Examples of quality ranking factors include skills that enhance a federal government job applicant's chances of being hired but are not necessary for satisfactory job performance. Specifically, an applicant may have the quality ranking factor of superior writing skills when only average writing skills are required for the position. Superior writing skills are considered a quality ranking factor because they can be used to rank an applicant higher than others.
Absence of quality ranking factors don't result in an applicant being disqualified. Skills that are required for a position are referred to as knowledge, skills and abilities, or KSA's. For example, a position may have moderate public speaking skills as a KSA. A candidate with poor public speaking skills is disqualified from consideration for this position. Moderate public speaking skills are a KSA when a position requires making verbal announcements to small groups of people. In this case, superior public speaking skills would qualify as a quality ranking factor, not a KSA, because superior skills are more than what is required. A candidate with superior public speaking skills gets a quality ranking because he is considered able to make announcements to small groups of people more effectively than a person who has the KSA designation for his public speaking abilities.