It is critical that employees possess the appropriate knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the duties of their job. To ensure candidates for Federal positions meet minimum requirements, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has established a set of qualification standards.
When filling a job, particularly through Merit Promotion, candidates are normally rated and ranked using differentiating criteria to ensure the best qualified candidates are referred. Development of differentiating criteria is normally done by the manager with the assistance of the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center. They use job analysis techniques to identify the knowledges, skills, and abilities (KSA) required for the job.