Version 1, July 15, 2022
General Information/Regulatory Information
- What is the external assessment referred to as “PANS” that is being used to screen candidates for positions?
The Performance Assessment Network System (PANS) is a platform maintained by Monster Government Solutions, FLETC’s recruitment system. Monster’s PANS is one of the assessment options offered to hiring managers. FLETC’s labor organization, NTEU Chapter 338, was advised on November 4, 2021, that FLETC would use the PANS assessment tool to maintain compliance with Executive Order (EO) 13932, Modernizing and Reforming the Assessment and Hiring of Federal Job Candidates, which was issued on June 26, 2020 and to maintain compliance with OPM implementing guidance. Implementing OPM guidance requires agencies to use competency-based hiring practices, including assessments and a multiple-hurdle process for assessing and identifying highly skilled talent. FLETC managers may choose to utilize PANS as one of at least two pre-certification assessment hurdles for supervisory and non-supervisory positions in the competitive service.
- When did FLETC implement PANS?
Per EO 13932, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) guidance on “Determining Qualifications and the Use of Assessment Tools When Filling Positions” was issued with implementation guidelines and a deadline for compliance with the EO requirements by December 31, 2022. FLETC published the first job opportunity announcement using PANS on February 8, 2022.
- What website is the PANS housed on?
The PANS is housed in the Monster Government Solutions platform.
- What is the genesis of PANS and how has it been validated? Why did FLETC select PANS to assist it in fulfilling the requirements of the EO?
PANS consists of two different assessment batteries – non-supervisory and supervisory. The test battery validation relies on a content validity approach, stemming from Monster.Gov job analysis studies and publicly available data.
The sources for the Non-Supervisory occupational data include 30+ studies across 11 Cabinet-level agencies. The studies also are supported by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Multipurpose Occupational Systems Analysis Inventory (MOSAIC), the OPM Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Competency Model, OPM HR University, and the Department of Labor Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS)
The sources for the Supervisory occupational data include prior Monster.Gov job analysis results from 16+ studies across 8 Cabinet-level agencies. The studies also are supported by the OPM Leadership and Supervisory Competency Models, OPM Management Effectiveness Inventory, Leadership Competency Inventory (Penn State University), and various agency-specific leadership competency models.
- What is the benefit of using the PANS?
Assessments like the PANS help to eliminate bias in hiring decisions by providing consistent, unbiased information about each candidate. This assessment also helps to ensure that the applicants have the necessary skills for the position for which they are applying.
- What positions will FLETC use the PANS assessment for?
FLETC may use the PANS assessment for all positions except those in the excepted service, those filled through non-competitive appointments.
- Does the use of the PANS assessment change any veterans’ preference rules?
No. Veterans' preference remains in effect, when applicable to the recruitment, i.e., when the position recruited is open to all U.S. citizens using delegated examining authority. Applicants must complete an occupational questionnaire and the PANS assessment attaining a combined minimum score in order for veterans’ preference rules to apply.
- What is the deadline for applicants to complete the PANS assessment for a job vacancy announcement?
The PANS assessment must be completed by 11:59:59 p.m. of the night the announcement closes. FLETC strongly recommends applicants allow themselves sufficient time before the application closes to complete this requirement.
- How much time are applicants given to take the PANS?
For non-supervisory positions:
The non-supervisor testing battery has 4 sections, of which 3 are timed (5 minutes each). There are approximately 250 items on the assessment, and it generally takes about an hour of time to complete the assessment.
For supervisory positions:
The supervisory testing battery has 3 sections, 1 of which is timed (45 minutes). There are approximately 225 items on the assessment, and it generally takes an hour and a half of time to complete the assessment.
- What does the PANS evaluate applicants on?
For non-supervisory positions:
The non-supervisory testing battery measures competencies in the following areas: Oral Communication, Writing, Interpersonal Skills, Problem Solving, Teamwork, Technology Orientation, Customer Service, Attention to Detail, and Self-Management.
For supervisory positions:
The supervisory testing battery measures competencies in the following areas: Oral Communication, Interpersonal Skills, Problem Solving, Decision Making, Customer Service, Leadership, Planning and Evaluating, Influencing/Negotiating, Strategic Thinking, and Human Capital Management.
- Can applicants log out of the PANS assessment and complete it later?
Yes, although it is not recommended. Applicants can log out of the assessment and log back in to complete it later. Monster automatically saves the applicant’s PANS progress every 60 seconds. If you need to get out of the assessment for whatever reason, you will be taken back to the last place and time you were in the assessment. NOTE: Stepping away from your computer without logging out will not stop the clock for the timed sections of the assessment.
