describes your experience.

4.Correctional Program Specialists must converse with all levels of staff, including Executive Staff. They must establish and follow through with a realistic activation time line and procedures, a communication matrix for executives, provide oversight of the facility activation, conduct training, and provide expert advice when writing national policy as it relates to the Privatization Management Branch. From the choices below, please select the one that best describes your experience.
  1. I have coordinated facility inspections; and/or I have conducted a training seminar for peers; and/or I have chaired department meetings; and/or I have spoken in public on behalf of a civic, school or church organization.
  2. I have briefed executive staff at the regional or agency levels on inmate case information; and/or I have provided recommendations to the CEO as part of an after-action review committee; and/or I have served on a task force with executive staff to develop and modify institutional programs; and/or I have made presentation to Associate Wardens at the annual strategic planning retreat.
  3. I have worked with high ranking contractors to resolve issues; and/or I have given a speech at a civic or community activity as a representative of the branch, division, or agency; and/or I have assisted in the organization of activities as it related to the activation of a prison, i.e., BOP or private.
  4. None of the above.


5.Correctional Program Specialists must correspond with high ranking officials. They are responsible for evaluating sites for use as a contract correctional facility and providing expert advice in writing. They must interpret and write documents such as government contracts/modifications, review written proposals by the contractors, write and proofread policy and possess a command of proper grammar and format. From the choices below, please select the one that best describes your experience.
  1. I have revised internal policy/institution supplements; and/or I have proofread/edited reports/correspondence developed by co-workers/peers/subordinates; and/or I have prepared a statement on a sensitive issue for release to the media; and/or I have served as editor of an internal newsletter.
  2. I have developed a standard operating manual/procedural guide, which explained laws, regulations, etc., in laymen's terms; and/or I have developed national agency/organization policy; and/or I have prepared technical and complex responses to inquiries received from high level external sources.
  3. I have prepared draft articles for Monday Morning Highlights, etc.; and/or I have written memorandum to department heads/managers explaining a newly implemented policy or procedure; and/or I have proofread and edited individual work prior to submission for final action or review.
  4. I have prepared a portion of a highly technical report/document; and/or I have prepared written responses to internal (agency/organization) requests received; and/or I have documented findings as a participant in a Program/Operational Review or comparable external/internal audit; and/or I have prepared strategic plans; and/or I have developed local training initiatives.
  5. I have proofread and edited complex correspondence/reports which resulted in significant changes to policy/current procedures, etc.; and/or I have prepared a position paper which justified decisions made by agency/organization; and/or I have routinely proofread and edited reports/correspondence developed by other management level employees; and/or I have developed national training initiatives.
  6. None of the above.


6.Correctional Program Specialists must have thorough knowledge of the mission and goals of the BOP. They are expected to handle all activations of newly awarded and re-awarded contracts from inception to completion. They are responsible for a variety of technical and complex assignments and must be able to prioritize workload to ensure completion in a timely manner. They must possess strong organization skills. From the choices below, please select the one that best describes your experience.
  1. I have re-prioritized work based on last minute assignments or staff shortages; and/or I have assisted others in completing assignments; and/or I have recommended ideas for consideration to streamline a current process; and/or I have followed current methods and procedures to accomplish assignments; and/or I have completed assignments with minimal instructions and follow-up by supervisor.
  2. I have coordinated efforts to successfully complete complex assignments to the satisfaction of all parties involved; and/or I have effectively planned time and resources needed to complete difficult long-term and short-term projects having significant impact on operations.
  3. I have prioritized work based on agency/organization goals; and/or I have completed and submitted assignments accurately and timely; and/or I have developed procedures, checklists, etc., to track completion and ensure accuracy of finished product; and/or I have effectively managed workload and exceeded required deadlines; and/or I have implemented guidance or instructions to improve work process; and/or I have rearranged priorities due to the assignment of a special project.
  4. I have reviewed, ensured, and/or obtained all documentation required to justify action taken by agency/organization; and/or I have negotiated efforts to resolve issues with non-BOP/uncooperative participants (foreign officials, etc.); and/or I have completed assignments by performing research and proposing actions which best meet the needs of the agency/organization.
  5. None of the above.


7.Correctional Program Specialists must be able to recognize, evaluate, develop and implement policies and practices that ensure the contractor has an efficient plan to manage the operations and programs proposed, and make necessary changes/recommendations to comply with contract requirements, objectives and goals. From the choices below, please select the one that best describes your experience.
  1. I have performed critical duties during the ACA accreditation process; and/or I have performed the duties of an SIA in a correctional complex; and/or I have identified a need and established a training program for a large project.
  2. I have performed SIS duties in a correctional institution; and/or I have served as an institution or administrative duty officer; and/or I have presented Institution Familiarization training or New Employee Orientation to new staff in a correctional facility; and/or I have participated in a program or operational review.
  3. I have conducted visual/pat and/or electronic searches for contraband; and/or I have assisted in administrative functions of correctional programs; and/or I have made recommendations to improve standard correctional practices or operating procedures; and/or I have drafted an incident report after an inmate disturbance or after observing unusual inmate behavior patterns; and/or I have directed shakedowns of inmates.
  4. I have assisted in conducting management assessments or staff assistance visits at a correctional institution; and/or I have served on a committee to formulate institution or national policy; and/or I have coordinated the duty officer program; and/or I have activated an institution as a department head.
  5. I have developed a working knowledge of the Inmate Discipline Hearing process at the institutional level; and/or I have coordinated shakedowns, drug searches, emergency counts, and accountability checks; and/or I have recommended improvements that were implemented to enhance institution operations.
  6. None of the above.


