Position Classification Standard for Quality Assurance Series, GS 1910



2 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 SERIES DEFINITION This series includes all positions the duties of which are to perform, administer, or advise on work concerned with assuring the quality of products acquired and used by the Federal (1) the development of plans and programs for Government. The work of this series involves: achieving and maintaining product life cycle; (2) monitoring quality throughout the item's operations to prevent the producti on of defects and to verify adherence to quality plans and and investigation of adverse qu ality trends or conditions and requirements; and (3) analysis e positions require analy tical ability combined initiation of corrective action. The duties of thes of assurance principles and techniques, and knowledge of with knowledge and application ated manufacturing processes and techniques. pertinent product characteristics and the associ This standard supersedes the standard for the Quality Assurance Series, GS-1910, issued in June 1970. SERIES COVERAGE This series covers positions involved in planning, developing, or admini stering quality assurance programs supporting the development, acquisition, production, use, maintenance, storage, and supply of products required by Federal agencies. Such positions are primarily concerned with the systematic prevention of de fects and nonconformances, the id entification of unsatisfactory trends and conditions, and the corr ection of factors which may cont ribute to defective items. The nonsupervisory quality assurance positions at the grade level criteria in this standard cover ding direct support to acquisition, production, operational level (i.e., those positions provi maintenance, or supply activities) as well as positions serving in a staff or project management capacity in quality assurance work. Quality Assurance Versus Inspection Quality assurance specialists utilize a variety of administrative, analytical, and technical methods and techniques to insure the quality and reliab ility of products. The scope of the activities involved in the various quality assurance functio nal programs is discusse d in detail under the section titled Occupational Information. While not all quality assurance positions may be concerned with the entire range of activities described for each functional program, they are ies designed to prevent defective or nonconforming concerned with a variety of systematic activit products and to assure that these produc ts are acceptable and perform as intended. Inspection, by physical test or measurement of th e product, is but one of the techniques applied by quality assurance specialists. In the context of quality assurance work, tests and measurements at various points in the production cycle: provide objective evidence as to the effectiveness of quality procedures and controls; identify potential problem areas or inherent weaknesses in the product itself, the technical data, materials, or manufacturing processes; and serve as a basis for adjusting surv eillance or control over operations.

3 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 the product typically serve a far narrower For inspection positions, test and measurement of purpose, in that they provide the basis for accepti ng or rejecting the product, service, or process th determining conformance of the product to involved. The inspector is primarily concerned wi drawings and/or technical spec ifications, reporting defects encountered and their probable causes. The treatment of work which primarily in functions is discussed volves inspection or test further under Exclusions. EXCLUSIONS acceptance or rejection of the product of trades, 1. Work which has as its primary purpose: the crafts, or manual labor work though inspection processes; the determination of the condition ceable, repairable, or condemned; or work of a of supplies, equipment, or material as servi ire trades, crafts, or similar nature where such determinations requ manual labor occupation knowledge and experience as the paramount requi rement are graded under the Federal Wage System. 2. Positions which require applica essional engineering and related tion of the principles of prof mathematical and physical science concepts are classified in the appropriate series in the Engineering and Architecture Group, GS-0800 . 3. Positions performing professional or related cl erical work primarily involving the gathering or interpretation of statistical data in support of quality assura nce programs are classified in the appropriate series in the Mathematics and Statistics Group, GS-1500 . 4. Positions performing inspection work prim arily concerned with legal or regulatory appropriate specialized series. For example, compliance determinations are classified to the see the definition for the , and definitions for specific series Investigation Group, GS-1800 such as the Food Inspection Series, GS-1863 . 5. Positions which apply a practical knowledge of engineering methods and techniques; knowledge of construction practices, methods, tec hniques, costs, materials, and equipment; and the ability to read and interpret engineeri ng and architectural plans and specifications to the onsite inspection of construc tion or the monitoring and cont rol of construction operations are classified in the Construction Control Series, GS-0809 . 6. Positions which apply an intensive, practical knowledge of the characteristics, properties, and uses of equipment to: (1) develop, analyze, and provide specialized information to those who design, test, produce, procure, supply, opera te, repair, or dispose of the equipment; and/or (2) develop, install, inspect, or re vise equipment maintenance programs and techniques are classified in the Equipment Services Series, GS-1670 .

4 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 TITLES Quality Assurance Specialist is the basic title for all nonsupervisory positions in this series. For positions that meet the criteria of the General Schedule Supervisory Guide , the basic title is Supervisory Quality Assurance Specialist. Where appropriate, a parenthetical specialization may be added to the basic position title at grade w reflect broad commodit y, industry, or process GS-9 and above. The specializations listed belo involved, it is not feasib le to identify all of areas. Considering the very wide range of products exist in each specialization. the specific items that may The parenthetical designator shou ld be selected on the basis of that specialization which most dge required. The specializations aid in closely reflects the paramount product knowle concerned only with specific products within recruitment, even though some positions may be the specialization and require highly specialized knowledge and skill. Recruitment for such positions should consider the specific knowledge and skill requirements of the position and the appropriate use of selective placement or quality ranking factors. The use of these factors is discussed further in the qualifica tion standard for this occupation. Some quality assurance positions may be concerned with a variety of specializations where none ual nature that it woul is paramount, or perform duties of such an unus d be inappropriate to include the position within one of the authorized specializations. In such cases, only the basic oved specializations do not affect agency use of organizational title should be used. The appr titles for internal administration, prog ram management, or similar purposes. Authorized Specializations Aerospace - Aerospace systems and primary stru ctural components of the system, including launch vehicles and spacecraft. Aircraft - Fixed and rotary wing aircraft systems including stru ctural components of the total system such as airframes, wings or stabilizers. Ammunition - Conventional ammunition and spec ial weapons e.g., chemical and biological weapons), their components, propellants, and ex plosive devices, includ ing quality assurance activities related to the serviceability and maintenance of munitions. Automotive - Trucks, cars, buses, special-purpose vehicles (e.g., fi re-fighting equipment, mobile maintenance shops, reconnaissance vehicles), trac k or crawler vehicles, and materials-handling equipment. Chemicals - Chemicals and chemical products, in cluding liquid and gaseous fuels, lubricants, and special purpose petroleum items.

5 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 ent items, and the materials from which Clothing - Clothing, footwear, individual equipm tural and synthetic fibers. produced, including leather, text iles, plastics, rubber, and na Computer Software - Computer software used nce, and operational in manufacturing, maintena applications to design, manufacture, test, and inspect a product or to provide guidance, control, and processing logic in an integrated system. Electrical - Electrical eq s, including motors, generators, uipment, apparatus, and instrument transformers, switches, and controls. Electronics - Electronic equipmen dio and television equipment, t and instruments, including ra idance equipment, and elec tro-optical equipment. radar, sonar, navigational computers, missile gu Materials and Processes - Raw, pr ocessed, or fabricated materials including lumber, metals, ores, minerals, rubber, and fibers and specialized industrial processes su ch as heat treating, electroplating, welding, painti ng, laminating, bonding, and nondest ructive testing when the material or process involved is paramount. ments powered by heat or mechanical energy, Mechanical - Equipment, machines, and instru including steam and internal combustion powerplants, industrial and ordnance equipment, heating and air-conditioning equipment, machine tools, and mechanical equipment not included under other speci alizations. radiological, mechanical, and optical test, measurement, and Metrology - Electronic, electrical, diagnostic equipment and systems. Nuclear - Reactor cores, pressure vessels and closures, control and drive mechanisms, reactor fuel materials, or other items of the primary reactor system. Preservation and Packaging - Preservation, pa ckaging, and packing processes, including application of preservatives, packing and cra ting methods, protective practices, and performance testing. Shipbuilding - Vessels and marine e quipment, structures, and systems. Subsistence - Subsistence items, including fres h, frozen, canned, or dehydrated foods. (This specialization primarily covers positions in acquisition activities.) OCCUPATIONAL INFORMATION Background Quality assurance involves a planned, systema tic approach designed to provide adequate confidence that products will conform to esta blished requirements throughout the product's life

6 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 " is used in this standard to denote any of the cycle. (For editorial convenience, the term "product and acquired by Federal agencies to carry out items, equipment, or systems developed, produced, their missions and functions.) Characteristic of all quality assurance programs are three basic principles: the organizations that design, develop, produce, 1. Final responsibility for quality rests with maintain, store, and issue the product. Quality assurance supports these activities by ensuring that adequate quality provisions are planned, developed, and implemented. shed product. Quality assurance focuses its 2. Quality cannot be "inspected" into the fini ication, prevention, and correction activities on the identif of unsatisfactory conditions or elements which influence acceptability of the end product. 3. Quality is defined in terms of specific requirements to be met. Such requirements must be nd understood by those activities whose operations may, in any effectively communicated to a way, influence the quality of the product in term s of its use, interchangeability, form, fit, function, or safety. In recent years a number of fact ors have exerted a significant influence on quality assurance programs in the Federal Government such as: hnology (e.g., automation of manuf acturing, test, and inspection - Advances in industrial tec functions); - Increased product sophistication and material complexity such as laser applications, microminiaturization, and computer software; - Greater concern for product reliability, user satisfaction, and safety; - Increased emphasis on product economy, timely delivery of products, and the cost of quality; - More stringent quality and reliability requirements; and assurance specialist s early in the product development phase. - More involvement of quality These and other factors have contributed ove rall to increased systemization of agency approaches to quality assurance. This trend is illustrated in contemporary definitions of quality assurance as -- a planned and systematic pattern of all actions necessary to pr ovide confidence that adequate technical requirements are established; produc ts and services conform to established technical requirements; and sati sfactory performance is achieved.

7 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 Knowledge and Skill Required Quality assurance work in general requires appl ication of the following kinds of knowledge and skills: - Knowledge of quality assurance/control me thods, principles, and practices, including statistical analysis a nd sampling techniques; t characteristics and applicable production maintenance, or - Knowledge of pertinent produc repair methods and processes; , and measurement techniques; - Knowledge of inspection, test - Knowledge of the relationship of quality assu rance to other activities such as contract administration, engineering, supply; ifications, technical data, regulations, policy - Skill in interpreting and applying product spec statements, and other guideline materials; - Skill in conducting studies and investigations , problem analysis, and developing logical and documented recommendations; - Skill in written and oral communications; and - Skill in establishing effective interpersonal relationships. Quality Assurance Programs Functional Orientation of Quality assurance specialists apply the above kno wledge and skills to programs which may be unctional activities or agency mi ssions they support. The major categorized in terms of the f e principal techniques and procedures employed characteristics of these quality programs and th to assure product quality are discussed below. Some highly specialized areas or commodities may combine elements of more than one of the following programs. For example, quality work concerned with ammunition items may involve f unctions which are char acteristic of supply quality assurance insofar as depot or storage functions are concer ned along with functions typical of maintenance quality programs. A. Acquisition quality assurance (I n-plant) - This function ensures that contractors fulfill their responsibilities for controlling product quality in accordance with cont ractual requirements, and that finished products conform to specifica tions. It involves bot h the procurement of new products as well as the procurement of ma intenance and overhaul of existing products, e.g., aircraft systems. The extent of the contr actor's responsibility, in terms of quality control procedural and documentation requirements, depends generally on the nature of the products being procured. For example, for less co mplex products the contractor may be held responsible for the inspection and testing of the items before offering them to the Government. For complex products the contractor is typically responsible for the

8 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 development of a quality control or inspection program which meets the provisions of Government specifications and ensures product qu ality from receipt of raw materials to the tion quality assurance shipment of the finished product. Specialist s concerned with acquisi programs at contractors' facilities are involved in such activities as: - Reviewing the contractor's production activities and capabilities in light of contract quality requirements; understands the contra ctual requirements; - Insuring that the contractor - Reviewing the contractor's written quality or inspection procedures (when required by the contract) for adequacy; eness of the contractor's quality or inspection - Evaluating the implementation and effectiv system including contractor-developed sampling plans; - Analyzing quality data to detect unsatisfactory trends or weakne sses in the contractor's quality or inspection system; - Verifying by test or inspec tion that products offered to the Government comply with contractual requirements before they are accepted; - Requesting corrective action by the contractor when inadequ acies are detected in the contractor's inspection system or quality program; nonconforming products and materials; - Coordinating the disposition of ciency reports, and provi ding identification of - Investigating customer complaints and defi causes to appropriate activities; - For contract maintenance of ma jor items, reviewing and recommending approval/disapproval of work over and above that contractually authorized; and - Where applicable, performing quality assura nce support activities at the subcontract level. B. Maintenance and manufacturing quality assura nce - This function is concerned with the quality of products manufactured, maintained, overhauled, or modified in Government- owned and operated activities, such as Army depots , shipyards, and aircraft rework facilities. Major quality functions include: - Participation with production, engineering, and other activities in developing plans and procedures for assuring quality and reliability of products; - Reviewing work instructions, technical data to identify char acteristics critical to product acceptability, and providing inspection and test procedures;

9 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 als and supplies required to support production activities; - Monitoring quality of materi conformance to specific ations and to detect - Conducting audits of products and processes for ciencies and recommending corrective action, processing and technical documentation defi including establishment of acceptable quali ty levels and statistical techniques; inspection or, when appropriate to the - Verifying product quality using sampling intensive product inspection characteristics involved or pertinent quality history, more techniques; - Investigating customer complaints and defi ding identification of ciency reports, and provi causes to appropriate activities; racy of test and measuring equipment; - Monitoring programs for controlling the accu - Evaluating procedures for maintaining control of drawings and technical data; - Coordinating the dispositi on of nonconforming material; and - Analyzing quality data to dete ct unsatisfactory trends or cond itions and weaknesses in the quality system. This function is concerned with C. Supply quality assurance - product quality relative to the operations and procedures for receipt, stor age, preservation, packaging, packing, handling, and issue of material. The major functions of this activity include: - Reviewing and evaluating supply systems operations and procedures thro ugh periodic audits and surveillance inspections; - Identifying for corrective action deficienci es caused by improper storage methods, extended periods of storage, or inherent deteri oration characteristics of the material; - Evaluating preservation and packaging procedur es, processes, and equipment in supply and storage operations; - Verifying that products offered to the Government comply with contractual requirements before they are accepted; - Analyzing quality data and reporting on the quality level achieved in supply and storage operations; - Evaluating characteristics affecting usability of material in stores; - Investigating customer complaints and defi ciency reports and provi ding identification of causes to appropriate activities;

10 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 fective or nonconforming products; and - Coordinating disposition of de - uring equipment used in supply operations. Controlling the accuracy of test and meas e activities are applicable to maintenance and D. Staff quality assurance - Staff quality assuranc manufacturing, supply, and acquisition quality programs and may exist - in all three nd are applicable to all phases of the product lif e cycle, these functions. Since they relate a activities may be concentrated in a separate program or organization at the command or program manager level in some agencies. For example, positions organizationally lity assurance managers may be concerned designated as product quality managers or qua tion for a weapons system, beginning early in with quality program planning and implementa the development phase and continuing throughout the system's life cycle. Staff specialists are involved in a variety of activities concerned with: line, such as one or more mo dels of tactical vehicles; - A particular product or product - A broad commodity area, such as electronics equipment; - A specialized technical area, such as materials treatment/ processes; or - A particular quality management function, such as developing program policies and procedures. Specific functions performed by quality assuranc e specialists in a staff capacity vary from ng to the specific quality program agency to agency and accordi involved. Some positions serve as technical specialists for a commodity or gr oup of products and furnish support and guidance to field activities on technical problems, and develop or improve technical quality assurance ns may involve development of quality program procedures, plans, and programs. Other positio ty assurance systems, and techniques of management. policies and procedures, quali Quality assurance specialists in systems or equipment acquisition activities are concerned with program planning and implementation of quality assurance functional activity throughout the procurement cycle. Major tasks related to this activity include: - Recommending or specifying appropriate levels of quality control for inclusion in contracts; nce provisions of product specification; - Preparing or reviewing quality assura - Assessing the contractor's design and deve lopment activities to ensure adequate consideration of productibility, in spectability, testability, and long-term user satisfaction; - Participating in fact-finding and negotiation of contracts and contra ct changes to ensure reasonable and proper levels of contractor qualit y effort are established and that contractual agreements are consistent with the desired product quality level; and - Defining critical system elements and produc t quality characteristics and ensuring adequate controls over materials, sources, and manufacturing.

