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As defined in the Handbook for Measuring Employee
Performance, a retention standard describes the level of performance
necessary to be retained in a job (i.e., the standard written for
performance one level above the Unacceptable level). In appraisal
programs where a Minimally Successful or equivalent level exists for
appraising elements, the retention standard is the Minimally Successful
or equivalent standard. In appraisal programs that do not have a
Minimally Successful or equivalent level available, the retention
standard is the Fully Successful standard.
The Merit Systems Protection Board and the courts have held that an
agency must ensure that retention standards:
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