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FSN MANAGEMENT

Foreign Service National (FSN) employees are managed through the Foreign Service Act
of 1980, Manual Section (MS) 602, local labor laws, 3 Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM)
7000, and the Local Employees Position Classification Handbook (LEPCH-3FAH),
which has further given rise to a Computer Assisted Job Evaluation (CAJE) tool. These
instruments grant FSN management overseas to Inter-Agency Committees coordinated
by the Department of Sate (DOS), through their Embassies.
FSN employees are citizens of the host country under direct hire to US Missions abroad.
Their assignments are indefinite and their compensation and benefits are set according to
prevailing practice at the post. Prevailing practice is determined by what a representative
number of comparator institutions working at that employment market provide its
employees. These comparator institutions must respect local labor law to be able to
operate at that post.
FSN management at posts includes Position design of a staffing pattern, authorized by DOS
for the particular post under the National Security Decision Directive (NSDD 38), which includes
a set number of PC positions both US DH and FN DH; Position Classification, Local

Compensation Plans (LCP), Leave Plans, Recruitment and Selection, Performance


Evaluation, Incentive Awards and Disciplinary Plans and actions. Inter-Agency
Committees should exist at post, to oversee such management. These Committees are
mirrored by an Inter Agency Committee in Washington, where agencies HQs are
represented. Personnel actions, classification, awards and disciplinary actions may be
appealed to local committees, with a last appeal made to the Washington Committee,
where the Agency to which the appealing employee belongs, is heard. Compensation is
managed by the Department of State, who authorize adjustments in consultation with
agencies headquarters.

FSN EMPLOYEE POSITION CLASSIFICATION


Position Classification for FSN Direct Hires is performed utilizing the CAJE System.
CAJE:
The Computer Assisted Job Evaluation (CAJE) is an electronic position classification
system developed to classify Locally Engaged Staff (LES) for Agencies of US Missions
abroad. This concept includes Foreign Service National (FSN) Direct Hire (DH)
personnel and other types of service providers, who are considered employees at post,
such as Personal Services Agreements (PSA). The employment of these two types of staff
is indefinite. PC does not have the necessary authority to hire PSAs.
The Peace Corps (PC) has authority to hire FSNs and can procure the services of
Personal Services Contractors (PSC), as long as these latter are not considered employees

for any reason whatsoever. Therefore, CAJE is only used to classify PC FSNs. PSCs
who are not considered employees, are not eligible.
As part of the hiring process, a position description is written for a fully-qualified
candidate. Usually, a second position description is written for a candidate that can be
started in a training status (not fully qualified normally for the lack of agency-proper
experience), for a specific period of time that will allow the candidate the experience and
knowledge of the employing agency and its systems. CAJE gauges all elements in an
FSN position to arrive at the proper classification. FSN Classification is not broadbanded and positions need to be classified individually at the grade where they
correspond. In cases where not all position elements in the profile are met by the chosen
incumbent, and when this possibility was considered at the onset of the hiring process,
this incumbent will be placed at the training grade to be evaluated at the end of the set
training period, to see if he/she now meets all the requirements of the position elements at
the specified levels.
Job Holders and their Supervisors complete a Job Discussion Help Sheet (JDHS) that
describes all elements of their position, to prepare them for a job discussion with the job
evaluator, who is usually a member of the Human Resources Office of a US Embassy.
The following elements required by the position are reviewed in the job discussion. They
are then entered into the CAJE system to obtain the CAJE Job Report Review Form.
The CAJE system measures the following elements:
Responsibility
Knowledge
Intellectual Skills
Communication
Working Environment

Responsibility:
Dimension Description: Consideration is given to the extent to which the job holder is
required to plan, organize, direct and control resources in order to achieve specified
objectives. Consideration is also given to both the scale of the resources and the level of
authority to manage them. The freedom with which the job holder can act and the areas
of discretion he/she possesses is considered. Identification of the nature and level of
any advice given and the overall impact of the job holder on the organization and its
external contacts is also considered. It includes:
A. Staff/Contractor Management.
The position is responsible for the control of people, through line management or
obtaining results through contractors
B. Equipment:

Personal/Shared use or the control of use of equipment by others. These can be:
the control of serviceability, the level of operating efficiency, or main purchase
recommendations.
C. Expendable Supplies
The position is responsible for own issues/receipts, or is responsible for
procurement management
D. Buildings/Land
The position is responsible for:
Facilities Maintenance/Management There are six types/manners of performing
this function that range from straightforward repair to the overall fabric of a
significant building or group of buildings..
Buy/Lease/Sell Decision that ranges from involvement in the identification and
surveying of potential property to providing critical input on decisions relating to
the purchase/leasing/sale of properties.
E. Finance
The position has the following responsibility relating to
OPERATING EXPENSES:
Financial Management and Handling Cash, which is the
issue/receipt/safekeeping of cash either personally or through others.
This option may include official credit card usage
The position has the following responsibility relating to NONOPERATING EXPENDITURES:
Budget Management: (Small Project Assistant Funds, PCPP, In-Kind
HCC)
F. Information
Definitions:
Information resource Includes but is not limited to, the
following: a library of documents, a collection of
publications and other media (CD Rom, periodicals, audio
tapes, video tapes, DVDS); files and databases (such as for
correspondence, subject matter material, commercial, contract
or security data, medical records, financial records, activity
reports, etc.)
Controllable Information Where there are defined
procedures for inventory or control of the information
item/asset, because the information item has a high street
value, or its loss could compromise safety and/or security.
The job holder is accountable for the item/asset.
Examples: blank passports, visa counterfoils, PKI cards,
building access cards, passwords, PC smart cards, etc.

Upkeep of Resource, Access/Security, and Management of Information Resource


and Controllable Items/Assets Resource. Here the resource is categorized as
Moderate, Standard or Advanced.
G. Contracted Out Goods And/Or Services
Contracted out means the same as outsourced and includes no-cost or user-fee
based contracts. It considers the position as the Contract End-User or as the
Contract Support/ Purchasing or Procurement Operations. It gauges the amount
of money spent on these contracts (i.e. guard services, janitors, gardeners, etc.).
H.

Freedom to Act
The job holder has the freedom to act/make decisions in adjusting the order in
which daily work is performed, planning and organizing work over a period of
days, amending existing practices, planning the work of others, liaising with
external organizations, resolving problems/situations encountered without
assistance, resolving harder problems/situations referred by other staff, controlling
minor projects, or determining significant changes to operations. One of the
previous examples of incumbents freedom to act is to be chosen.
I. Advice/Recommendations.
Advice/recommendations can be provided on procedural, security, technical,
human resources/personnel, financial, legal, organization policy/strategy,
government/international bodies policy/strategy issues. Each one is graded
according to whether they are Basic, Standard, Advanced, a Highly specialized
procedural advice from expert within the organization, or the Ultimate authority
on the subject.
J. Impact.
The level of impact the position has on the internal organization is within the
internal organization, where the job has a major level of impact on its own
function, or the job has a major relational impact with particular groups external
to the organization.

Knowledge.
This is sum total of education, training, skill and experience required to carry out the job
to the normally expected standard of performance.
A. Knowledge Areas (as required by the positions). Grades can be: Basic,
Standard, Advanced, Expert
The Organization, which includes the internal workings and structure of the
organization, the operational environment, and a specialist knowledge.
B. Education
The minimum level of education essential before being considered for the
position should be established.