11 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 Work Assignment Characteristics The overall objective of quality assurance is to ensure that quality considerations are addressed and requirements are achieved at each stage of the product's life cycle. In the production cycle, that design intent is ca for example, quality assurance specialists ensure rried out and finished requirements at each products conform to technical requirements. Care ful attention to quality stage ensures that products perform as intended with reliability when the products are used. Quality requirements vary according to the nature of the product involved-the complexity of the e, and the technical requirement s (specifications) involved. Less item, its application or end-us quality controls due to such factors as: the complex products typically do not require extensive rd manufacturing or treatment pr relatively small number of standa ocesses involved; the item has few if any component parts; the item may be manufactured to comm ercial specifications; quality characteristics may be verified by routine measuremen ts or tests; or the consequences of failure of the item are limited. On the other hand, complex products typically requi and checks to ensure re extensive controls quality due to such features as: the item consists of a number of components or subassemblies, each of which may undergo several steps in manufacturing; the item requires advanced treatment processes and special testing; conf ormance to requirements must be established progressively since overall quality characteristics are not readily discernible by inspection of the end item; and the consequences of failure are significant. Thus the nature of the product i nvolved determines, to a significant degree, the depth and scope of quality programs and activities necessary to ensure product acceptability. These product- related factors in turn influence the knowledge and skills required, and th e nature and difficulty of tasks, processes, and me thods involved in the work. the product involved and the level and scope of While this relationship between the nature of quality assurance activities applies generally, it must also be considered in the context of program functions and the requirements of individua l work situations. For example, assignments concerned with complex products in the develo pment stage involving application of advanced design concepts, state-of-the-art technologies, changing specifications and requirements, and numerous, important quality ch aracteristics may impose requireme nts on the quality assurance specialist that are significantly different from those enc ountered in follow-on procurement of the item where specifications and requirements are filmed-up and considerable experience has been gained with respect to qualit y related problems. Similarly, th e considerations for achieving a tion stage (i.e., ensuring adhe rence to design intent) are quality product during the produc different from dose encountered in storage and supply operations. The influence of the product-related factors di scussed above is treated in the factor level descriptions which follow. For editorial conveni ence, the typical levels of product complexity referred to in the standard are defined below. Th e definitions identify key features of the product which influence such factors as the level of knowledge and skills required, the difficulty involved in applying guideline ma terial, or the nature and intric acy of the tasks performed. The

12 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 definitions are intended as conceptual frames of reference and for that reason are presented without specific illustrations. Complex Product. - A product with most of the char acteristics described in either A or B below: A. The product itself is complex or requires complex production techniques or manufacturing processes as illustrated by the following features: of components and subassemblies, undergoes - The end item is comprised of a number many steps in the manufacturing process, and has many critical quality characteristics which must be monitored at vari ous points in the production phase. ) design features, or a design subject to - The product has complex (unique or advanced odifications during production. engineering changes and m pply requiring many judgmental decisions - General or envelope specifications a concerning tolerances and/or acceptability. - The product requires advanced or specially desi gned material treatment processes, testing methods, and preservation, packing, and packaging techniques. - Inspection involves complicated setups, clos e tolerances, many interrelated dimensions easuring equipment or and specifications and the use of elaborate m instrumentation that has been specially designed or modified for the item involved. OR The product requires highly specialized know ledge to ensure acceptability (even though, B. in some cases, the product may appear deceptively simple) as illustrated by the following features: - The product has a wide range of quality charac teristics or combinati on of characteristics requiring exacting sensory determinations a nd fine distinctions as to acceptability. - Measurements are very subjective and require a high order of skill and judgment in the application of standards and specifications. - Guideline material is subject to interpre tation as many terms cannot be precisely or objectively defined, and many characterist ics cannot be objectively measured or evaluated. - Inspections require a knowledge of intrinsic product or material characteristics, and considerable skill in detecting internal def ects by evaluating external characteristics and evaluating quality variations caused by environmental or operational conditions.

13 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 icated knowledge of a variet - Inspections require a sophist y of complicated industrial processes or production methods to identify accurately the ca use of defects. Less Complex Product - As used in this standard, this term denotes a product with the following characteristics: - The product is covered by definitive speci fications, with a limited number of quality characteristics. - There are relatively few interrelated parts and/or combinations of quality factors to be considered. of manufacturing processes, the use of standard material - Production involves a limited range treatment processes, preserva tion, and packaging techniques. - The product can be inspected by use of a vari ety of standard preci sion measuring devices and/or a somewhat restricted number of sens ory determinations or subjective judgments. GRADING POSITIONS The grade level criteria in this standard cover nonsupervisory positions GS-5 and above. Supervisory positions should be evaluated by reference to the General Schedule Supervisory Guide . This standard uses the Factor Evaluation System format, but does not provide benchmarks. Positions should be evaluated on a factor by fact or basis using the fact or level descriptions provided. Only the designated point values may be used. The absence of a description for a particular factor level does not preclude the use of that level in grading positions. For example, while grade GS-5 reflects the ty pical trainee work situation for this occupation, entrance positions may be established at a lower grade to provide career mobility. More complete instructions for evaluating positions are contained in the Introduction to the Position Classification Standards .

14 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 GRADE CONVERSION TABLE Total points on all evaluati on factors are converted to GS grade as follows: Point Range GS Grade 5 855-1100 6 1105-1350 1355-1600 7 1605-1850 8 1855-2100 9 2105-2350 10 2355-2750 11 12 2755-3150 3155-3600 13 3605-4050 14 15 4055- up FACTOR LEVEL DESCRIPTIONS FACTOR 1, KNOWLEDGE REQUIRED BY THE POSITION information or facts which the employee must This factor measures the nature and extent of cedures, practices, rules, policies, theories, understand to do acceptable work (e.g., steps, pro principles, and concepts) and the nature and extent of the skills n eeded to apply those a level under this fact knowledge. To be used as a basis for selecting or, a knowledge must be required and applied. Additional information about the knowledge and sk ills applicable to quality assurance work is contained in the section titl ed Occupational Information. NOTE: This factor is closely re lated to Factor 4, Complexity. For this reason the illustrations used for this factor reference illustrations of th e same or a similar work situation under Factor 4. Level 1-5 - 750 points Positions at this level require a foundation of basic skills and underlying knowledge, typically acquired through appropriate experience in manuf acturing, maintenance, or similar work, or equivalent education and training. This foundation includes skill in interpreting technical data, data analysis, report writing, inte rpreting regulations and other guideline material; dealing with other individuals; and a practical understanding of the role of quality assurance in relation to the mission of the organization. These skills and knowledge are applied in performing training Assignments designed to familiarize the specialis t with basic quality assurance procedures and

15 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 rements, quality charac teristics of the product techniques, pertinent regulations and program requi involved, and manufacturing processes and techniques. OR Equivalent knowledge and skill. Level 1-6 - 950 points at Level 1-5, positions at this level require: In addition to the knowledge and skills described Knowledge of established tec ments related to a quality hniques, regulations, and require Information), and skill in applying this assurance functional program (see Occupational gnments of moderate scope and complexity for knowledge to plan and perform a variety of assi which there are precedents; - Demonstrated skill in interpreting, explaini ng, and applying technical requirements and specifications to quality problems encountered in such activities as procedures evaluation, process audits, product inspections, or i nvestigations of defective material; - Knowledge of products having characteristic s which make them less complex, including associated manufacturing proce sses and inspection techniques; -Practical knowledge of conventional factfinding or investiga tive techniques, and skill to develop, analyze, and evaluate facts relative to unsatisfactory conditi ons or trends, and to prepare documented reports of findings; and - Demonstrated skill in maintaining effective working relationships in the activity served by the quality assurance organization. The above knowledge and skills are equivalent to those gain ed by closely related work experience. OR Equivalent knowledge and skill. Illustrations: 1. Performance of the work requires knowledge of established proce dures and techniques for quality assurance and skill in applying estab lished statistical quality control plans and methods to operations concerned with the overhaul of a specific m odel of aircraft jet engine. The specialist applie s knowledge of the particular engine model involved, applicable quality requirements, and the repair/maintenance processes or operations involved to the development of critical qua lity characteristics lists, monitoring and analyzing quality levels achieved, and recommending action to correct deficiencies and

16 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 unsatisfactory trends. Applies knowledge of related functional and administrative activities (e.g., production, e ngineering, scheduling) and sk ill to coordinate work investigating shop-generated problems and in analyzing operations. Uses skill in defective products. (See illustration #1 for Level 4-3.) 2. As a member of the resident Government quality assurance staff at a contractor's facility, the specialist applies knowledge of es tablished plans and methods for ensuring compliance with contract quality requir ements for the production of electronic equipment. Uses skill in applying this knowledge to plan and accomplish a variety of assignments such as reviewing contractor op erations and processes for compliance with ng product inspection, investigat ing reports of defective quality procedures, performi material, and coordinating disposition of nonconforming material. Applies knowledge of ved, applicable quality requ the electronic equipment invol irements, and manufacturing techniques and processes invol ved, to review contractor ope rations for compliance with requirements and to recommend corrective act ion on deficiencies encountered. (See illustration #2 for Level 4-3.) lished techniques, procedures, and requirements 3. The specialist utilizes knowledge of estab concerning depot supply and storage operati ons and methods, and skill in applying standard statistical technique s and quality assurance methods to perform surveillance of operations, special audits of problem areas, a nd investigations of customer complaints on material discrepancies/defi ciencies. Applies knowle dge of product standards, characteristics of products/commodities involved, and technical data (e.g., storage standards, preservation and p yze quality data and develop ackaging specifications) to anal ved, to identify specific prob reports on quality levels achie lem areas, and to recommend corrective action. (See illustration #3 for Level 4-3.) 4. The specialist applies essentially all of th e following knowledge and skills in connection onventional ammunition items, guided missile with surveillance of operations involving c equipment, or other explosive items at a military field activity. - Knowledge of agency regulations, proce dures, and work methods governing storage, handling, shipment, preservation, and packing of the items. Uses skill in applying these knowledge to perform such assignments as: (1) surveillance inspection of items in storage including determinations as to ad equacy and safety of storage operations and facilities; (2) rece ipt inspection of items in cluding nondestructive testing, required; (3) inspection and approval of functional testing, and special inspections as transportation conveyances fo king, and bracing; and (4) r suitability, loading, bloc verifying that storage and transportation operations are conduct ed safely and in accordance with appropriate procedures. work procedures, and quality assurance - Knowledge of technical requirements, methods governing maintenance, modificat ion, renovation, or disposal of assigned items and skill to: (1) advise depot official s in the planning of munition projects with regard to the safety of planned methods; (2 ) monitor operations to assure that proper procedures are followed, that work is pe rformed in accordance with applicable

17 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 e observed; (3) prepare and review the specifications, and that safety precautions ar quality assurance portion of standard opera ting procedures for munition operations; are conducted in accordance with procedures; and (5) (4) assure disposal operations exercise judgment concerning ammunition serviceability. (See illustration #4 for Level 4-3.) 5. At an aircraft maintenance facility, th e specialist applies knowledge of operating practices and procedures rela ted to the rework processing of aircraft systems and ew, materials and procedure checks, and components to verify by work document revi lity requirements have been met. onsite surveillance that essential qua oduct characteristics and attributes, including associated test Applies knowledge of specific pr ect deficiencies in various pr oduction/rework processing areas. procedures and equipment to det This knowledge is used in the performance of such functions as conducting verification actions audits to verify the condition of components to monitor production operations and performing and equipment and adequacy of s ciencies and ini tiates corrective hop facilities. Investigates defi action. The duties require a knowledge of the practices, procedures, and responsibilities of the various production and support departments within the faci lity and skill to detect conditions which may compromise quality, e.g., errors in specifications or quality certifica tion actions by production personnel. cedures associated with rework operations to The specialist applies knowledge of safety pro ensure that unsafe practiced or equipment are id entified and do not contribute to the degradation of quality and reliability of the products . (See illustration #5 for Level 4-3.) Level 1-7 - 1250 points Quality assurance specialist positions at this level require: - Comprehensive and thorough knowledge of the full range of principles, concepts, and methodology related to one or more quality assurance functional programs, and considerable skill in applying this knowle dge to the planning and accomplishment of a variety of difficult and complex work assignments. - Broad knowledge of a range of comple x products including pertinent quality characteristics, manufacturing methods and techniques, special processes, interrelationship of functional parts and subassemblies, meas urement and test techniques, and skill in developing plans and approaches calculated to insure effective control of product quality. - Broad knowledge of the practi ces, policies, and procedures of related functional and administrative activities such as contr act administration, en gineering, production, procurement, and supply and skill in effecting appropriate interface/coordination of quality assurance plans and pr ograms with these activities.

