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The guidance is intended to serve as explanatory material and is not a substitute for the statutes and regulations that form the basis for the SES. References and links to relevant statutory and regulatory citations have been included in the text. The Desk Guide also provides instructions and procedures that agencies must follow to comply with reporting and other informational requirements promulgated by OPM.

This Desk Guide is to be used as a reference for agency executive resources personnel and is not a policy-making guide. The Desk Guide is a document intended to accommodate regulatory updates and policy changes regarding the SES. Should you have any questions about the material in the Desk Guide, please contact Executive Resources and Performance Management (ERPM) at

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Resources Management
  2. General Staffing and Career Appointments
  3. Other Staffing Actions
  4. Performance Management
  5. Pay and Other Compensation
  6. Awards
  7. Executive Development
  8. Removals and Suspensions
  9. Reduction in Force (RIF), RIF Placement, and Furlough
  10. Guaranteed Placement
  11. Other Provisions Affecting SES Members
  12. Senior Positions Outside the SES
Control Panel