Quality Assurance Specialist (Peace Corps)


Job Description

  • Position Title: Quality Assurance Specialist
  • Opening Date: February 19, 2024
  • Submission Date for first review:  March 10, 2024, Open until filled.
  • Area of Consideration/Who may apply: All applicants must be a naturalized citizen or permanent resident of Viet Nam who are legally able to work within the country.
  • Point of Contact: Peace Corps Human Resources - PCVietNamJobs@peacecorps.gov
  • Market Value/Salary (per annum): US$ 20,075 – US$ 30,125 + benefits
  • Period of Performance/ Length of Contract/ Work Schedule: Definite term – five years/ Monday to Friday (40 hours per week).  Peace Corps expects this contract to be continuing in nature for the contractor to perform under a series of sequential contracts, subject to the availability of funds.
  • Place of Performance: Peace Corps Viet Nam, Peace Corps office Ha Noi.
  • Security Level required: Local Security Certificate

Background

The United States Peace Corps is a non-political, non-religious organization that brings Americans to Viet Nam to serve as Peace Corps Volunteers. Volunteers co-teach English language classes with Vietnamese teachers in secondary schools. The Peace Corps is serving in Viet Nam at the invitation of the Government of Viet Nam and working closely with Ministry of Education and Training with a goal to improve the English language skills of teachers and students. Peace Corps Volunteers commit to two years of service. They support and co-lead additional school related activities in accordance with the school leadership. A new cohort of Volunteers arrives each year. The Peace Corps was founded by U.S. President John F. Kennedy in 1961 to promote world peace and friendship.
The Quality Assurance Specialist (QAS) will champion a culture of quality assurance (QA), continuous quality process improvement, and system simplification at Post. A key goal of quality assurance is to optimize systems and processes and make it easier to accomplish Post priorities while ensuring compliance with Agency policies. In order to advance the quality assurance agenda, the QAS will take the lead on integrating a QA approach into relevant Post activities, serve as Records Liaison/Records Management point of contact, and also train up and support staff in QA related areas. The QAS will play a supportive role to post leadership in the coordination of site management and site history documentation, ensuring that clear guidance and systems are in place to assist Post staff in adhering to high quality and complete site management planning, execution, and documentation. The QAS will be responsible for the oversight of VIDA (Volunteer Information Database Application) at Post, providing trainings to Post staff on topics including site management and the latest VIDA updates. The QAS will also be responsible for tracking deadlines and completion status of all mandatory trainings for all Post staff. Similarly, the QAS will support Post through preparations for Office of Inspector General (OIG) audits and evaluations, along with presenting recurring findings to assist Post in proactively addressing common issues. The QAS will track OIG and Regional Peace Corps Safety and Security Officer (PCSSO) recommendations, and support staff in order to bring timely closure to any outstanding recommendations. The QAS will be a key resource in providing quality assurance and process simplification input to Post and the Agency.

Qualifications

Required:
  • B.S., B.A. or higher degree.
  • Five years of professional work experience. 
  • Experience with records management, audit, compliance, project management or Volunteer management.
  • Strong background in data standardization, process facilitation and management (organizational development, tracking tasks and processes and ensuring accurate documentation).
  • Professional oral and written English and Vietnamese proficiency required.
  • Advanced computer proficiency in MS Office: Windows, Excel, Word.
  • Experience working with database management software.
  • Demonstrated intercultural competence, diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility related skills and experience.
  • Demonstrated ability to synthetize, interpret, and apply regulations.
  • Versatility; ability to take initiative to resolve problems.
  • Detail-oriented and organizational skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively in a multi-cultural team.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Experience effectively coordinating complex processes across multiple business units.
  • Experience in planning and delivering training.
  • Ability to pass a background check and maintain a security clearance.

