Beta This website has not been cleared and is for use only by agencies piloting SME-QA with USDS. This website covers the steps that were taken by HHS and DOI in the first two SME-QA pilots.

1,300 typists take civil service examinations at McKinley High School in Washington, DC on July 9, 1936. Such examinations continued until 1981.

During a typical competitive delegated examining hiring process, human resource (HR) specialists review resumes and occupational questionnaires to determine whether applicants are minimally qualified for a role. Agencies often conduct outreach and recruitment for technical positions and are concerned when they receive certificates without truly qualified applicants to select from.

With the SME-QA alternative, SMEs partner with HR specialists to create and conduct interview assessments before considering an applicant qualified and applying veterans’ preference. The SME-QA process is recommended for GS-12 or higher technical positions (not limited to IT) with at least five vacancies for the same role where applicant volume can be limited to approximately 100 applicants.