Qualification Requirements for Employment at VA
Some think that applying for a job at VA is a complicated process. While it’s true processes can vary between departments and specialties, the first thing you should ask yourself before applying to any position is “Do I meet VA's Basic Qualification Standards?”
Start by asking yourself the questions from the following list. And once you determine that you fit the basic qualifications, applying for a job at VA is much easier than you may think.
- U.S. citizen
- Graduate of an approved/accredited program (if education is required for the position)
- Current full, active, and unrestricted professional license from any State, Commonwealth, or Territory (e.g., Puerto Rico) of the United States or from the District of Columbia
- English language competency
Congratulations! You meet the basic qualifications standards for VA. Now, you need to determine if you meet VA's qualification standards for your chosen profession. You can do that by:
- Reading the occupation description for your profession
- Carefully reviewing the posted job announcement
- Calling the recruitment specialist listed on the announcement
When applying for a position at VA, your experience and education are evaluated against qualification standards to determine whether you are a proper fit for the positions.
Some qualification standards have "positive education" requirements, which are shown in the degree required or stipulated in a specified number of course hours that must be met.
In short, your experience and education are evaluated to determine whether you are "basically qualified," "highly qualified," or "not qualified" for a particular position or occupation. At VA, our vacancy announcements describe:
- The minimum qualifications and specialized experience requirements for each position
- Any other qualifications, called "selective factors," that candidates must possess
Any specialized experience and/or selective factor requirements will typically be listed in the vacancy announcement as KSAs (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities). Before you submit an application for a vacancy, you should completely review the vacancy announcement for each position. If you have reviewed the vacancy announcement and believe that you can meet both the minimum qualifications and selective factors, you should document your experience and education in your resume and in the required response to the KSAs listed in the vacancy announcement.
Please don't apply for a position if you don't meet both the minimum required qualifications and any selective factors described in the vacancy announcement.
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) establishes basic qualifications for every occupation within the Federal Government, and additional information on OPM qualifications is available from VA vacancy announcements. An announcement describes the minimum qualifications required for each position and any other qualifications that candidates must possess to be considered eligible for each position.
If you meet both the minimum qualifications and selective factors (if applicable), you may document your experience and education in response to the KSAs (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities) listed in the vacancy announcement.
Your experience and education help to make you "basically qualified" for some positions and "highly qualified" for others. You may apply for any position for which you match the minimum qualifications.