OPM Publishes New Intern and Recruiting Program Rules

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) on Thursday published rules that will help agencies recruit students and recent graduates through the Internship Program, the Recent Graduates Program and the Presidential Management Fellows Program (PMF).

Students who are enrolled at least half-time in selected educational programs will be eligible for the Internship Program, OPM said. The program will be open to students at various educational levels, including high school, undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate levels. In an effort to simplify current rules regarding federal internships, OPM will end the current Student Temporary Employment Program and the Student Career Experience Programs, effective in July.

Individuals who have finished selected post-high school academic programs will be eligible for a slot in the Recent Graduates Program.

“Everybody will get a two-year window after they graduate,” OPM Director John Berry said. “You will be allowed to apply for positions that the agencies will identify in [the Recent Graduates Program]. And again, just like with the intern program, if you do a good job, you can be converted after a year of service.”

Agencies will also have the option to permanently hire individuals who perform well in the Internship and Recent Graduates program.

In contrast to the Internship and Recent Graduates programs, PMF will focus on recruiting individuals who recently completed graduate and post-graduate degrees. OPM’s new focus will be on improving the effectiveness of the three-decades-old program, the agency said.

“We are increasing the assessment tools that will help us identify better candidates,” Berry said. “We are increasing the sense of cohort amongst those classes, so they’ll get to know one another in joint exercises and training. And we are increasing the onboarding and training exercises that the [Presidential Management Fellows] will go through in that program.”

The new rules were proposed in August following criticism from unions that agencies used the federal internship programs to get around the hiring process. As part of an effort to remedy this problem, OPM is instituting new reporting requirements to ensure agencies are using the programs properly.

“Agencies will have to tell us what jobs they’re going to be filling through these programs, where they’re located, what the pay is, and how people will apply for them,” said Robert Shriver,  OPM’s deputy general counsel for policy. “We will be putting that information on [USAJobs.gov].”

Posted in General News




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