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Policy, Data, Oversight Performance Management

  • Governmentwide regulations do not specify a minimum amount of time a supervisor must be on the job before he/she may rate an employee.  Agency performance appraisal programs may require a minimum amount of time the supervisor must be on the job before rating an employee.
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  • An appraisal system describes the general policies and parameters for the administration of performance appraisal programs in the agency. An appraisal program is the specific procedures, methods, and requirements for planning, monitoring, and rating performance. Programs have to be designed within the boundaries of the system but can be tailored to the needs of the organization.
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  • No, but they are  similar.  A performance rating is the appraisal of the employee's performance compared to the elements and standards established in the performance plan.  The rating of record is a specific performance rating done at the end of the appraisal period that includes the appraisal of the elements and standards and also must include the assignment of a summary level (Levels 1-5).  A summary level is an ordered category of performance from Level 1 through Level 5, with Level 1 as the lowest and Level 5 as the highest.  Performance ratings assigned at times other than the end of the appraisal period (such as at the mid-year review, for promotion panels, or similar situations) do not require a summary level to be assigned, although one is permitted.
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  • Governmentwide performance management regulations do not specifically designate who has the authority to assign a rating of record.  The agency will determine who has this authority.
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  • An honorary award is a gesture of respect given to an employee to recognize his or her performance and value to the organization. Honorary awards are generally symbolic. Many agencies include as part of their overall incentive awards programs a traditional form of high-level, formal "honor awards." Often, such honor award programs do not use monetary recognition at all, but emphasize providing formal, highly symbolic recognition of significant contributions and publicly recognizing organizational heroes as examples for other employees to follow. They typically involve formal nominations, are granted in limited numbers, and are approved and presented by senior agency officials in formal ceremonies. The items presented, such as engraved plaques or gold medals, may be fairly expensive to obtain. However, they are principally symbolic in nature and should not convey a sense of monetary value.
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  • Yes. An employee may receive both an award based on a rating of record and an award based on a specific contribution in a single year. The most important factor in deciding whether to grant multiple awards is that the total value of the awards must be commensurate with the value to the organization of the accomplishment recognized. In addition, agencies must ensure they comply with all applicable requirements, including OPM approval of awards over $10,000.
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  • Yes. An agency may give length of service certificates and/or pins in recognition of years of service in the Government of the United States. The agency decides whether to credit both civilian and military service when computing eligibility for career service recognition. Note: For individual employees, Government service as defined for purposes of issuing length of service certificates is not necessarily identical to "creditable service" used to calculate eligibility for things such as leave accumulation or retirement.
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  • While employees must receive a rating of record at the highest summary level used by the program and meet the agency-specified criteria for qualifying for a quality step increase, a separate written justification is not required. However, the Office of Personnel Management strongly encourages agencies to require some form of recorded justification, assuring compliance with agency-established criteria for quality step increase eligibility. This will enable the agency to show that the proposed recipient has performed at a truly exceptional level to justify a permanent increase in his or her rate of basic pay.
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  • Informal recognition awards are a type of award that may be given to recognize performance that, taken alone, does not merit a larger award, such as cash, time-off, or an honorary award. Agencies are finding that they can effectively and efficiently achieve many of the goals of a recognition and incentive award program by providing more frequent, timely, and informal recognition of employees and group contributions. Informal recognition awards must meet the following criteria: The item must be of nominal value. The item must take an appropriate form to be used in the public sector and to be purchased with public funds.
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  • The "currency" of a time-off award is time, not money. Agencies have the authority to grant cash awards when they feel that is the appropriate form of recognition or incentive.
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Total Count: 135, Number of Pages: 14, Page: 2
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