6.213.1 Employment in the Excepted Service

Manual Transmittal

September 14, 2022


(1) This transmits revised IRM 6.213.1, Employment in the Excepted Service.

(2) IRM 6.213.1 provides Servicewide policy, standards, requirements and guidance relating to the administration of employment in the excepted service. This IRM must be read and interpreted in accordance with pertinent law, Governmentwide regulations, Treasury Human Resources Directives and applicable case law. All previous official Internal Revenue Service (IRS) policy, guidance, requirements and authorities formerly contained in memoranda, guides and other documents are incorporated into this IRM, if current and applicable.

(3) For employees in bargaining unit positions covered by collective bargaining agreements, such as Document 11678, National Agreement - IRS and National Treasury Employees Union, should any of the policies in this IRM conflict with a provision of a Collective Bargaining Agreement, the National Agreement prevails.

Material Changes

(1) IRM – Added Program Scope and Objectives, Background, Roles and Responsibilities, Acronyms and Terms and Definitions to address internal controls in accordance with IRM

(2) IRM – Added language from 5 CFR 213 clarifying the trial period for an Excepted Service appointment and aligned with IRM 6.335.1

(3) IRM – Changed names of Divisions in HCO, Employment, Talent and Security Division (ETS), Employment Office to the following:

  1. Program Execution Office (PEO)

  2. HCO, Talent Acquisition (TA) Employment Office

(4) IRM - Removed section that addressed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

(5) IRM - Changed Equal Employment Office and Diversity (EEOD) to Office of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) and updated web links to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM)

(6) IRM - Updated web links to the OPM

(7) IRM - Added language from ALERT 335-45 to clarify that Excepted Service appointments do not convey status and Schedule A employees are not eligible to compete under merit promotion procedures through an internal or status job announcement

(8) IRM - Added 5 CFR 213 reference to clarify time spent in appointment that is creditable towards the two-year trial period

(9) IRM - Added reference to secure SharePoint site and other electronic storage methods

(10) IRM - Added section which addresses positions for which a critical hiring need exists

(11) IRM - Removed sections covering student programs now covered in IRM 6.362.1 Pathways Programs. This policy excludes Pathways Programs Schedule D which can be found in Treasury 362 Transmittal No. 13-001 and IRM 6.362.1 Pathways Programs.

(12) IRM - Removed exhibits to be used with student programs covered in IRM 6.362.1 Pathways Programs

(13) IRM - Removed section covering hiring Attorneys in Excepted Service. Chief Counsel decision dated 10/18/2019, prohibits IRS from filling vacancies in the 0905 job series on a permanent basis.

(14) IRM - Removed attorney acknowledgement of being converted to Excepted Service appointments that do not convey competitive status

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 6.213.1, Employment in the Excepted Service, dated November 6, 2009 is superseded


All business units and functions

Effective Date


Kevin Q. McIver
IRS Human Capital Officer

Scope and Objectives

  1. Purpose. This IRM provides guidance and requirements for excepted service positions in the IRS by:

    1. Describing the hiring policies for Excepted Service

    2. Establishing standards and procedures for hiring applicants with Excepted Service appointments

    3. Recommending IRM resources and other IRM sections for Pathways and student hiring programs

  2. Audience. These procedures apply to IRS employees who are responsible for hiring with Excepted Service appointments not included in the Pathways Program

    1. HCO

    2. OHRO

    3. TA

  3. Policy Owner. IRS Human Capital Office (HCO), Office of HR Strategy (OHRS), Policy & Audits Office (PA)

  4. Program Owner. HCO, Office of Human Resources Operations (OHRO), Program Execution Office (PEO), Talent Acquisition (TA)

  5. Primary Stakeholders. HCO, OHRO, TA, PEO and Strategic Talent Analytics and Recruitment Solutions (STARS) Division


  1. This IRM is part of the Servicewide effort to provide IRS Human Resource practitioners with the most current policies and procedures from the HCO, PA.