C. Occupational Training and Membership.


Occupation specific training and/or membership of a professional body that is
essential before being considered for the position, excluding academic education.
This includes PC OST or other specialized training such as IT, safe driving, or
agency specific requirement. Grades can be Basic, Standard, Advanced or
Expert.
D. Experience.
Prior experience that is essential for the job. This means working in one or
several jobs within a category for a minimum cumulative time in that category.
If the minimum experience is on the boundary of 2 options, choose the higher.
Within this experience, there is the Specialist Field, which requires a high level of
specialist knowledge that isnt covered in other categories, but that was gained in
high-level roles of the category required for the job. Supervisory experience
should also be noted, when the job holder requires experience in the effective
organization and coordination of a range of activities undertaken by others. This
will involve directing actions of subordinates or non-subordinates, or a
combination of both. Experience is measured by the number of years
required for each one of the previous categories, as a minimum.
E. Language Skills. The positions requires one or more language (most widely
spoken language in the country, and English, where it is not the most widely
spoken) with the following skills: Level 1: Rudimentary knowledge. Level 2:
Limited knowledge. Level 3: Good working knowledge. Level 4, Fluent, high
degree of proficiency in the written and spoken language. Level 5: Professional
translator/interpreter.
F. Other Skills.
Keyboard/Data Entry (graded Basic, Standard and Advanced)
Numerical (graded Basic, Standard and Advanced, ranging from basic arithmetic
to the most sophisticated mathematical techniques).
Driving (graded Basic, Standard and Advanced, ranging from holding a valid
drivers license for a car or a motorcycle to highly-skilled defensive driving
techniques).
IT Software (graded Basic, Standard and Advanced, ranging from the use of a
spreadsheet to the design and/or development of sophisticated applications.

Intellectual Skills.
The extent to which the job demands analytical thinking in order to understand and
absorb variable and/or complex information. Consideration is also given to the structure
of the role, the level of problem solving, the need to look ahead and the level of creativity
and innovation required.

A. Information Environment. The job holder must understand one of five levels of
information, that range from simple information to information that is highly
complex within a specialist discipline.
B. Role Complexity. The problems which the job holder encounters and diagnoses
deal with the role framework, the problems solved, and the work pattern. Each
one of these can be graded within five types of complexity.
C. Planning. Consider how far in advance the job holder must actively plan their
own activities and/or the activities of subordinates. Active planning involves
anticipating future events/requirements. Deciding what needs to be done, the
people and other resources required, and the timing of the activities. Participation
or contribution to a planning activity would not be measured here.
D. Innovation. Consider the opportunity and/or requirement to develop new
approaches, new procedures or ways of delivering a service, to adapt existing
procedures or methods to meet new work demands, to design new plans for
facilities, equipment, or systems, to design and/or draft publications, media or
other information material, to develop materials for training or orientation.

Communication
The objective of this factor is to assess the varying levels of communication skills
required to perform the job effectively and efficiently. It includes the requirement to deal
fairly, sensibly and tactfully with colleagues and external relationships in a variety of
routine and special situations. It also takes account of the frequency of contacts, their
nature and purpose, the significance and complexity of the subject matter and the level of
understanding of the recipients.
A. Contacts. Contacts can be internal or external, at the low, mid or high levels, at
the Basic, Standard or Complex Levels.
B. Oral. Oral communication can be a routine transmission of information, tact and
diplomacy, complex explanations, influencing/persuading, care and compassion,
formal negotiating, conflict resolution, or leadership. These can be led at a Basic,
Developed or Highly Developed Style.

C. Written. Written communication can be Basic, Routine or Complex, carried out


in a Basic, Developed or Highly Developed style.

Working Environment.
The extent to which working situations and conditions are physically demanding and/or
environmentally disagreeable and/or socially disruptive.

A. Working Conditions. Whether exposure to this type of environment would be


Occasional, Regular or Main Place of Work.
B. Hazards. The position is exposed to potential hazards, at a level and frequency of
exposure that can be Occasional, Regular or Frequent, at a Basic, Moderate or
Significant levels.
C. Physical or Psychological Demands. The position requires occasional, regular or
frequent physical demands, at a Basic, Moderate, or High Level.
D. Unusual Work Pattern Demands. The level at which the work pattern is subject to
disruption due to the nature of the job.

Once all answers are entered into the system, a numerical value is placed on them. A
maximum of 10 points is given to each of the five categories. Grades are assigned
according to the addition of these points.

