Posted Date: March 25, 2014

Author:  Robin Minor, Chief Compliance Officer, Federal Student Aid

Subject: Employment Opportunities - Vacancy Announcement for Supervisory Performance Improvement and Procedures Specialist (GS-1101-14)

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is looking for the best and brightest to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the nation. If you are a highly motivated, creative individual who would like to be involved in establishing policies on federal financial aid for education, and distributing as well as monitoring those funds; collecting data on America's schools and disseminating research; focusing national attention on key educational issues; and prohibiting discrimination and ensuring equal access to education, ED is the place for you!

POSITION TITLE: Supervisory Performance Improvement and Procedures Specialist
DIVISION TITLE: Federal Student Aid, Program Compliance Office, Performance Improvement and Procedures Service Group
SALARY RANGE: $106,263.00- $138,136.00
LOCATION: 1 vacancy - Washington DC Metro Area, DC
OPENING DATE: 03/17/2014
CLOSING DATE: 03/28/2014

Federal Student Aid (FSA) is responsible for administering all aspects of the operations for the student financial assistance programs authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act. The Program Compliance office is responsible for administering a program of monitoring and oversight of the institutions, guaranty agencies, lenders, and servicers participating in the Department's Title IV programs.

The Performance Improvement and Procedures Service Group (PIPSG) provides support to the School Eligibility Service Group (SESG) and the Financial Institution Oversight Service Group (FIOSG) through the development and review of policy, procedure development and refinement, training, and resolution of difficult matters.

Performance Improvement and Procedures Service Group (PIPSG) serves as liaison to Federal Student Aid’s policy organization to provide recommendations for policy development and communicating policy decisions back to Program Compliance. Performance Improvement and Procedures Service Group (PIPSG) addresses regulatory and statutory changes with the Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE); conducts quality assurance evaluations, coordinates with Technical and Business Support Services Group (TBSSG) in the development of systems and Training of staff in the use of program compliance automated systems; and reviews and evaluates programmatic publications for consistency with established policies and procedures.


  • You must be a U.S. citizen. Security Clearance
  • Must complete a Background Investigation and fingerprint check
  • Must complete a One-year Probationary Period
  • Relocation Expenses will not be paid. Financial Disclosure.


Manages human resources to build a responsive and effective team to carry out the work of the PIPSG. Furthers the goals of equal employment opportunity by taking positive steps to achieve a diverse workforce. Practices nondiscrimination with regard to race, religion, color, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, parental status, lawful political affiliation, marital status, union membership, and non-disqualifying physical or mental disability.

Assists in managing the effective functioning of the team by coaching and mentoring team members. Provides expert subject matter knowledge on team cases, and maintains a current knowledge to answer questions from team members on procedures, policies, directives, and priorities. Communicates both orally and in writing to prepare briefing papers and/or correspondence summaries. Prepares, monitors, and maintains reports on team activities, such as analysis of financial statements, conducting quality control reviews, and validating school eligibility.

Develops plans for a project team in carrying out its assigned projects. Supervises the development, analysis, maintenance, and evaluation of new or modified operating policies, regulations, goals, and objectives for oversight of schools and financial institutions. Develops procedures and systems for the analysis and evaluation of oversight programs to ensure they meet established goals and objectives. Independently researches, writes, and develops new procedures where needed, and updates existing procedures. Maintains a workflow tracking system for all institutions assigned to the team, monitors the status of work in progress, and makes adjustments to ensure timely and effective mission accomplishment. Analyzes management information requirements and incorporates them into operating instructions. Monitors changes to laws and regulations, determines their impact on SESG and FIOSG procedures and staff, and coordinates with staff in other ED offices to ensure procedures are consistent with the interpretation of regulations.

Specific responsibilities include of the incumbent include:

  • Liaison with the FSA Policy Analysis and Implementation (PAI) staff to provide recommendations for the development of operating policy and communication of that policy to Program Compliance management;
  • In partnership with PAI, addressing regulatory and statutory changes with the ED Office of Postsecondary Education;
  • Conduct of quality assurance evaluations to determine the effectiveness of SESG and FIOSG procedures;
  • Assisting SESG and FIOSG in refining and communicating changes in business process procedures;
  • Coordination with Technical and Business Support Service Group (TBSSG) in the development of systems and training of SESG and FIOSG staff in the use of program compliance automated systems; and
  • Review and evaluation of program publications for consistency with established policies and procedures (e.g., FSA Student Aid Handbook, Audit Guide, FSA Coach, and Blue Book).



WARNING! High self-assessment in the vacancy questions that is not supported by information in your resume, and/or supporting documents may eliminate you from best-qualified status or result in a lowered score. Your responses to the vacancy questions must be substantiated by your on-line resume. Be sure that the experience/education as described on your resume contains accurate and sufficient information that clearly supports your responses to all of the questions by addressing experience and education relevant to this position. If you exaggerate or falsify your experience, education and/or your responses to questions, your ratings can/will be changed, or you may be removed from employment consideration. You should make a fair and accurate assessment of your qualifications.

Applicants who do not respond to the application questions will be rated ineligible.

Eligible candidates will be placed for selection consideration into three (3) categories as described below:

1 - Qualified Category - Applicants who have a "Q" score between 70 and 84.99 meets the specialized experience outlined in the Minimum

Qualification Requirements section of this announcement.

2 - Well Qualified Category - Applicants who have a "WQ" score between 85 and 94.99 exceeds the Minimum Qualification Requirements based on review of resume and vacancy specific questions.

3 - Best Qualified Category - Applicants who have a "BQ" score between 95 and 100 Outstanding level based on review of resume and vacancy specific questions.

Do not overstate or understate your level of experience and capability. You should be aware that your ratings are subject to evaluation and verification

To perform successfully the duties of this position, applicants are expected to possess the Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs) listed below. Your answers to the on-line experience questions will serve as responses to the KSAs.

1. Ability to provide oversight and lead team members engaged in the administration of highly technical and complex student financial assistance programs.

2. Knowledge of legislation, regulations, policies and procedures governing the administration of Federal Title IV Student Financial Assistance Programs.

3. Ability to develop plans for project teams or other groups in accomplishing projects and studies.



All qualified candidates must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-13 level in federal services.

Examples of such experience include: working with Title IV laws and regulations; providing oversight and engaging in the administration of complex student financial assistance programs; developing plans for project teams or other groups; maintaining workflow tracking system for all institutions; providing expert advice in the analysis of financial statements, regulations, and policies, and procedures; conducting quality control reviews and validating school eligibility; planning and conducting studies to measure economic effects and financial stability of the student loan program; participating in or leading teams in financial systems design and assessment; developing guidelines and operational procedures on financial responsibility for lenders participating in student assistance programs.

NOTE: Applications must be submitted by the closing date: March 28, 2014.

Please see the job announcement at application information.


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