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Technically, there is no maximum length. The
regulations specify that appraisal periods shall generally be
so that employees are provided a rating of record annually. Also,
history of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, the statute that
the current performance appraisal system, indicates that Congress
appraisals to be done annually. In addition, an important
when choosing the length of the appraisal period is its relation
annual rating of record required for reduction in force purposes.
must look at the nature of the work done by various organizations
what length of time is appropriate as the basis for measuring
Agencies are encouraged to designate a single appraisal period
year) as the standard appraisal period throughout the agency, with
flexibility to accommodate individual or mass transitions between
Otherwise, an agency system must define any limits (maximum
length, or acceptable range) within which it will permit appraisal
programs to select their appraisal periods.
Furthermore, agencies may establish different appraisal cycles
and ending dates) for different employees under the same appraisal
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