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OPM Head Dale Cabaniss Releases Memo on Gov’t Cyber Skills Assessment Tests

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Dale Cabaniss
Dale Cabaniss

Dale Cabaniss, director of the Office of Personnel Management, has issued a memo detailing the findings of an interagency group on the feasibility of skills assessment tests for government cyber personnel.

Cabaniss wrote in the memo dated Feb. 27 that OPM worked with the FBI and departments of Commerce, Homeland Security and Justice to conduct a study on reskilling efforts across federal agencies. The move comes as part of efforts to comply with the Executive Order on America's Cybersecurity Workforce issued last year.

According to the memo, 31 out of 110 human resources personnel that took part in the interagency group's data call reported that they use cybersecurity assessments in the hiring process.

The group also discovered that the Department of Defense continually evaluates new versions of personnel assessments to ensure the success of cyber training efforts. The memo cited examples like the U.S. Air Force’s Cyber Aptitude and Talent Assessment designed to “determine what position each candidate is best suited for and suggest training to broaden their knowledge base and strengthen their cyber skills.”

Cabaniss detailed in the memo types of assessments that agencies can apply such as training and experience point method evaluations, cognitive ability exams and structured interviews.

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