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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Become a PMF

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As a Finalist, you are in the final stages of becoming a PMF. Now, with your Finalist status, you're eligible to be appointed to a PMF appointment in a participating agency after:

  1. You complete all advanced degree requirements before starting a PMF position,
  2. You meet the qualifications of the PMF position, and
  3. You complete any background investigation required by the hiring agency.

The Finalist's appointment eligibility period expires 12 months after the date Finalists are officially announced. For example, Finalists for the PMF Class of 2016 were selected on February 24, 2016, and they have until February 24, 2017, to be appointed to a PMF position. Finalists for the PMF Class of 2017 were selected on January 11, 2017, and they have until January 11, 2018, to be appointed to a PMF position. This means the Finalist must have accepted and started a PMF appointment by the appointment eligibility deadline.

Placement Eligibility

To be eligible for placement as a Fellow with a participating Federal agency, Finalists must complete all advanced degree requirements (including any required thesis/dissertation) by August 31st of the year following the application period, or earlier, to start a PMF appointment. If a Finalist does not complete their advanced degree requirements on or before August 31st, he/she will be ineligible for placement in an agency as a PMF and will lose their status as a Finalist. Hiring agencies have the responsibility to confirm placement eligibility and may request a transcript. Eligibility for a PMF appointment will end 12 months from the date that Finalists are officially announced. The PMF Program does not allow for extensions/deferrals when a Finalist does not complete the degree requirements by the deadline.

Throughout the appointment eligibility period, we will send broadcast emails to all current Finalists to check their status and ensure our records are up to date. The Finalists' Status Email will ask if they: (1) accepted a PMF appointment from an agency, (2) have already accepted a PMF appointment and physically onboard with the appointing agency, or (3) requesting withdrawal from further consideration.

For the PMF Class of 2016, PMF STEM Finalists are only eligible for PMF STEM positions (as determined by the hiring agency) and PMF Finalists are only eligible for PMF Finalist positions (not those positions designated as PMF STEM). Effective with the selection of 2017 Finalists, the PMF Program Office has discontinued the PMF STEM Track Pilot.

Next Steps

Photo of job fair

You now have to get hired into a PMF position, pass a background investigation, and go through the agency's on-boarding process. It can take several weeks to pass a Federal background investigation and/or obtain a security clearance (if applicable). Because you'll want to have as much control as possible over when you start your PMF position, it is important to plan ahead. Finalists should:

  1. Review this entire webpage and FAQs.
  2. Start collecting information for the background investigation (see additional information below).
  3. Check for PMF appointment opportunities in the PMF TMS (Talent Management System). Participating Federal agencies will post appointment opportunities when available. Please check the PMF TMS often (see below).

Typically a number of opportunities are posted around the time Finalists are selected and officially announced. Finalists should monitor the PMF TMS for new opportunities and contact Agency PMF Coordinators for any opportunities.

Since many agencies typically hire towards the end of a fiscal year or beginning of a new one (October 1st), additional appointment opportunities may become available.

Finalists should log into their applicant user account under the Apply Site of the PMF TMS at to search for appointment opportunities. Only current Finalists can access and view appointment opportunities. Finalists should not confuse appointment opportunities with rotational and training opportunities. Rotational and training opportunities are intended for current Fellows only.

Agency PMF Coordinators

Each participating Federal agency identifies an Agency PMF Coordinator who manages the PMF Program at the agency level and who serves as a liaison between the agency and the PMF Program Office; not all Federal agencies participate in the PMF Program

To view the current list of Agency PMF Coordinators, go to the Apply Site at and click on the "Coordinators" button.

Updating Your Contact Info

All communications are conducted by email. Both current Finalists and Fellows maintain their current contact information by logging into their applicant user account under the Apply Site of the PMF TMS (Talent Management System). Upon appointment as a Fellow, the Agency PMF Coordinator from the appointing agency must update your appointment and work contact information.

