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Qualifications Review Board (QRB)



The Office of Personnel Management convenes Qualifications Review Boards (QRBs) to provide an independent peer review of candidates proposed for initial career appointment to the SES. The candidate cannot be appointed to the SES until the QRB certifies his/her executive qualifications. The QRB review is the critical last step in the SES selection process. By focusing attention on executive qualifications, the QRB helps ensure that technical skills do not outweigh leadership expertise in the selection of new senior executives.


QRBs provide a critical, independent peer review of a candidate's executive qualifications to be a member of the SES. This objective review assures that the government is hiring executives with the leadership qualifications needed in today's environment, especially the ability to lead in times of change.


OPM draws on SES members to serve on QRBs and to advise on QRB policy and procedures. The Board normally consists of three SES members, each from a different agency. A majority of Board members must be SES career appointees. QRB members cannot review candidates from their own agencies.


After the agency completes its merit staffing process and makes a selection, the agency requests QRB certification of the selectee's executive qualifications. OPM administers the QRBs, which meet every Tuesday and Friday. A QRB reviews each case and either approves or disapproves the candidate's executive qualifications. If approved, the agency may proceed with the appointment. Disapprovals are usually due to the candidate not meeting the executive qualifications requirements or not adequately addressing his/her qualifications in terms of the five ECQs. The entire QRB certification process is usually completed in less than two weeks.


Qualifications Review Board Certification

The Office of Personnel Management convenes weekly Qualifications Review Boards (QRBs) to provide an independent peer review of applications for initial career appointment to the Senior Executive Service. The Board consists of three executives; at least two members must be career appointees. Board members review each application and decide if the candidates experience meets the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) requirements. The QRB does not rate, rank, or compare the candidates qualifications against those of other candidates. Rather, Board members judge the overall scope, quality, and depth of a candidates executive qualifications within the context of the five ECQs.


QRB Certification Based on Announcement of a Specific Vacancy:

Criterion A--Demonstrated executive experience. Candidates must demonstrate executive experience in all five ECQs. Their applications should reflect an overall record of the knowledges, skills, and abilities necessary to succeed in the SES. This record may include professional and volunteer experience, education, training, and awards, in addition to Federal experience. QRB members review each candidates resume or Federal application form, executive qualifications statement, and other documents provided by the agency.


Criterion B--Successful participation in an Office of Personnel Management-approved Candidate Development Program (CDP). Candidates who compete Government wide for participation in a CDP and successfully complete the program are eligible for non-competitive appointment to the Senior Executive Service (SES). In some cases, CDP openings are announced within a single agency rather than Government wide; these graduates must compete for SES positions. Either way, CDP graduates are not entitled to placement in the SES.


Criterion C--Possession of special or unique qualities which indicate a likelihood of executive success. The candidate must possess special or unique qualifications which support the ability to perform the duties of the position and the potential to quickly acquire full competence in the ECQs (e.g., an individual who is exceptionally familiar with an agencys programs through high-level staff experience, or who has had a significant impact on the highest policy levels of the agency). Criterion C cases are very rare and appropriate only when exceptional candidates with demonstrated experience are not available.