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NOAA Workforce Management Office

Serving NOAA's Most Valuable Asset - People

Overview of the PMF Program and Hiring Process

Overview of the PMF Program
Overview of NOAA's PMF Training and Development Requirements
PMF Hiring Process

Overview of the PMF Program

The Presidential Management Intern (PMI) Program was established in 1977 by President Carter via Executive Order to attract to the Federal sector outstanding masters and doctoral-level students from a wide variety of disciplines that were interested in and committed to a career with the Federal government. On November 21, 2003, President George W. Bush signed Executive Order 13318, modernizing and renaming the PMI Program to the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program to better reflect its high standards, rigor, and prestige. The Executive Order reflects the President's interest in increasing the stature of the Program and providing for a more modern range of pay to attract people to the program.

The PMF Program seeks candidates who display excellent communication, interpersonal, planning and analytical skills, decision-making ability, and the potential to perform in leadership positions.

Overview of NOAA's PMF Training and Development Requirements

Training and development are fundamental components of the PMF Program. NOAA has developed a mandatory NOAA PMF Training and Development Program to ensure that PMFs complete these program requirements and ensure consistency of training. The Fellows' training and developmental assignments must be documented on his/her individual development plan (IDP).

Regulations require that Fellows receive at least 80 hours of formal classroom training in each year of their fellowship. At NOAA, this training includes completion of:

NOAA PMFs must also complete 2 developmental assignments; 1 that is 120-180 calendar days (4-6 months) in length and 1 that is 30-180 calendar days (1-6 months) during the fellowship.

These requirements must be completed prior to the Fellow's anticipated conversion date (2 years from the PMF's entry on duty date). NOAA PMFs must also establish and maintain a relationship with a mentor outside of their chain of command. For more information, visit The Mandatory NOAA PMF Training and Development Program web page.

PMF Hiring Process

Candidates notified by OPM that they have been selected as PMF Finalists are not guaranteed a job. Rather, each Finalist is responsible for identifying positions of interest on the OPM PMF Projected Positions System and arranging interviews with the contact persons listed for those positions. To facilitate this effort, OPM also conducts a PMF Career Fair in Washington, D.C. each spring. Each potential PMF supervisor will conduct interviews for each PMF position. Some supervisors may conduct interviews at the PMF Career Fair while others may hold interviews at their office or via telephone. Please contact the supervisor for the position that you are interested in prior to the PMF Career Fair to discuss his/her preferences on this matter. Travel to the PMF Career Fair or for other interviews is the responsibility of the PMF Finalist and will not be reimbursed by NOAA. Some positions may become open after the PMF Career Fair. Thus, potential applicants should continue to monitor the availability of positions. As a final note, potential applicants are reminded that although a supervisor may extend the PMF Finalist a verbal offer, the official offer of employment must come from the NOAA Workforce Management Office.

Once appointed, PMFs serve under a full-time, excepted service appointment that augments the Fellow’s advanced education with on-the-job training, developmental assignments, access to high level managers, and other developmental experiences. Most NOAA Fellows are appointed at the GS-9 level or equivalent. However, if the Fellow's hiring office determines that the Fellow meets the requisite qualification requirements, the office may appoint the Fellow at the GS-11 or GS-12 level or equivalent. A higher step within the GS-9 pay range may be permissible if the PMF had prior, higher level Federal civilian service. NOAA's Workforce Management Office will determine the permissible rate based on application of the highest previous rate rule.

Fellows may be promoted up to the GS-13 level or its equivalent. Promotions may not be recommended by the supervisor until the PMF meets all requirements for promotion as identified by his/her Individual Development Plan (IDP). The IDP must indicate the competencies required for each level as well as provide a benchmark identifying the successful acquisition of the needed competencies. Future promotions after completing the PMF program are dependent upon the Department's or bureaus' Merit Assignment Program, the position's career ladder and full performance level, the employee's time-in-grade, and his/her performance.

The hiring supervisor and the NOAA PMF Recruitment Program Manager will be able to answer any questions that you may have.


Excepted Service: An Excepted Service appointment can be defined as employment in a Federal position or with an agency that is outside the Federal Competitive Service. For this definition to be meaningful, one needs to understand the Competitive Service. Briefly, the competitive civil service refers to Federal employment that uses OPM's competitive hiring process including Veterans' Preference rules. This means that OPM, or an agency delegated by OPM, conducts a competitive evaluation and rates the job candidates. Once employed, candidates who have gone through this process have civil service competitive status. An employee with this status can move freely from one government job to another without going through OPM's competitive hiring evaluation again. The Excepted Service, then, is comprised of positions and agencies that are not required to use OPM's competitive hiring examination. These agencies have authority to establish their own hiring programs to fill Excepted Service vacancies.

Salary is based on the current General Schedule pay scale. Some geographic locations include additional locality adjustments to the base salary.

Career-Conditional Status: The permanent appointment in the competitive service of a person who has not yet completed the required period of creditable, substantially continuous Federal service. This is typically a three year period.

Career Status: Permanent appointment in the competitive civil service conveyed automatically after successfully completing the required term of service in a career-conditional appointment.

Career Ladder: A career ladder consists of the grades ranging from the lowest level at which an employee can be hired as a trainee, up to the journeyman grade level, also known as the full performance level. It is the normal grade progression through which an employee may advance noncompetitively to reach the full-performance level (top grade of the career ladder) of a particular job.

Page last edited: July 19, 2016

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