  2. It has been a long-standing policy of the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) and the IRS that the requirements for employment in the excepted service are normally the same as the OPM requirements for employment in the competitive service. Written tests required for competitive appointments are waived for appointments in the excepted service. Within both the competitive and excepted service, the requirements for positions under the General Schedule are also applicable to positions under other pay plans, with the exception of positions under the Federal Wage System.


  1. Laws:https://uscode.house.gov/

    1. 5 USC 2103, The Excepted Service at: https://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=(title:5%20section:2103%20edition:prelim)

    2. 5 USC 3101, General Authority to Employ at: https://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=(title:5%20section:3101%20edition:prelim)

    3. 5 USC 3320, Excepted Service, Government of the District of Columbia at: https://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=(title:5%20section:3320%20edition:prelim)

    4. 29 USC 791, Employment of Individuals with Disabilities at: https://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=(title:29%20section:791%20edition:prelim)

    5. 42 USC 12101, Findings and Purpose at: https://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=(title:42%20section:12101%20edition:prelim)

    6. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, later amended by Public Law No. 110-325 at: https://uscode.house.gov/statutes/pl/101/336.pdf

  2. Public Laws: https://www.congress.gov/

    1. Public Law No. 93-112, as amended, Rehabilitation Act of 1973 at: https://www.congress.gov/bill/93rd-congress/house-bill/8070/text

    2. Public Law No. 95-602, Section 505, as amended at: https://www.congress.gov/bill/95th-congress/house-bill/12467/text

    3. Public Law No. 110-325, ADA Amendments Act of 2008 at: https://www.congress.gov/bill/110th-congress/senate-bill/3406/text

  3. Regulations: https://www.ecfr.gov

    1. 5 CFR 213, Excepted Service at: https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-5/part-213

    2. 5 CFR 302, Employment in the Excepted Service at: https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-5/part-302

    3. 5 CFR 315, Career and Career-Conditional Employment at: https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-5/part-315

    4. 5 CFR 351.502, Order of Retention - Excepted Service at: https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-5/part-351

    5. 5 CFR 362, Pathways Programs at: https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-5/part-362

    6. 5 CFR 752, Adverse Actions at: https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-5/part-752

  4. Other:

    1. OPM’s Qualification Standard Handbook at: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/

    2. Treasury Chapter 302 Transmittal No. TN-14-002 dated April 30, 2014 Excepted Service Employment at: https://my.treas.gov/Collab/dashr/supportdocs/Treasury%27s%20Excepted%20Service%20Employment.pdf

    3. Executive Order 13163, dated July 26, 2000, increasing the Opportunity for Individuals with Disabilities to Be Employed in the Federal Government at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2000/07/28/00-19322/increasing-the-opportunity-for-individuals-with-disabilities-to-be-employed-in-the-federal

    4. Executive Order 13164, dated July 26, 2000, Requiring Federal Agencies to Establish Procedures to Facilitate the Provision of Reasonable Accommodation at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2000/07/28/00-19323/requiring-federal-agencies-to-establish-procedures-to-facilitate-the-provision-of-reasonable

    5. Executive Order 13172, dated October 25, 2000, Amendment to Executive Order 13078, To Expand the Role of the National Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities to Include a Focus on Youth at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2000/10/27/00-27892/amendment-to-executive-order-13078-to-expand-the-role-of-the-national-task-force-on-employment-of

    6. Presidential Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1978, later incorporated into Executive Order 12067 at: https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/codification/executive-order/12067.html


  1. HCO, OHRS, PA, is responsible for:

    1. Policy development and oversight for this IRM and advising customers on Human Resources policy

    2. Issuing Servicewide policy guidance and interim guidance when appropriate

    3. Coordinating Servicewide communications and reports to Treasury on the placement programs detailed herein

    4. Approving all exceptions to the programs that are not otherwise governed by statute or regulation

  2. HCO, OHRO, PEO, is responsible for:

    1. Policy application and compliance with this IRM

    2. Ensuring vacancy announcements contain appropriate language for excepted appointments

    3. Serving as the primary point of contact for hiring managers

    4. Obtaining clarification from PA on policy guidance and program requirements as needed

    5. Initiating and coordinating the IRS Affirmative Action Plan for the employment of persons with disabilities with the HCO, TA, STARS, Employment Office, EDI, and Treasury.


