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Classification & Qualifications General Schedule Qualification Standards

Dental Hygiene Series, 0682

Individual Occupational Requirements

Basic Requirements:

Licensure: Applicants for all grade levels and specializations must be currently licensed to practice as dental hygienists in a State or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia.

NOTE: Public Law 97-35 requires that persons who administer radiologic procedures meet the credentialing standards in 42 CFR Part 75. Essentially, they must (l) have successfully completed an educational program that meets or exceeds the standards described in that regulation, and is accredited by an organization recognized by the Department of Education, and (2) be certified as radiographers in their field. The following meet these requirements:

(l) Persons employed by the Federal Government as radiologic personnel prior to the effective date of the regulation (January 13, 1986) who show evidence of current or fully satisfactory performance or certification of such from a licensed practitioner such as a doctor of medicine, osteopathy, dentistry, podiatry, or chiropractic who prescribes radiologic procedures to others.

(2) Persons first employed by the Federal Government as radiologic personnel after the effective date of the regulation who (a) received training from institutions in a State or foreign jurisdiction that did not accredit training in that particular field at the time of graduation, or (b) practiced in a State or foreign jurisdiction that did not license that particular field or did not allow special eligibility to take a licensure examination for those who did not graduate from an accredited educational program, provided that such persons show evidence of training, experience, and competence as determined by OPM or the employing agency.

The following table shows the amounts of education and/or experience required to qualify for positions covered by this standard.

Requirements
GRADEEDUCATIONEXPERIENCE
GS-4 None None
GS-5 Dental hygiene curriculum, plus appropriate experience, totaling 4 years None
GS-5
Clinical Dental Hygenists
4-year course of study leading to a bachelor's degree in dental hygiene or in a directly related field of study 1 year of experience as a licensed dental hygienist
GS-5
Community Health Dental Hygenists
4-year course of study leading to a bachelor's degree, which included or was supplemented by a curriculum in dental hygiene none
GS-6
Clinical Dental Hygenists
None 1 year of experience equivalent to at least the GS-5 level
GS-7
Clinical Dental Hygenists
None 1 year of experience equivalent to at least the GS-6 level
GS-7
Community Health Dental Hygenists
1-year of graduate education in dental hygiene or in a directly related field of study 1 year of experience equivalent to at least the GS-5 level
GS-8
Clinical Dental Hygenists
None 1 year of experience equivalent to at least the GS-7 level
GS-9
Community Health Dental Hygenists
2 year of progressively higher level graduate education or a Master's of equivalent degree in dental hygiene or a directly related field of study 1 year of experience equivalent to at least the GS-7 level
GS-11 and above None 1 year of experience equivalent to at least the next lower grade level

Equivalent combinations of education and experience are qualifying for all grade levels and positions for which both education and experience are acceptable.

Evaluation of Education: The academic curriculum in dental hygiene must have been accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation, American Dental Association.

Evaluation of Experience: When combining experience and education, appropriate supplemental experience for entry level Community Health Dental Hygienist must have demonstrated the ability to:

  • Plan and direct group activities.
  • Organize, analyze, and evaluate data, draw conclusions, and make decisions or recommendations.
  • Express ideas and communicate information orally and in writing in a clear, logical, and motivating manner.
  • Demonstrate and/or present new ideas, techniques, and procedures.
  • Conduct meetings and present lectures.
  • Deal effectively with individuals and groups.

Examples of work that may have provided this experience include work as a teacher, recreation leader, or leader in a community or professional organization.

Evaluation of Specialized Experience:

Qualifying experience for clinical dental hygienists includes experience in performing oral prophylactic care and in providing oral health educational services to patients. Additionally, at the higher grade levels, qualifying experience includes (1) performing advanced oral prophylactic, therapeutic, and preventive procedures in cases of periodontal diseases or inflammation or on patients with other medical or dental problems, (2) placing temporary fillings, and (3) finishing amalgam restorations. Applicants for positions involving the use of X-rays must have had experience in taking and interpreting X-rays.

Qualifying experience for community health dental hygienists includes experience in preparing and conducting educational lectures and demonstrations on dental hygiene, planning public health programs, providing advice and policy guidance to dental personnel on public health matters, and recommending improved methods of dental hygiene.

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