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An opportunity period, or a PIP as it is often called, provides a
reasonable chance for the employee whose
performance has been determined to be unacceptable in one or more
critical elements to demonstrate acceptable performance in the critical
elements(s) at issue. What an agency should do with a PIP that is in
progress when a program is changed depends on the nature of the
changes between the old program and the new one. If neither the
performance standards nor the retention level communicated to the
the start of the PIP have changed, the agency should be able to proceed
with the opportunity period or PIP. However, a substantive change
in standards or the retention level would require that the current PIP
end. For example, if an agency goes from a program that provided
for an appraisal level between Fully Successful and Unacceptable
to one that does not, it should amend the opportunity period or PIP
specifying that performance now must be improved to the Fully
Successful level, which is now the retention level. Additional time
to be given to the employee to allow the employee sufficient time to
demonstrate improved performance at the new retention level. This
example still presumes that the Fully Successful standard has
not been changed. If the performance standard has changed, the employee
has to perform for the agency's minimum period under the new standard
before a determination of unacceptable performance can be made and
a new opportunity period or PIP started.
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