Job family (Series)
1715 Vocational Rehabilitation
Conditions of Employment
- You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job
- Designated and/or random drug testing may be required
- Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
- You may be required to serve a probationary period
- Subject to background/security investigation
- Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process
QualificationsTo qualify for this position, applicants must meet time in grade and specialized experience requirements within 30 days of the closing date of this announcement, 01/29/2021.
Time-In-Grade Requirement: Applicants who are current Federal employees and have held a GS grade any time in the past 52 weeks must also meet time-in-grade requirements by the closing date of this announcement. For a GS-11 position you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-9. The grade may have been in any occupation, but must have been held in the Federal service. An SF-50 that shows your time-in-grade eligibility must be submitted with your application materials. If the most recent SF-50 has an effective date within the past year, it may not clearly demonstrate you possess one-year time-in-grade, as required by the announcement. In this instance, you must provide an additional SF-50 that clearly demonstrates one-year time-in-grade.
Note: Time-In-Grade requirements also apply to former Federal employees applying for reinstatement as well as current employees applying for Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA) appointment.
You may qualify based on your experience and/or education as described below:
- Specialized Experience: You must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the next lower grade GS-9 in the normal line of progression for the occupation in the organization. Examples of specialized experience would typically include, but are not limited to: -Work that required obtaining and applying occupational information for people with disabilities, knowledge of the interrelationships of the involved professional and specialist services, and skill in employing the methodology and techniques of counseling to motivate and encourage individuals served by the program. -Experience that demonstrated knowledge of the vocational rehabilitation problems characteristic of the disabled, including familiarity with available resources and skill in identifying, evaluating, and making effective use of such resources to serve individuals with disabilities; or of the disadvantaged, including knowledge of adjustment problems of the educationally or culturally disadvantaged, familiarity with available adult education and training resources, and ability to recognize problem areas needing special attention. -Experience in vocational guidance or teaching in a recognized vocational rehabilitation program or school, developmental or supervisory work in programs of vocational rehabilitation or training programs for the disadvantaged, or personnel or employment placement work that provided extensive knowledge of the training and adjustment requirements necessary to place persons having disabilities or social adjustment problems. OR,
- Education: Applicants may substitute education for the required experience. To qualify based on education for this grade level you must have successfully completed a vocational rehabilitation, vocational or educational counseling, or other fields related to the position Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree or 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree or LL.M. if related. This education was obtained in an accredited business, secretarial or technical school, junior college, college or university. If you are qualifying on education, transcripts are required. OR,
- Combination: Applicants may also combine education and experience to qualify at this level. You must have an combination of specialized experience and education in excess of master's or equivalent graduate degree or 2 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree or LL.B. or J.D., if related is creditable. If you qualify by a combination, your experience must be detailed in your resume and transcripts are required.
You will be rated on the following Competencies for this position:
- Customer Service
- Therapy and Counseling
Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religions; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.
Note: A full year of work is considered to be 35-40 hours of work per week. Part-time experience will be credited on the basis of time actually spent in appropriate activities. Applicants wishing to receive credit for such experience must indicate clearly the nature of their duties and responsibilities in each position and the number of hours a week spent in such employment.
Physical Requirements: The work is sedentary. Typically, the employee sits comfortably to do the work. However, there may be some walking; standing; bending; carrying of light items, such as papers, books, or small parts; or driving an automobile. No special physical demands are required to perform the work.
VRS will be required to drive a government automobile during performing work. Must be able to
pass physical/driver certification.
For more information on these qualification standards, please visit the United States Office of Personnel Management's website at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/.
A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education.
Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/. If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For further information, visit: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html.
VA supports the use of telework as a way to help attract and retain talented individuals in public service, increase worker productivity, and better prepare the agency to operate during emergencies. This position may be authorized for telework. Telework eligibility will be discussed during the interview process.
Receiving Service Credit or Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employee's credit for their job-related non-federal experience or active duty uniformed military service. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed.
Special Employment Consideration: VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply, including those eligible for hiring under 5 CFR 213.3102(u), Schedule A, Appointment of persons with disabilities [i.e., intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities], and/or Disabled veterans with a compensable service-connected disability of 30% or more. Contact the Agency Contact for information on how to apply under this appointment authority via the Selective Placement Coordinator.
The Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) and Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) provide eligible displaced Federal/VA competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. To be qualified you must submit appropriate documentation (a copy of the agency notice, your most recent performance rating, and your most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty location) and be found well-qualified for this vacancy. To be well-qualified: applicants must possess experience that exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position including all selective factors, and who are proficient in most of the required competencies of the job. Information about ICTAP and CTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website at http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/workforce-restructuring/employee-guide-to-career-transition/.
Placement Policy: The posting of this announcement does not obligate management to fill a vacancy or vacancies by promotion. The position may be filled by reassignment, change to lower grade, transfer, appointment, or reinstatement. Management may use any one or any combination of these methods to fill the position.
It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment.
This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.
Veterans and Transitioning Service Members: Please visit the VA for Vets site for career-search tools for Veterans seeking employment at VA, career development services for our existing Veterans, and coaching and reintegration support for military service members.
For more information on the "Who may apply" eligibility requirements, please refer to the OHRM Status Candidates and Other Candidate Definitions document.
If you are unable to apply online view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application.
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
Resume Reminder – Your resume must include the following information for each job listed:
Duties (be as detailed as possible)
Month & year start/end dates (e.g. June 2007 to April 2008)
Full-time or part-time status (include hours worked per week)
Series and Grade, if applicable, for all Federal positions you have held
References, current or recent supervisor
Please be aware that your answers will be verified against information provided on your resume. Be sure that your resume clearly supports your responses to all of the questions by addressing your work experience in detail. The experience stated in your resume must support your assessment responses.
Recommended: Even though we do not require a specific resume format, your resume must be clear so that we are able to fully evaluate your qualifications. To ensure you receive appropriate consideration, please list the duties you performed under each individual job title. If we are unable to match your experiences with the positions held, you may lose consideration for this vacancy. We cannot make assumptions regarding your qualifications.
IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE WILL NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE.
Narrative responses are not required at this time. If you are referred for consideration, you may be asked to submit additional job related information, which may include, but not limited to; responses to the knowledge, skills and abilities; completion of a work sample, and/or contact for an interview.Your resume and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating or consideration for employment.
Background checks and security clearance
Drug test required
Position sensitivity and risk
Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk
Trust determination process
To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:
The following documents are accepted, and may be required if applicable to your eligibility and/or qualifications for this position. Please use this checklist to make sure you have included other documents required for your application, such as a copy of your transcript (if using education to qualify), SF-50's (current/former Federal employees), documentation to support Veterans Preference claims, or ICTAP/CTAP documentation (for displaced Federal employees). You will not be contacted for additional information.
- Cover Letter
- DD-214/ Statement of Service
- Disability Letter (Schedule A)
- Disability Letter (VA)
- Other (1)
- Other (2)
- Other (3)
- PCS Orders
- Performance Appraisal
- Proof of Marriage Status
- Separation Notice (RIF)
- SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action
SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action (if applicable for Time in Grade and/or Eligibility):
- Most recent SF-50 if you are a current or former Federal employee
- An SF-50 showing your time-in-grade eligibility must be submitted with your application materials. If the most recent SF-50 has an effective date within the past year, it may not clearly demonstrate you possess one-year time-in-grade, as required by the announcement. In this instance, you must provide an additional SF-50 that clearly demonstrates one-year time-in-grade
- Award 50's do not provide sufficient information and will not be accepted for the purpose of verifying time-in-grade.
- Examples of appropriate SF-50's include:
- Within grade increases at the highest grade held; or
- Promotions with an effective date more than one year old; or
- SF-50's at the highest grade held with an effective date more than one year old.
