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Frequently Asked Questions Senior Executive Service

Since agencies cannot grant pay adjustments to make the pay distinctions required by the criteria for SES performance appraisal system certification, why should an agency bother to seek certification until the freeze ends?

While one of the criteria that reflect the application of agency appraisal systems is the agency's pay differentiation, OPM would consider the impact of the freeze when considering agency certification requests. Agencies will need to maintain their SES performance appraisal system certification in order to use the full SES rate range up to Executive Schedule Level II to hire new executives. While certification allows agencies to pay higher rates and use a higher aggregate limit on pay, this is not the sole purpose of certification. The certification process ensures agencies review their appraisal systems and the effectiveness of their executive performance plans. The criteria for certification require agency performance appraisal systems to provide for, and performance plans to execute, the following: alignment of executive performance requirements to agency mission; predominant focus on measurable results-based requirements; balanced measures, including customer and employee perspective; and accountability for effective performance management of subordinates.

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