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Selective Placement Program

Definition of Schedule A Hiring Authority

Schedule A Appointing Authority under 5 CFR ยง 213.3102(u) is a non-competitive accepted service hiring authority available to federal agencies to hire and/or promote individuals with disabilities without competing the job. It lessens the typical recruitment issues, hiring managers do not have to post and publicize the position, and the applicant does not have to go through the certificate process. A proof of disability is required before proceeding. This authority is limited to individuals with an intellectual, severe physical, or psychiatric disability.


Regulation Description
Schedule A, 5 CFR 213.3102(u) This excepted authority is used to appoint persons with severe physical disabilities, psychiatric disabilities, and intellectual disabilities. Such individuals may qualify for conversion to permanent status after two years of satisfactory service. Severe physical disabilities include but are not limited to blindness, deafness, paralysis, missing limbs, epilepsy, dwarfism, and more.
Schedule A, 5 CFR 213.3102(11) This excepted authority is used to appoint readers, interpreters, and personal assistants for employees with severe disabilities as reasonable accommodations.

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The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has the lead on Federal policy and guidance regarding equal rights for applicants and employees with disabilities. EEOC classifies the following disabilities as "severe" or "targeted:" deafness, blindness, missing extremities, partial paralysis, total paralysis, epilepsy, severe intellectual disability, psychiatric disability, and dwarfism. The EEOC tracks the employment of individuals with these targeted disabilities.

VA regularly uses the Schedule Hiring Authority as well as other non-competitive hiring authorities, including Veterans Hiring authorities, to ensure the employment of IWD and IWTD. Since 2015, VA has exceeded the overall Federal goal of 2 percent for employment of IWTD. Based on new EEOC requirements, VA has already met three of the four new goals for employment of individuals with disabilities, to include 12 percent IWD at GS-11 and above, including Senior Executive Service (SES); 12 percent IWD at GS-10 and below, and two percent IWTD at GS-10 and below. VA continues to strive meet the goal of two percent of IWTD at GS-11 and above grades, including SES.

VA's hiring goal for individuals with targeted disabilities is 3% of all hires, or one in every 33 new hires. At the same time, VA needs to improve the retention rate for this group by providing accommodations on request and when possible, providing training and developmental opportunities. If we are unable to retain employees with targeted disabilities, we will need to increase the hiring goal. VA strives to improve the employment ratios for individuals with disabilities, particularly those with targeted disabilities.

Individuals with disabilities can apply for VA positions through the competitive process or, if they have a severe disability, apply for a non-competitive appointment to a Title 5 position via Schedule A.  For additional information, applicants can review the brochure that explains the non-competitive Schedule A appointment authority.  The health related positions in VA are covered by Title 38, and are not covered by the Schedule A excepted appointment authority. These positions are non-competitive, but applications must be submitted by the deadline listed in the announcement.

While ODI has the lead for disability outreach, every Human Resources office and VA manager is obligated to ensure that sufficient efforts are made to recruit qualified candidates with disabilities, especially those with targeted disabilities, for each job announcement.  Each HR office has a Selective Placement Coordinator who can provide information on recruiting individuals with disabilities and the Schedule A hiring authority, and VA’s Title 38 positions.  HR staff can review the Schedule A brochure written for HR staff for additional information. A separate brochure provides information for managers. Commonly asked questions and answers may also be helpful.

VA managers are encouraged to ensure that employees with disabilities are aware of and participate in training opportunities so that they can qualify for future promotions.  This is required by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.  Additionally, VA is working hard to ensure that our employees with disabilities are treated with respect and encouraged to stay with the agency.

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Library: Schedule A

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Tools and Resources:

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List of Selective Placement Program Coordinators

Note: This page links to external information on the Internet. VA is not responsible for the content or privacy policies of these Web sites, and linking to these sites does not constitute endorsement by VA of the sites' sponsors or the information, products, or services they provide.

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