Updating Your Resume and Application Documents

Once the application period closes, the applicant cannot update or upload any additional documents (e.g., revised resume). Finalists may send updated resumes and/or new supporting documents directly to respective Agency PMF Coordinators or contact identified in the appointment opportunity. Finalists should follow the instructions in the appointment opportunity on what documents to submit to the posting agency for consideration.

Since the original resume and application documents are used to determine eligibility until selection of Finalists, these remain intact. Federal agencies will be able to search by several criteria collected during the application process (e.g., languages, degrees/disciplines, type of degree, academic institution, veterans' preference, skills, and preferred geographic location) once the function becomes available.

If a Finalist has a change to their claim for veterans' preference (e.g., updated supporting documentation), he/she should send an email to the PMF Program Office, along with a copy of the updated documents. We will review and re-adjudicate accordingly.

When a Finalist accepts a PMF appointment offer, the appointing agency's Human Resources Office is responsible for validating a Finalists' transcript to ensure all degree requirements have been met before the Finalist can physically start their appointment as a PMF (commonly referred to as onboarding).

Preparing for a Background Investigation

These investigations can be lengthy and may require you to provide extensive information regarding your background. The most common Standard Form (SF) used by agencies is the SF 85, Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions. You are highly encouraged to review this form and start collecting the requested data ahead of time so that you are prepared just in case. Some Federal agencies require agency-specific forms for this purpose; if this is the case, they will inform you. Common forms can be found under the Resources section.

All new hires into the Federal Government must complete some level of a background investigation before being issued government identification and/or starting employment (e.g., the Personal Identity Verification (PIV) Smart Card Program, commonly used by agencies as identification issued to access the building and networks). If you are offered an appointment, the appointing agency's human resources office will send you the necessary paperwork and instructions. The PMF Program Office does not initiate or perform such investigations.

It is common for background investigations to be longer than normal for those with any overseas activity (e.g., attended school overseas, resided overseas, military stationed overseas, etc.).

Depending upon the circumstance, it is possible that prior background investigations will not transfer from one Federal agency to another and many agencies have unique requirements.

Upon Appointment

Once a Finalist accepts an appointment, he/she is encouraged to complete the OPM Form 1306, PMF Appointment Intake Form. This optional form is used by Finalists, Fellows, and Agency PMF Coordinators upon Finalists accepting their initial appointment or Finalists/Fellows needing to update their appointment information. The form collects basic appointment information for updating the PMF TMS (e.g., anticipated start date, position title, job series, grade level, agency/sub-agency, or name and email address of supervisor).

Finalists are encouraged to immediately fill out the form and submit to the PMF Program Office and Agency PMF Coordinator of the appointing agency upon formal acceptance of a PMF appointment job offer. The form can be found under the Become A PMF\Resources section.

Based on this information, the Finalist's status will be updated in the PMF TMS. Your status as a Finalist changes to a Fellow once you accept or start your appointment and/or when the hiring agency records your appointment in the PMF TMS. Once a Finalist is recorded as accepting a PMF appointment and the appointment information is recorded in the PMF TMS, he/she will no longer have access to search for "appointment" opportunities.

Appointment Eligibility Extensions

Hiring agencies may formally request an appointment eligibility extension for a Finalist who (1) has been made a tentative PMF appointment offer AND accepted the offer, but cannot onboard as a PMF by the applicable appointment eligibility deadline, or (2) to a Finalist who applied for an advertised PMF appointment opportunity and the agency has not conducted interviews or made tentative job offers prior to the appointment eligibility period deadline.

If the PMF Program Office approves such a request, the extension is only valid for that Finalist and the agency making the request. If, for whatever reason, the requesting agency rescinds the offer, the extended Finalist will lose further consideration if the appointment eligibility deadline has passed. The Finalist must still meet eligibility and the position's qualifications. Only one approved extension is allowed per Finalist.

A Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) on this topic for Finalists appears under the Become a PMF\FAQs section and for agencies under the Agencies\FAQs section. The OPM Form 1305, PMF Appointment Eligibility Extension Request Form, can be found under the Agencies\Resources section.

Visit the next section to view information on the Hiring Event.

UPDATED:  07-17-2017