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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Feb 11, 2021.
Federal Skills Act
This bill provides statutory authority for the executive order titled Modernizing and Reforming the Assessment and Hiring of Federal Job Candidates, which was issued on June 26, 2020. The order generally prescribes certain limits as to the consideration and use of post-high school educational requirements for positions in the competitive service.
Among other things, the order specifies that an executive agency may only institute a minimum educational requirement for a position in the competitive service if it is legally required for the position, and may only consider a candidate's education with respect to other minimum requirements if it directly reflects the competencies necessary for the position.
The order requires the Office of Personnel Management to review and revise the classification and qualification standards for positions in the competitive service so as to comply with these requirements. The order also requires changes to be made public, and to take effect, within 120 days and 180 days of the date of the order, respectively. (The bill requires a similar timeline with respect to the date of enactment of the bill.)