The position functions as an interdisciplinary team member, assisting physicians and other professional/non-professional personnel in a rehabilitation treatment program. The position functions as a role model by exhibiting competency in personal recovery and use of coping skills and serves as an advocate and provides information and peer support for Veterans in outpatient, inpatient, and/or community settings. To qualify for this position, applicants must meet time-in-grade and specialized experience within 30 days of the closing date of this announcement, 02/14/2023. Time-In-Grade Requirement: Applicants who are current Federal employees and have held a GS grade any time in the past 52 weeks must also meet time-in-grade requirements within 30 days of the closing date of this announcement. For a GS-6 position you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-5. For a GS-7 position you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-6. For a GS-8 position you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-7. For a GS-9 position you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-8. The grade may have been in any occupation, but must have been held in the Federal service. An SF-50 that shows your time-in-grade eligibility must be submitted with your application materials. If the most recent SF-50 has an effective date within the past year, it may not clearly demonstrate you possess one-year time-in-grade, as required by the announcement. In this instance, you must provide an additional SF-50 that clearly demonstrates one-year time-in-grade. Note: Time-In-Grade requirements also apply to former Federal employees applying for reinstatement as well as current employees applying for Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA) appointment. BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR PEER SPECIALISTS, GS-102-6/9: Must be proficient in spoken and written English in accordance with VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Chapter 3, Section A, paragraph 3.j. Statutory Requirements. Section 405 of Public Law 110-387, as codified in 38 U.S.C. 7402(b)(13), established that to be eligible to receive appointment to a Peer Specialist position, a person must: (1) be a veteran who has recovered or is recovering from a mental health condition; and (2) be certified by - (a) a not-for-profit entity engaged in peer specialist training as having met such criteria as the Secretary shall establish for a peer specialist position; or (b) a State as having satisfied relevant State requirements for a peer specialist position. Please note: Peer Specialist certification must be from one of the following sources to qualify: The peer specialist certification training provided to peer support staff members by one of the VHA OMHSP-contracted peer specialist certification training vendors. OR, State-issued peer specialist certification that is active and maintained based on the specific state requirements. OR, Certificate from the Depression Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) Peer Support Specialist Course (74-hour course) offered to the general public that was completed prior to August 1, 2022. OR, Certificate from Recovery Innovations International (RI International or RI Consulting) Certified Peer Support Specialist Training also known as Peer Employment Training (approximately 72-hour course) offered to the general public that was completed prior to August 1, 2022. Please note: Effective August 1, 2022, peer specialist certification training certificates showing a completion date after August 1, 2022 from BDSA/s and RI International's peer specialist certification training courses offered to the general public will not be sufficient to meet the VHA peer specialist certification requirement. Applicants with either of these training certificates will also need to complete the additional steps required to obtain a state-issued peer specialist certification to qualify for employment as a peer specialist in VHA. Length of Experience as a Consumer of Mental Health Recovery Services. Veterans eligible under 38 U.S.C. 7402(b)(13) must have spent a minimum of 1 year in personal recovery from a mental health condition. NOTE: You MUST provide copies of your DD-214 and Peer Specialist Certification with your application package. In addition to the basic requirements, applicants must meet the grade specific experience and/or education requirements as described below: SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE FOR PEER SPECIALISTS: GS-6: One year of specialized experience at the next lower graded level, which involved post-personal mental health recovery experience as a mentor providing support to others in mental health and/or addiction recovery, a recovery advocate directly involved with consumers of mental health services, or equivalent work involving in-person communication to support others in mental health recovery. Your work has been closely monitored including having work checked in progress and reviewing completed work for accuracy, adequacy, and adherence to instructions or procedures. GS-7: One year of specialized experience at the next lower graded level, which involved post-personal mental health recovery experience as a mentor providing support to others in mental health and/or addiction recovery, a recovery advocate directly involved with consumers of mental health services, or equivalent work involving in-person communication to support others in mental health recovery. At this level, routine work has been completed with minimal supervisory oversight and review, however close supervision will have been provided for complex and unusual tasks. GS-8: One year of specialized experience at the next lower graded level, which involved post-personal mental health recovery experience as a mentor providing support to others in mental health and/or addiction recovery, a recovery advocate directly involved with consumers of mental health services, or equivalent work involving in-person communication to support others in mental health recovery. At this level you have the ability to work with general instructions for the performance of routine duties and detailed instructions and/or training in performance of the non-routine functions and special assignments. Non-routine/novel work will have been reviewed by spot checking and after completion to evaluate the adequacy of methods, procedures, results, ability to solve new and changing problems, etc. GS-9: One year of specialized experience at the next lower graded level, which involved post-personal mental health