8.Correctional Program Specialists must establish and maintain good working relationships with line and executive staff from within the BOP and the private sector. They are dependent upon staff within various departments to work with them in order to complete institution activations on time. It is essential to possess excellent communication skills and build relationships in order to complete assigned tasks. From the choices below, please select the one that best describes your experience.
  1. I have maintained communication through the use of GroupWise, telephone, faxes, and face-to-face interaction with management and executive staff; and/or I have conducted meetings which involved staff from other government and/or private agencies to resolve issues and facilitate recommendations by all participants of the meeting.
  2. I have established a working relationship with an outside agency or company which fostered a professional relationship which was maintained after the project was complete; and/or I have been appointed as the Institution Activation Coordinator.
  3. I have actively participated in operational reviews for other sections or departments; and/or I have coordinated efforts with other offices of the organization to obtain information required to complete assignments.
  4. I have maintained communication through the use of Group-Wise, telephone, faxes, and face to face interaction with staff within the department; and/or I have actively participated in an operational review; and/or I have provided recommendations on funds availability on projects to cost center managers; and/or I have participated in various financial meetings and used persuasive communication skills in order to resolve differences.
  5. I have managed the ACA Accreditation Committee at an institution; and/or I have functioned as a workgroup/task force leader and held weekly/monthly meetings to ensure all levels of the project were progressing as expected and kept the flow of information open both up and down the chain of command.
  6. None of the above.


Grade: All Grades
This is a Federal job application system. Providing false information, documentation, creating fake IDs, or failing to answer all questions truthfully and completely may be grounds for not hiring, for disbarment from Federal employment or for dismissal after the applicant begins work. Falsifying a Federal job application, attempting to violate the privacy of others, or attempting to compromise the operation of this system may be punishable by fine or imprisonment (US Code, Title 18, section 1001). Applicants who provide inaccurate information within the application process may be removed from future consideration under this vacancy.

Carefully read the information listed below.

Bureau of Prisons Employees:

Your overall yearly performance evaluation will be considered based on current policy and/or procedures, normally within a 13 month time frame. If your yearly evaluation is not in compliance with policy and/or procedures, your overall rating will be modified to Presumptive Successful or Achieved Results.

Other Status Applicants:

You must provide a copy of your latest yearly performance appraisal/evaluation within the last 13 months. Failure to submit all required information may result in a lowered score. NOTE: If you lack a current performance appraisal or your current performance appraisal is older than 13 months due to a work related compensable injury or deployment to the uniformed service, you should report your most recent rating of record.

* 1.If you currently hold, or ever held, a civilian position in the Federal Government, what was your last yearly performance appraisal rating? NOTE: If you receive an updated yearly performance evaluation during the life of this vacancy announcement, you MUST update your response.
  1. Outstanding

        BRANCHED: 1.Please enter the date of your Outstanding evaluation.
  2. Excellent

        BRANCHED: 1.Please enter the date of your Excellent evaluation.
  3. Successful, Presumptive Successful or Achieved Results

        BRANCHED: 1.Please enter the date of your Successful, Presumptive Successful or Achieved Results evaluation.
  4. Minimally Satisfactory
  5. Unacceptable or Unsatisfactory
  6. Pass (not a BOP employee)
  7. Fail (not a BOP employee)
  8. None of the above. (not a BOP employee)


Table of Award Points

  • QSI (Quality Step Increase) or SSP (Sustained Superior Performance) - add 4 points
  • Special Act or Time-Off Award - add 2 points
  • Letter of Commendation (CEO level) - add 1 point
  • Suggestion Award - add 1 point


2.Using the table of points for the types of awards you received within the last 5 years of federal employment, calculate your total award points.
  1. 0 point
  2. 1 point
  3. 2 points
  4. 3 points
  5. 4 points
  6. 5 points
  7. 6 points
  8. 7 - 15 points
  9. over 15 points


3.From the list below, please select the awards used to calculate your total award points.
  1. QSI (Quality Step Increase)
  2. SSP (Sustained Superior Performance)
  3. Special Act Award
  4. Time-Off Award
  5. Letter of Commendation (CEO level)
  6. Suggestion Award


* 4.Are you a current Bureau of Prisons (BOP) employee?
  1. Yes

        BRANCHED: * 1.BOP EMPLOYEES MUST enter a duty location for each position change within the past ten years of BOP employment. Title, Series, Grade and Location MUST be provided.

    Use the format below:

    • 10/12/2003 to Present; Unit Manager, GS-006-12; USP Correctional Facility
    • 5/25/2000 to 10/11/2003; Case Manager, GS-101-09; FCI Correctional Facility


       Maximum length of 5000 characters.
  2. No


* 5.I understand and accept that this position will be covered by SECONDARY law enforcement coverage, if I am eligible for law enforcement coverage. I must have three years of law enforcement coverage (gained in a primary position) in order to maintain law enforcement retirement when moving into this position.
  1. Yes
  2. No


BOP EMPLOYEES are reminded to:
  • review their resume AND include all relevant experience for the position; and,
  • enter a duty location for each position change within the resume for at least the past five years of employment.






This is a Federal job application system. Providing false information, creating fake IDs, or failing to answer all questions truthfully and completely may be grounds for not hiring, for disbarment from Federal employment, or for dismissal after the applicant begins work. Falsifying a Federal job application, attempting to violate the privacy of others, or attempting to compromise the operation of this system may be punishable by fine or imprisonment (US Code, Title 18, section 1001).