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Performance Management

The Service’s performance management system is a tool to define expected performance and evaluate and appraise employee and organizational performance. It is also used to make decisions concerning training, within-grade increases, promotions, and other performance-related actions.

The Service’s current performance management system uses a 5-level rating system. Employee rated at the Exceptional (level 5) and Superior (level 4) must be considered for an award based on their superior performance. The award can be monetary, non-monetary, time-off, a quality step increase award (level 5 only), or a combination thereof.

Employee Performance Appraisal Plans should be established and put in place within 60 days of the beginning of the appraisal period, employee’s entrance on duty, the assignment of an employee to a detail or temporary promotion scheduled to exceed 120 days, the assignment of an employee to a new position, or their assignment to a new or a different supervisory position. The annual appraisal period may be extended for up to a maximum of 90 days past the end of the appraisal period to allow for rating of employees who have not been in the same position, under the same supervisor, or under written performance plan for the full 90 days at the end of the appraisal period. The following are three scenarios regarding circumstance when employees are eligible to receive an annual summary rating at the end of the appraisal period:

Scenario A: Jane had been under an established performance plan for the 2007 appraisal period for more than 90 days. Before the appraisal period ended in September, she changed positions. Would her prior supervisor complete an annual summary rating for the 2007 appraisal period?

No, because Jane had worked under an established performance plan in her old position for at least 90 days, and changed positions during the appraisal period. Her supervisor should complete an interim appraisal for that period. An interim appraisal includes a summary rating prepared when an employee, who has been under a performance appraisal plan for at least 90 days, changes positions (i.e., reassignment, promotion, change to lower grade, transfer) prior to the end of the appraisal period. A copy of the interim appraisal should be provided to Jane’s new supervisor who will assign the official rating for the appraisal period.

Scenario B: As the supervisor, Mike established employee performance plans for the 2007 appraisal period for his employees. In August before the end of the appraisal period, he accepted a new position at another organization. Should he prepare annual summary ratings for his employees before leaving?

Yes, because if a supervisor leaves within the final 90 days of the rating period and the employee has met the criteria for a rating, then the departing supervisor should prepare a summary rating for the employee which will serve as the rating of record for that rating period. If Mike left prior to the final 90 days of the rating period, he would complete interim appraisals for his employees to provide to the new supervisor.

Scenario C: Near the end of the 2006 appraisal period, Lisa received a promotion in another office. Upon entering her new position, the new supervisor put Lisa on a new performance plan for the 2007 appraisal period. Lisa never received a rating for the 2006 appraisal period. Should the new supervisor have prepared the annual rating for the 2006 appraisal period?

Yes, because Lisa entered her new position before the 2007 appraisal period ended. After putting Lisa under the new performance plan, the supervisor should extend the 2007 appraisal period to meet the 90-day minimum requirement to allow for a rating for that appraisal period. Once Lisa completed the 90-day requirement, the new supervisor would assign Lisa’s official annual summary rating for the 2007 appraisal period. The new appraisal period begins after the 90-day requirement ended. A copy of Lisa’s interim appraisal should be provided to her new supervisor to consider in assigning the official annual rating.

Employees not under an established plan for at least 90 days during the rating period will not be eligible for a rating, however, the rating period can be extended to meet the 90 day timeframe.

Managers are reminded that mid-year progress reviews are an important tool to provide employees valuable feedback on expectations and performance. All employees should receive at least one mid-year review approximately half way through the performance year. The mid-year review must be conducted at least 90 days before the end of the performance year. Mid-year reviews should be documented on the appraisal form in section B.


Employees rated minimally successful (level 2) or unsatisfactory (level 1) are required to be given a formal opportunity to improve. Failure to reach the fully successful level (level 3) may result in a demotion or removal from Federal service.

When a manager determines that an employee may have less than fully successful performance, they should contact their servicing HR Office as soon as possible.
Employees dissatisfied with their performance rating have the opportunity to file a request for reconsideration. Employees must file an informal request with the rating official within 7 days of the date the employees receives the completed performance appraisal form. The rating official should make a decision on the reconsideration within 7 days of the reconsideration request. If an agreement cannot be reached, the employee may file a formal reconsideration request with their servicing HR office.

Specific Information on the program can be found at:

Additional Information can be found at:

Please contact your servicing HR office for questions or concerns. Region 9 and Washington Office employees should contact Rebekah Giddings at 703-358-2117.


Please watch this video on Establishing a Performance Plan