The text below is extracted verbatim from Section IV-B of the Operating Manual for Qualification Standards for General Schedule Positions (p.IV-B-255), but contains minor edits to conform to web-page requirements. This is an individual qualification standard.
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS The following table shows the amounts of education and/or experience required to qualify for positions covered by this standard.
GRADE EDUCATION OR EXPERIENCE General Specialized GS-5 4-year course of study above high school leading to a bachelor's degree or 1 year equivalent to at least GS-4. (Editor's note: Don't let this scare you off. Depending on how you word your experience, your experience may well qualify for the GS-5 level.)
GS-7 1 full academic year of graduate education or law school or superior academic achievement or 1 year equivalent to at least GS-5
GS-9 1 year equivalent to at least GS-7
GS-11 1 year equivalent to at least GS-9
GS-12 1 year equivalent to at least next lower grade level Does not apply to trainee positions
Equivalent combinations of education and experience are qualifying for grade levels for which both education and experience are acceptable. Note that academic study may be prorated to allow combinations of education and experience that total 1 year for GS-5, e.g., 1 year of college study is equivalent to 3 months of general experience, 2 years of study to 6 months of general experience, and 3 years of study to 9 months of general experience.
EDUCATION Undergraduate Education: Major study--any field.
Graduate Education: Major study--fields related to law enforcement, e.g., police science, or law school education meets the requirements for GS-7.
Education is not creditable for positions above the GS-7 level.
General Experience (for GS-5 positions): Experience that demonstrated the ability to:
1) Take charge, maintain composure, and make sound decisions in stressful situations.
2) LEARN law enforcement regulations, methods, and techniques through classroom training and/or on-the-job instruction. (You have to have the ability to LEARN regs, but you don't have to have prior law enforcement experience).
3) Gather factual information through questioning, observation, and examination of documents and records.
These abilities may have been gained in positions such as (any of the below are suitable examples):
1) Interviewer in a public or private service agency who deals with requests for services or benefits; and who explains, interprets, and applies rules, regulations, and procedures.
2) Claims adjuster or journalist whose work requires gathering information through public contacts.
4) Participant in community action programs who performs work such as volunteer teaching or counseling.
5) Building guard, prison guard, institutional police, or similar position that requires learning regulations and dealing with people.
6) Customer relations work that requires the applicant to obtain accurate information, make logical determinations, and resolve practical problems.
For the GS-7 slot: Specialized Experience (for positions ABOVE GS-5): EXPERIENCE in law enforcement or other responsible work that demonstrated the ability to:
Make arrests and exercise sound judgment in the use of firearms.
Deal effectively with individuals or groups of persons in a courteous, tactful manner in connection with law enforcement matters.
Analyze information rapidly and make prompt decisions or take prompt and appropriate law enforcement action in light of applicable laws, court decisions, and sound law enforcement procedures.
Develop and maintain contact with a network of informants.
These abilities may have been gained in work such as:
1) Inspection of persons and their records to determine their eligibility to enter the United States under immigration laws. (i.e. a CBP Officer/INS Inspector)
2) Correctional or rehabilitation work involving criminal offenders, or residents in public or private institutions.
4) Criminal investigation, police officer, or other law enforcement work that required the ability to plan and conduct investigations, plan and make arrests, serve court orders, use firearms, and deal with people in a persuasive, tactful, and resourceful manner.