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Policy, Data, Oversight Performance Management

  • A non-critical element is a dimension or aspect of individual, team or organizational performance, exclusive of a critical element, used in assigning a summary level. It may include, but is not limited to, objectives, goals, program plans, work plans, and other means of expressing expected performance.
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  • No. An employee must have a "fully successful" or equivalent rating of record or higher to be eligible to receive a rating-based cash award.
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  • No employee has an entitlement to an award. An agency's policy must include the criteria to be considered when making award recommendations and decisions.
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  • Yes. In the Federal Government, there are four types of awards — cash awards, time off awards, honorary awards, and informal recognition awards. Agencies may use any combination of award types to reward a specific contribution.  For example, an employee might receive both a certificate and a cash award as recognition for a single contribution.  However, the overall combined value of the awards should not exceed the value to the organization of the contribution recognized. Thus, the award should be commensurate with the contribution of the employee.
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  • Yes. OPM is required by statute to approve performance appraisal systems to ensure they meet statutory and regulatory requirements.
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  • Statute restricts performance awards to no more than 10 percent of the employee's annual rate of basic pay, except that a rating-based award may exceed 10 percent if the agency head determines that an employee's exceptional performance justifies such an award. However, in no case may a rating-based award exceed 20 percent of the employee's annual rate of basic pay.
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  • No. The regulations specifically restrict the delay of a within-grade determination to two conditions. Permitting the delay of a within-grade determination for employees completing a PIP would give an unfair advantage to an employee whose performance has been determined to be unacceptable (a condition upon which the PIP is based) over employees whose most recent rating of record is Level 2 (marginal, minimally successful, etc.) and who are not eligible for a within-grade increase. There is no requirement to give an employee a rating of record before beginning a PIP. If a within-grade increase determination is due during an employee's PIP, the agency needs to make sure it reviews the employee's most recent rating of record and determines whether a new rating of record is needed to support the within-grade decision. If the last rating of record does not support a within-grade denial, a new rating of record must be given for that purpose. If the agency chooses to use the last rating of record of Level 3 (Fully Successful or equivalent) or better and grant the within-grade, they need to realize they are certifying the employee as performing at that level and jeopardizing any future performance-based action that might have been based on performance during that time period.
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  • No. Each program must use a single pattern of summary levels. To use different summary patterns, agencies must define separate programs and employee coverage to which a single pattern applies. However, more than one program can use the same summary pattern.
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  • The minimum period is the shortest length of time established by the agency that an employee must perform under assigned elements and standards before a performance rating can be prepared.  The appraisal period is length of time designated by the agency (usually one year) that is the basis for the rating of record.
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  • 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:
    • are reasonably attainable
    • are not impermissibly absolute (allow for no error)
    • inform the employee of the level of performance needed to retain his or her job
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Total Count: 135, Number of Pages: 14, Page: 3
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