HOST COUNTRY RESIDENT PERSONAL SERVICES


CONTRACTS
(HCR PSC)
Locally-engaged staff (LES) can be Foreign National Direct Hires (FN DH) or Host Country
Resident Personal Services Contractors (HCR PSC), who are not considered employees.
The Local Compensation Plan (LCP), set for a Mission overseas, includes salaries and benefits
pursuant to prevailing practice at post surveyed by DOS, or bought off the shelf by the mission;
periodic adjustment of this LCP is made, usually yearly, following the same system;
PSCs are not employees. Their services are procured with closed contracts that need to be drawn
from formats contained in the Peace Corps Manual. When posts procure the services of a person
who is a resident of the host country, they are called Host Country Resident Personal Services
Contracts. They are normally drafted for one year and four 1-year options to renew. Normally
each year option contains a step increase in compensation, if a positive evaluation warrants it.
The Country Director at a post has delegated authority from the PC Director for procurement
actions not to exceed US$100,000.00. The total compensation for services performed during five
years normally surpasses this amount. Therefore, a delegation of supplemental procurement
authority needs to be requested and obtained from the Office of Acquisitions and Contract
Management (OACM), before this contract can be signed.
If at the end of a contract (basic contract and its options to renew), performance of the PSC is
deemed satisfactory, the contract can be re-negotiated without competition. If this is not the case,
a new publication must be made to re-compete the contract. This is also true if the statement of
work has changed considerably, making this a new position.
PSC positions and their levels are authorized by Regions through Operating Plans. Changes in
scopes of work that provoke a promotion may also require Regional authorization.

The LCP is used as a guide to determine the possible compensation of this PSC. When
designing a HCR PSC, before starting any regional authorization, procurement action, i.e.:
competition (publication), negotiation, selection and contracting, Posts should have an idea of
what LCP grade to compare this PSC with. Therefore, positions encumbered by a PSC are
informally classified at the post to arrive at that determination. We have attached several
documents for that purpose. Please remember that the CAJE system cannot be used for PSCs,
because they are not considered employees. Once the grade is identified, negotiation with the
proposed contractor includes salary history to determine compensation. After a PSC is signed,
compensation cannot be adjusted until the basic term or the exercised option has expired. LCP
Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) are integrated when the PSC is next extended with an option
or when a new PSC is written.
CDs and AOs must analyze post and position complexity factors in the determination of
comparator grades. Complexity factors of the post proper do not affect all positions in the same
manner. The size of the country and difficulties in travel affect those who travel or those in
decision-making positions that have to make expedient decisions and are responsible for the
safety, security and welfare of staff, volunteers or trainees in isolated areas, requiring travel to
those areas occasionally. Dangerous security considerations would affect those who have to go to
danger areas to ascertain conditions, not knowing what to expect. The presence of more than one
culture and more than one language complicate program management, training and management
in general. The presence of those many cultures in the staff makes staff management more
difficult. In one word, positions have to be analyzed individually, as must country-specific and
position-specific complexities that make them more or less difficult.
In the early eighties, Peace Corps was able to add Peace Corps Program Series FSN-4020 to the
LEPCH. It was designed to classify mixed positions. That is, positions that are responsible for
more than one function and where the mix requires a varied knowledge and skill to be able to
perform it. Wherever functions are not mixed, other non-PC standards should be used.
In order to assist staff making comparisons with a LCP, distinguishing features of PC Program
Series FSN-4020, have been included here. All PC positions included in FSN-4020 were called
Program, because they referred to the PC Program. Therefore we have Program Specialist in
Grades 12, 11 and 10; and Program Assistant in Grades 9, 8 and 7.
Program Specialists can be Associate Peace Corps Directors (APCDs), (Advisors; Coordinators
of one to three or more sectors; Regional Coordinators; Training or Program Specialists or
Experts), Resources Managers; acting individually or under the supervision of another Specialist.
Program Assistants always work under the supervision of another Specialist, whether US DH or
LES.
Distinguishing Features (Taken from the FSN 4020 Peace Corps Program Series in LEPC)
between grades are as follows:
Grades 12-11-10:
Most positions of PC Program Specialists FSN-11 plan and manage the work assignments of a
considerable number of PCVs engaged in a number of different projects (See Note, following).
Positions at this level require input from the Country Director and or Program and Training
Officer in the negotiations of project plans, agreements, management plans or resources requests,

