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No. The regulations specifically restrict the delay of a within-grade determination to the two conditions stated in the regulations (and reviewed in the previous question). Consideration was given to permitting the delay of a within-grade determination for employees completing a PIP, but the decision was made not to allow this since it would give an unfair advantage to an employee whose performance has been determined to be unacceptable (a condition upon which the PIP is based) over employees whose most recent rating of record is Level 2 (marginal, minimally successful, etc.) and who are not eligible for a within-grade increase. There is no requirement to give an employee a rating of record before beginning a PIP. If a within-grade increase determination is due during an employee's PIP, the agency needs to make sure it reviews the employee's most recent rating of record and determines whether a new rating of record is needed to support the within-grade decision. If the last rating of record does not support the within-grade determination (i.e., the rating was Level 3 (Fully Successful or equivalent) or better and performance later reached the unacceptable level triggering the PIP), a new rating of record must be given to support a denial of the within-grade increase. If the agency chooses to use the last rating of record of Level 3 (Fully Successful or equivalent) or better and grant the within-grade, they need to realize they are certifying the employee as performing at that level and jeopardizing any future performance-based action that might have been based on performance during that time period.
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