Duties and Responsibilities / Tasks and Deliverables

Continuous Quality Improvement Process
Post champion for adopting a quality assurance and compliance culture. 
  • Designs and oversees a yearly compliance calendar for reoccurring tasks and deadlines at Post.
  • Works with office/department heads to identify reoccurring tasks, trainings, Post policies, or periodic reviews and reports that are mandated by agency policy/procedure and are required to be tracked. Adds key deadlines to the compliance calendar, to assist all departments with compliance.
  • Distributes compliance calendar or task reminders periodically to assist managers and staff in proactively meeting compliance related deadlines.
  • Provides status updates to Country Director (CD) and supervisors on completed and outstanding tasks.
  • Integrates a QA approach into relevant Post activities. (e.g., administration of annual performance improvement or compliance tools, such as the Administrative Management Control Survey (AMCS)).
  • Reflects on current practices, identifies potential risks and areas for improvement, and works with relevant parties to document and implement.
  • Works with Post leadership and Post Equity Council to identify opportunities for the integration of equity/ICDEIA into core business practices across operational units.  
  • Serves as the Records Management POC (Records Liaison) for Post.
  • Coordinates distribution, completion, and return of annual File Plan to the Records Management Office.
  • Advises Post on records management questions and issues.
  • Collaborates with Senior Staff to ensure required documents are appropriately stored at Post (e.g., MOUs, other agreements etc.), and monitors to ensure expiration timeframes are known and tracked.
  • Coordinates with Regional Quality Assurance Experts, PCSSOs, and Regional Security Advisors (RSAs), where applicable.
  • Coordinates with Office of the Chief Compliance Officer (OCCO) in informing and adopting compliance best practices.
  • Other quality assurance related duties as assigned.
Site Management (including Site History Files) 
Post champion for adopting a quality assurance approach for site management and promoting compliance with site management documentation.
  • Serves as resource and technical expert on site management process and procedures and supports the Director of Programming and Training (DPT) (and other Post staff as applicable) to assist them in meeting site management requirements. 
  • In collaboration with DPT and other responsible staff, is responsible for training and mentoring staff in adhering to site management requirements.
  • Under the DPT’s leadership, helps coordinate Post planning meetings regarding site ID and site visits to ensure all requirements from Site Management Guidance, including key Manual Sections, Safety and Security Instructions (SSIs), and Medical Technical Guidelines (TGs) are accounted for in the planning and implementation stages of site management (e.g., Manual Section (MS) 270 – Volunteer/Trainee Safety and Security, SSI 401 Site History Files, SSI 410 Housing Standards and Inspection, etc.).
  • Monitors compliance with required site management documentation in VIDA; advises staff on status and required actions.
  • Supports DPT to ensure Post’s site management manual is aligned with current Regional Site Management Guidance.
  • Coordinates with programming staff, Peace Corps Medical Officers (PCMOs), and Safety and Security Manager (SSM) to ensure that site selection materials are fully completed and approved by the relevant parties with any appropriate programming, safety, security or health related considerations properly documented in VIDA.
  • Conducts ongoing and routine quality checks on site management documentation (e.g., Housing Information, Community Information, Volunteer Request Form, Site Contact Form information) in VIDA to ensure alignment with policy and approval process and site history files. 
  • Provides supervisor and Post staff with periodic updates on site management and history file compliance, highlighting missing documents and/or data points for follow-up.
VIDA Point of Contact (POC)
Responsible for oversight of VIDA at Post, ensuring VIDA is used by all relevant staff throughout the Site Management, Volunteer Management, and Emergency Action Plan (EAP) Event Management processes. 
  • Serves as the principal Point of Contact for VIDA and liaises with the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO)/HQ VIDA Product Manager for relevant VIDA updates and troubleshooting of the VIDA system at Post.
  • Serves as Post VIDA administrator with special permissions to edit data.
  • In consultation with VIDA Product Manager at OCIO/HQ, trains relevant staff on VIDA capabilities and on-going enhancements.
  • Works with responsible staff to conduct ongoing review of Volunteer and site data within VIDA, ensuring that information is accurate and complete as outlined in agency guidance. The QAS should not be the originator of data.
  • Conducts ongoing and routine quality checks on key Volunteer information (e.g., phone numbers, e-mails, GPS coordinates, site visit information) to ensure alignment with policy. 
  • Ensures Post’s naming conventions are defined for VIDA, such as site names and site geographic areas, and across all platforms (e.g. SIMS)
  • Works with appropriate staff to ensure there is documentation in VIDA of:  a) adverse safety, security, health or programmatic concerns for sites that result in Peace Corps not placing a Volunteer, or b) other incidents or events that raise concerns for Volunteer safety and well-being. 
  • Works with SSM to ensure that EAP events are properly documented.
Tracking Mandatory Staff Trainings
  • Tracks status of all mandatory staff trainings in collaboration with Senior Leadership.
  • Provides periodic updates to supervisors on staff compliance with mandatory trainings.
  • Coordinate with administrative staff to ensure that all staff (inc. part time, short term, and intermittent) are appropriately enrolled in mandatory training (e.g. staff are entered into a personnel tracking system). 
  • When staff are unable to complete on-line trainings, ensures that staff complete and appropriately record (e.g., in Learning Space) off-line trainings; may also facilitate off-line training sessions for staff.
OIG/PCSSO Recommendation Support and Follow-Up
  • Tracks Office of Inspector General (OIG) and Regional Peace Corps Safety and Security Officer (PCSSO) recommendations for Post, along with other formal recommendations from other offices if appropriate.
  • Provides periodic (monthly/quarterly) reports to CD, SSM, and other relevant Post staff on status of open recommendations.
  • Supports Post leadership, as appropriate, to track work on addressing open OIG/PCSSO recommendations. Coordinates with other parties outside of Post as necessary, under direction of CD.
  • Assists Post with organizing, collecting, and submitting documentation to support closure of OIG/PCSSO recommendations, as appropriate.
  • Coordinates with Region, and as appropriate Office of Safety and Security (OSS) and OCCO, to discuss challenges related to addressing OIG/PCSSO recommendations, and to share best practices.
  • Periodically presents OIG recurring recommendations to Post staff.
  • Facilitates process improvement solutions to proactively address recurring recommendations, as appropriate.
  • Supports Post preparations for OIG evaluations and audits.
  • Supports Post during OIG visits, as appropriate. 