and their duties and responsibilities are not as broad in scope as those at the FSN-12 level, nor are
the complexities of the work environment (e.g., geographic dispersion or PCVs, communications
difficulties, political uncertainty, etc.) as great. Such positions may supervise the work of other
FSN program specialists and assistants but this fact is not grade controlling.
Positions of PC Program Specialists FSN-11 differ from PC Program Specialist FSN-10 in that
while the advisory, planning, administrative, and evaluation functions are similar in content, the
higher grade positions are concerned with multi-specialty programs or single specialty programs
with a variety of different projects distributed over a larger geographic area. Duties at the lower
level concern less diverse projects, usually in a single specialty. At the FSN 11- level,
supervision received is very general and heavy reliance is placed on the employees professional
knowledge and judgment in freely carrying out the programs or projects. At this level, the
employee deals with key officials at the senior level of the government. Plans and
recommendations are reviewed for compliance with policies and overall objectives.
Supervisor(s) may provide input during the negotiating of project agreements.
Program Specialists (Resources Management) at the FSN-11 level are normally found in larger
and diverse Peace Corps country programs. They are classifiable at grade FSN-11 because the
resources management function is made complex and difficult by such factors as a large number
of PCVs to be serviced, degree of independence of operation, numerous and different projects to
be budgeted and accounted for, coordination or other problems in the receipt, transport, and
distribution of supplies and equipment, and supervision of several administrative support
employees. Another complicating factor might be a politically sensitive or culturally diverse
situation in the host country which would make management of resources extremely complex.
Duties of such positions would be similar to those described for Program Specialist (Resources
Management) at the FSN-10 level, but the scope of the responsibilities would be greater due to
the above-cited factors.
NOTE: Although most positions at this level exist in the larger and more diverse country
programs, it is possible that positions at this level, acting as principal program advisors to the PC
Director, will be found in small size PC country programs than normally covered by this level.
Such positions may be in charge of all sectors or a major segment of the various sectors of the
country program and have responsibility for a considerable number of PCVs engaged in difficult
projects.
Grades 11-10-9:
This is the first fully professional level in this series. Positions at this level differ from those at
FSN-11, in that the scope of activities for which the employee is responsible is more limited,
being usually confined to a single specialty sector or to a group of less critical projects. The
range of host government contacts required to do the job is not as extensive. The thrust of the
positions responsibilities is that of effective management of a segment of the total PC Country
operation. Program planning, implementation, management and evaluation functions are
performed similar to positions at the higher grade level, but the work is less complicated because
of the small number of PCVs to be managed, a lesser variety of projects to be implemented,
and/or few special problems in the work environment. Positions involving administrative
resources management at this level act as the principal management and financial advisor to the
PC Director of a medium to large Peace Corps country operation and supervise a staff engaged in
performing administrative support work. Such positions perform the full range of budget and
administrative planning and analysis and have responsibility for all procedural and technical
aspects of administrative work.