18 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 skill in applying various methods and - Thorough and detailed knowledge of and techniques for investigating, analyzing and e ffecting corrective action on complex quality problems. -- OR ( for some positions) – - Comprehensive knowledge of a broad pr oduct area (e.g., electronic and electrical equipment, or aerospace equipment, com ponents, and systems) including: product methods and processes required to assure specifications and standards; production material processes and treatments; use of specialized inspection product quality; special ackaging, and packing techniques. Skill in and test equipment; and preservation, p resolution of complex quality problems in applying this knowledge to the evaluation and onsultant to operating activities. the role of a technical specialist/c OR Equivalent knowledge and skill. Illustrations: 1. At a contractor's facility, the specialist applies the following knowle dge and skills to the administration of quality assurance provisions of contracts for complex mechanical, electrical, or electronic equipment or systems. - Extensive knowledge of ac oncepts, principles, methods, quisition quality assurance c nd implement an effective and economical and practices and skill to design, plan, a quality assurance program. - Comprehensive knowledge of the assigned commodity including product characteristics; production methods; special processes; in terrelationship of parts, and test techniques; and preservation, components, and subassemblies; inspection ine conformance of product to technical packaging, and packing methods to determ requirements of the contract and related specifications. - Extensive knowledge of a wide range of methods, principles, and practices to evaluate the contractor's conformance to contractual quality requirements and to assure that procedures adequately control the quality of the product. - Knowledge of a wide range of methods, principles, and pr actices directly related to the quality control/quality assurance fields in cluding such areas as statistical analysis, control and sampling; and quality data analysis and evaluation to determine contractor compliance with the many asso ciated aspects of quality control. - Broad knowledge of policies and procedures of other functional and administrative areas such as contract administration, production, or propert y administration to' provide support services for these organizations. (See illu stration #1 for Level 4-4-.)

19 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 facility, the specialist applies the following 2. At an aircraft maintenance and rework knowledge and skills to develop and implement quality and reliability plans and systems for complex aeronautical systems and equipment. -Comprehensive knowledge of assigned aer onautical systems and equipment including ing methods, special processes, functional critical quality characteristics, manufactur relationships among components and subsystems, and test and measurement techniques. Skill in applying this knowledge to planning and developing quality systems for the facility. ocedures of both internal and external -Broad knowledge of operating policies and pr such as program management, contractors production quality-related activities or supply and skill to coordinate quality engineering, workload planning, procurement, with these activities. assurance plans and functions tive interpersonal relationships throughout the - Skill in establishing and maintaining effec various departments and with using activities. (See illustration #2 for Level 4-4.) 3. The specialist applies the following knowledge a nd skills in connection with projects for the acquisition of avionics systems and subsystems. - Comprehensive knowledge of quality assura nce/control concepts, principles, and practices, and skill to pla n, develop, and implement quality programs for assigned systems. nd procedures and the - Broad knowledge of agency acquisition functional responsibilities a dinate quality progra m efforts with other role of quality assurance to integrate/ coor functional disciplines such as engineering, procurement, manufacturing, configuration and test and evaluation. management, logistics, - Knowledge of manufacturing methods, processe s, and materials associated with avionics systems and considerable technical skill in a pplying this knowledge to the assessment and evaluation of contractor quality control plans and systems. - Skill to Plan and conduct technical studies, an alyze performance and quality data, and to develop sound recommendations for corre ction of product and quality system deficiencies. (See illustration #3 for Level 4-4.) 4. In a staff role, the specialist applies the follo wing knowledge and skills in the development, coordination, and implementation of quality systems supporting the activity's program for overhaul, refurbishment. procurement, and proofing of undersea weapons systems, underwater range equipment, and testing apparatus. - Extensive knowledge of quality assurance methods, procedures, and systems and skill: to serve as advisor to the di rector of quality assurance on their application, impact, and effectiveness in supporting activity programs; to consult with management officials of

20 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 ing their quality res ponsibilities, systems, and problems; other activity departments regard ecommend policy changes to investigate activity quality capabilities and resources; and r or adjustment of resources for specific situations. activity's mission and re sponsibilities relative - Comprehensive technical knowledge of the to maintenance, repair, testing, and insp ection of underwater weapons systems and yze and evaluate pro cedural documentation associated instrumentation and skill to anal for these programs . This knowledge is applie d to insure that the activity quality efforts and to provide assist are compatible with existing policy guides ance to other activity departments relative to acceptable met hods, documentation, or corrective action. guidelines along with knowledge of the - Thorough knowledge of the agency's policy al organizations (s uch as engineering optional methods and procedures of extern activities, project offices, or contractors) and skill to review and interpret program directives and technical documentation. A pplies this knowledge in establishing quality system interface and coordination, developing the necessary changes to existing activity programs, preparing activity procedural gu ides and instructions, and coordinating implementation efforts. (See illustration #4 for Level 4-4.) Level 1-8 - 1550 points Mastery of quality assurance concepts, operati ng principles, and met hodology applicable to a lity assurance progra major agency program or mission area (e.g., the qua m providing support to agency maintenance activities). This include s expert knowledge of organizational missions, objectives, and procedures; the relationship wi th other program areas (e.g., acquisition or logistics); and the regulatory framework in wh ich the program operates. Exercises a very high degree of skill in applying these knowledge to the analysis and resolution of very complex or sensitive problems related to quay assuran w developments and ce, and in applying ne methodologies to assigned program areas. Utilizes technical expertise and broad experien ce in assigned program area in dealing with extremely broad and complex quality problems whic h are further complicated by such factors as the wide dispersion of organiza tions and activities involved, and the multiplicity of authorities, policies, and controls. The results of problem research/ study are inco rporated into program directives covering new and innovative conceptual approaches, technologies, and methods for enhancing the assessment of quality performance, and identifying areas for improvement.

21 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 OR Equivalent knowledge or skill. Illustration: In the headquarters of a Defens e contracting agency, the employee serves as a staff specialist exercising final authority for quality assurance matters in a major commodity or program area (e.g., petroleum products, computer software, preservation and pack aging, clothing and textiles, or foreign military sales). The employee uses the following knowledge and skills: to develop agency plans, - Expert knowledge of quality assurance principles and methods lity assurance systems to be used by policies, and procedures for acquisition qua specialists in field contracting organizations. - Knowledge of the agency's mission, objectiv es, procedures, and the relationship of quality assurance with contract administrati on, procurement, storage, and distribution of the commodity to interpret and adapt broad management requirements to the specific commodity or program area. tensive experience in the pr ogram area to conduct staff - Technical knowledge and ex studies of complex or unprecedented quality assurance problems, the solution of which may require the development of new techniqu es and procedures or changes in agency policy. - Skill in defining problems, analyzing altern atives, and recommending solutions to assess to field personnel and headquarters staff field performance, provide technical advice y committees or task groups. offices, and serve on interagenc FACTOR 2, SUPERVISORY CONTROLS direct or indirect co This factor covers: (1) the nature and extent of ntrols exercised by the supervisor; (2) the employee's responsibility; and (3) the review given of completed work. Controls are exercised by the supervisor in the way assignments are made, instructions are given to the employee, priorities and deadlines are set, and objectives and boundaries are defined. Responsibility of the employee depends upon the ex tent to which the employee is expected to develop the sequence and timing of various aspe cts of the work, to modify or recommend modification of instructions, and to participate in establishing priorities and defining objectives. The degree of review of completed work depe nds on the nature and extent of the review, e.g., close and detailed review of each phase of the assignment; detailed review of the finished assignment; spot check of finished work for accu racy; or review only for adherence to policy. Senior quality assurance specialists are fr equently assigned pla nning and coordinating responsibilities for projects of considerable scope and comple xity. Although many of these senior specialists do not perform the full range of supervisory functions which would cause them

22 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 a leadership role over other specialists. In to be designated as such, they are often placed in evaluating positions in these situations, it is necessary to consider not only the specialist's relationship to their designated first-line supervis or, but also the specialist's relationship with senior specialists servin g as project leaders, to gain a comp lete understanding of the supervisory control over the work. In some instances, the sp ecialist's regular duty station may be physically separated from that of ialist may be assigned a number of contractor the immediate supervisor. For example, the spec orming in-plant quality assuran ce functions. Other assignments facilities for the purpose of perf eir immediate office for intermittent periods, e.g., may require the specialists to work outside th test facilities or investigating complaints of defective performing liaison at production or material at the user's installation. These kinds of situations should be analyzed carefully in terms of: or control of the work may be provided via - the extent to which supervisory assistance telephone contact; - extent to which work planning may be cont rolled by established wo rk instructions or guideline material; - requirements that proposed actions be clea red with the supervisor before they are implemented; or activities and review of accomplishments. - periodic reporting requirements on work Level 2-1 - 25 points The supervisor or a higher-grade sks (e.g., routine inspections of specialist assigns specific ta limited scope, the review and summarization of specific data, or the maintenance of quality assurance records) and provides detailed instructions on the sequence of the work and the methods to be used. The specialist completes assignments as instructe d. The supervisor or higher-grade employee is available to provide guidance on any problems encountered, which are not covered by the original instructions. Completed tasks (e.g. statistical summaries, insp ection reports) are checked closely for accuracy, adequacy, and adherence to instructions. This level is typical of trainee positions. Level 2-2 - 125 points The supervisor or a higher-grade specialist makes continuing or individual assignments by indicating the general nature a nd scope of the task, purpose of the work, and the anticipated results. Assignments are typically defined segm ents of larger projects, or assignments are

23 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 and skills in the practical application of quality structured to increase the specialist's knowledge specialist is provided assurance methods and techniques. For new or unusual assignments the followed, approaches to be taken, or available additional guidance concerning procedures to be reference material, e.g., the method of documenting nonconformances or the approach to be used in developing procedure review checklists. The specialist completes recurring assignments without additional instruct ions. The supervisor or a higher-grade specialist is available for advice and assistance on problems and unfamiliar d by instructions. situations not covere The supervisor may check with th performance of the work to insure that e specialist during the the assignment is progressing correctly. technical accuracy, thoroughness, and compliance Completed work assignments are reviewed for with instructions and guideline material. Review of recurring assignments becomes less detailed in acquiring job-related knowledge and skills. commensurate with the specialist's progress Level 2-3 - 275 points The supervisor outlines objectives of new assignments and provides general information on priorities, any unusual requirements, time constraint s, and coordination with other projects. The objectives of the assignment may also be obtained by reference to applicable project documentation or contractual material. Minimal work instructions are provided for continuing assignments (e.g., to a particular product line or plant production area) and assignments which isor or a senior-level are similar to ones previously performed. The superv specialist is available to assist in unusual situations such as provi ding guidance on technical problems not previously encountered or to advise on situations which are not covered by established operating procedures. ccessive operations to The specialist plans and carries out all of the su complete assignments without direct technical assistance from the supervisor. Sele cts and applies established quality assurance operating procedures , accepted methods and practi ces (e.g., statistical sampling, surveillance and auditing procedur es), utilizing generalized instru ctions, procedural guides, or precedent material from similar assignments a nd makes independent determinations on product or procedures acceptability. Initiates reports on de fective products, processes, or other situations oves or coordinates corrective action. affecting quality and approves/ disappr Supervisory review is accomplished through repo rts and discussions between the specialist and the supervisor, covering actions taken or reco mmended and assignments completed. Completed assignments are generally evaluated for confor mance to established policies and quality assurance program requirements, timeliness of activitie s, and soundness of technical decisions. Specific work products may be reviewed throug h occasional checks of inspection reports or reports of investigations and a udits. The specific technical met hods and procedures used by the specialist to accomplish the work are not reviewed in detail.

24 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 Illustrations: assignments to control 1. At an aircraft maintenance activity, the specialis t performs a variety of documentation review, audits, ocesses, verifying by technical the quality of material and pr and onsite surveillance that essential quality re quirements have been met. The supervisor provides general guidance on obj ectives of the assignment, time limitations, or other priorities, and is available to assist with unusual situations or problems such as those process which may require diff erent evaluation procedures. pertaining to a new product or The specialist plans and carries out all of th e successive operations to complete the hnical assistance from the superv isor, selecting and applying assignment without direct tec hods relative to established quality assurance operating procedures and met statistical sampling, surveillance, and auditing. Activity operations and functi ons covered in the mponents rework and assignments include machine shop operations, aircraft pneumatic co testing, plating, preparation and finish applic ground support equipment, ation on aircraft and and the rework and testing of aviation ordnance and fire control equipment. The specialist initiates reports on defective products, processes, or other situations affecting quality and recommends corrective actions. Supervisory review of complete d assignments is made to ev aluate technical soundness of recommendations for corrective action, and th eir conformance to activity/agency quality policies and requirements. 2. The specialist is assigned to conduct periodic evaluations of she quality control system for a maintenance and storage activity, (Materia l procured, received, stored, issued, and maintained are electronic and guided missile major and secondary items.) The supervisor provides general information pertaining to object ives, deadlines, and a dvises the specialist on potentially controversial or precedent situations which may be encountered. The specialist plans the necessary steps to complete the evaluation, which may cover a number of maintenance shops, a particular produc t, a supply function or a particular process operation, e.g. tear-down or painti ng. Evaluations cover such asp ects as effectiveness of the written quality control system, verification that personnel are adhering to the system, materials utilized conform to specifications , efficiency of production work processes, effectiveness of inspections, and quality of workmanship. Utilizes quality assurance evaluation checklists and records the results. An alyzes findings to determine the degree of effectiveness of the system and recomme nds changes to eliminate deficiencies. The results of completed evaluations are s ubmitted in summary form for review by the supervisor. This review focuses primar ily on the technical soundness of recommended corrective action and the steed to gher organizations. Supporting coordinate changes with hi details such as the sampling plans and techniques used or the particul ar method of evaluation are not reviewed. 3. At a manufacturing facility, the specialist performs quality planning assignments for production programs involving such tasks as: preparing inspection plans and numerical

