OPM Proposes Removal of Nearly 50 Occupational Codes

In a memo to agencies, Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Deputy Associate Director of Talent Acquisition and Workforce Shaping Kimberly Holden proposes the cancelation of 47 occupational classification codes that are no longer significantly used. The move is justified as supporting the President’s Management Agenda: Modernizing Government for the 21st Century.

“OPM is proposing to cancel the occupational series below due to the evolution of work,” the memo reads. Holden explains that the occupational series selected all employ 25 or fewer individuals government wide and can be covered by another classification or occupational series.

“We are not proposing to cancel occupational series whose work is so specialized that it is not classifiable to any other series or which have individual occupational qualification requirements. Any series approved for cancellation will require the work to be absorbed in the job families ‘01’ or ‘03’ series, e.g., the Correspondence Clerk Series, 309, will be absorbed into the Miscellaneous Clerk and Assistance Series, 303 series,” the memo explains.

Removed classifications include 28 white collar occupations and 19 trades, crafts, and labor occupations.

While the memo acknowledges that job classification standards create important uniformity in the federal government, having too many can result in an antiquated system.

“Position and job classification standards encourage uniformity and equity (e.g., equal pay for equal work) in the classification of positions by providing an established taxonomy for common reference and use in different organizations, locations, or agencies,” the memo explains. “As part of our role, we routinely review occupational series throughout the Federal Government considering Federal agency usage and in comparison to industry trends. This effort supports the President’s Management Agenda (PMA): Modernizing Government for the 21st Century.”

Comments or questions on the removal of these classifications can be sent to fedclass@opm.gov by Monday, November 25, 2019 for consideration.

The memo discusses a continued desire to eliminate other unused or obsolete classifications. Individuals with ideas for other classifications that they believe should be removed can send suggestions to their Chief Human Capital Officer.

Holden asks that individuals submitting a series for considered removal provide supporting documentation or evidence, such as position descriptions with evaluation statements, job analysis, agency studies and/or surveys. Individuals should also provide an explanation for why they support or object to a classification’s removal.

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