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Non-Competitive Hiring Authorities

Federal agencies are required to promote equal employment opportunities for people with disabilities. To accelerate this process, agencies can use special hiring authorities as one strategy for recruiting and hiring qualified individuals.

Schedule A Hiring Authority

What is the Schedule A Hiring Authority?

The Schedule A Hiring Authority allows for the expedited, non-competitive hiring of qualified individuals with disabilities for federal positions.

What are the Benefits of Schedule A?

Schedule A hiring for individuals with dis­­abilities:

  • does not require typical posting and publicizing of the position on;
  • allows human resources specialists and/or selective placement coordinators to send the resumes of qualified applicants directly to managers; and
  • allows managers to immediately hire qualified candidates.

Who is Eligible for Schedule A?

Candidates are eligible for Schedule A if they:

  • have a targeted disability OR a significant intellectual, physical, neurological, or psychiatric disability;
  • have written proof of disability and a certification of job readiness from a licensed medical professional, a state or private vocational rehabilitation specialist, or any government agency that issues or provides disability benefits (example proof letter); and
  • meet the Office of Personnel Management's qualification standards for all federal positions for which they are applying.

How does Schedule A Work?

Once a prospective candidate is identified, a hiring manager, Selective Placement Coordinator (SPC), or a Disability Program Manager (DPM) contacts HR for help in getting the applicant on board. Next, HR consults with the manager and/or the SPC/DPM to decide the type of appointment to be offered. Once this is determined, a conditional offer contingent upon receipt of Schedule A qualifying documentation can be extended to the candidate.

Important note: The hiring manager should not be involved in the disability documentation process, as medical documentation must be kept strictly confidential.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission offers a series of guides, titled “The ABCs of Schedule A,” which offer more information about Schedule A for various audiences, including Hiring Managers, HR professionals, disability program managers, service providers and applicants with disabilities.


Veterans'  Hiring Preference

What is the Veterans' Hiring Preference?

Veterans' Preference gives eligible veterans preference in appointment over many other candidates who apply for employment with the federal employment.

This preference applies to virtually all new appointments in both competitive and excepted service. The Veterans' Preference does not guarantee a veteran a job, nor does it apply to promotions, transfers, reassignments and reinstatements.

Who is Eligible?

Not all veterans are considered veterans for the purpose of federal civilian employment, and not all active duty service members qualify for Veterans' Preference.

A veteran is only eligible for preference if they were:

  • Discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions or general discharge, OR
  • Retired below the rank of Major(or equivalent) AND have a disability

What are the Types of Veterans' Preference

There are two types of Veterans' Preference:

  1. Disabled (10 point preference) 
    Eligible individuals are:
    • Veterans, who served at any time AND
    • Have a service connected disability OR Received a Purple Heart.
  2. Non-disabled (5 point preference)

Eligible individuals are non-disabled veterans whose active duty service meets any of the following criteria:

  • 180 or more consecutive days, any part of which occurred during the period beginning September 11, 2001 and ending on a future date prescribed by Presidential proclamation or law as the last date of Operation Iraqi Freedom, OR
  • Between August 2, 1990 and January 2, 1992, OR
  • 180 or more consecutive days, any part of which occurred after January 31, 1955 and before October 15, 1976.
  • In a war, campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized or between April 28, 1952 and July 1, 1955.

For more information on preference eligibility, please visit the Department of Labor's Veterans' Preference Advisor

What are the Eligibility Groups

Preference Eligibility Groups are divided into four basic categories:

  1. CPS - Disability rating of 30% or more(10 points)
  2. CP - Disability rating of at least 10% but less than 30% (10 points)
  3. XP - Disability rating less than 10%(10 points)
  4. TP - Preference with no disability rating(5 points)

Note: Veterans with disabilities receive 10 points regardless of their disability rating.

How does the Veterans' Preference Work?

The Veterans' Preference provides for preferential ranking of veterans as a part of the application process.

  • For agencies that use a numerical rating and ranking system to determine the best qualified applicants for a position, an additional 5 or 10 points are added to the numerical score of qualified preference eligible veterans.
  • If an agency does not use a numerical rating system, preference eligibility for veterans who have a compensable service-connected disability of 10 percent or more (CPS, CP) are placed at the top of the highest category on the referral list (except for scientific or professional positions at the GS-9 level or higher). XP and TP preference eligible veterans are placed above non-preference eligible veterans within their assigned category.

Acceptable documentation must be provided for preference or appointment eligibility, including four copies of DD214 and a Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty is preferable.

If claiming 10 point preference, a Standard For Application for 10-point Veterans' Preference must be submitted.


Other Resources

OPM: Federal Hiring Flexibilities Resource Center<>
This OPM guide provides information on using Federal Hiring Flexibilities, Appointing Veterans, the Direct-Hire Authority, Student Employment, Excepted Service and Category Rating. This resource page offers information on the hiring of people with disabilities through Schedule A and the Veterans Hiring Preference for federal agencies.

OPM: Agency Selective Placement Program Coordinator (SPPC)<>
Most federal agencies have a Selective Placement Program Coordinator (SPPC), Special Emphasis Manager (SEM), or equivalent, who helps agency management recruit, hire and accommodate people with disabilities at that agency. This Office of Personnel Management Directory offers information on SPPCs for each agency and state.

OPM: Excepted Service Appointing Authorities<>
This Office of Personnel Management web page provides information on excepted service hiring authorities. Excepted service hiring authorities allow agencies to fill special jobs or to fill any job in unusual or special circumstances under "Schedules A, B, and C." These excepted service authorities enable agencies to hire when it is not feasible or not practical to use traditional competitive hiring procedures and can streamline hiring.

OPM: Vet Guide on the Veterans' Hiring Preference<>
This Office of Personnel Management guide provides information on the federal Veterans Hiring Preference.

ABCs of Schedule A for the Human Resources Professional<>
This LEAD (Leadership for the Employment of Americans with Disabilities) Initiative guide provides information for Federal Human Resource professionals on how to use Schedule A. Included are basic steps, frequently asked questions, and resources on recruitment/hiring and accommodations.

Schedule A for Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities<>
This Fact Sheet provides tips on understanding and utilizing Schedule A, a hiring authority that federal agencies can use to accelerate hiring of individuals with disabilities.

Page last updated on Tuesday, September 10, 2013