25 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 uring machines; preparing qualification and control inspection programs for coordinate meas test procedures for special processes; conductin g quality audits on materials; and verifying r gages and inspection equipment. The supervisor makes effectiveness of controls ove general assignments to the above functions, ou tlining objectives and indicating deadlines for nerally consulted to resolve controversial completing the work. The supervisor is ge situations (e.g., conflicting policy or tec hnical requirements) a nd problems relative to obsolete guides or lack of precedents. The specialist plans and carries out the assignmen ts on own initiative in accordance with work may be resolved by reference to previous work instructions. Most of the problems encountered instructions or established quality assurance procedures and guides. Completed quality planning assignments are evaluated for t oper application to echnical soundness and pr requirements. The results of evaluations or au dits are checked for appropriateness in terms of e details of how the plans we corrective action recommended. Th re developed or the specific methods used in the evaluations are checked only on an exception basis. Level 2-4 - 450 points The supervisor provides assignments in terms of overall objectives and any limitations on the scope of the work. The specialis t consults with and advises the supervisor on such aspects as priorities, staffing, or funding requ irements, and project milestones. The specialist plans and carries out assignments i ndependently, determines the scope and level of quality activities based on the requirements, establishes priorities, interpre ts and applies general agency quality assurance policies and procedures, and effects coordination/consultation with other activities as required. The specialist has developed cons iderable expertise in quality assurance and is responsible deviations from established for resolving problems involving procedures, unfamiliar situations, or unusual re quirements on own initiative, adjusting and varying the approach based on analysis of conditions/ problems encountered, making authoritative determinations on conformance with requirements, and coordinating corrective action or adjustments with the responsible activi ties. The specialist periodically briefs the supervisor on progress of the assignment s and potentially controversial issues. of overall effectiveness of quality assurance Work assignments are assessed from the standpoint efforts through periodic status reporting, briefings, or reviews of program documentation and accomplishments. Completed work products such as technical reports, repor ts of investigations, or reports of facility capability surveys are controlled for timely completion, but are generally accepted as technically sound. Contr oversial decisions or findings are reviewed primarily so that the supervisor can become familiar with the circ umstances and determine if there is a basis for modification of operating inst ructions or procedures. Illustrations: 1. The specialist receives assignments in the form of contracts for specific tracked or wheeled vehicle systems which are either in the deve lopment phase or currently in production. The

26 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 rms of overall objectives of the assignment, supervisor outlines the project generally in te policy constraints, and time-frame available. t assurance plans which delineate time-phased The specialist independently develops produc gned vehicle systems. Functions as product quality assurance life cycle functions for assi quality manager by maintaining surveillance over Government and contractor quality control systems for in-house and/or contractor proc ured or manufactured items. Develops instructions for subordinate qua lity assurance elements and a dvises on the interpretation and Coordinates with othe r agency activities on implementation of special quality requirements. ticle) at Government such aspects as production testing (e.g. first ar or commercial test facilities, or quality checks of vehicles destined for shipment to foreign countries. The supervisor is kept advised of progress th of projects assigned. rough periodic reviews Completed technical work and product assura nce plans are appraise d in terms of overall quired milestones and accomplishment of actions performance and effectiveness in meeting re necessary to effect timely release of assigned systems for production. 2. At an area field office the specialist provides technical support and ope rational assistance to quality assurance specialists assigned to various contractor facili ties. Typically the assignments are made in terms of a commodity area, such as mechanical equipments and products or specific contractor pl ants. The supervisor provides general instructions on policy objectives and operational considerations. out assignments, modifying the approach The specialist independently plans and carries oblems involved. Areas in which technical based on the particular quality assurance pr support is provided include interpretation and application of contra ct and specification provisions, production methods and processes required to as sure product quality, use of special processes, and situations where guide lines or precedent material is lacking or inapplicable. Performs technical evaluations, reviews regulations, inte rprets requirements, and issues guidance to field personnel through the appropriate supervisory channels. As required, provides technical cons ultant support on controvers ial materials review board actions or requests for waivers or deviations. Completed assignments are evaluated in terms of effectiveness in meeting requirements for echnical recommendations and in terpretations re lated to the technical support. Specific t assigned commodity specializa tion are generally unreviewed. 3. The specialist serves as the resident Govern ment quality assurance representative at a contractor facility which manu factures electronic equipment or systems, e.g., fire control systems. The terms of the contracts involved require the contractor to develop and use a documented quality control program. Assignments are received in the form of contracts for either new or follow-on production of the equipment involved . Details of work to be accomplished (i.e., contract quality and techni cal requirements to be controlled by the contractor) must be developed thro ugh a review of the contracts.

27 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 tly planning and implementing the Government The specialist is responsible for independen tives prescribed in agency quality assurance program in conformance with overall objec procedures review, procedures a combined effort of planning, directives. The program involves evaluation, product verification insp ion. Quality data generated ections/test, and corrective act from these functions enables the specialist, to ad just verification and surveillance and determine acceptability of the products and the c ontractor's quality control system. procuring agencies, outside Coordinates work activities with laboratories performing failure ts concerned with contract administration such analysis and reliability testing, and other elemen Meets with contract as engineering, production, or property offices. or quality control management to resolve most of the problems re quiring corrective action. Keeps the supervisor advised of potentially controversial problems th at, may require further escalation within the ganization or within the agency's organization. contractor's parent or Completed work is assessed from the standpoint of effectiveness of th e Government quality assurance program in achieving cont ract quality and technical requ irements. Typically, this is accomplished through periodic program reviews. Level 2-5 - 650 points The supervisor provides only administrative guidance in making work assignments such as, concern, e.g., the optimum balance between identifying broad areas of agency management product quality and the cost of achieving the ne cessary control of quality. Assignments are discussed in terms of broadly defined agency missions, giving the employee wide latitude for investigation, projects to be in itiated, and goals to be met. identifying specific problems for The specialist independently designs , organizes, and carries out la rge scale projects or special studies related to overall program administration, or quality compliance issues in a technical program area, frequently as the agency's technica l expert. The specialist independently monitors and evaluates the effectiveness of agency's programs and develops new procedures or recommendations for policy change to augment program effectiveness. cally correct and are normally accepted without Results of the work are considered techni significant change. When reviewed, work pr oducts (such as proposals for major policy or program changes) are evaluated in terms of agency mission and goals and fulfillment of program objectives. FACTOR 3, GUIDELINES This factor covers the nature of guidelines a nd the judgment needed to apply them. Positions vary as to the availability, a pplicability, and specificity of th e guidelines for performance of assignments. Consequently, the constraints on judgmental demands placed upon workers also vary. For example, the existence of specific in structions, procedures, and policies may limit the opportunity of the employee to make or recommend decisions or take a part icular action. On the

28 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 broadly stated objectives, a specialist may use other hand, in the absence of procedures or under considerable judgment in researching literature and developing new methods. Guidelines should not be confused with the knowledge described under Factor I, Knowledge Required by the Position. Guidelines either prov ide reference data or im pose certain constraints on the use of knowledge. For this occupation, guidelines include agency policy and procedural instructions, quality specifications, materi al standards, technical manuals and assurance specifications, product handbooks, occupational reference material, and textbooks. Level 3-1 - 25 points Specific, detailed guidelines are available for al l important aspects of the assignments. These guidelines include manuals or in structions that apply direc tly to the assigned task, e.g., records of previous projects, or programmed instructional material, pertinent reference material. The employee is referred to the appropriate guide to be used for each assignment and is expected to adhere strictly to the guideline material, excep t where specific deviations are authorized by the supervisor. Level 3-2 - 125 points A number of specific guidelines containing established procedures for performing assignments level also include material specifications and are available, as needed. Guidelines at this standards, product drawings, technical bulletins , inspection/test procedures, and standard checklists for evaluating shop procedures and operations. appropriate checklist, guide, or reference for The specialist uses judgment in selecting the ngs or specifications as source documents for application to the work (e.g., using annotated drawi inspection characteristics), and in making minor changes to tailor the guidelines to specific assignments such as adjusting the number of items sampled. Where guidelines cannot be applied or significant deviations are in dicated by the situati on, the employee obtains guidance from the supervisor or a higher-grade specialist. Illustrations: r-grade employee who is assi gned to the missile handling 1. The specialist assists a highe equipment line at a contractor's facility. The specialist receives cont racts and specifications relating to specific components, and prepares or revises quality check lists based on existing checklists for components with similar charact eristics. Performs surveillance using the checklists and specifications as guides, referr ing to the higher grade specialist any unusual inspection results or suspected specification deficiencies. 2. At a shipyard, the specialist assists a higher-grade employee w ith assignments to review and evaluate quality control activities. Guidelines utilized in the work consist of specific

29 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 work operations aboard ship and in the procedural documentation covering various production shops. The specialist uses judgmen t in selecting the appropriate guide or the accuracy of the guides against planning checklist for the assignment and in checking information, e.g., specifications, plans, inspection requirements. Situations where the guidelines cannot be applied, or where the guidelines appear inadequate to evaluate the activities involved are referred to the sp ecialist in charge of the assignment. Level 3-3 - 275 points milar to those described at Level 3-2. At this A number of the guidelines used in the work are si the additional responsibility of level, however, specialists have adapting and extending agency ons to situations encountered in planning and accomplishing the procedural guides and regulati ble, due to the variety work. While agency procedural guidelines are availa of tasks or situations which may arise in the course of the work, they may not be complete ly applicable to a particular assignment or provide specific guidance. The specialist exercises judgment in interpreting general agency guides, regulations, or precedent cases and in adapting this guidance to individual situations and pr oblems arising in the work. At this level some positions may have responsibility for preparing operating in structions applicable to the local organization, plant, or activity. Illustrations: nce portion of technical standard operating 1. The specialist develops the quality assura overhaul of munition items, e.g., conventional procedures for maintenance, modification, or ammunition items, guided missile systems, or special weapons. Tailors general maintenance work orders to actual scope of the work to be performed, depot capabiliti es and facilities, and operational requirements. Ensures that ope rations to be performed and equipment requirements are accurately reflected and that safety and quality requirements are adequate. 2. The specialist uses agency po licy and procedural guides along with the contract and related documents (e.g., specifications and technical da ta) in planning the scope of acquisition quality assurance activities at one or more contractor facilities. The guides cover general aspects of the work and broad procedures a nd actions that should be implemented onsite. Due to the diversity of products and contract requirements involved, guidelines covering all of the situations encountered are frequently no general application to t available or have only the work. Uses judgment in analyzing and inte rpreting the contractual material to identify quality and technical requirements that must be controlled by the contractor. These requirements in turn dictate the scope of quality assurance activities which must be accomplished at each facility. Exercises skill in interpreting requirements and accurately communicating quality requirements to contract or officials. Recommends changes to the technical data when deficienci es or errors are detected. 3. The specialist uses a number of guidelines such as maintenance instruction manuals, engineering specifications, technical manuals, drawings, contr acts, and quality assurance policy instructions to develop quality charac teristics lists governi ng the maintenance and

30 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 Reviews and interprets these materials to overhaul of aircraft systems and components. identify those characteristics considered cri tical to product acceptability, and insures that e integrated into shop process dditional quality requirements ar these characteristics and any a documents. Checks for accuracy of reference to specifications and standards. Revises quality feedback data from production shops. quality characteristics based on analysis of Level 3-4 - 450 points At this level the principal guidelines regularly used in the work include agency quality assurance policy statements and program directives, Government procurement regulations, and general administrative instructions. Guidelines are presented in general terms and frequently outline the major areas of program planning along with suggested approaches. For example, the guides may assurance surveys and audits, control of quality delineate major areas of concern (such as, quality ssign broadly-stated responsibilitie ities during the costs, technical reviews) and a s for these activ development of quality assurance program plans. Development of the detailed approach and methodology is left to the specialist. The specialist uses initiative, extensive experi ence, and a broad knowledge of quality assurance principles and practices to develop new methods and reco mmend policy changes. Through review of study reports, industry specifications/standards, and textbooks, keeps abreast of new developments having potential appl ication to assigned programs. Illustration: Program planning guidelines consist of gene ral agency and command level directives concerning the overall scope and objectives of quality assurance activit ies involved in the development and acquisition of major aeronau tical systems and equipment. The guides use in developing detailed program plans. cover major functional areas, but are of limited quirements, the specialist employs ingenuity and Because of the wide variations in program re originality in developing new or improved te chniques for obtaining effective results and overcoming unusual problems where guides and precedents are lacking. FACTOR 4, COMPLEXITY This factor covers: the nature, number, variety, a nd intricacy of the tasks, steps, processes, or methods involved in assuring the acceptability the difficulty in of the products involved; identifying what needs to be done to complete a ssignments (i.e., the facts or conditions that must be considered); and the difficulty and original ity involved in performing the overall work of the position. The general relationship between the nature of the product and the programs or activities required to assure product quality is discussed in the section titled Occupational Information. That relationship is treated further in terms of th e criteria in the factor level descriptions that follow. Four levels are described for this fa ctor. Level 4-2 primarily describes entrance trainee level and advanced trainee assi gnments, or a level restricted to unusually limited or routine assignments. Level 4-3 and 4-4 primarily reflect full performance assignments in operating level

31 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 a maintenance activity), and staff assignments or work situations (e.g., at a contractor's facility or 5 describes a more unusual work situations in a highly specialized area, e .g., processes. Level 4- ff or management levels in quality assurance work situation, typically found at the higher sta programs. This factor is closely related to Factor 1, Knowledge Required by the Position. should be compatible with the level selected Consequently, the level selected under this factor under Factor 1. Level 4-2 - 75 points ely related individual ta Work at this level involves performance of clos sks and assignments or larger projects. Such assignments are typically assisting higher grade specialists in the work of and provide opportunity for practic basic quality an extension of formal training, al application of ing the specialist's knowledge of pertinent product/process assurance methods, while increas characteristics. Decisions on acceptability of a particular produ ct or procedure are usually based on objective measurements, observations, or reference to precedent material. Actions to be taken differ in such things as the source of information, sequence of individual tasks, the type of report form at to be used, or other differences of a factual nature. Level 4-3 - 150 points The work involves application of a variety of quality assurance techniques and procedures or work directions to the planning and completion of assignments. The specialist uses established methodology and accepted practices to perform a variet y of such tasks as procedures review and oduct inspection, monitoring cont rols over purchased material, evaluation, statistical sampling, pr nd measuring equipment, monitoring control of checking adequacy of controls over test a nonconforming material, reviewing c ontrols over special fabricati on or treatment processes, or investigating defects and documenting conditions requiring corrective action. This level encompasses a variety of work situations and assignments: - A defined segment of a larger quality assu rance project where the overall assignment has characteristics comparable to those described for Level 4-4; - Responsibility for projects where the produc ts involved are less complex; or - Assignments of equivalent difficulty. Assignments at this level re quire the section and applica tion of different methods and procedures, depending on the phase of the projec t and the nature of the problems encountered. For example, the analysis of quality data may indicate areas where surveillance should be adjusted, or areas requiring further investigations , e.g., effectiveness of procedures in controlling quality or instances of noncomp liance with procedures. By way of contrast, positions at Level

