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Frequently Asked Questions Senior Executive Service

  • 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 design of the basic system description is consistent with how most agencies currently construct performance plans, e.g. results-focused, leadership and accountability.  For some agencies, the basic system description may represent a transition to new terms and methods.  Agency executive resources staff will develop an implementation plan that will outline an approach to help SES members transition and to construct their performance plans as ECQ-based performance requirements.
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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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  • No. Credit hours are a form of premium pay; SES members are not eligible.
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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