United States Department of the Interior 

                                      FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE   
                                               Washington, D.C. 20240

Effective: 02/12/92

Expires: Indefinite


SUBJECT: Promotion and Career Development Policy for Key Management Positions

A. POLICY: Career development for and promotion to the Service,s key management positions at the GM-15 level will focus on the criteria identified below. Candidates for competitively recruited key management positions will be evaluated against these criteria to ensure that selections are made from a group of highly qualified people who have the diversified set of skills to accomplish the Service,s mission and who can be responsive to the public. Experience necessary to meet these criteria may be gained in a variety of environments at both national and regional levels of the Service.

B. SCOPE: Servicewide.

C. PURPOSE: The purpose of this policy is to identify, and communicate to all Service employees, the criteria which are essential for high-quality performance in and movement into senior and key management positions. These criteria will allow employees and supervisors jointly to develop appropriate work assignments to provide a pool of potential managers with the experience needed to effectively manage the diverse activities of the Service.


1. Specific criteria have been identified as critical for highlevel performance in the Service,s key management positions which include:

a. Understanding Servicewide policy formulation, budgetary and legislative processes;

b. Establishing and maintaining contacts with other Federal agency headquarters, Congressional committees, and national organizations;

c. Appreciation and sensitivity to commitments, decision-making, and program priorities made by the Service Directorate;

d. Insight into the political processes involved in the development of public policy and the appropriation of funds;

e. Meeting and working with top Service managers and employees from various geographical and program areas; and

f. Exposure to the Service,s and Department,s philosophy for program development and operations.

2. The following knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) have been developed through the job analysis technique and will be used in evaluating applicants for key management positions. It is understood that specific positions may require additional technical KSAs which should be identified through further job analysis.

a. Knowledge of national natural resource or supporting programs and policies. (The nature and extent of the knowledge possessed by the candidate relative to the depth, breadth, impact, environment, etc., of programs and policies administered; appreciation and sensitivity to political processes, development of public policy and decision making.)

b. Ability to manage a natural resource or supporting program of national significance. (The level of management skills possessed by the candidate relative to the programs managed, including knowledge of budgetary, congressional and legislative processes.)

c. Skill in meeting, dealing and negotiating with diverse individuals and groups. (The type, purpose, and complexity of personal contacts which demonstrate effective use of interpersonal relationship skills in dealing with internal and external individuals and groups at all levels of government and the private sector.)

d. Ability to supervise. (The nature, extent and level of supervisory abilities as demonstrated by the candidate,s experience.)

e. Ability to implement EEO principles and practices including special emphasis programs.

3. Significant experience that would result in possession of many of the above KSAs would most likely be gained in work assignments accomplished in the Service’s Headquarters Office or a comparable experience in a headquarters environment in another resource agency/organization (i.e., another Bureau, national conservation organization, State agency, etc.). Although length of experience in a headquarters position in itself is not a prerequisite, it is an indicator of the depth and breadth of experience a candidate may possess for a key position. For example, it is unlikely that full knowledge of the budget process could be developed in a short-term assignment or at a local organizational level. A candidate should have participated in the budget from the formulation stage through the execution stage on a major Servicewide program in order to be considered fully knowledgeable of the Service,s budgetary process. In a similar way, an ability to make commitments or establish program priorities at this level would require developing a

Servicewide program and would typically be gained in a long-term assignment. Although experience in a headquarters environment is critical, well-rounded career development also includes significant experience at field/regional levels.


1. Career counseling is essential for all Service employees at each stage of their careers. Supervisors are responsible for counseling employees on how to enhance performance in their present jobs and when to consider career opportunities. Supervisors are also expected to be knowledgeable of the various Service, Department, and other career opportunities including training programs available to their employees, and to encourage participation when appropriate.

2. It is the policy of the Service to assist, within legal and regulatory constraints, in overcoming barriers to mobility. It is recognized that employees are also responsible for overcoming personal barriers in determining appropriate timing for moves. Departmental and Service policy related to recruitment bonuses, relocation bonuses and retention allowances will be utilized, where they apply.

3. Active participation by the members of the Directorate is necessary in recruitment for Service positions at the GM-15 level. Such involvement might typically take the form of discussions about potential vacancies, the available candidate pool, needed expertise, and long-term managerial/executive development needs.

F. SUPERSESSION: This policy supersedes all earlier Service policy dealing with this subject, including 22 AM 8.8 (March 28, 1978) and NPI #89-15 (Effective June 14, 1988).
Date: 2/12/92 RICHARD M. SMITH

Deputy Director

For additional information about this policy, contact the Division of Human Capital. For more information regarding this Web page, contact Krista Bibb, in the Division of Policy and Directives Management.

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