Expanded Professional Associates Program (EPAP)

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2018 Vacancy Announcement

The USAJOBS vacancy announcement (March 15 - 29, 2018) is closed.

Regional bureaus are permitted to hire only those vacant positions allocated to them. Positions that were not filled through the March 2018 announcement may be re-advertised and/or reassigned to another post.

General Information

The Expanded Professional Associates Program (EPAP) provides eligible spouses with employment opportunities in key positions at missions abroad. EPAP is distinguished from other family member employment opportunities in that it offers responsibilities similar to Foreign Service entry-level positions (see here RMA's entry level descriptions from which EPAP position descriptions are derived). Additionally, EPAP positions are centrally funded by the Department of State and are administered by the appropriate Washington regional or functional bureau. Other distinctive components of EPAP are:

  1. EPAP applicants must clearly demonstrate during the application process that they meet or exceed the distinguished EPAP requirements of the position(s) for which they are applying. This ensures that successful EPAP candidates will be fully capable of performing well in their EPAP positions; and
  2. EPAP employees will complete the functional training necessary for the position at the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), and the Department of State will fully fund any necessary travel, per diem, and salary during the training.

The regional bureaus have been authorized a total of 400 EPAP positions, and the Bureau of Information Resource Management (IRM) has been authorized 50. In addition to these 450 positions, individual posts have the option of creating post-funded ICASS positions with prior approval from their bureau. EPAP positions include the following specialties: Economics, Facilities Management, Financial Management, General Services, Human Resources, Information Management, Medical, Management, Office Management, Political, and Public Diplomacy.


To be eligible to apply for positions, individuals must meet the definition of an AEFM as described in 3 FAM 7120. Those who meet ALL of the following are considered to be AEFMs for employment purposes:

  1. Is a U.S. citizen;
  2. Is the spouse or domestic partner (as defined in 3 FAM 1610) of a sponsoring employee (i.e., a Direct Hire Foreign Service (FS), Civil Service (CS), or uniformed service member who is or will be assigned (not TDY) to a U.S. mission abroad under Chief of Mission (COM) authority, or at an office of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT);
  3. Is listed on one of the following:
    1. Travel orders of a sponsoring employee who is assigned (not TDY) to a U.S. mission abroad under COM authority, or at an office of the AIT, or
    2. An approved Form OF-126, Foreign Service Residence and Dependency Report (or other agency equivalent), of a sponsoring employee who is assigned (not TDY) to a U.S. mission abroad under COM authority, or at an office of the AIT, and is residing at the sponsoring employee’s post of assignment abroad;
  4. Does not receive a U.S. Government retirement annuity or pension from a career in the U.S. Foreign Service or Civil Service.
  5. Is not a Foreign Service Generalist or Specialist in Leave Without Pay (LWOP) status;
  6. Is not a Civil Service employee with re-employment rights to their agency or bureau (see 22 U.S.C. § 3950).

Additional Eligibility Requirements Include:

  1. If selected, AEFMs are expected to serve in the positon for at least one year from the date of hire, and their sponsor’s tour of duty must allow sufficient time for this. Go to After Selection, Length of Service for more information
  2. AEFMs must be able to obtain and maintain the appropriate level of security clearance for their position.
  3. The following may also be considered when determining successful candidacy: nepotism, conflicts of interest, budget, etc.

Hiring Preference

Applicants in the categories below are extended a hiring preference in the order listed. Therefore, it is essential that these applicants accurately describe their status on the application. Failure to do so may result in a determination that the applicant is not eligible for a hiring preference.

Hiring Preference Order

  1. AEFM who is also a preference-eligible U.S. Veteran*
  2. AEFM

Important: Applicants who claim status as a preference-eligible U.S. Veteran must submit a copy of the most recent Member Copy Four (4) of the DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, and, if applicable, a letter from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or other supporting documentation. If claiming conditional eligibility for U.S. Veterans’ preference, applicants must submit proof of conditional eligibility. If the written documentation confirming eligibility is not received in the HR office by the closing date of the vacancy announcement, the U.S. Veterans’ preference will not be considered in the application process. Mission HR’s decision on eligibility for U.S. Veterans’ preference after reviewing all required documentation is final.

Qualification Standards

In January 2018, the Department of State consulted with subject matter experts on the Board of Examiners (BEX), the Office of Overseas Employment (OE), and the Family Liaison Office (FLO) to further define the minimum education and specialized experience requirements for all EPAP positions and to ensure consistency in position grading. The Department of State believes that the 2018 qualification standards and the required FSI position-specific functional training and required periodic follow-up training, will further enhance this important program. Establishing new qualification standards and providing the same level of FSI position-specific functional training as is required of entry-level generalists and specialists will allow individuals in EPAP positions to fulfil the full range of their responsibilities.

Before applying for a position, individuals are strongly encouraged to carefully review the new qualification standards. Further, individuals should ensure that their application package is complete and that it clearly demonstrates that they meet or exceed the new qualification standards.

Training for Information Management Positions

AEFMs selected for EPAP positions in Information Management must successfully complete approximately six weeks of required online courses, within a specified timeframe. Certain training requirements may be waived if an AEFM demonstrates that he/she passed the vendor-specified tests related to that requirement. Applicants may contact IRM-EPAP@state.gov for more information.

Training for Other Positions

Selected candidates will benefit from Department of State-funded functional training at the Foreign Service Institute (FSI). Additional details will be announced.

More Information

For information on security clearance requirements, grades, the hiring mechanism, and benefits, go to the After Selection page.


For questions regarding EPAP, please email FLOAskEPAP@state.gov.

Go to EPAP: How to Apply

Information provided by the Family Liaison Office
Contact the Family Liaison Office