Employees in such positions must resolve difficult problems in all aspects of program
administration and must be skilled in analyzing trends and forecasting program changes due to
adjustments in project plans, price rises, currency fluctuations, and cost of living increases. The
duties of such positions may be complicated to a greater or lesser degree by geographic
dispersion of PCVs, communication difficulties, problems in the receipt, transport and
distribution of supplies, bureaucratic indifference, sensitive cultural and political situations, etc.
A very few PC Program Specialists (Resource Management) are classifiable at the FSN-12 level,
and a few at the FSN-11 level. These higher grade positions differ from those at FSN-10 in that
they are found in host countries where the Peace Corps program is more diverse and resources
management is made complicated and difficult because of a number of influencing factors (see
the FSN12 and FSN-11 level standards). Resource Manager positions at FSN-10 differ from
those at FSN-9 in that the latter provide administrative support for small to medium size Peace
Corps country operations. They may individually perform some of the support functions and are
not required to have the broad background in program functions as is expected at the higher
grades, beginning at FSN 10.
Grades 10 9 8:
Most positions at this level assist professional PC Program Specialists, FSN-10 and above, by
performing smaller, less technical segments of program work, such as developing training
modules, providing support to a small number of PCVs, carrying out the routine contacts at
ministries and the local government level, and counseling PCVs at the central office on cultural
adjustment or personal problems.
Resources management positions at this level are responsible for a full range of administrative
support services budget planning, personnel, accounting, vouchering, supply, procurement, and
maintenance for a small to medium size Peace Corps country operation. (Note: Positions
responsible for one single administrative activity, such as travel services or accounts
maintenance, should be classified by the appropriate standards for the occupation).
Positions of this sort at FSN-9 differ from those at FSN-8 in that emphasis is placed on the
technical expertise of the employee in the area of program development. The employee at this
level is fully conversant with legal, regulatory, and policy instructions, develops projects
proposals, without detailed guidelines or instructions, and is expected to develop and maintain a
variety of outside contacts. The primary emphasis for PC Program Assistant, FSN-8 is on
operational duties and the application of some technical knowledge to actual project operations
rather than the use of technical expertise to develop and manage sector projects.
Grades 9 8 7:
Positions of PC Program Assistant, FSN-8 are basically oriented to information-gathering duties
and to the performance of operational duties which require limited technical knowledge.
Guidelines for carrying out assignments are prescribed and completed work is subject to technical
review. However, employees must exercise judgment in evaluating the relevance and reliability
of information, in organizing and presenting data, and in monitoring developments in a selected
program,. In performing work, the employee is expected to develop and maintain a variety of
outside contacts. Employees performing resources management duties do so without technical
supervision, but the scope and difficulty of the operation is limited.

Grades 8 7 - 6:
This first level of PC Program Assistant positions involves duties which are a combination of
substantive and/or administrative support functions. Positions (particularly in administrative
management) which involve work primarily in one occupational field should be classified
according to the various standards listed in the introductory section of these standards. Positions
at the FSN-7 level normally perform work in two or more important areas of administrative
support (e.g. travel and property control, cashier and procurement) or for two or more higherlevel program specialists concerned with substantive technical program matters. Program
Assistants at FSN-7 perform the more routine substantive duties, such as are listed above, in order
to save the time of higher level specialists (American or LES) and to expedite the flow of paper
work, submission of reports, follow-up on problem cases, etc. Those positions at this level
engaged in providing administrative support must have (in the mix of two or more administrative
functions) at least one function classifiable at the FSN-7 level. Definitions of some of these
levels may be found in Travel Assistant, page J-227, Purchasing Agent, page J-306, and
Accounting Technician, page J-92. This FSN 7 grade must be based on and proven by crosscomparison with standards for specialized administrative positions. At smaller PC posts, where
the principal resources manager performs personally the more complex and difficult
administrative duties, where translation duties are not involved, ad/or where administrative
support is limited by a JAO arrangement, the duties listed may be more appropriately classified at
no higher than FSN-6 level.

Embassies not longer utilize the LEPCH, as their regulations now mandate the use of CAJE. It
might prove useful to try to get copies of appropriate classifications standards from the old
system for use at Peace Corps, if no changes have been approved for them.
Always remember that for a position to be considered Mixed different functions must be at
least 25% of the total time. Also, when considering the different components/functions that
would increase the grade, these in fact need to be at least of the same grade that provoked the
grade bonus (e.g. two functions of a grade 6 and one of grade 7, would make the position a grade
7). In other words, functions of a Grade 4 (basic clerical), would not increase the classification of
a Grade 7, but rather, might lower it, if performed for 25% of the time. Therefore, when
designing positions, it makes sense to gather functions of the same type or classification under the
same individual, and gather lower or higher functions under a different position.