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    Frequently Asked Questions::Can an agency assign a summary level below Level 3 (Fully Successful or equivalent) if...

    Can an agency assign a summary level below Level 3 (Fully Successful or equivalent) if all an employee's critical elements are appraised as Fully Successful or better?

    Yes, as long as it does not result in assigning a Level 1 (Unacceptable) summary. However, the Office of Personnel Management advises agencies that use non-critical elements to measure group or organizational performance to stipulate that if all of a non-supervisory General Schedule employee's critical elements and individual-level non-critical elements are appraised at least Fully Successful, the summary rating of record must be at least Level 3. This would prevent a within-grade increase being withheld on the basis of performance on a non-critical element measured at the group or organizational level, where the denial might not be upheld if appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board.

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