32 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 ning and developmental purposes and have few perform assignments that are primarily for trai responsibilities for planning, adjusting, or modifying work assignments. oduct inspection, procedures re Through quality data analysis, pr view and evaluation, and audit concerning overall quality or surveillance of operations, the specialist de velops essential facts trends or the factors contributing to unsatisfact ory conditions. In investigating quality problems, the specialist considers a number of factors to isolate the root cause (s). For example, a particular ective raw material, errors in work instructions or quality defect may be traceable to def handling or storage proc edures, or quality of procedures, deficient in-process treatment, faulty workmanship. ts or other situations adverse to quality Documentation developed concerning defective produc form the basis for initiating requests for corrective action. Illustrations: r maintenance and overhaul of ai rcraft engines, the specialist 1. Under the activity's program fo plans, implements, and monitors the computer ized methods and statis tical quality control techniques for collecting and compiling analytical data on the repair of an assigned model of an aircraft jet engine. The specialist uses wo rk control documents to design inspection plans, outlining verification points and methods of inspection; applies statistical quality control techniques to detect trends in defects/nonconf ormances; analyzes quality data generated ting sampling procedures; collects and analyzes from inspections to determine need for adjus data to determine quality levels of processes used in repair shops; and, on the basis of investigations, analysis of data, and correlation of defects, recommends action to be taken to correct deficiencies in technica l requirements or procedures. (See illustration #1 for Level 1- 6.) ding in-plant acquisition quality assurance, the 2. Within the context of the overall plan for provi specialist performs continuing ev aluation of the contractor's compliance with procedures to control product quality. Initiates recommendations for co rrective action by the contractor when deficiencies or unsatisfactory condi tions are encountered. Performs product inspections as required to verify that ite ms offered by the contractor conform to requirements. Provides quality experience data for use in adjusting level of inspection effort or for switching to control through procedur es evaluation. Investig ates and reports on material deficiencies, and coordinates disposition of nonconforming material. (See illustration #2 for Level 1-6.) 3. Within the depot supply program, the specialis t performs cyclic inspections (on a sampling basis) of assigned supply operations and pr ocesses for compliance with prescribed regulations and procedures, compiles quality tre nd data and reports on qu ality levels found; changes sample sizes and frequency of inspections as necessary; accomplishes special audits when deficient material/operations are suspec ted or reported; prepares reports on out-of- control conditions, and coordina tes the investigation and response to customer complaints. (See illustration #3 for Level 1-6.)

33 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 4. Performs various surveillance functions concerned with safety and quality of operations involving receipt, storage, maintenance, handl ing, packaging, and shipment of munition , storage monitoring, items. Specific functions include receipt and cyclic inspections nce, modification, or disposal operations. functional testing, and monitoring of maintena Decisions as to what needs to be done de pend on such factors as age, condition, or edures, inspection requirements configuration of the items i nvolved. Standard operating proc ered in planning of work operations. and safety regulations must be consid ity are based on visual examin ation and the application of Decisions concerning serviceabil concerning adequacy and safety of operations specified tests and measurements. Decisions hnical and supply manuals, engineering drawings, are based on requirements in applicable tec illustration #4 for Level 1-6.) and product specifications. (See 5. The work involves the application of a variet y of established techni ques and procedures to ew and evaluation, stat istical sampling, product perform such tasks as work procedures revi over test and measuring equipm ent, reviewing controls over verification, monitoring controls specific fabrication and treatment processes, a ssessing accuracy of technical data used in rework processes, and identification of characteristics for quality verification. Assignments involve investigation of quality pr oblems related to materials, processes, or documentation, identification of causes, formul ating recommendations for corrective action and initiating follow up checks to prevent recurrence. The work requires analysis of conditions, which have the potential to compromise quality, to ibutable to inaccurate her the condition is attr identify or isolate the probable cause, i.e., whet terials or equipment, faulty workmanship, or technical data and specifications, defective ma deficiencies in shop work procedures . (See illustration #5 for Level 1-6.) Level 4-4 - 225 points Quality assurance specialists at this level perform varied duties aimed at insuring the acceptability of products. The work involves application of a complete range of quality assurance principles, techniques, and methodolog y to plan and accomplish projects for products having complex characteristics as described under the Work Assignment Characteristics section, of the Occupational Information, to perform as signments of equivalent complexity. Broad functions concerned with planning and completi ng the work include: developing the overall plans and approaches based on the technical requirements; monitoring the application and effectiveness of controls and me thods; and adjusting quality assurance activities as indicated by quality data trends or conditions. Such assignments differ from thos e at Level 4-3 in that work at this level typically involves greater responsibility for developi ng and implementing quality assu rance plans and projects. By contrast, positions at Level 4-3 operate largely within plans an d procedures established for specific program or product areas. The nature of the typical products involved at this level requires application of a comp lete range of quality assuranc e principles, techniques, and procedures. That is, because the products involv ed are complex, quality characteristics must be

34 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 ecise measurements and tests, and progressively verified through pr controls or preventive efforts at Level 4-3 are typically te production cycle. Positions are required throughout the comple ned segments of more difficult projects typical concerned with less complex products or with defi of this level. of project or program Decisions concerning what needs to be done involve: review and analysis documents, (contract, technical wo rk orders) to ensure that cr itical quality requirements are riate specifications, procedures, or methods of identified and provided for in terms of the approp e approach to product/ project requ quality verification; tailoring th irements, such as priorities, making major modifications in approach or scheduling, and availability of quality resources; sult of changing techni emphasis as conditions warrant (e.g., as a re cal requirements or manufacturing techniques); and coordinating resolution of nonconformances. The work requires making many decisions concerni ng such things as: determining adequacy and ving overall quality requirements; evaluating completeness of technical data relative to achie capabilities of contractors' manufacturing acceptable products; activities for producing evaluating adequacy of contractors' quality control system; judg ing the adequacy of documentation concerning quality problems (e. g., results of investigations, problem definition, identification of root cause and making aut horitative interpretati ons of complex qualify requirements. Assignments with the characteri a variety of organizational stics described above a found in l (e.g., a quality assurance organization supporting a production situations at the operation leve plant or maintenance facility), in staff organization or in command/management level programs. Illustrations: 1. The specialist plans, develops, and impleme nts a quality assurance program designed to ensure compliance wit all cont ract requirements for one or more complex products. The to develop and use a written quality control terms of the contract require the contractor ng steps and verifica tion points to assure program reflecting the large number of processi acceptability of the product. Plans and devel ops the Government quality assurance program, providing for scheduled evaluations and inspections of the cont ractor's quality program and products starting with the preproduction phase and into subsequent production and delivery. Decisions concerning what needs to be done ar e complicated by such factors as: changing s in contractor procedures or manufacturi technical requirements, change ng techniques, failure of contractor's quality controls, tu rnover in contractor personnel, nonconforming material, and incomplete quality data. The work requires making many decisions co ncerning such things as: reviewing and interpreting voluminous techni gs, planning and selecting cal specifications and drawin appropriate control or surveilla nce techniques, determining ad equacy of the contractor's quality program, adjusting verification and su rveillance of contract or operations based on quality data, and determining the extent of correc tive action to be requested of the contractor. (See illustration #1 for Level 1-7.)

35 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 and implementation of qua lity and reliability 2. The specialist is responsible for development plans and systems for assigned products in an ai rcraft maintenance and rework facility. The products involved have complex characteristics, and require application of a range of quality assurance principles and techniques to mainta in acceptable quality levels. Initiates and develops quality systems by an alysis of the products and manufacturing processes involved may be applied. Develops and administers to identify areas where defect prevention methods a system of internal audits and evaluations to assure conformance with plans and procedures. Designs sampling plans and surveillance pr ocedures, systems for monitoring product and other guidelines for reviewing quality certification decisions, procedure checklists, systems. involve: interpretation of numerous Decisions concerning what needs to be done on of a wide range of manufacturing processes specifications and technical data, considerati using activities, and anal ysis of test results and techniques, evaluation of feedback data from and processing problems. The work requires planning and designing systems and procedures to improve product quality in a cost-effective manne nd revises quality systems and r. The specialist modifies a techniques based on data generated through ve rification and surveillance efforts, special studies and investigations, and audits and eval uations of the quality systems or the products involved. (See illustration #2 for Level 1-7.) 3. The specialist is responsible for planning, developing, and implementing integrated quality assurance programs supporting the acquisition of highly sophisticated and complex avionics determining quality assurance requirements for systems and equipment. The work involves assigned acquisition programs, and ensuring compliance with such requirements by advising on, reviewing, and evaluating work performed by other Government and contractor activities. Decisions concerning what needs to be done in volve developing unique quality requirements (e.g., sampling techniques or mandatory inspec tion points) for inclus ion in solicitation and contractual documents to ensure s are consistent with program that contractor quality system and product requirements. The speci alist uses considerab le technical skill: to modify quality assurance activities due to frequent change s in program requirements, to evaluate performance of the contractors involved, and to id entify and assist in the resolution of actual and potential quality problems. The work requires the review a nd analysis of numerous system s specifications and technical criteria to determine specific system/ subsyste m quality requirements. The specialist acts as technical advisor to design engineers, quality engineers, and other program officials in planning and conducting technical reviews and product audits. Plans and conducts onsite quality assurance assessments during program ma nagement reviews. Analyzes and evaluates quality data from contractors, operational users, depots, and test facilities, identifying adverse quality trends for corrective action. (See illustration #3 for Level 1-7.) 4. The staff specialist's assignments are concerned with the entire range of quality policies, methods, and regulations applicable to the ac tivity's mission for overh aul, refurbishment,

36 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 procurement, and proofing of undersea weapons systems, underwater range equipment, and testing apparatus. Assignments vary fr om those involving management level policy to production or inspection and test considerations to signif icant problems or trends relative functions. ity's quality system support Decisions concerning the planning and development of the activ involve investigating and anal yzing available quality capab ilities and resources, and of resources to meet changing workload recommending policy changes or adjustment stems/equipment projects. Leads special conditions, such as the assignment of new sy e problems relative to inadequa te or conflicting data, and to projects or studies to resolv ectiveness of existing or new evaluate the impact and eff quality assurance policies and methods on activity programs. The work requires analyzing and interpreting numerous technical directives and contractors, and other field activities to documentation from higher organizational echelons, determine impact and interface with existing quality assurance programs and systems. Plans systems, prepares necessary procedural and develops necessary changes to present documentation, and coordinates implementati on. (See illustration #4 for Level 1-7.) Level 4-5 - 325 points Assignments typically include a broad range of duties involving s and depth of ubstantial breadth numerous interrelationships and vari analysis; consideration of ables to develop new approaches; or to resolve persistent, widespr ead, or critical quality problems. At this level, specialists frequently serve in a program/project leader capacity to accomplish particularly complex, studies concerning major agency quality assurance programs, e. sensitive, or long-term special g., major studies concerning maintenance quality pr ograms being carried out at diverse locations of the country. Assignments may include such activities as developing criteria and methods for evaluating program accomplishments and trends , and making recommendations on changes in program organization and emphasis. Decisions concerning what needs to be done are complicated because of such factors as: the wide dispersion of organizations and activities involved; difficul ties in determining scope of the problem in these activities; multiple author gulations governing the ities, policies, and re activities; relationship to and interdependence of activities, e.g., maintenance/supply/logistics function; and impact of quali ty costs on programmed resources. The work involves developing innovative soluti ons along with implementing instructions for effecting changes involving new me thodology, policies, or procedures. Assignments having the characteristics descri bed above are more commonly found in those organizational levels/entities having management responsibility for major quality assurance programs of agencies.

37 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 FACTOR 5, SCOPE AND EFFECT rk, i.e., the purpose, breadth, and This factor covers the relations hip between the nature of the wo within and outside the products or services both depth of the assignment, and the effect of work organization. Effect measures such things as cilitates the work of whether the work output fa others, provides timely services of a personal na ture, or impacts on the adequacy of research conclusions. The concept of effect alone does not provide sufficient information to properly The scope of the work completes the picture, understand and evaluate the impact of the position. properly performed work is to be considered. allowing consistent evaluations. Only the effect of Level 5-1 - 25 points The work involves the performance of specific tasks and operations designed primarily to acquaint the employee with quality assurance work processes and techniques, pertinent product processes, or other, op characteristics, and the applicable manufacturing erations concerning the quality program. Assignments include such task s as performing the more routine inspections and measurements, collecting and summarizing quality data, and maintaining records on the results of sampling procedures. While the assignments are primarily for training, they also have the effect of facilitating the work of higher-level specialists. Level 5-2 - 75 points At this level, the work involves performance of clearly defined assignments, or projects involving the application of directly related preced ent material or specific work procedures. and refine job relate d knowledge and skills, Such assignments are designed to further increase and to provide assistance to higher-grade specialists. The work contributes to the overall effectiveness of quality assurance activities by relie ving higher-level specialists of more routine work assignments such as gathering preliminar y information on conditions and practices having a potential impact on quality. For example, info rmation gathered concer ning the application of quality procedures, review of technical quality requirements, or the results of inspections and tests provide a basis for decisions an d action by senior-lev el specialists. Illustrations: 1. The purpose of the work is to perform traini ng assignments designed to increase technical knowledge and skills by serving as an assistant to a higher-grade quality assurance specialist. The work involves such assignments as: pe rforming surveillance and sampling inspections to ensure an acceptable level of workmanship and adherence to quality standards for the maintenance of components of aircraft syst ems and ground support equipment; maintaining maintenance technical data and directives; performing audits of relatively simple work processes to insure that work is accomplis hed according to maintenance standards and specifications; and reviewing test and calibra tion procedures used in the maintenance preparation of aircraft components.