  1. The following tables provide terms and acronyms contained in this IRM:

    Defined Terms

    Term Definition
    Excepted Appointment An appointment that is excepted from competitive federal service and does not convey competitive status
    Personally Identifiable Information Information that identifies a individual person which could be used in a negative manner. Example of this are: full name, address, phone number, social security number
    Qualification Requirements A set of standards specific to the job being performed identified by the Office of Personnel Management
    Reasonable Accommodation A change in normal business process that allows applicants and employees with disabilities to efficiently apply for and perform the duties of their positions


    Acronym Definition
    EDI Office of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
    HCO Human Capital Office
    IRS Internal Revenue Service
    OPM Office of Personnel Management
    OHRO Office of Human Resource Operations
    OHRS Office of Human Resource Strategy
    PA Policy & Audits
    PEO Program Execution Office
    SPC Special Placement Coordinator

Positions in the Excepted Service

  1. 5 USC 2103 defines excepted service as "those civil service positions which are not in the competitive service or the Senior Executive Service." An excepted position is one that has been removed from the competitive service and, therefore, may be filled without regard to the OPM competitive examining procedures.

  2. OPM retains the authority to determine whether the duties and requirements of any particular position justify exception from the competitive service. OPM will authorize the position to be filled by excepted appointment under Schedule A, B, C or D. Unless otherwise specified in a particular appointing authority, IRS may make Schedule A, B, C or D appointments on either a permanent or non-permanent basis, with any appropriate work schedule (i.e., full-time, part-time, seasonal, on-call or intermittent).

  3. There are two ways positions are excepted from competitive service:

    1. OPM

    2. Appointment of incumbent

Trial Period for Excepted Service Appointments

  1. Applicants selected under an excepted appointment will be required to serve a two-year trial period under 5 CFR 213.3102(u)(6), unless Executive Order or regulation authorizing the appointment specifies a shorter trial period. The trial period is an assessment period that provides managers the opportunity to evaluate an appointee’s performance and conduct on the job to determine the fitness of employee for continued employment in the IRS.

  2. Time spent on the excepted appointment counts toward the probationary period and/or career tenure if converted to a career or career-conditional appointment in the competitive service per 5 CFR 213.3102(u)(6). Time spent on a temporary appointment, as specified in 5 CFR 213.3102(u)(6), does not count towards the two-year requirement if the work is of a temporary nature.


  1. The HCO, OHRO, PEO, and TA are responsible for ensuring that the vacancy announcement contains trial period information specific to the position and type of appointment.

    1. Applicants selected under an excepted appointment will be required to serve a two-year trial period, unless otherwise specified by regulation

    2. Applicants appointed under the Veterans' Recruitment Appointment or Persons with Disabilities hiring authorities will be required to serve a two-year trial period

Employment of Persons with Disabilities

  1. This program is governed by the following:

    • United States Code: 29 USC 791, 5 USC 2103, 5 USC 3101, 5 USC 3320

    • Code of Federal Regulations: 5 CFR 213, 5 CFR 302, 5 CFR 315, 5 CFR 351, 5 CFR 752

    • Public Law No. 93-112, Public Law No. 95-602

    • The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, The Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, The Rehabilitation Act of 1973

    • Executive Order 12144, Executive Order 13078, Executive Order 13163, and Executive Order 13164

  2. The first formal policy statement on the employment of person with disabilities came in a letter from President Eisenhower to the heads of agencies in May 1957. Since 1957 additional policy statements and executive orders have been issued and public laws passed to encourage and promote employment of persons with disabilities. Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in federal employment and requires the federal government to engage in affirmative action for people with disabilities.