Additional Responsibilities

  • Additional duties are strongly discouraged during the first year of QAS employment.  Thereafter, other duties may be assigned when deemed necessary by the Country Director for the successful implementation of Peace Corps operations in Viet Nam, provided that this doesn’t impede the ability to fully perform all QAS duties. To maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, the QAS should not be responsible for work products for which they also monitor compliance; as such, they may not serve as (for example) back-up SSM, ITS, Grants Coordinator, or Alternate Cashier
  • COVID-19 and Other Flexibilities: If there is a time at post, due to the COVID-19 pandemic or for any other reason, when there are limited or no Peace Corps Trainees and/or Volunteers (jointly referred to as “Volunteers”) at Peace Corps/Viet Nam, the PSC may be temporarily assigned during that period, as determined by the Peace Corps Country Director (CD), to carry out additional duties and responsibilities in furtherance of the goals of the Peace Corps in order to enhance the ability of Peace Corps Volunteers to perform functions under the Peace Corps Act, including facilitating a safe environment in order for the successful return or increase of Volunteers.
This temporary assignment may require the PSC to provide services and/or support beyond what is listed in their current Statement of Work (SOW). The services and/or support may take many forms, examples of which may include but are not limited to, training, providing administrative, technical, medical, and/or operational assistance, building on host country programs, etc. This temporary assignment also may require the PSC to provide these services and/or support to individuals/organizations other than those listed in their current SOW such as host country government, partner organization(s), community member(s), staff, and/or contractors.

Reference Materials

  • Materials the Personal Services Contractor (PSC) must frequently refer to in the course of performing their duties and responsibilities include US Government-wide and Peace Corps-specific laws, regulations, rules, policies, procedures, and guidance.  This includes the Peace Corps Manual and associated referenced documents (Manual Section 270; Safety and Security Instructions (SSI) 401, 410, 415, 420, and 430; Medical Technical Guidelines (TG) 204, 385, 110) Emergency Action Plan, Medical Action Plan and other guidance published on the Peace Corps Intranet, as well as the Peace Corps/Viet Nam Staff Handbook, Post Site Management Manual, and the Peace Corps/Viet Nam Volunteer Service Handbook (VSH).

