New OPM Classification and Qualification Standards for Healthcare Workers in 0600 Series

HHS has provided courtesy notice to NTEU that OPM has changed the classification and qualification standards for healthcare workers in the 0600 series.

United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) logoAs a courtesy, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has notified NTEU that the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released final Job Family Position Classification Standards and Qualification Standards for Professional Work in the Medical and Healthcare Group, 0600 on September 27, 2017, and is requiring agencies to implement the new classification standards by October 31, 2018. The revised qualifications standards became effective on September 27, 2017. The new 0600 series classification and qualification standards will cover all OpDivs /StaffDivs at HHS who have positions in this series. FDA has positions in this series.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) logoAccording to the notice, the occupational group name has been changed from “Medical, Hospital, Dental, and Public Health Group” to “Medical and Healthcare Group.” The new group standard renames, supersedes, or cancels occupational series, classification standards, and guides. OPM changed the name of many series in the Medical and Healthcare Group Job Family Standard (JFS). According to HHS, OPM’s policy is to prescribe functional names for occupational series and position titles for positions performing work in that series. For example, “nursing” is a function and is the name used for the nursing occupation (i.e., Professional Nursing Series, 0610). Nurse and Advanced Practice Nurse are the titles HHS prescribes for positions that involve doing work predominantly in the professional nursing series. Consistent with their policy, OPM changed the names of occupational series.

The notice also states that OPM updated the qualification standards to provide updates to the minimum requirements for these occupational series. The updated qualification standards include the appropriate educational requirements, certifications, registrations and/or licensures required to perform the essential functions of these occupations.

According to the notice provided by HHS, when OPM makes a change or adds to the minimum educational requirements of an occupational series, federal employees currently classified to that series do not have to meet the new educational requirements. HHS has indicated that it is continuing to analyze data to determine if any employees hired after September 27, 2017, may be required to provide supplemental documentation associated with their appointment. Employees assigned to positions prior to September 27, 2017, in these occupational series will be considered to have met basic requirements for the position occupied.

NTEU has requested that HHS provide a list of any employees it determines are required to provide supplemental documentation associated with their appointment.

If you have any comments or questions, please contact your chapter president.