  3. On July 26, 2000, Executive Order 13163 was issued to increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities at all levels and occupations in the federal government. The voluntary Standard Form 256, Self-Identification of Disability, available on OPM's website at: https://www.opm.gov/forms/ is currently the only method for tracking individuals with disabilities. Treasury has created a template cover notice to be attached to the Standard Form 256. This Treasury cover notice and Standard Form 256 must be filed in the entrance on duty packages for new hires. See Exhibit 6.213.1-1 for cover notice.

    1. The completion of the Standard Form 256 by the applicant is voluntary and HCO, Employment Offices should encourage the applicant to complete the form for data collection purposes.

  4. Completion of Standard Form 256 is mandatory when appointments are made under 5 CFR 213.3102(u), Schedule A.

  5. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 provide policy guidance and standards for establishing and maintaining effective affirmative programs of equal employment opportunity. These acts are incorporated into 29 USC 791.

Reasonable Accommodation for Applicants

  1. EDI is responsible for assisting HCO, Employment Offices with reasonable accommodation requests to allow applicants and employees with disabilities to efficiently apply for and perform the duties of their positions.

  2. The legal framework that supports and encourages the employment, retention, and advancement of people with disabilities is discussed on the OPM website, Policy, Data, Oversight - Disability Employment at: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/disability-employment/

Roles and Responsibilities

  1. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was given authority over equal employment enforcement in the federal government by Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1978, later incorporated into Executive Order 12144 dated June 22, 1979.

  2. The role of the OPM is to promote the hiring, placement, and advancement of disabled individuals and rehabilitated offenders throughout the federal sector. Additionally, OPM furnishes direction, guidance, and technical support to agency heads, directors of human resources, and personnel officers in their selective placement program activities. OPM maintains a website devoted to disability employment at: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/disability-employment/.

  3. The OHRO has responsibility for hiring programs associated with the Disability Program. The Director, TA is responsible for initiating and coordinating the IRS Affirmative Action Plan for the employment of persons with disabilities with the HCO, TA, Employment Office, EDI, and Treasury.

  4. A Special Placement Coordinator (SPC) is located in HCO, TA. SPC’s are advocates for Schedule A hiring and should be the first contact for the hiring managers when filling positions under the Schedule A appointing authority. SPC duties are collateral. The names of all SPC’s and their contact information are posted on the internal HCO website at: http://hco.web.irs.gov/recruitstaff/ETS/EmploymentOps/Contact/EO-Contacts.shtml or contact can be made with HCO, STARS.

  5. The SPC will:

    1. Maintain an active inventory of resumes from applicants with disabilities by consulting with his/her local resources (e.g., local colleges and universities, local Vocational Rehabilitation Service providers, the Employer Assistance & Recruiting Network, the Department of Labor, Lighthouse for the Blind, etc.)

    2. Actively participate in local outreach services with the disability community to encourage applicants to apply for IRS vacancies

    3. Coordinate with EDI to meet with Disability Counselors to educate on reasonable accommodation on the job requirements

    4. Work with management throughout the hiring process when recruiting under the Schedule A authority

    5. Oversee the program regarding policy and conversion requirements

    6. Correspond with Schedule A applicants

    7. Maintain an awareness of all vacancy announcements for the timely referral of applicants

    8. Perform qualification determinations, certify and refer Schedule A applicants to selecting officials

    9. Coordinate fingerprinting, tax check, and accession with candidate and selecting official

    10. Monitor program and case files to identify employees who tentatively meet conversion requirements and work with management when a determination is made that an employee should be converted to a competitive appointment

    11. Secure preliminary documentation (proof of disability and certification of readiness)

    12. Perform qualification determinations on Schedule A applicants applying through an avenue outside of United States of America Staffing (USA Staffing) Program

    13. Verifies proof of employment eligibility while keeping all documents confidential

    14. Work with the appropriate manager and/or Reasonable Accommodations/Accessibility Coordinator(s) to make sure the necessary accommodations are provided for any part of the interviewing/hiring process

  6. Managers will:

    1. Consult with their servicing SPC regarding opportunities to use the Schedule A authority to fill their vacancies whenever possible. They will provide information about the position such as the position description, grade level, and competencies.

