HRM: Direct hire authority for resource assistants

HRM Header

The USDA Forest Service is now authorized to use a direct hire authority to hire qualified and experienced former resource assistants directly to a position where their talents and skills can make a difference. The Resource Assistants Program participants are men and women ages 17 and older working for the Forest Service through a third-party partnership to carry out research, forest and recreation management, or resource protection activities in support of the Forest Service mission.


This hiring authority applies to permanent, temporary, and term positions. Hiring managers are encouraged to work with their HR staffing team to effectively use this hiring authority.


For more information, refer to the Frequently Asked Questions.



The candidate must have:

  1. Successfully completed a minimum of 960 hours of full-time or part-time work, not to exceed 3,500 hours over a two-year period and fulfilled the requirements of the RAP
  2. Earned an Associate’s degree or higher from an accredited institution of higher education
  3. Met the Office of Personnel Management qualification standards
  4. Completed RAP requirements within the last two years. The two-year time-frame cannot be paused, extended, or deferred for any reason. The individual must be onboarded before the expiration of the two years. 

Help Is available

Open an HR Help case:

For detailed instructions, visit the HR Help How-to Add a Case Guide.