DAMI-CP (690-13) 2 APR 1992


SUBJECT: Choosing Career Paths to Structure and Classify CIPMS Positions, the Question of GS-9 Full Performance Positions in the Professional/ Administrative Career Path.

1. References:

a. Memorandum, HQDA, ODCSPER/DCS, G-2, DAMI-CP, 11 Jun 90, subject: Guide to Classifying General Schedule (GS) Positions in the Civilian Intelligence Personnel Management System (CIPMS) and Implementation of CIPMS Primary Grading Standard (PGS) for Supervisory/Managerial Positions.

b. Memorandum, HQDA, DAPE-CPE, 24 Jun 91, subject: Implementation of the Army Occupational Guide (AOG) for Nonsupervisory Work in Security Administration, GS-080, for Positions within the Civilian Intelligence Personnel Management System (CIPMS).

2. The enclosed document is an update to reference la. It provides guidance in determining the correct career path for full performance GS-9 positions. This issue was raised based on the implementation of the AOG for Security Administration, GS-080, transmitted by reference 1b.

3. Recent requests for clarification stem from the Grade Band Bar Illustration in the AOG for Security Administration, GS-080 which places Security Specialist, GS-080-9 level work in the entry/developmental grade band. This is consistent with the CIPMS Professional/Administrative Career Path defined in DoD 1400.34-M, DoD Civilian Intelligence Personnel Management System (CIPMS) Policies, and AR-690-13, Civilian Intelligence Personnel Management System (CIPMS)--Policies and Procedures.

a. Inquiries we received cite duties which are similar to or the same as the work examples in the entry-level grade band description in the GS-080 AOG, and state that such work is also performed in higher graded Security Assistant, GS-086 positions.

b. The similarity of duties between the GS-080 at the entry/developmental level and GS-086 has been interpreted as rationale to reclassify Security Assistant, GS-086 positions for upgrade to Security Specialist, GS-080, in some organizations. The career ladder for these proposed GS-080 positions would end at GS-9.

4. GS-9 will not be considered the full-performance level for jobs covered by a CIPMS AOG in the professional/administrative career path. This issue goes beyond the "GS-086 to GS-080" question, and challenges the framework of the CIPMS grade structure which is based upon the concept of career paths and grade bands. The entry-level grade band in CIPMS for professional/ administrative positions is intended as the intake/developmental phase leading to full performance level work. The AOGs to date, as well as the Army Civilian Training, Education, and Development System (ACTEDS) support that concept.

5. In some organizations, there still exist Security Assistant positions in the GS-080 series. The reason some Security Assistant positions are classified in the GS-080 series is discussed in the enclosure. Summarized, prior to 1987 the GS-086 series did not exist, and the GS-080 position classification standard included both Security Assistant and Security Specialist work. With the implementation of the CIPMS AOG, these Assistant and Specialist positions must be carefully studied and placed in the correct series and career path based upon the whole job. Position structure should recognize the need for both GS-086 technical and GS-080 professional/administrative work in accomplishing the mission.

6. It is recognized that some professional/administrative jobs graded by other-than-CIPMS standards may result in a full performance grade of GS-9. This does not fit the CIPMS grade band structure of the professional/administrative career path. However, without CIPMS AOGs which cover those kinds of work, inconsistencies will exist.

7. As a reminder, position-to-position comparison is not a valid factor in determining the classification of work. AR 690-13, CIPMS Policies and Procedures, paragraph 3-3a states that work is to be measured by either the Army Occupational Guide, or the applicable OPM position classification standard where an AOG has not yet been developed. Direct application of the CIPMS Primary Grading Standard, Part 2, to nonsupervisory work has not been approved. Reference 1a provides, however, for the direct application of the CIPMS PGS, Part 3, to supervisory/managerial work.

8. Close coordination between GS-080 managers and position classifiers is strongly recommended to ensure proper classification of GS-080 and GS-086 positions under CIPMS, following the guidance in the enclosed document.