Work Requirements and Guidelines

  • Interact effectively and appropriately with cultural differences and similarities by demonstrating cultural humility and self-awareness of one’s own cultural programming, effectively navigating intercultural situations, practicing perspective taking by seeking to understand the values, beliefs, attitudes, and worldviews of others.
  • Engage with differences and similarities in a way that effectively and appropriately contributes to a culture of access and belonging by demonstrating awareness of systemic inequities and one’s own social identities and perspectives, seeking to understand others’ and one’s own experiences with dominant and marginalized identities, building relationships with a range of people from a variety of dominant and marginalized identities and navigating opportunities to foster equity and inclusion using a culturally effective and appropriate approach

Standard Roles and Responsibilities

A. Occasional Money Handler (OMH): may be requested to courier cash and /or purchase orders to various vendors who furnish supplies and/or services to Pre-Service Training/In-Service Training sites, or other locations as directed by the Contracting Officer. The PSC may also be requested to courier cash to PC trainees or volunteers. The PSC will not be functioning as a procurement or disbursing official but will only be acting as an intermediary between the Contracting or Disbursing Officer and the recipient. In the case of dealing with vendors, the PSC will not exercise any procurement discretion concerning the supplies or services to be purchased or the cost limits of these purchases; these will be determined by the Contracting Officer.
B.   Safety &Security:
Addresses Volunteer safety and security by adhering to Peace Corps site development policies and procedures. Identifies and immediately communicates Volunteer safety and security concerns and issues to the SSM and the CD.  Assists Program Managers/Associate Peace Corps Directors (APCDs) to ensure that prospective sites meet established programmatic and safety/security criteria (e.g., safe housing, a clearly defined assignment with an organization that shows real interest in working with a Volunteer, etc.).  
Participates in the design and implementation of the Emergency Action Plan (EAP). Acts as duty officer, as needed.  Knowledgeable and supportive of Peace Corps safety and security policies and procedures, including the timely reporting of suspicious incidents, persons or articles.
Evaluation and Selection Criteria: Applications will be initially screened for eligibility in accordance with the required qualifications mentioned above.  Those applicants who meet the required qualifications will be scored based on the preferred qualifications.  Highest scoring candidates will be called in for interviews and skills tests.  Performance from all interviews and skills tests will be considered as a whole package to ensure the best candidate is selected that meets the needs of the Peace Corps mission.  Professional reference checks will be conducted for selected candidates.

Benefits and Allowances:

BENEFITS:
  • One-month basic salary Tet Bonus
  • Contribution to mandatory insurances pursuant to GVN’s law/ regulations including social insurance, health insurance and unemployment insurance.
  • Coverage of additional health insurance 90% for incumbent and each eligible family member
  • Annual and sick leave according to local labor law
ALLOWANCES (as applicable):
  • Unique Condition Work allowance: 7% of Annual basic salary (upon annual review).
  • Miscellaneous Benefits Allowance: US$1,000 per annum or US$3,000 per annum
The Peace Corps is both a federal agency and a vehicle through which American citizens offer needed assistance to people around the world and, in doing so, promote greater cross-cultural understanding between Americans and the people of the host countries.  The fulfillment of the Peace Corps’ mission to foster greater understanding among the world’s citizens requires that we adhere to the highest standards with respect to equal employment opportunity for all Volunteers, employees, and applicants. The U.S. Peace Corps Vietnam will provide equal opportunity and fair and equitable treatment in employment to all people without regard to race, color religion, ethnicity, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation, marital status, pregnancy and maternity or sexual orientation. The Peace Corps will also strive to achieve equal employment opportunity in all personnel operations through continuing diversity enhancement programs.  Discrimination based on factors that have no bearing on a person’s ability to serve and perform his or her duties is not permitted and will not be tolerated.

How to apply:

Please submit the following in English by email (with your name and the position you are applying for in as the subject of the email) as one PDF file to PCVietNamJobs@peacecorps.gov:
  1. Application Cover Letter
  2. Curriculum Vitae (CV)
Closing date: Applications should be received 6:00 pm Sunday, March 10, 2024 for consideration in the first reviewPosition remains open until filled. Applications for one position maybe considered for any current open position.  No phone calls or personal visits related to this vacancy will be accepted. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.
All applicants must pass a background/security investigation and a medical certification. Any contract offer with the US Peace Corps is contingent upon a candidate’s ability to secure the necessary certifications.
All applicants must be a naturalized citizen of the host country or must have the required work permit or documentation that permits the applicant to work legally in the country in order to be eligible for consideration.
The application must contain all the information necessary to demonstrate that the candidate possesses the education, experience, skills and language abilities required for this position.
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