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Senior Executive Service Senior Executive Service FAQs

  • No. Compensatory time is a form of premium pay; SES members are not eligible.
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  • Yes.  SES Candidate Development Programs are competitive programs designed to develop the executive qualifications of employees with strong executive potential.  Participation in an SESCDP is not a prerequisite for obtaining an SES appointment
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  • The basic system description uses a five-level rating system:  Level 5 – Outstanding, Level 4 – Exceeds Fully Successful, Level 3 – Fully Successful, Level 2 – Minimally Satisfactory and Level 1 – Unsatisfactory.  Agencies may use agency-specific labels, which they must include in their additions to the basic system description.
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  • In order to be eligible for a sabbatical, SES Career appointees must complete seven years of service in SES position(s) or SES equivalent civil service position(s) (grade level above a GS-15 or equivalent), and at least two of the seven years specifically must be in the SES.  SES members may not be eligible for voluntary retirement at the time the sabbatical begins.  A sabbatical may not be granted to the same individual more than once in a 10-year period.
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  • Training is delegated to the agencies (5 U.S.C. 4103(a)).  Each agency is responsible for developing its own programs.  You should check with your agency to obtain information on training your agency specifically requires for SES members.  Agencies are required to develop learning programs and opportunities for the continued development of their executives. All Federal employees are required to take a set of Federal Mandatory training courses including IT Security Awareness, No Fear Act, and EEO training.  Executives are required to take Ethics Awareness training as well.  Check with your Executive Resources office for a schedule of these mandatory courses at your agency.
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  • No. Credit hours are a form of premium pay; SES members are not eligible.
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  • This system was designed to appraise SES members.  Agencies may adopt or adapt the system for use with other senior employees as appropriate (e.g. senior level employees who serve as the agency’s executives when they do not have SES members).
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  • The basic system description does not specify requirements for how pay adjustments or performance awards are given.  The basic appraisal system description provides the tools and metrics to help rating officials and Performance Review Boards (PRB) make meaningful distinctions in relative performance.  The ratings from application of the basic system description will provide performance information to rating officials and PRB members so they will be able to appropriately apply the agency’s pay policy and recognize top performers.
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  • Each performance element is appraised and assigned points according to the performance level attained, the points are multiplied by the applicable weight for the associated performance element to determine the element score.  These performance element scores are added together to determine the summary score, which yields the overall summary rating.  Consider the following example:     Critical Element Element Rating Weight Performance Element Score Summary Level Ranges 1. Leading Change 4 10 4 x 10 = 40 475-500 = Level 5 400-474 = Level 4 300-399 = Level 3 200-299 = Level 2 Any CE rated Level 1 = Level 1 2. Leading People 5 10 5 x 10 = 50 3. Business Acumen 3 10 3 x 10 = 30 4. Building Coalitions 4 10 4 x 10 = 40 5. Results Driven 4 60 4 x 60 = 240  Total   100% 400            
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  • Visit http://www.opm.gov/ses/recruitment/candevprg.asp for information about SES Candidate Development Programs.  Agencies and departments that recruit for SESCDP participants must advertise on OPM's website USAJOBS.
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  • An Executive Development Plan is a document completed by an executive to plan developmental activities over a period of time.  Developmental activities may include classroom and online training, developmental assignments, action learning, collaborative team projects, and reading.  An EDP template is available on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) website (www.opm.gov/ses), but first check with your agency – your agency may have a specific version for you to use.
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  • The statistically validated ECQs have served as the foundation for selecting and developing Federal executives across Government for over 14 years.  Using the ECQs to appraise and recognize Federal executives will complete a holistic approach for not only selecting and developing Federal executives, but also for appraising, recognizing, and retaining a diverse cadre of high-performing Federal executives.  With the ECQs as a framework, the Federal Government can ensure a performance management system applicable to all executive position responsibilities and performance expectations, as well as maintaining a balanced emphasis on strategic leadership as well as results.
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  • As of January 2012, over 60 SES performance appraisal systems exist throughout the Federal Government.  A broad range of agencies collaborated to design a single SES performance appraisal system applicable to all organizations across the entire Federal Government and to all SES members.  The basic SES appraisal system promotes consistency, clarity, equity, and transferability of performance processes, standards, feedback and ratings throughout Government.  Additionally, the implementation of a basic SES appraisal system will enable a streamlined and more efficient process for SES performance appraisal system approval and certification by OPM.
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  • The scoring ranges are an integral part of the basic SES appraisal system description design and will provide greater consistency and uniformity across Government.  Therefore, the ranges (Level 5 = 500 – 475, Level 4 = 474-400, Level 3 = 399 – 300, Level 2 = 299 – 200) will be standard across the Federal Government for agencies adopting the basic system description.
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  • Agencies will continue to apply their existing pay and awards policies to determine how executive annual summary ratings (and scores) translate into performance-based pay and awards.  The existing principles driving effective executive performance i.e., emphasizing excellence in performance – will continue under the basic system description.
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  • Agencies must request approval from OPM in order to use additional statistically-validated competencies in their appraisal system.  OPM has approved the use of additional competencies for the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community.
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  • The basic SES performance appraisal system description is adaptable to automation.  Its requirements can be loaded into existing tools, or existing tools can be modified to support the basic system description’s requirements.  Additionally, the performance plan template is available electronically for agency use.
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  • Implementation of the new basic system template does not involve a fixed charge; however, agencies will need to engage in a number of important activities to ensure successful implementation (e.g., marketing, communication and engagement targeting SES members, and required training).  To assist with these efforts, adaptable communication and training tools are being developed for Governmentwide use.  Additionally, an Implementation timeline is being developed to support agency planning for transition to the basic system description.
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  • Yes, a Governmentwide working group will identify training requirements for implementation of this basic SES appraisal system description.  The goal is to ensure agency executives and executive resources staff are trained on the use and implementation of the basic system description before full-scale implementation.  OPM will provide several workshops this spring to support agencies’ transitions to the basic system description.
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  • Agencies will implement the basic performance appraisal system description as certifications for their current SES performance management systems naturally expire – or sooner, if an agency prefers.  Executives should contact the executive resources office at their agencies for additional information.
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Total Count: 67, Number of Pages: 4, Page: 2
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