- How are PANS records maintained?
Monster Government Solutions populates the scores and maintains them within the Monster system, electronically. Application records are maintained for at least 3 years, in accordance with the Delegated Examining Operations Handbook Records Retention and Disposition Schedule.
Assessment Questions and Scoring
- How are applicants scored when they apply for a FLETC position using the PANS?
Applicants will be rated based on their occupational questionnaire self-assessment, and if they receive a score of 85 or higher, will be offered the opportunity to complete the PANS assessment. The PANS is NOT pass/fail. Once the applicant completes the PANS, a Total Score will be computed by the Monster system. If the Total Score (Occupational Questionnaire and PANS) is 70.0 or higher, then the applicant’s application may proceed forward to the next step, which is potential qualifications and eligibility review and potential referral to the hiring manager for further consideration.
- What are some of the questions the PANS asks applicants?
The PANS is a “standardized testing battery” that measures candidates; competencies, including oral and written communication, interpersonal skills, problem solving, teamwork, technology orientation, customer service, attention to detail, and self-management. The questions in the PANS tool are proprietary. FLETC does not craft questions used in the tool. Below are a couple of sample questions to give you an idea of what to expect.
Sample Question 1:
Sample Question 2:
- How do I know when I’ve completed and submitted the PANS?
Upon completion of each testing battery, the applicant is prompted to move to the next battery until all sections are completed. Once they have finished all the testing batteries, they will receive the following message.
After completing the assessments, you must return to the application in your browser to COMPLETE your application. You WILL NOT be considered for the position you are applying for if you fail to finish the assessment OR fail to submit your application before the announcement closing date. Applicants can check their application status in USAJobs, which will re-direct them to Monster, to ensure the “External Assessment” (aka PANS) was completed. From the screen below, you will click the NEXT button to proceed through the application process to REVIEW AND SUBMIT your application.
- How can I find out how well I did on the PANS assessment?
After the job vacancy announcement closes, applicants will receive an email stating their total combined score of the occupational assessment and the PANS. If you want to know more about the breakdown of the scores beyond the overall score, you may contact the servicing HR Specialist identified on the job vacancy announcement. NOTE: We can only tell you how you scored overall on the occupational questionnaire and PANS, respectively. We cannot give a breakdown of the PANS score.
Reasonable Accommodation Process
- What if I need more time to complete the PANS?
The portions of the PANS that are timed are limited to the timeframes outlined above. Therefore, applicants are not given additional time for the timed portions of the PANS unless they make a reasonable accommodation request in advance of commencing the PANS assessment via the process outlined below. If you have a documented disability that warrants the need for additional time, you are given an opportunity to identify that an accommodation is needed. You will see two places that allow for you to identify that an accommodation is needed. The screen below is a sample of what you will see when you are invited to take the PANS. The third paragraph with bullets explains the Reasonable Accommodation process.
Once you click the “TAKE ONLINE ASSESSMENT” button, you are then taken into the PANS assessment. The next screen you see will be the following screen:
Once you fill out the form, click Submit. NOTE: Do not include Personally Identifiable Information (PII) in this form. Monster will receive your request and that will then be submitted to the FLETC Human Capital Office (HCO) for the servicing Human Resources (HR) Specialist to contact you in order to obtain your supporting documentation to verify the validity of your request. You must submit supporting documentation to support a medical or non-medical reasonable accommodation. The information will then be submitted to the FLETC Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Office for their review approval of the request for a reasonable accommodation.
If approved, generally your request will extend the time you have to complete the timed portions of the assessment but will neither exclude you from having to complete the assessment, nor extend the amount of time that the job announcement is open to you. If you apply for a reasonable accommodation, you must complete the rest of the application and submit it prior to the job announcement closing date.
- Are people with disabilities required to use the PANS to apply for FLETC jobs?
Yes. When the candidate is invited to take the PANS assessment, the platform offers an option for requesting a reasonable accommodation. The candidate is then routed to the accommodation process. Additionally, the FLETC job vacancy announcement provides instructions on requesting reasonable accommodation when applying for a FLETC position.
- What is the procedure for disabled candidates needing assistance when taking tests?
FLETC job announcements offer information about the Reasonable Accommodation process and directions for assistance, if needed. If a candidate requests an accommodation for the PANS, the request is submitted to FLETC HCO and then routed to the FLETC EEO Office for review and determination on the accommodation.