9. The enclosure should be inserted into reference 1a, the CIPMS Guide for Classifying GS Positions, at Chapter 3, Classification Principles and Practices. Technical guidance will continue to be provided as the CIPMS classification program is implemented through the application of the AOGs and the CIPMS primary grading standard, Part 3. A new Table of Contents for reference 1a is not provided. Recommend a pen and ink notation be made on page 2 of the existing Table of Contents as follows: Choosing Among Career Paths to Structure and Classify Positions ....3-9, p. 18-1.

10. Point of contact in DAMI-CP is Mary Tanzer, commercial (703) 285-5202 or DSN 356-5202.


Director, Counterintelligence and Security Countermeasures


Director, Intelligence Personnel Management Office <>Encl



Installation CPOs
Activity CPMs


UPDATE TO: The Guide to Classifying General Schedule (GS) Positions in the Civilian Intelligence Personnel Management System (CIPMS)





New guidance on career paths for GS-9 level full performance work.

2 Apr 92

Insert pages 18-1 through 18-5 into the CIPMS Guide for Classifying GS Positions,

June 1990.



Choosing Among Career Paths to Structure and Classify Positions

a. Distinguishing between Professional/Administrative versus Technician Career Paths.

(1) The distinctions are not always clear between positions properly structured and/or classified in the Series within the two-grade interval professional/ administrative career path, and those positions appropriately structured and/or classified in series within the one-grade interval technician career path.

(2) The determination between the two career paths cannot be made on the strict comparison of duties alone. Some of the same duties will be found in both career paths of the occupational field. Positions at the higher grade-levels within the technician career path may well contain identical work assignments to entry/developmental positions within the professional/administrative career path. For example, it is possible that a Security Assistant, GS-086-7, position-would include duties identical to that of a Security Specialist, GS-080-7.

(3) Key considerations for distinguishing between professional/administrative and technician positions must go beyond duties alone and include the purpose of the work, the qualifications required to perform the work, and management's intent in structuring the work. Generally, positions in the technician career path would be designed or structured in the following settings:

- To relieve the fully-trained professional, analyst or specialist from those parts of the job that are repetitious in nature, and based on established procedures, methods, principles and techniques of the occupational field being supported.

- In organizations where the requirements of the work function may be restricted in nature such that establishment of a full performance professional/ administrative position is not warranted. Technical career path positions need not be located in organizational settings along with positions in the professional/ administrative career path in order to be correctly placed in the technician career path. The requirement for application of knowledges and skills in the procedures, precedents, methods, processes and techniques which support the broad program or occupational field determine correct placement of the position in the technician career path; versus a high level of analytical ability, personal judgment and comprehensive understanding of the broad aspects of the occupational field required in the two-grade interval professional/administrative occupation.

- In upward mobility programs, where bridge positions are utilized to support clerical growth. Upward mobility provides employees with demonstrated potential at the GS-8 level and below to be developed under a training plan.

(4) Work in the technician career path would not involve the many judgmental decisions based on thorough knowledge of the concepts, theories, and principles that must be made by the professional, specialist, or analyst, in the professional/administrative career path, in the absence of clearly applicable guidelines or precedent cases.

(5) This is not to say that technician or assistant positions are not complex. The work is performed based on knowledges and skills gained from significant and long exposure to the occupation and organization involved and thorough familiarity with the applicable procedures, guidelines and precedents. However, these assignments typically would be restrictive in nature, typically confined to specialties, narrow specialized areas, limited boundaries, specific programs or phases of program areas. The assignments would not be designed to grow in complexity, to develop judgmental and analytical skills required to progress in the higher-graded professional, analyst or specialist occupation within the broad career field.

b. Significance of Grade Bands in Career Paths.

(1) In the Civilian Intelligence Personnel Management System (CIPMS), the following career paths are recognized: professional/administrative; technician; and clerical. Grade bands have been established within each of these career paths: pre-professional; entry; full performance; expert; and senior expert. Each grade band includes a span of grade-levels. Illustrated below, these grade band/grade-level spans are different between the career paths.

GS Grades 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Pre-Professional Entry/Developmental Full Performance Expert Senior Expert
Technician Entry Full Performance Expert
Clerical Entry Full Performance

(2) The intent of this grade band structure is to recognize common levels of difficulty at the entry, full performance, and expert levels of occupations within common career paths. When duties within the technician career path reach the GS-7 or GS-9 level, the question arises as to whether or not the position appropriately belongs in the technician series, or in the professional/administrative series to which it is aligned.