Veterans' Preference: When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference for 5pt (TP), 10pt (CP/CPS/XP), or for Sole Survivor Preference (SSP) in the questionnaire. You must provide a legible copy of your DD214(s) which shows dates and character of service (honorable, general, etc.). If you are currently serving on active duty and expect to be released or discharged within 120 days you must submit documentation related to your active duty service which reflects the dates of service, character of service (honorable, general, etc.), and dates of impending separation. Additionally, disabled veterans and others eligible for 10-point preference (such as widows or mothers of eligible Veterans) must also submit an SF-15 "Application for 10 Point Veteran Preference" with required proof as stated on the form. Documentation is required to award preference. For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/vetpref/index.aspx.
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.
A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.
Review our benefits
Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.
The incumbent serves as a vocational Rehabilitation Specialist(VRS) within the Mental Health Service located at the VA Portland Healthcare System. The VRS will provide and coordinate a wide range of vocational rehabilitation and case management services to disabled veterans whose employability or work adjustment is impaired by a physical, mental, emotional or other disability or a lack of basic education and/or job skills.
The VRS provides rehabilitation counseling and guidance that facilitates successful adjustment
to disabling conditions and the market place. The VRS has thorough and advanced expertise
and training in counseling theory and approaches/techniques for counseling individuals with
severe and multiple disabilities. This includes patients who are being treated for traumatic brain
injuries, psychiatric, emotional and physical problems. A major portion of patients have physical
problems as well as neuropsychiatric problems which render them extremely difficult and complex
candidates for complete vocational restoration. In the counseling role, the VRS provides services
to participants starting at the time of their program admission and continuing through their
transition into employment or training.
It is essential to form a therapeutic relationship which has positive motivational effects on returning
to productive activity or employment. Because of the difficulty of the emotional and economic
adjustment for such individuals, the VRS must be able to apply significant professional skill,
ingenuity and knowledge to increase self-sufficiency, motivation, proper work habits and
adjustment to work conditions. This requires the development of individualized mutually
acceptable rehabilitation service plans, the provision of highly specialized services to individuals
with severe and multiple disabilities and the negotiation of modification in training and work
environments on a frequent basis. Formulation of treatment plans often requires the creative
development of individualized, complex, and non-standard vocational and educational services.
During the counseling process the counselor addresses all the complex features noted above.
Based on information gathered from the client referrals, biopsychosocial assessments, participant
interviews and other assessment tools, the VRS assists the veteran in developing vocational
goals and objectives in line with their interests, aptitudes and capabilities. The VRS helps
determine the extent to which the participant possesses the knowledge, skills or abilities
necessary to meet their vocational goals and objectives. When the need for additional training is
identified, the VRS facilitates access to programming to assist the veteran in developing the skills
and knowledge necessary for their vocational goal.
The VRCS ascertains the requirements necessary to meet vocational training objectives and
coordinates with various resources to find, evaluate and select a training facility. Training need
determinations are difficult as accommodations that meet the participants' vocational goals and
objectives are often not available in standard vocational or training programs. Determinations
require the VRS to analyze mental and physical disabilities and other impairments in terms of the
practical effects of such impairment on the veterans' motivation, adjustment to training and
difficulty in employment placement.
The VRS finds suitable employment opportunities and monitors placements to promote
successful work adjustment. The VRS is responsible for entering all assessments and the results
of evaluation data into the electronic medical record system. Assessments and evaluations must
adhere to all CARF guidelines. They must consider all factors that impact the patient's ability to
engage in training, obtain and maintain suitable employment.
Work Schedule: Monday-Friday 08:00a.m.-04:30p.m.
Telework: Avaiable per Agency policy.
Virtual: This is not a virtual position.
Position Description/PD#: Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist/PD213590
Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required
50% or less – Use of Government Vehicle is required and this may include transport of patients.
This job is open to
Career transition (CTAP, ICTAP, RPL)
Federal employees who meet the definition of a "surplus" or "displaced" employee.
Federal employees – Competitive service
Current or former competitive service federal employees.
Federal employees – Excepted service
Current excepted service federal employees.
Individuals with disabilities
Land & base management
Certain current or former term or temporary federal employees of a land or base management agency.
Peace Corps & AmeriCorps Vista
Individuals eligible under a special authority not listed above, but defined in the federal hiring regulations.
Clarification from the agency
Special authorities include: Former overseas employees and foreign service employees. Clarification for these authorities is provided in the questionnaire.