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    Frequently Asked Questions::What should an agency do with any opportunity period or performance improvement plan (PIP) that...

    What should an agency do with any opportunity period or performance improvement plan (PIP) that is in progress when a program is changed?

    An opportunity period, or a PIP as it is often called, provides a reasonable chance for the employee whose performance has been determined to be unacceptable in one or more critical elements to demonstrate acceptable performance in the critical elements(s) at issue. What an agency should do with a PIP that is in progress when a program is changed depends on the nature of the changes between the old program and the new one. If neither the performance standards nor the retention level communicated to the employee at the start of the PIP have changed, the agency should be able to proceed with the opportunity period or PIP. However, a substantive change in standards or the retention level would require that the current PIP end. For example, if an agency goes from a program that provided for an appraisal level between Fully Successful and Unacceptable to one that does not, it should amend the opportunity period or PIP specifying that performance now must be improved to the Fully Successful level, which is now the retention level. Additional time may need to be given to the employee to allow the employee sufficient time to demonstrate improved performance at the new retention level. This example still presumes that the Fully Successful standard has not been changed. If the performance standard has changed, the employee has to perform for the agency's minimum period under the new standard before a determination of unacceptable performance can be made and a new opportunity period or PIP started.

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