(3) As defined in CIPMS AR-690-13, technician occupations involve nonroutine work typically associated with and supportive of a professional/administrative field to include "program" decision-making but less than full competence in the field involved. The professional/administrative career path involves work which requires the knowledge of a specialized field of science or learning acquired through major academic study, or work that requires a high degree of analytical ability, judgment, discretion, personal responsibility, and the application of a substantial body of knowledge of underlying concepts, theories, and principles applicable to the field.

(4) If the position is designed to be clearly developmental and preparatory to higher level work, the correct placement is in the professional/administrative career path. If, however, management intends the position to remain at the GS-7 or GS-9 level without the potential for higher level responsibilities evolving, the position correctly falls within the technician career path.

c. Structuring Technician Career Path Positions for Career

(1) Historically, some older Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Position Classification Standards (PCS) had included both one and two-grade interval kinds of work within the same series. Differences between the kinds of work was usually made through titling of the positions. For example, clerk, assistant, or technician titles would be used for one-grade interval work, and specialist or analyst titles would be applied to the two-grade interval work. (a) As an example, the Security Administration Series, GS-080, prior to 1987, included both Security Assistant and Security Specialist within the GS-080 series. In December 1987, the GS-080 series was revised by a new OPM PCS. This revised standard provided new classification criteria for the two-grade interval work in the Security Administration Series, GS-080. At the same time, the Security Clerical and Assistance Series, GS-086, was issued. This new GS-086 series-coverage standard covered one-grade interval support positions in agency security programs.

(b) With the development of the CIPMS Army Occupational Guide (AOG) for Security Administration, GS-080, application of the OPM position classification standard to GS-080 work was delayed. As a result, there may be both security assistant positions and security specialist positions in the GS-080 series in some organizations, until the AOG for GS-080 is fully implemented.

(2) In cases such as these, the determination to place a position either in the two-grade interval professional/administrative career path or the one-grade interval technician career path must be made when either a new OPM PCS is applied or a CIPMS AOG is implemented. There is no pat answer to this determination. In addition to position management principles, the placement must be based on duties and responsibilities, the knowledges and skills required to perform the work, and management's intent in assigning work and establishing the career ladder of the position. If management intends the duties to be performed without potential for reaching a grade-level within the span of the full performance grade-band in the professional/administrative career path, a technician career path series would be appropriate.

(3) The Army Civilian Training Education, and Development System (ACTEDS) plans for career fields may also be useful in determining management's intent for potential career progression of the position. Establishment of a professional/ administrative job brings with it an obligation to train, to provide for the acquisition of the full range of competencies. If the commitment is not there to provide training to acquire the competencies, because the mission needs do not require such acquisition, the position is not likely within the professional/administrative career path. The ACTEDS Intelligence Plan for Career Program (CP) 35 describes the career ladders and model progression patterns for intelligence and intelligence related positions in CP-35. In CIPMS, the Army Occupational Guides describe the type of work expected to be found within each of the grade-band spans for a particular functional area of a series. Knowledges, skills and abilities for each of the grade-bands, and sequential training are also illustrated in the ACTEDS plan.

d. Crediting Qualifications Gained in Technician Career Path

(1) The Office of Personnel Management Handbook X-118 qualification standards for the two-grade interval administrative, management, and specialist positions, and the CIPMS qualification standards for GS-132 (Intelligence Specialist) and GS-080 (Security Specialist), explain that experience in substantive and relevant secretarial, clerical, technician, or other responsible work may be qualifying as long as it has provided evidence of the knowledges, skills, and abilities (KSAs) necessary to perform the duties of the position to be filled. It is an applicant's responsibility to provide an accurate description of experience and amount of time spent performing such qualifying experience during the application process.

(2) Experience gained in a technician career path position may be considered in the qualifications determination of an incumbent for movement into professional/administrative positions. The qualifications determination of an incumbent in a technician career path position for a position in a professional/ administrative career path is made on an individual, case-by-case basis. Many highly qualified candidates from the technician career path are expected to qualify for cross-over to the professional/administrative career path.