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Agencies have greater flexibility in a reduction in force to assign retention credit for ratings in a competitive area where different summary patterns exist. This article explains requirements and explores flexibilities in crediting performance.
Agencies assign additional retention credit to an employee's length of service based on performance as reflected in the employee's three most recent ratings of record given during the four years prior to the reduction in force. In a competitive area where all of the credited ratings of record were given under a single pattern of summary levels (e.g., all given under a five-level program or all given under a two-level program), agencies must compute the additional service credit by averaging the three most recent ratings of record given in the previous four years using the following values:
However, if one or more employees within a competitive area received ratings of record that were given under different summary patterns (e.g., if some ratings of record were given under a five-level program and some were given under a two-level program), the resulting mix of summary patterns gives the agency flexibility for assigning years of service credit.
Under the regulations effective December 24, 1997, if a mix of summary patterns exists within a competitive area, agencies must consider how they will credit performance (but they need not change from the 12-16-20 formula). They can vary the values assigned to ratings so that performance crediting will be as equitable as possible, within the following limitations:
Within these limitations, agencies can credit performance - when a mix of patterns exists in a competitive area - in a variety of ways, including:
For example, an agency may assign 20 years additional service credit for each Level 4 (Exceeds Fully Successful or equivalent rating) as well as 20 years of additional service credit for each Level 5 (Outstanding or equivalent rating) in the same summary pattern in the same competitive area and the same reduction in force.
When making their decision about the amount of additional service credit to assign each level, agencies should base the decision on an analysis of the unique situation of the competitive area, the mix of summary patterns, and the relative number of employees under each pattern.