Agencies have until April 2018 to assign critical cyber job codes

The Office of Personnel Management issued a memo on Dec. 6 outlining the next steps for agencies to identify critical technology skills gaps.

The Office of Personnel Management issued a memo Wednesday outlining the next steps for agencies to identify critical technology skills gaps.

The memo details the implementation of the Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Assessment Act, a 2015 law designed to help pinpoint where the government is short of critical talent in fields like IT and cybersecurity.

The law requires OPM to assign new classification codes for cyber positions that align with a framework designed by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, a component of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

OPM and other agencies have issued guidance on assigning the three-digit codes over the course of 2017. Shared service providers are set to reprogram agency systems to accommodate the new cyber codes this month.


Agencies now have four months to assign the new codes to their workforce, followed by the designation of IT, cybersecurity and other cyber roles of critical need.

“Once the work roles of critical need are identified, agencies must submit a report to OPM indicating the roles and substantiating the designation of critical need,” the memo says. “This will be due in April 2019 and annually thereafter.  OPM is currently developing guidance for agencies to use in determining work roles of critical need and reporting this information.”

OPM’s timeline calls for agencies to begin reporting their cyber roles of critical need in April 2019, including submitting plans on how to mitigate skills gaps.

Carten Cordell

Written by Carten Cordell

Carten Cordell is a Senior Technology Reporter for FedScoop. He is a former workforce and acquisition reporter at Federal Times, having previously served as online editor for Northern Virginia Magazine and Investigative Reporter for, Virginia Bureau. Carten was a 2014 National Press Foundation Paul Miller Fellow and has a Master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He is also a graduate of Auburn University and promises to temper his passions for college football while in the office.

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