38 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 The work performed by the specialist relieves higher-level employees of the routine details of the assignment, and provides information for an overall assessment of the timely and proper implementation of new or revised work pr ocesses, use of modified or new equipment, and other controlling procedures. 2. The purpose of the work is to assist a hi gher-grade specialist by performing specific segments of assignments pertaining to the analys is and evaluation of shipyard quality control activities. The work involves: examining work areas aboard ship or in production shops to quality control procedures are followed; insure that prescribed product control and iating corrective action; examining planning determining sources of deficiencies and init , and fabrication records to information including specifications, quality control procedures and completely stated; preparing quality trend insure that specified elements are correctly analyses based on a review of quality records an d testing data; and investigating defective material. aluations of a variety of shipyard quality The work products provide basic analyses and ev control activities. Thes e products in turn are used by hi gher-grade specialists to assess overall performance of production and shop ar eas, and to recommend improvements in shipyard quality control t echniques and procedures. Level 5-3 - 150 points The work involves performance of a variety of assignments directed toward ensuring acceptability of products, or acceptable levels of quality in the operations involved. Most problems encountered in the assignments can be dealt with by the selection and/or adaptation of formal work methods and procedures, i.e., establ ished criteria and general operating procedures scope of quality assura have been developed covering the nature and nce activities to be accomplished. The results of the work affect the acceptability of the products involved in terms of conformance to technical requirements, meeting user's need s in a timely fashion, and performing as intended. For some positions the results of the work imp act effectiveness of operations in achieving and maintaining desired quality levels consistent with economy and efficiency. In other work situations, decisions on acceptability of produc ts may impact the financial posture of manufacturers. Illustrations: 1. The purpose of the work is to ensure comp liance with all contract requirements covering products being manufactured in one or more cont ractor facilities. Within the framework of established agency procedures covering inplan t quality assurance functions, the specialist plans and implements the Government program to ensure that requirements concerning manufacture, inspection, testing, a nd delivery of equipment are met.

39 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 ery of acceptable products to using agencies or The results of the work affect the timely deliv activities. Adverse decisions on acceptability of the products involved may impact the the contractor. financial position of 2. The purpose of the work is to ensure conf ormance with prescribed standards for various rd. Special process areas assigned include special process control areas within a shipya welding, brazing, heat-treating, casting, and piping system fabrication. Develops detailed procedures for monitoring and auditing assigne d process areas to ensure conformance to ip specifications, material standa rds, and engineering drawings and process specifications, sh nd initiates appropriate corrective action. The manuals. Investigates discrepant conditions a rhaul of ships affect operational readiness and quality of materials/processes used in the ove ability to carry out assigned missions. 3. The purpose of the work is to develop and im plement quality surveillance and audit programs specialist develops surveillance inspection and for a field activity's logistic operations. The audit plans, including plans fo ion (product and Procedures), r special audits and investigat based on agency mandated or locally developed quality programs. Areas covered include supply, storage, issue, packaging, preservati on, transportation, and materials handling. Reports and findings of audits and investigations are used by l ogistics functional managers to correct deficiencies, improve quality of internal operations, and facilitate service to other activities. Level 5-4 - 225 points The purpose of the work is to plan, develop, and implement quality assurance projects of considerable breadth and complexity. Some assi gnments at this level may involve responsibility r ensuring that quality requirements for major for planning and implementing program plans fo e. Other assignments may involve serving products are achieved throughout the item's life cycl as a technical specialist in a broad product or commodity area or be concerned with quality implications of highly specialized products, manuf acturing processes, and techniques for a range of agency activities. Still other assignments ma y involve staff responsibi lities in various quality assurance program activities, e.g., assessing quality assurance effectiv eness for a range of subordinate activities. The results of the work affect a range of agen cy activities being carried out at a number of locations. For example, projects concerned wi th quality planning thr oughout a product's life cycle affect agency programs in areas such as maintenance, supply, or storage as well as those activities in the development and production ph ases. Similarly, the services provided by technical specialists fo r a product or commodity typically have application to other agency programs and activities. Illustrations: 1. The specialist serves in a program manage ment office which has responsibility for the acquisition of tracked/wheeled vehicle systems. The purpose of the position is to develop and implement quality assurance progr am plans for the life cycle of the assigned systems. The

40 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 ng plans for time-phased quality assurance life work involves such activities as: developi cycle functions; developing contractual mate rial depicting quality requirements for or participating in ntracts; conducting development, production, service, and supply co capability surveys and product reviews; assisting and advising other elements in the implementation of quality requirements; and monitoring program actions through the production and use cycles. The program plans developed by the specialist affect agency activit ies beyond the acquisition t functions. Typically these activities are stage, such as maintenance and supply suppor nizations at various locations. carried out by a number of orga in the electronic and 2. The purpose of the work is to serve as the regional technical authority furnishes expert advice and guidance to field electrical commodity areas. The specialist activities for assigned commodities, develops te chnical quality assurance procedures, plans, directives and operating instru and programs, including regional ctions. Develops specialized technical commodity training as required. Work products are in the form of new and impr oved technical quality assurance procedures, programs, plans, and systems for the assigned commodities which have application to field activities throughout the region. Provides advice and guidance on technical problems, that cannot be resolved at the operating levels, to acquisition activities and offices of other agencies. lop, and implement quality assurance programs 3. The purpose of the work is to plan, deve supporting the design, development, and acquisition of major weapons systems. The work involves determining quality assurance requirements and assuring compliance with such requirements by advising on and reviewing work performed by other Government, and contractor personnel. The acquisition programs are characterized by high dollar value, state- of-the-art technology, compresse lopment and production, and d schedules, concurrent deve frequent changes in requirements. The results of the work directly influence quality requirements imposed on contractors and ultimately cost factors, delivery schedules, a nd confidence in product quality and reliability in operational use. The resolution of actua l or potential quality problems impacts the activities of major contractors a nd the work of other agencies. Level 5-5 - 325 points The purpose of the work is to provide agency staf f level advice and guidanc e in quality assurance for a major commodity program (procurement of nuclear equipment and systems), an important functional area (quality assurance policy and functions pertaining to foreign military sales programs), or assignments of equivalent scope. The work typically involves: serving as the agency's expert technical consulta nt and advisor in the assigned ar eas; directing indepth studies and investigations to analyze and resolve critical problems; evaluating new developments in technology or regulatory matters fo r application in assigned ar eas; providing agency staff

41 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 ganizations; and developing guidance and direction to counterpart field personnel and or specialized policy and procedural guidelines for assigned areas. resolution, program direction, and staff guidance The results of the work, in terms of problem affect major aspects of the agency’s mission re lative to the assigned co mmodity or functional area. FACTOR 6, PERSONAL CONTACTS ace contacts and telephone and radio dialogue with persons not in This factor includes face-to-f e covered under Factor 2, the supervisory chain. Personal contacts with supervisors ar factor are based on what is required to make Supervisory Controls. Levels described under this g with those contacted, and the setting in which the initial contact, the difficulty of communicatin h the specialist and t hose contacted recognize the contact takes place, e.g., the degree to whic and authorities. their relative roles hould be credited under this factor only for contacts which are Above the lowest level, points s essential for successful performance of the work and which have a demonstrable impact on the difficulty and responsibility of the work performed. The relationship of Factors 6 and 7 presumes that the same contact will be evaluate d for both factors. Therefore, use the personal contacts which serve as the basis for the level se lected for Factor 7 as the basis for selecting a level for Factor 6. Level 6-1 - 10 points Personal contacts are primarily w ith other employees in the qu ality assurance organization. Contacts outside the organization may occasionally be made in the company of a higher grade specialist who assumes res l is appropriate for entrance level ponsibility for the contact. This leve positions where the contacts are made in the context of a planned developmental program to acquaint the employee with various industrial processes and techniques. Level 6-2 - 25 points Positions at this level have regular personal contact with employees and officials within the activity served by the quality a include personnel in production, ssurance organization. Contacts engineering, supply, or related f unctions. Also included are contacts with quality assurance and program officials at higher orga nizational levels within the ag ency. While the majority the contacts are with agency employees and offici als, some contacts may occur with individuals outside the employing agency. Gene rally such contacts involve a st ructured situation, in that they are arranged by or occur in the co mpany of a senior-level specialist. Illustrations: 1. The specialist has regular contacts with production employees and foremen of the shipyard while conducting audits to evaluate the adequacy of procedures and controls for various "hot

42 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 heat-treating. Contacts may also include processes" such as welding, brazing, casting, and officers and crew of the ships involved. t has regular contacts with depot functional managers in 2. At a supply depot, the specialis connection with the review a nd audit of depot storage and warehouse practices. Also included are contacts with quality assurance a nd supply personnel in the agency's inventory management activity. assurance specialist contacts employees of the 3. At a contractor's facility, the trainee quality procedures evaluation or witnessing tests or firm during the course of such assignments as typically structured by senior-level employees so that the role inspections. Such contacts are understood by those contacted. of the specialist is generally Level 6-3 - 60 points Level the specialist at this level has regular In addition to the personal contacts described at contacts with employees and officials of other Federal agencies and/or private industry. The individuals contacted vary accord ing to the situation involved a nd require that the specialist insure the persons contacted unde rstand their resp ective roles. Personal contacts with quality assurance and prog ram officials across agency lines (e.g., where one agency is tasked to perform procurement quality functions on another agency's contracts) frequently require that the speci alist identify and locate, the appropriate person(s) to establish working relationships. Illustrations: contractor facility has regular contacts with 1. The quality assurance specialist at an assigned employees and officials in the contractor's qua lity control, manufacturing, engineering, and administrative staff. Officials contacted vary with the particular problem involved, and are subject to change due to turnove r of contractor personnel. M eets with new contractors, who may be unfamiliar with the specialist's role as the Government quality representative, to develop an understanding of their re spective roles and responsibilities. lity engineers, and 2. In addition to regular contacts with program directors, design/ qua production managers in the weapons system proj ect office, the quality assurance specialist has regular contacts across agency lines. For example, the specia list contacts quality assurance employees and officials of other ag encies who are tasked to perform in-plant quality functions. Uses skill and tact in onsite visits to develop a working relationship with the particular agency involved and within the contractor's organization. 3. At a fuels distribution facil ity, the specialist has regular cont acts with the officers of private vessels which transport the materials to using activities. The indi viduals contacted are frequently unfamiliar with the detailed quality checks and procedures involved. This requires skill in establishing with the ship's offi cers the role and authority of the specialist for

43 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 is work situation may also involve contacts ensuring quality of products during transport. Th with individuals in private or ot her agency testing laboratories. Level 6-4 - 110 points specialists at this level have regular personal In addition to the contacts described at Level 6-3, contacts with high level program and quality assu rance officials in other Federal agencies, top trial firms, or representative s of foreign governments. The executives of large private indus re of the problem involved and require that the individuals dealt with vary according to the natu the responsibility and au thority to resolve the specialist ensure that officials contacted have problems in question. Illustrations: quality aspects of materi al being delivered to 1. The specialist leads a team concerned with the foreign governments under various international agreements. As the principal Government representative for quality matters, the special ist has contact with high level military and civilian representatives of the receiving country in the conduc t of conferences on customer requirements, quality checks, or onsite evaluations of the materiel involved. 2. The specialist represents the quality organiza tion at command level meetings which typically high level management officials from other agencies and involve the participation of ies involved and their fr equency. Generally the departments. Such of the participants/agenc meetings occur on an as required basis to effect coordination of quality efforts, establish working relationships across agency lines, or reconcile oper ational differences. FACTOR 7, PURPOSE OF CONTACTS For this occupation, the purpose of Personal contacts ranges from factual exchanges of information to situations invol ving significant or controversial issues and differing viewpoints, goals, or objectives. The personal contacts which serve as the basis for the level selected for this factor must be the same as the contacts which are the basis for the level selected for Factor 6. Level 7-1 - 20 points The purpose is to obtain/exchange factual inform ation related to quality assurance assignments, e.g., to ascertain how particular tests or measurements are pe rformed, report on the results of inspections or analyses, or obtain statistical data on production runs . This level is most likely to be found where personal contacts are limited primarily to empl oyees within the immediate organization, and/ or where cont acts are structured to provide training assignments outside the immediate organization.

44 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 Level 7-2 - 50 points The purpose of the contacts includes advisi ng responsible officials concerning problems ffect corrective action. volved, and the need to e affecting quality of the products or operations in The specialist briefs officials on the results of a udits or quality system reviews, pointing up any s contacted have respons ibilities related to the unsatisfactory trends or conditions. The official development, production, maintenance, or s upply of the products involved, are typically motivated to the mutual goal of maintaining an employees of the same agency, and are generally acceptable level of quality. The specialist exercises tact and persuasion in presenting findings and explaining the need for corrective action. of contacts involving employees of This situation is more typical the same agency who tend to share the same basic goals. This level may also be appropriate for contacts involving individuals e the contacts are so structured that potentially controversial outside the employing agency, wher issues are handled by high er-level specialists. Illustrations: 1. The specialist discusses findings of production procedures eval uation with the employees and supervisors concerned to secure indicated on-the-spot co rrective action, if possible. Coordinates quality problems that cannot be immediately resolved with the responsible ffice, engineering, supply, or quality assurance activity, e.g., the cognizant program/project o policy staff. 2. At a military depot, the specialist coordinates results of appraisals/evaluations of various depot functional activities (e. g., maintenance, eq uipment repair, supply, transportation) with the operating officials involved. Discusses m eans by which situations adversely affecting product quality may be corrected. Level 7-3 - 120 points In addition to the situations described at Level 7-2, contacts at this le vel require considerable skill to influence and motivate individuals to co rrect deficiencies which would otherwise result in unacceptable products. Such cont acts require that the specialist deal with officials, who may have a meager understanding of the quality requir ements involved, may dispute the nature of the requirements, or have a less than cooperative attitude. The specialist ex ercises a high degree of technical skill and judgm ent in discussing and explaining the applicable requirements and the nature and extent of the deficiencies. Considerable tact and persuasion are required to motivate individuals who may be reluctan t to effect corrective action b ecause of the potential impact on delivery schedules or cost factors. Illustrations: 1. At a contractor's facility the specialist uses considerable ski ll and tact in persuading officials of the need to comply with contractual qua lity requirements in situations which are complicated because of such factors as significant technical disagreement over the precise

45 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 noncompliance which may exist or reluctance to nature of the requirements, the extent of adopt effective quality measures becaus e of the potential cost implications. 2. The work involves regular visits to agency test sites, production and maintenance activities and contractor plants to evaluate material s processes and provide technical assistance pertaining to various types of nt fabrication into tank and materials and their subseque automotive equipment. The materials and associ ated processes frequen tly involve state-of- not be completely understood by those the-art or innovative technology which may ill in explaining processing requirements and contacted. The specialist uses considerable sk from more traditional methods to accommodate in convincing others of the need to change the new technology, e.g., the impact of new or composite materials on established maintenance procedures or testing programs. The specialist is also utilized to evaluate and advise on material processing problems at privat e contractor facilities. Must be skilled in ontractor to change pr ocesses or operations explaining requirements, and in motivating the c to produce acceptable products. Level 7-4 - 220 points The purpose of the contacts is to negotiate or se ttle significant issues or problems which require escalation because established channels and proce dures have failed to resolve the problem. The issue or problem may concern significant quali ty deficiencies impacting major equipment encies affect the timely delivery of acceptable equipment), or acquisition programs (i.e., the defici persistent noncompliance on the part of a contractor where formal efforts to effect corrective action have been unsuccessful. The contacts may also concern problems of a similar scope which require negotiation with management represen tatives of other agenci es, or representatives of foreign governments or international organiza tions. The quality assurance specialist assumes the lead in investigating the problems, such as project or interagency leading a special study working group, to achieve a common understanding of the causes, and in effecting a compromise or developing acceptable alternatives. FACTOR 8, PHYSICAL DEMANDS This factor covers the requirements and physic al demands placed on the employee by the work assignment. This includes physical characteristics and abilities (e.g., specific agility and dexterity requirements) and the physical exerti on involved in the work (e.g., climbing, lifting, pushing, balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, crawling, or reaching). To some extent the frequency or intensity of physical exertion mu st also be considere d, e.g., a job requiring prolonged standing involves more physical exer tion than a job requiring intermittent standing. Level 8-1 - 5 points The work is primarily sedentary. Employees ma y occasionally visit manufacturing or other areas where they may do considerable walking, standing, or bending. However, th ese situations do not occur frequently enough to exceed this level. May be required to drive a light vehicle.

