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Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
What is a KSA?: A Federal KSA is a supplemental narrative statement that addresses a specific knowledge, skills, and abilities as they pertain to a job series or position. It is important to provide quantitative or qualitative evidence to support your KSA. All KSA's are scored on a point system. Usually, specific examples score the highest while broad platitudes result in less points.
Knowledge statements refer to an organized body of information usually of a factual or procedural nature which, if applied, makes adequate performance on the job possible. A body of information applied directly to the performance of a function. Essential to the federal job evaluation process, especially for external applicants.
Skill statements refer to the proficient manual, verbal or mental manipulation of data or things. Skills can be readily measured by a performance test where quantity and quality of performance are tested, usually within an established time limit. Examples of proficient manipulation of things are skill in typing or skill in operating a vehicle. Examples of proficient manipulation of data are skill in computation using decimals; skill in editing for transposed numbers, etc.
Ability statements refer to the power to perform an observable activity at the present time. This means that abilities have been evidenced through activities or behaviors that are similar to those required on the job, e.g., ability to plan and organize work. Abilities are different from aptitudes. Aptitudes are only the potential for performing the activity.
KSAs are also known as:
Supplemental Narrative Statements
Selective Placement Factors
Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and other Characteristics
Executive Core Qualifications
Why are KSA's important?: According to the Office of Personnel Management, KSA's or Quality Ranking Factors " rank applicants with higher proficiency levels on a quality ranking factor above those with lower proficiency levels. Agencies should rank applicants with higher proficiency levels on a quality ranking factor above those with lower proficiency levels With quality ranking factors, the focus is on the level of proficiency the candidate brings to the job." Simply put, KSA's alone will not disqualify you but they are essential to receiving a high proficiency rating.
KSA Preparation : KSA's are written in the form of well-polished narrative essays using the CCAR approach, that is, Context, Challenge, Action, Result. Quantify the results in terms of process improvement, problems eliminated, time saved, money saved, revenue gained or increased performance. If we write the KSA's for you we will interview you to find strong examples from your experience demonstrating your knowledge, skills or abilities in the given areas.
If a KSA requests knowledge of propriety systems or procedures such as agency regulations, operating processes and technology, research the agency to gather as much information as possible. This question indicates preference may be given to an insider, but if this is the only obstacle you may still be qualified. Simply state in the KSA the information you have learned. If you have used similar technology, include the name of the system and the functions you performed with it.
Prices for KSAs are charged per question and begin at $75 for GS-05 to GS-07 positions. Please call 800.546.4541 to speak with a federal ksa writer now.