recovery experience as a mentor providing support to others in mental health and/or addiction recovery, a recovery advocate directly involved with consumers of mental health services, or equivalent work involving in-person communication to support others in mental health recovery. At this level work will have been performed with considerable independence and you are responsible for making recommendations to the interdisciplinary treatment team that can be relied on for soundness of judgment and maturity of insight on problem cases. EDUCATION SUBSTITUTION: Please see education section below. You will be rated on the following Competencies for this position: Clinical Data Collection/Documentation Communications Customer Service (Clerical/Technical) Note: A full year of work is considered to be 35-40 hours of work per week. Part-time experience will be credited on the basis of time actually spent in appropriate activities. Applicants wishing to receive credit for such experience must indicate clearly the nature of their duties and responsibilities in each position and the number of hours a week spent in such employment. Physical Requirements: The work is primarily sedentary. Typically, the employee sits to do the work. There may be some walking, standing, bending, carrying of light items (such as books, papers), and accessing transportation. The work may require occasional use of Department of Veteran's Affairs approved behavioral management techniques with Veterans who present a danger to self or others. For more information on these qualification standards, please visit the United States Office of Personnel Management's website at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/. ["Peer specialists perform a variety of therapeutic and supportive tasks that include assisting Veterans in articulating their goals for recovery, learning and practicing new skills, helping them monitor their progress, assisting them in their treatment, modeling effective coping techniques and self help strategies based on the peer specialist's own recovery experience, and supporting them in advocating for themselves to obtain effective services. Functions as a role model by exhibiting competency in personal recovery and use of coping skills and serves as an advocate and provides information and peer support for Veterans in outpatient, inpatient, and/or community settings. Assists Veterans in treatment, based on the principles of recovery, wellness, and resiliency, by promoting self-determination, personal responsibility, and the empowerment inherent in self-directed recovery. By inspiring hope that recovery, wellness and resiliency are achievable goals, the position can assist and empower Veterans, who are diagnosed with mental illnesses and/or co-occurring disorders, as well as other chronic illnesses or injuries, to achieve their personal recovery goals. Performs a wide range of tasks to assist Veterans in regaining independence within the community and mastery over their own recovery and wellness process. Participates in the service, training, consultation, and other professional activities of VA health care services and functions as a fully vested member of the multidisciplinary team. In this capacity, completes assignments based on comprehensive peer support knowledge and recognition by others of demonstrated superior skill and proven sound judgment. Works with Veterans with very complex mental illnesses and challenging situations that require effective communication and decision-making skills. Serves as a recovery agent by providing and advocating for effective wellness and holistic recovery-based services that aid Veterans in daily living. Orients new Veterans to the programs' services, hours, locations, staff, and other pertinent information necessary for the Veterans to understand how to effectively utilize the program services. Assists Veterans to articulate personal recovery goals through the use of individual or group meetings. During these meetings, the position assists Veterans in identifying their skills, strengths, supports, and resources needed to aid them in achieving their recovery goals. Collaborates with Veterans to develop and implement a personal wellness and recovery plan. Assists Veterans in determining the steps needed to achieve their self-directed recovery goals and wellness. Utilizes recovery tools to coach Veterans on relevant skills needed for self-management of their health condition(s) and pursuit of their personal wellness. Monitors progress and assists with the execution of the recovery and wellness plan, makes timely reports of progress, and presents new areas of concern to the treatment team. Also contributes to the development of an effective discharge plan. Observes behaviors that might indicate difficulty adapting or responding to treatment (e.g., missed assessment appointments, failure to attend or maintain abstinence, risk to self or others, disruptive behavior), completes appropriate documentation, and reports concerns to the treatment team in a timely manner. Uses ongoing individual and group meetings to teach Veterans how to identify and combat negative self-talk and overcome fears by providing a forum that allows Veteran to share their experiences. When appropriate, shares stories about personal recovery experiences in relation to current struggles that the Veterans report. These discreet self disclosures made by the position facilitate Veterans' recovery by conveying hope that change and recovery are possible. Promotion Potential: The selectee may be promoted to the full performance level without further competition when all regulatory, qualification, and performance requirements are met. Selection at a lower grade level does not guarantee promotion to the full performance level. Work Schedule: Monday-Friday, 8:00a-4:30p Telework: Not available Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Position Description/PD#: Peer Specialist/PD99702S, PD99701S, PD99697S, and PD99696S Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not authorized Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required This is an open continuous announcement. Qualified candidates will be referred to the Selecting Manager approximately every 15 workdays from the date of posting until the closing date."]
Providing Health Care for Veterans: The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, providing care at 1,255 health care facilities, including 170 medical centers and 1,074 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics), serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year.