46 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 Level 8-2 - 20 points ire extended periods of In addition to the work performed at a desk, the duties regularly requ nufacturing operations, witnessing tests or walking, standing, or bending while observing ma tional quality assurance examining material and processes. Most posi tions as-signed to opera tenance or manufacturing activity) will be point programs (e.g., at a contractor's facility or a main rated at this level. Illustrations: alist makes regular visits to production shops, and 1. At an aircraft maintenance facility the speci rify completion of require is required to climb in and around aircraft to ve d work or to witness tests on overhauled equipment and systems. duties involve frequent walking, bending, and 2. At an ammunition storage facility, the stooping to examine material and storage areas; prolonged standing while monitoring maintenance and rework operations; and frequent lifting and carrying of items required for cyclic inspection of ammunition stores. Materi als handling equipment is available for lifting and maneuvering the heavier items. FACTOR 9, WORK ENVIRONMENT This factor considers the risks and discomfort s in the specialist's physical surroundings or the gulations required. Although the use of safety nature of the work assigned and the safety re eliminate a certain danger or disc omfort, such situations typically precautions can practically place additional demands upon the speci alist in carrying out safety regulations and techniques. Level 9-1 - 5 points The work is performed in a typi cal office setting with adequate he ating, lighting, and ventilation. The specialist may occasionally visit manufactur ing facilities, but such visits do not occur frequently enough to preclude the use of this level. Level 9-2 - 20 points In addition to the work that may be performed in an office setting, the duties involve regular and recurring visits to manufacturing, storage, or test areas. Such visi ts may require use of appropriate protective clot hing or gear such as safety glasses and shoes, ear protection, and hard hat, and observance of appropriate safety precautions. Illustrations: 1. The work environment includes warehouses (w ith or without environmental controls) and open storage areas, requiring clot hing appropriate to the season. Exercises care in working around conveyors and materials handling equipment.

47 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 2. The work involves frequent exposure to moderate discomfort such as high noise levels aboard ship or in industrial areas of a sh ipyard, high temperatures around steam lines, and moving carts or cranes. Required to use protective clothing/devi ces appropriate to the work area visited. Level 9-3 -50 points In addition to those duties which are accomplished in an office setting, the nature of the work regular and recurring basis be e xposed to potentially dangerous requires that the specialist on a application of special situations. The work requires knowledge and safety devices and ective clothing), and strict adhe rence to work procedures and equipment (e.g., toxic chemical prot as those pertaining to work in a known toxic safety precautions to avoid hazards, such re of munitions items to detonate. environment or investigating the failu Illustrations: llance of operations concerned with the receipt, storage, 1. The specialist performs survei inspection, maintenance, renovation, issue, and demilitarization of ammunition items. Ammunition items include grenades, pyrotechnics, chemical munitions, bombs, bulk explosives, rocket motors, warheads, and special weapons. The specialist conducts prestorage inspections and evaluates safety a nd degree of serviceability of ammunition items. gned to assist in ammunition inspection, Reviews work performed by employees assi ities and provides guidance on proper and safe methods and maintenance, or renovation activ operations. Determines compliance with establ ished performance and safety standards and recommends work stoppage in hazardous situations. 2. The specialist is assigned to manage the quality a prison or is required assurance program at to periodically visit such institut ions to perform audit or surve illance functions or to inspect and accept products manufactured at the prison. The work requires contact with inmates and the exercise of extreme precautions and the observance of strict security measures. EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM QUALITY ASSURANCE SERIES, GS-1910 INTRODUCTION The classification and qualification standards fo r the Quality Assurance Series, GS-1910, issued in June 1970, have been revised. This memora ndum summarizes the major changes made in response to agency comments on the draft of thes e standards, and provide s explanatory material to aid in understanding why recommended changes were or were not adopted. As a result of this study of quality-related o ccupations the Quality Inspection Series, GS-1960, has been canceled. This memorandum discusses ag ency responses to this proposal, and provides guidance which may be useful to agencies in e ffecting the reclassification of quality inspection

48 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 ming amendments to the ma terial in Section IV positions. Users should also take note of confor of the on Classification Standards Job Introduction to the Positi and the revised material in the Grading Standard for Inspectors . CLASSIFICATION STANDARD Introductory Material made to bring the series definition more in line Series Definition: Minor editorial changes were concerning expansion of with the systems approach to quality assurance. A question was raised positions involved in monitoring i ndustry quality control activities the series definition to include ral laws and regulations. Currently, positions where the products involved are subject to Fede are included in specialized series in the involved in legal and regulatory compliance work Investigation Group, GS-1800 , or in specialized series in ot her occupational groups based on the quired. In some cases we have recognized that the work of particular knowledge and skills re ality control programs in addition to inspecting these series also involves monitoring industry qu for legal and regulatory compliance. We believe that the use of these more specialized series is appropriate. However, agencies may find the criter ia in this standard useful for cross-series comparison. Coverage: In response to the concerns of a number of reviewers, we have expanded the discussion of the distinctions between quality assurance programs and inspection programs. We fact that this series covers positions involved in a variety of believe it important to emphasize the es and functions in a systematic effort to assure that quality technical and administrative procedur requirements are achieved and products perform as intended. Inspection is but one of the techniques used by quality assurance specialists to achieve these goals. changed view of the basic concep This discussion does not reflect a ts of quality assurance work. Neither does it reflect merging of the two series, as some review ers have suggested instead this material places inspection activities in proper pe rspective as they relate to quality assurance work. In their comments, some reviewers conveyed th e impression that cancellation of the GS-1960 series would automatically change such positions to the quality assurance se ries. This is not the intent. Positions which were ap propriately classified to GS- 1960 based on their being primarily t be correctly classified unde r GS-1910. (Primarily, in this involved in inspection work will no time, but rather the e ssential requirement or context, does not necessarily mean proportion of characteristic responsibility of the position.) Exclusions: We did not adopt a recommendation to eliminate Exclusion 5, which would have included positions currently in the , in this series. The Construction Control Series, GS-0809 knowledge, skills, and abilities requ ired of positions in the C onstruction Control Series are sufficiently different from those required in quality assurance wo rk to warrant treatment as a separate occupational series.

49 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 to provide concise yet descriptive position titles, Titles: Our intent, in this or any other series, is and to encourage the use of orga nizational titles where agencies have such a need. Excessive er-productive in that they may imply a titles are cumbersome and frequently count compartmentalization of positions when this is not warranted, based on the duties and the knowledge and skills required. For these reasons we did not a dopt recommendations to expand the basic position title to indi cate the functional program invol ved, e.g., supply quality assurance specialist. Specializations: We also received a consider able number of recommendations concerning the osals involved the realignment of specific items authorized specializations. Generally, these prop (e.g., Ammunition and Aerospace) or the identification of within existing specializations emerging specialties such as computer software. For some specializations where the product was comments a number of reviewers felt that the comprised of a number of sub-systems, or n require different knowledge th an the end item itself. We component as a product might ofte agree and have restructured some of these defi nitions accordingly. We have made a number of other changes based on reviewers' comments and believe that these revised definitions are an improvement over those used in the draft. The titling instructions now provi de that the specialization be based on the paramount product knowledge required. In some cases the identification will be to a technical specialty such as materials and processes. We recognize that se lection of the appropria te specialization may frequently be complicated by the presence of a mix of products. In other cases the products may change frequently, as in the case of some acqui sition positions. Still other products may have characteristics typical of more than one special ization, e.g., electromechanical equipment. In specialization would be inappropriate we have these cases, where identification to a specific This approach will avoid unduly complicated and provided for the use of the basic position title. possibly misleading titles and preclu de the need to continually adju st and revise po sition titles. t services as an aut We did not adopt a recommendation to include suppor horized specialization. This specialization would have included posit ions involved in monitoring various service contracts such as those for ja nitorial services, commissary stocking, food service or housing maintenance. Many of the positions involved with these functions are currently classified to the Quality Inspection Series, GS-1960. In other cases, agencies have determined that the work is characteristic of the wage grade inspector category. While we cannot prejudge the classification of eac h of these situations, we agree with some reviewers that the knowledge required for this work are substantially different from those nitor production contracts. One reason may be required of quality assurance specialists who mo the nature of the services invol ved-extensive quality assurance pl ans and procedures may not be janitorial services or commissary stocking. required for certain routine operations such as Additionally, functional specialists concerned with the administration of these contracts may be involved to the extent that the monitoring function performed by these positions primarily involves inspection or evaluation of the servi ce provided. This kind of work situation is discussed in the sample job description for Custodial Work Inspector in the Job Grading Standard for Inspectors . However, we recognize that there may be other situations where a General Schedule series is appr opriate, based on the specialized knowledge and skills required.

50 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 on has been modified by removing the terms The definition of the metrology specializati to avoid confusion since some evaluation, calibration, control, a nd certification. This was done more typical of wage grade occupations, e.g., of these terms individually refer to functions calibration. We recognize that metrology is a general concern of most quality assurance specialists. In some be the product involved cases test equipment may itself in the quality assurance program. In other cases metrology may be a fu nctional specialization for staff specialists in a manner similar we did not wish to convey the impression that to a materials and processes specialist. However, positions primarily involved in the calibration of test equipment are included in this series. For additional information, see the Job Grading Standard for Electronic Measurement Equipment or . Mechanic, 2602 Instrument Mechanic, 3359 In the draft standard, nondestruc tive testing (NDT) was inadverten tly deleted from the definition While this has been corrected, the omission of the materials and processes specialization. created an impression that such work should be apparently caused some confusion and may have classified to another series such as Engineer ing Technician, GS-0802, or Quality Inspection, GS- 1960. The NDT work in question primarily involved development of methods, process instructions and techniques used to accomplish va rious tests, and the work was performed in the context of a quality assurance prog ram. In this instance, we believe the work may be classified to the Quality Assurance Series, GS-1910, unless the work clearly require s knowledge and skills associated with another specialized series. (See exclusion 2.) For additional guidance on operation the equipment treatment of NDT work involving the setup and and evaluation of the results against definitive sta ndards, see the definition for Testing Equipment Operating, 5439 . ers indicated some problem with identifying Occupational Information: A number of review specific quality assurance procedures and techniques applied in this work. We have revised the discussion of the various quality assurance functi onal programs to more clearly identify these. We received a number of specific recommendations concerning the description of the various quality assurance functional progr ams from subject matter specialists and personnelists. Rather extensive use was made of these proposals in making editorial re visions to this material. Along these lines, we have substituted the term acquisi tion for procurement as being more consistent with current usage. Another significant cha nge the expanded discussion of quality assurance functions performed in acquisition activities. The definitions of product complexity in the final standard are essentially the same as those used in the draft with some suggested editorial revisi ons incorporated. Conceptually, these definitions are very similar to those included in the previous standard for this series. After c onsidering all of the responses on this issue we have decided to retain the conceptual definitions of product complexity without specific illustrations for the following reasons: 1. Specific examples would have limited utility due to advances in technology and the introduction of increasingly s ophisticated products. For example, a product currently categorized as complex due to state-of-the-a rt technology would have limited usefulness as an example, once that technology evolves into standard or routine practices.

51 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 ibility in considering product complexity in 2. The conceptual definitions provide greater flex terms of new products which are being developed as well as those currently involved in this work. 3. We believe that the definitions used in the st andard generally consistent with similar product complexity definitions used in quality assurance work, such as those used to specify the level of quality requirements applicable to the acquisition of products. 4. A number of agencies have developed internal guidance supplementing the product Since the criteria are essentially the same, this complexity definitions in the current standard. guidance may still be valid. rding the use of factor levels lower than those Grading Position: A statement has been added rega ns below the normal entrance level for career reflected in this standard to establish positio general concern that such positions might be mobility purposes. This was done in response to a needed to continue mobility programs which currently use the Quality Inspection Series. EVALUATION CRITERIA Based on the comments and suggesti ons received from reviewers, additional illustrations of the application of factor level concepts have been provided. In some cases, additional factor level descriptions have been included. The changes an d additions primarily relate to typical work situations in the occupation. We did not adopt illustrations rela tive to managerial or atypical work situations. From some of the comments received, it appe Factor 1: ared that reviewers may not have fully appreciated the linkage between the illustrations used for Factors 1 and 4, i.e., the material provided was drawn from the same general work s ituation. This linkage was provided to further dge and skills required and the nature of tasks illustrate the relationship of the levels of knowle performed and the difficulty and originality involved. The significant changes to the factor level material are as follows: - Level 1-5 • Coverage of the level has been clarifie d and additional illustrations are provided. - Level 1-6 • The description of the factor level has b een revised to avoid confusion with what appeared to be alternate knowledge and skills for this level. This change also required a revision to illustration #3 to demonstrate application of such knowledge and skills. • Illustration #1 has been revised to clarify distinction between this illustration and #2 for Level 1-7.