    2. Review resumes, conduct interviews, and make selections. If there is no job match with any of the Schedule A applicants, the competitive process may be used to fill the vacancy.

    3. Contact HCO, TA, Employment Office to extend the tentative offer of employment. Once the candidate accepts the tentative job offer, a final start date is not established until pre-employment process has been completed. This may require coordination with the SPC and HCO, TA, Employment Office.

    4. Work with EDI or the SPC to assist with accommodation needs

    5. Ensure that the accommodation needs are in place on the employee’s first day


  1. An applicant with a disability may be appointed non-competitively to a permanent or a temporary position, under the Schedule A appointing authority (An open announcement is not required). The Schedule A is a special appointing authority for persons with disabilities. Proof of an applicant’s disability is required prior to making an appointment under this authority.

  2. To be eligible for these noncompetitive, Schedule A appointments, applicants must meet the definition for being disabled contained in 5 CFR 213.3102(u), and provide the following:

    1. Documentation of the disability listed in 5 CFR 213.3102(u). Such documentation is used to verify the candidate has an intellectual disability, severe physical disability or psychiatric disability. This documentation must be provided to the Employment Office Schedule A (Persons with Disabilities) Coordinator prior to consideration for employment. Documentation of eligibility for employment under Schedule A can be obtained from one of the following sources: a licensed medical professional (i.e., a physician or other medical professional certified by a state, the District of Columbia or a U.S. territory to practice medicine), a licensed vocational rehabilitation specialist (i.e., State or Private), or any federal agency, state agency, or agency of the District of Columbia or a US territory that issues or provides disability benefits.

    2. The documentation provided needs to contain language specific to eligibility under Schedule A. A sample of a Schedule A documentation can be found on OPM’s website at: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/disability-employment/getting-a-job/sampleschedaletters.pdf

  3. Management may utilize a temporary appointment to observe the applicant on the job to determine whether the applicant is capable of performing the duties of the position. When this option is used, the hiring manager may convert the applicant to a permanent appointment when it has been determined that the individual is able to perform the duties of the position as demonstrated in 5 CFR 213.3102(u)(5).

Promotion and Reassignment

  1. Applicants who are selected for positions under Schedule A must meet the qualification requirements for the position and be able to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodations. Per 5 CFR 213.101, all appointments in the excepted service are specifically excepted from competitive service and they do not confer competitive status. Therefore, Schedule A employees are not eligible to compete under merit promotion procedures through internal or status announcements. These employees may request non-competitive consideration for a position they qualify for by contacting their manager who coordinates with the Employment Office Schedule A Coordinator.

  2. Disabled employees may be promoted and reassigned to positions for which they are qualified. There are no special procedures as in the initial appointment procedure, for promotions and reassignments of disabled employees.

  3. Employees have the option to request consideration for placement into a position for which they qualify using Schedule A authority for placement. To do this, a request is made by the employee to their manager and/or through the SPC.

    1. Per 5 CFR 213 , Schedule A Disability Appointments are in the Excepted Service and they do not confer competitive status. Therefore, Schedule A employees are not eligible to compete under merit promotion procedures via an internal announcement. Schedule A employees may request noncompetitive consideration for a position they qualify for by contacting their manager who coordinates with the Schedule A SPC.

    2. For an external announcement, the Schedule A applicant is considered with all the competitive applicants. The Schedule A applicant’s application is not flagged or marked as Schedule A. If selected as a Schedule A applicant, they would be selected for a new Schedule A appointment. Per 5 CFR 213.3102(u) , time previously spent under a Schedule A appointment counts toward the completion of the trial period if the person is reappointed without a break in service to the same position. If they applied competitively and are selected as one of the Best Qualified applicants, they would be appointed as a career/career conditional competitive employee.

  4. Disabled employees should make their qualifications and desires for particular positions known to their managers in order to be considered for such internal promotions and reassignments.

