U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Sep 21, 2023
Subject to apportionment, residence, and other requirements of law and this chapter, OPM shall enter the names of eligibles on the appropriate register in accordance with their numerical ratings, except that the names of:
(a) Preference eligibles shall be entered in accordance with their augmented ratings and ahead of others having the same rating; and
(b) Preference eligibles who have a compensable service-connected disability of 10 percent or more shall be entered at the top of the register in the order of their ratings unless the register is for professional or scientific positions in GS–9 and above and in comparable pay levels under other pay-fixing authorities.
OPM or a Delegated Examining Unit (DEU) will refer candidates for consideration by simultaneously listing a candidate on all certificates for which the candidate is interested, eligible, and within reach, except that, when it is deemed in the interest of good administration and candidates have been so notified, OPM or a DEU may choose to refer candidates for only one vacancy at a time. Selecting officials will receive sufficient names, when available, to allow them to consider at least 3 candidates for each vacancy.
When there is no register appropriate as a whole for the certification of eligibles for a particular position, OPM may prepare a certificate from the most nearly appropriate existing register by the selective certification of eligibles qualified for the particular position in the order of their ranking on the register. Special overseas selection factors may also be used as a basis for selective certification from a register used for filling overseas positions. When appropriate, OPM may rerate the eligibles on the register on the basis of the particular requirements of the position.
An appointing officer, with sole regard to merit and fitness, shall select an eligible for:
(a) The first vacancy from the highest three eligibles on the certificate who are available for appointment; and
(b) The second and each succeding vacancy from the highest three eligibles on the certificate who are unselected and available for appointment.
An appointing officer is not required to consider an eligible who has been considered by him for three separate appointments from the same or different certificates for the same position.
(a) Delegated authority. Except as specified in paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section, OPM has delegated to agencies the authority to adjudicate objections to eligibles, including pass over requests.
(1) OPM retains exclusive authority to approve the sufficiency of an agency's request to pass over preference eligibles who are thirty percent (30%) or more compensably disabled. Such persons have the right, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 3318,to.
(2) OPM also retains the exclusive authority to approve the sufficiency of an agency's reasons to medically disqualify or medically pass over a preference eligible or disabled veteran in certain circumstances, in accordance with part 339 of this chapter.
(3) An agency must refer any objection (including a pass over request) that is based on material, intentional false statement or deception or fraud in examination or appointment to OPM for a suitability action where warranted, under part 731 of this chapter.
(b) Standard for objections. An agency is not required to consider an individual for a position when an objection to (including a request to pass over) the particular individual is sustained or granted. An objection, including a pass over request, may be sustained only if it is based on a proper and adequate reason. The reasons set forth for disqualification by OPM in part 339 of this chapter constitute proper and adequate reasons to sustain an objection. Similarly, the criteria for making suitability determinations in part 731 of this chapter constitute proper and adequate reasons to sustain an objection. In addition, reasons published by OPM in the Delegated Examining Operations Handbook constitute proper and adequate reasons to sustain an objection.
(c) Sufficiency of the reasons for a pass over. Subject to the exception set forth in paragraph (e) of this section, an agency may not pass over a preference eligible to select a non-preference eligible unless OPM or an agency with delegated authority also makes a determination that the sufficiency of the reasons is supported by the evidence submitted for the pass over request.
(d) Agency's obligation while request for objection is pending. Subject to the exception set forth in paragraph (e) of this section, if an agency makes an objection against an applicant for a position (including seeking to pass over the applicant), and the individual that the agency wishes to select would be within reach of selection only if the objection is sustained, or the pass over granted, that agency may not make a selection for the position until a final ruling is made.
(e) Applicability of paragraphs (c) and (d). Paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section do not apply if the agency has more than one position to fill from the same certificate and holds open (in the event the objection is not sustained or the pass over request is denied) a position that could be filled by the individual against whom an objection or a pass over request has been filed.
(f) Procedures for objections and pass overs. Agencies must follow the procedures for objecting to or requesting to pass over an eligible that are published by OPM in the Delegated Examining Operations Handbook.
(g) No appeal rights to Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). An individual may not appeal to the MSPB a decision by OPM or an agency with delegated authority to sustain an objection pursuant to this part, including a decision to grant a pass over request, irrespective of the reason for the decision.
An appointing officer may not restrict his consideration of eligibles or employees for competitive appointment or appointment by noncompetitive action to a position in the competitive service to one sex, except in unusual circumstances when OPM finds the action justified.
(a) General authority. (1) A hiring agency may share a competitive service certificate issued under its delegated examining authority with one or more hiring agencies for a position(s) to be filled on a permanent or term basis. Positions filled on a term basis are subject to the provisions of 5 CFR part 316, subpart C. Positions may be full-time or other than full-time (i.e., part-time, seasonal, on-call, and intermittent).
(2) Another Federal agency may make a selection from a certificate shared with it under paragraph (b) of this section only after it has considered individuals it is required to consider when filling positions from within its own workforce and other internal applicants under paragraph (c) of this section.
(3) All actions taken on a shared certificate must be made within the 240-day period beginning on the date the original hiring agency issued the certificate of eligibles. This period cannot be extended.