52 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 - Level 1-8 We did not adopt recommendations to cite specif ic organizational levels or entities in the • sleading and/or restrictive. description of this factor level as being potentially mi • An illustration was provided for this level wh ich depicts an agency headquarters work not an indication that this le vel of knowledge only exists at situation. However, this is ition in that organization automatically this organizational level, nor does every pos warrant Level 1-8. The introductory paragraphs for this factor have been revised to provide additional Factor 2: ist is physically separated from the immediate guidance for those situations where the special supervisor, either for intermittent periods or on a regular basis. The thrust of the guidance is to caution against an automatic assumption that this aspect would warrant a hi gher factor level than supervisor and employee co-located. would normally be assigned were the - Levels 2-3 and 2-4 • Factor level descriptions have been revised to clarify cove rage and resolve problems in level determination reported by reviewers, a nd illustrations have been added to help clarify application of factor level concepts. Factor 3: - Level 3-2 • The factor level description has been revised to clarify the nature of minor adaptations to guidelines typical of this level, and two illustrations have been included. - Level 3-3 • Editorial revisions were made to the factor level descripti on, and illustration #2 has been revised. These revisions were felt to be neces sary to distinguish more clearly this level from Level 3-4, i.e., where guidelines are scarce or of limited use and the employee regularly deviates from established methods or develops new methods, criteria, or policies. Factor 4: Minor editorial revisions were made in the introductory material to substitute the term advanced trainee for developmental in the di scussion of the general coverage of Level 4-2. Apparently the use of the term developmenta l in this context caused some confusion. - Level 4-3 • Illustration #1 has been revised to clarify the statistical quality control work situation described in this example.

53 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 l operating level position in a maintenance • Illustration #5 was added to cover a typica quality assurance organization. (S ee illustration #5 for Level 1-6.) - Level 4-4 The factor level description has been revise d to reflect performan ce of assignments of • equivalent to those involving products with complex equivalent difficulty, i.e., summary of the factor level was felt to be characteristics. As drafted, this general oduct complexity. Equi valent difficulty in overly restrictive and tied too closely to pr this context refers to assignments which are comparable in terms of the nature of the work and difficulty of performance rather than the products per se. Factor 5: - Level 5-2 • The factor level description has been re vised in response to reviewers' comments concerning the difficulty in evaluating this level. This revision also required conforming changes to Level 5-1. - Level 5-3 and 5-4 Additional illustrations have been provided to clarify distinctions between these • levels. - Level 5-5 Specific descriptive material for this level has been included to illustrate application • of level concepts to a staff quality assurance work situation. Factor 6: - Level 6-2 The factor level description has been revi sed. A number of re viewers had difficulty • in evaluating contacts beyond this level and felt that, as drafted, the level was too restrictive. • An additional illustration of level concepts has been provided. - Level 6-4 • A description for this level with illustrations has been added to reflect the nature of contacts involved in foreign military sales activities and staff liaison work.

54 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 Factor 7: - Level 7-2 • The material was revised to further clarify distinctions from Level 7-1. - Level 7-3 The description has been revised since it ap peared a number of reviewers did not use • this level because they felt the description was rather restrictive. - Level 7-4 A description for this level has been provi ded to illustrate a level of contacts • oversial issues or problems which have been escalated involving significant or contr beyond established channels for settlement. Factor 8: No changes. Factor 9: - Level 9-3 • Revised to provide additional explanator y material on factor level concepts. • Additional illustration provided covering the work environment of specialists who Federal prisons, and come into contact with either work full time at, or regularly visit the inmate population in the performance of their work. ctor level descriptions in lieu of benchmarks Benchmarks: Reaction to the use of illustrated fa was generally favorable. Some re viewers felt that this approach provided a greater degree of flexibility. Other reviewers commented on the diversity of work situations that would need to be covered and concluded that this might be done more ef fectively with agency developed benchmarks. In view of the results achieved in test applicat ion of the draft and the additional illustrations provided in the final standard, we have not provided benchmarks. 1. General Comments: One organization expressed concern over a reference in the draft st andards to GS-9 as the first full performance level in this occupation. Appa rently, the reviewer fe lt that this statement (which appeared in the draft qualification standard) implied a new "journeyman" level for the occupation, since the reviewer cons idered the journeyman level to be grade GS-11. The specific

55 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 tion of grade levels produced by the previous classification concern related to the replica standard. The results of test application of the draft standa rd indicate that, in general, existing grades for properly classified positions are replicated when the Factor Evaluation System (FES) format is applied. The June 1970 standard for this occupa tion described a number of full- performance 9. This feature is not materially changed by use (i.e., nontrainee) work assignments at grades GS- of the FES format. stion related to the quality of Even though the statement in que experience required at GS-9, it ssible misunderstanding or confusion. has been revised to avoid any po 2. Variety: One agency expressed concern for the evaluation/treatment of work situations involving a factor ould be concerned with the quality requirements of variety. For example, the work assignment c characterized as less complex. Apparently, the for a variety of products each of which would be variety of products involved were felt to impose a level of difficulty equi valent to a situation where the specialist might deal with only one complex product. We believe this concern is best addressed in a general fashion, since variety per se could have That is, if it were possible to application to all nine FES factors. credit in an incremental fashion the knowledge associated with X number of products, this same rationale for credit should apply to X variations of personal contacts or X wo rk environments. Presumably, under such an evaluation method, a given number of assignments each of which individually equate to Level 4- 3 could be evaluated to Level 4-4, for example. principles. Factor leve ls under FES are based on This would not be a proper application of FES progressive rather than aggregative concepts. Each succeeding factor level presumes a higher level of knowledge or assignments involving a hi gher order of difficulty. An evaluation plan which would credit variety would be totally incompatible with FES. However, this does not rule out the application of mixed grade concepts where such credit would be appropriate. 3. Product Complexity: Reviewers generally agreed that a correlation exists between the complexity of the product involved and the difficulty of work assignments . Some reviewers pointed out, and we think correctly, that this rela tionship may not fit perfectly or have direct application in every work situation. For example, this relationship woul d be less tangible for staff positions which are functionally or program oriented than for those positions at the operating level where the product and its associated quality characteristics are th e primary concern. However, where there is a tangible relationship between the nature of the product and difficulty of the work, the levels of product complexity should serve as general frames of reference and assist users in determining factor levels.

56 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 QUALIFICATION STANDARD In general, reviewers felt that the draft repres ented an improvement over the current qualification ch used in the draft , reviewers felt the approa standard for this series. With some few exceptions would assist in qualifying applicants for entry level positions and in crediting related work experience above the entry level. Career Mobility y material a general discussion of the use of this standard, in We have included in the introductor Manual for Qualification conjunction with the instructions in Operating Standards for General below grade GS-5. The guidance is provided Schedule Occupations, in filling mobility positions r mobility programs, which in the past utilized in response to a general concern of reviewers fo involves positions, the appropriate requirement the GS-1960 series. This process, in general, would be two years of experience which included six months of work at no lower than grade GS- justed to meet the part 3. Similarly, the knowledge and skills would be ad icular requirements of the predevelopmental position involved. Length of Experience We have clarified the use of experience criteria in the standard. The standard reflects the minimum time required to develop and demons trate possession of the knowledge and skills required. Possession of the knowledge and skills for the grade level soug ht is the paramount aluating candidates. consideration in ev Educational Substitutions We received mixed views on the proposal to allow substitution of a bachelor's degree in any field for the requirements at GS-5. Some reviewers fe lt that any substitutions should be restricted to degree work in a related field. We have not changed this substitution provision. The requirement for degree work in a related field as is overly restrictive a condition for substitution for entrance level trainee positions. However, we have clarified the material on educational substitutions to insure that additional credit is provided for those who offer related degree work. Superior Academic Achievement We have described the conditions under which it to credit superior would be appropriate academic achievement at the baccalau reate level to qualify for GS- 7, i.e., the study moor is in a related field, and the criteria in the Operating Manual for Qualificati on Standards for General Schedule Occupations for use of th is provision are fully met. Appli cants with a bachelor's degree in a related field who meet one of the supe rior academic provisions may be qualified for advanced trainee positions (GS-7) with known pr omotion potential. The previous standard which allowed credit for superior academic achie vement also required that the baccalaureate study be in a related field. The superior academic provision in this standard has this same effect.

57 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 Crediting Graduate Degree Work Some reviewers felt that the provisions for credi ting certain graduate degree work at the GS-9 ovides for this. For this level, the provision level should be continued and the new standard pr applies only to directly related degree work. We have included an example of how degree work quired knowledge and skills for in certain specialized technology areas may have provided the re ount. For example, advanced degree work in positions where this technology expertise is param metallurgy may be appropriate for technical specia list positions in the materials and processes nd, more general degree programs (such as statistics) may not specialization. On the other ha have provided the full range of knowledge and sk ills required for GS-9 operating level positions contractor quality control programs. such as those involved in monitoring CANCELLATION OF THE QUALIT Y INSPECTION SERIES, GS-1960 In the transmittal of the draft standards, we discussed our findings from the study of positions in ted agency views on a pr the Quality Inspection Series, GS-1960, and solici oposal to cancel this series. The following discusses the nature of the responses to specific ques tions/issues related to the proposal, and provides some additional guidance concerning the transition of these positions. Agency Views on Cancellation Of the agencies which indicated a specific preference for either can celing or retaining the series, a majority favored cancellation. A number of th e agencies in the majority, however, had job the four largest users of the series, two populations ranging from 25 to 100 positions. For favored retention, two favored cancellation. In general, agencies did not take issue with th e major findings of the study of quality inspection work. The agencies did provide various reas ons for retention of the series as follows: d individuals or the qua 1. The GS-1960 series provides a source of qualifie lity assurance career field, and should be retained for that purpose. This is a general concern of agencies whether or not they favor cancella tion, since the series is used rather extensively as a bridge or tr aining occupation. We rec ognized that cancellation of this series would also require careful consid eration in the revision to the quality assurance specialist qualification standard to insure that career mobility would not be impaired by this action. We believe that the responses to th e draft qualification sta ndard, discussed above, confirm that this objective has been met. 2. Cancellation of this series would cause quality assurance specialists to become more involved in inspection activities. This is a position management issue within the au thority of the agencies. Cancellation of the series may or may not have that effect. (S ee the discussion on quality assurance versus inspection in the introductory material to the st andard.) Obviously, there are options available to managers of quality programs, both in terms of the overall approach to quality (preventive

58 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 ganization and structuri ng of individual work efforts versus end-item inspection) and the or assignments. 3. Abolishing the GS-1960 series would unnecessari ly require trade experience for many of these positions. Cancellation of this series should not be inte rpreted as a mandate to convert every GS-1960 position to a wage grade inspector category. However, as a number of agencies have indicated, this will be the case with a very larg e number of the positions involved. This is pay category determinations have been made particularly true where currently inconsistent s. For these situations a new requirement for for the same or very similar inspection activitie ng that the existing trade knowledge and skills is not being imposed. Instead, we are insuri requirements will be applied consistently. that would not require full journeyman trade There may be a number of inspection situations ection of routine build ing maintenance work knowledge and skills. For example, the insp may not require the knowledge and skills of a journeyman trades person such as a carpenter or maintenance mechanic. Similarly, many product testing functions may be approximately performed by wage grade employees who do not possess the (trade) knowledge and skills required to produce the particular product being tested-See the definition for the Testing Equipment Operating Series, 5439 . -1960 has been used as a catch-all series for We are also aware of some situations where GS dule. Such positions typically involve an positions which are subject to the General Sche inspection or evaluation functi on and require knowledge and sk ills appropriate to another specialized series. In some cases GS-1960 wa s chosen because of what were felt to be ts. We would expect in these advantages in recruiting applican cases, that the positions would be allocated to the appropriate General Schedule series. In the transmittal to the draft standards, agencies were asked to identify significant blocks of GS-1960 positions which could not be allocated to other General Schedule series or Federal Wage System occupations. Our intent here was to try to identify groups of positions that might be treated as an occupation for standards development purposes. We, of course, have a continuing interest in agency views on their needs for occupational standards development. 4. Cancellation of this series would adversely affect the recruitment of women and minorities for the Quality Assurance Series, GS-1910. Apparently, this view relates to the use of GS-1960 as a bridge occupation, in that it provides opportunity for individuals to gain experien ce qualifying for GS-1910 by providing for entry at the GS-4 level. We understa nd that this concern is also re lated to an under representation of females in wage grade inspector ratings. Experience that qualifies individuals for quality assurance work is not restricted to inspection activities. The qualification st andard recognizes that the knowl edge and skills required for entry level positions may be obtained in other lin es of work. Moreover, the changes we have

59 Quality Assu rance, GS-19 0 TS-67 Ma rch 1983 1 eliminate the need to made to assist career mobility efforts should move individuals through a bridge position to the qual ity assurance career ladder. 5. Career status and advancement potential would be diminished. with in the revisions we have made to the This is again an issue that has been dealt hould also point out that a si gnificant number of the GS-1960 qualification standard. We s positions looked at during the study were specifically excluded from agency quality assurance career programs. 6. Pay disparities will result if the series is abolished. The extent to which pay disparities result ma y be controlled to some degree by decisions program managers make concerning their approa ch to quality assurance and the organization of individual assignments. Summary The rationale supporting retention of this seri es relates primarily to nonclassification issues. have already been addressed in the revised Some of these issues, such as recruitment ted to position management and pay cannot be qualification standard. The other issues rela addressed by this (or any other) standard. The principal classification issue is the proper pay category for inspection work: This issue, along with our findings that the paramount knowledge and skills applied in the work relate to the trades, craft, or laboring occupations, was discussed in the transmittal of the draft standards. The comments received support these findings insofar as product inspection work is concerned. Where there was disagreement, the issue involves work that may be appropriate to other wage grade categories which do not require trade know ledge and skills in the sense of journeyman level skills in an apprenticeable trade. Nonethele ss the work is characteristic of trades, crafts, or laboring occupations and is excluded from coverage under the General Schedule. Deciding the pay category questi on fob product inspection work is only one aspect of the cancellation of this series. Other work situations may require the use of wage grade ratings other than the inspector category, or in some cases agencies may find it appropriate to use a specialized series under the General Schedule. As pointed out earlier, each work situation must be evaluated on an individual basis.

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