  5. Promotion and reassignments for Schedule A disabled employees are considered an alternate method of filling a vacancy.

Conversion to Competitive Status

  1. After two years of successful performance in a permanent position, an employee serving in the excepted service under Schedule A, 5 CFR 213.3102(u), an employee may be non-competitively converted to a career or career-conditional appointment upon the recommendation of his/her supervisor.

  2. Conversion to a competitive appointment is not mandatory. The supervisor should provide in writing, through the appropriate SPC, substantive justification for not recommending conversion of an employee who has demonstrated successful job performance. See 5 CFR 315.709 for guidance.

  3. Time spent on a temporary appointment may not be credited towards the two-year trial period requirement according to 5 CFR 213.3102(u)(6).

  4. Upon notification from the SPC, the Business Unit is responsible for initiating the Personnel Action Request to convert or terminate the employee. The effective date of the action must be current; conversion actions are not to be processed with retroactive effective dates.

Case Files/Medical Documentation

  1. All disability and medical documentation for appointments must be maintained in a confidential manner in HCO, TA, Employment Offices. This material is not to be included or placed in the individual's Official Personnel Folder or medical folder. The documentation is considered confidential by virtue of the medical records and other sensitive information and must be stored in a secure manner on a SharePoint or other electronic site. Since these records are collected solely for the purpose of Schedule A, 5 CFR 213.3102(u) appointments, the records are not to be used for any other purpose and should be maintained for two years after conversion.

    1. Hiring managers should not be involved in requesting the certification of disability documentation, nor should managers have access to it, as medical documentation must be kept strictly confidential.

  2. Case files are to be established and maintained by the Employment Office for each applicant who is considered for a Schedule A appointment. At a minimum, the case file must contain the following information:

    1. Position Description

    2. Resume of the applicant

    3. Proof of disability

    4. Temporary appointment information (if employee was placed on one)

Reporting Requirements

  1. Annual reporting is required by Treasury for disability hiring. The Business Unit's accomplishments under the Disability Program are reported in the Service’s Disabled Veterans Affirmative Action Program annual report. HCO, PEO is responsible for preparing the annual report and forwarding to EDI. EDI manages the information received and includes successes, deficiencies, participation rates, advancement, and retention of individuals with targeted disabilities in their Management Directive 715 Annual Report.

Positions for Which Critical Hiring Need Exists

  1. This includes both short-term positions (e.g., 30 day temporary hires at the Campus to meet filling season needs) and continuing positions that an agency must fill on an interim bases pending completion of competitive examining, clearances or other procedures required for a longer appointment.

  2. Per 5 CFR 213.3102(i)(2), appointments may not exceed 30 days and may be extended for up to an additional 30 days if continued employment is essential to the agency’s operations.

  3. Appointments may not be used to extend the service limit of any other appointing authority.

  4. An agency may not employ the same individual under this authority for more than 60 days in any 12 month period.

Attachment to Standard Form 256 - Self Identification of Disability


The Department of Treasury has established a goal to increase employment opportunities for qualified individuals with disabilities. This goal was established in support of an Executive Order 13163 signed by the President in July 2000 to promote an increase in employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities at all levels and occupations in the federal government.

To assist in meeting this goal, and in order to comply with Office of Personnel Management reporting requirements, we need to collect information on the number of individuals with disabilities we hire. Therefore, we are asking that you consider completing the attached form, Self-Identification of Disability (Standard Form 256 at: https://www.opm.gov/forms/). Completion of this form on your part is voluntary. If completed, it would greatly assist us in ensuring that we meet our goal and have accurate data.

This information will be used only in the production of reports and not for any purposes that will identify individual data. Procedures are in place to ensure that information provided by each employee is kept secure and is known only to the limited number of individuals in the personnel records systems.

The Department continues to be committed to establishing programs that will facilitate the hiring, placement and advancement of individuals with disabilities. Your cooperation in helping us track our success by completing this form will be greatly appreciated.