(4) The original hiring agency and any receiving agency using a shared certificate must each maintain case file documentation sufficient for each agency to reconstruct its own use of the certificate in accordance with the Delegated Examining Operations Handbook, and must safeguard testing and examination materials, examination results, and the names of applicants from disclosure to other persons in accordance with § 300.201 of this chapter.
(5) All actions taken on competitive certificates must be done in accordance with the Delegated Examining Operations Handbook and all applicable regulations in this part and part 337 of this chapter.
(6) Agencies sharing certificates must keep records of the instances of sharing certificates and/or using shared certificates.
(b) Requirements for the original hiring agency. (1) A hiring agency may share a competitive certificate it has issued under § 332.402 (for traditional rating and ranking) or under 5 CFR 337.303 (for category rating) with one or more hiring agencies for use in filling a position(s) if:
(i) The original hiring agency intends to use the certificate for its own hiring;
(ii) The original hiring agency has provided notice within the job opportunity announcement for the original vacancy that the resulting list of eligible candidates may be used by one or more hiring agencies;
(iii) The original hiring agency has provided an opportunity for applicants to opt-in to have their applications and other personal information shared with one or more hiring agencies;
(iv) The original hiring agency's objections to eligibles or requests to pass over preference eligibles on the certificate under § 332.406 or § 337.304 of this chapter have been resolved by that agency's Delegated Examining Unit;
(v) The original hiring agency has either made a selection from the certificate or has made no selection from the certificate, and has documented its reason for non-selection; and
(vi) The Delegated Examining Unit of the original hiring agency has closed and audited the certificate in accordance with the procedures in the Delegated Examining Operations Handbook.
(2) When sharing a certificate of eligibles, the original hiring agency must share all documentation pertaining to the creation of that certificate, including but not limited to the job analysis, testing and examination materials, the job opportunity announcement, and applications, as relevant, and must safeguard any personally identifiable information not needed for effective use of the certificate by the receiving agency. The original hiring agency must share the certificate of eligibles in its original form in order to retain the original ordering of the certificate; must safeguard any personally identifiable information from unauthorized access during the transmission process; and must redact the names of applicants who did not opt-in to the shared certificate, and who therefore may not be considered by the receiving agency.
(3) The original hiring agency may share a certificate of eligibles with one or more agencies.
(4) If the original hiring agency determines that it has made an error that may affect selections by a receiving agency or agencies, it must notify each affected receiving agency.
(c) Requirements for the receiving agency—(1) Vacancies that may be filled. A receiving agency may use a shared certificate to fill a vacancy in the same occupational series, at the same grade level (or a corresponding rate or level of pay for a position excluded from the General Schedule), with the same full performance level, and in the same duty location as was listed on the original hiring agency's certificate. If the original hiring agency's certificate is for an interdisciplinary position as described in the Delegated Examining Operations Handbook, the receiving agency may use it to fill an interdisciplinary position. The receiving agency must verify through its job analysis that the minimum qualification requirements (including use of any selective placement factors) and the competencies, or knowledge, skills, and abilities, that were used for the original position are appropriate for the position to be filled.
(2) Notification to individuals who applied to the original vacancy. Before using a shared certificate, a receiving agency must notify the list of candidates of its receipt of their names and application materials and its intention of considering them for a position. The receiving agency must also inform these individuals of its requirement to consider its own employees as well as other individuals the agency is required to consider before consideration of anyone on the shared certificate. At a minimum, the notification must include the agency, position title, series, grade level or equivalent, and duty location.
(3) Consideration of internal candidates. Before making a selection from a shared certificate, a receiving agency must provide notice of its intent to fill the available position(s) to its own employees and other individuals the agency is required to consider, to provide these internal candidates the opportunity to apply consistent with the provisions of part 335 of this chapter, and to review the qualifications of the internal candidates.
(i) This notice and opportunity for internal candidates to apply is subject to applicable collective bargaining obligations (to the extent consistent with law). Nothing in this paragraph affects agencies' right to fill a position from any appropriate source under §§ 330.102 and 335.103 of this chapter.
(ii) Agencies are prohibited from providing an application period any longer than 10 days for internal candidates. This time limit cannot be waived or extended.
(iii) Before considering other candidates, a receiving agency must first provide for the consideration for selection required for individuals covered under its Career Transition Assistance Program and its Reemployment Priority List under part 330, subparts B and F, of this chapter.
(4) Selection from the shared certificate. After considering internal candidates, a receiving agency may consider candidates referred on the shared certificate.
(i) The receiving agency must consider candidates on a shared certificate independently of the actions of any other agency with which the certificate is simultaneously shared under paragraph (b)(3) of this section.
(ii) The receiving agency may not reassess the applicants for purposes of rating/ranking.
(iii) The receiving agency must provide selection priority to individuals eligible under the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program under part 330, subpart G, of this chapter who applied to the original job announcement.
(5) Time limit on selection from a shared certificate. The receiving agency has 240 days from the date the certificate was issued (in the original hiring agency) to select individuals from the shared certificate.
(6) Limit on further sharing by the receiving agency. The receiving agency may not share or distribute the shared certificate to another Federal agency.