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NPR 3430.1D
Effective Date: October 19, 2016
Expiration Date: April 19, 2028
Printable Format (PDF)

Subject: Employee Performance and Communication System (EPCS) (Updated w/Change 3 on February 16, 2023)

Responsible Office: Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer

| TOC | ChangeHistory | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | Chapter5 | Chapter6 | AppendixA | AppendixB | ALL |

Appendix A. Definitions

Acceptable Level of Competence (ALOC). Performance at the fully successful level or higher that justifies an increase to an employee's rate of basic pay to the next higher step of the grade or the next higher rate within the grade of the employee's position.

Appraisal. Means the process which performance is reviewed and evaluated. Appraisal Period. The one-year period, from May 1 through April 30, for which performance is evaluated and a Rating of Record is prepared.

Critical Performance Element. Also referred to in this directive as performance element or element. A work assignment or responsibility of such importance that unacceptable (i.e., Fails to Meet Expectations) performance in that element would result in a determination that the employee's overall performance summary rating is Unacceptable.

Days. Unless otherwise stated, days refers to calendar days.

Deciding Official. The management official designated to make a final decision in connection with a proposed personnel action.

Denial of a Within-Grade Increase. Means the decision to withhold or not grant a within-grade increase to an employee because of a determination that the employee's performance is not at an acceptable level of competence.

Detail. A detail is a temporary assignment to a different position for a specified period when the employee is expected to return to his or her regular duties at the end of the assignment.

Employee Performance Communication System (EPCS). The performance management system that describes specific responsibilities and requirements for planning, monitoring, developing, assessing, and rewarding employee performance. EPCS was approved by OPM on January 31, 2005.

Matrixed. For the purposes of this directive, matrixed means that an employee is performing the duties of his/her position for another organization or under the supervision of someone other than the employee's assigned supervisor.

Minimum Appraisal Period. The minimum amount of time that an employee is under a performance plan before a Rating of Record can be assigned. This period is 90 calendar days.

Narrative Summary. A written, or otherwise recorded, summary that addresses an employee's significant performance achievement(s) or result(s) or observable behavior(s) relative to his/her performance elements and standards for the appraisal period; and clearly and completely justifies the rationale for the element rating levels assigned.

Not Rated. Used when no performance element rating level can be assigned because the employee has had insufficient opportunity to demonstrate performance of the element, the element was removed from the performance plan, or for other similar reasons.

Performance. The accomplishment of the work assignments and responsibilities described in the employee's performance plan.

Performance Appraisal. The review and evaluation of an employee's performance against the performance elements and standards described in the employee's performance plan.

Performance Indicators. Describe the types of work that reflect the higher level of performance (Substantively Exceeds Expectations/Level 5) for the element. Indicators should be sufficiently objective and specific and provide guidance and/or examples (not all inclusive) that distinguishes achievable performance at higher than the Meets level from performance that meets the Meets Expectations (Level 3) standard. The degree of objectivity and specificity varies based on the amount of independence, discretion, and professional judgment applicable to the particular position.

Performance Plan. All the written or otherwise recorded critical performance elements that describe what the employee is expected to accomplish during the appraisal period, the standards against which the employee's performance is appraised, and indicators of performance above the Meets Expectations level.

Performance Standard. An expression of a performance threshold, requirement, or expectation that is measurable and focused on results.

Performance Summary Rating. An overall rating level assigned for a rating of record, derived from the ratings of each performance element.

Progress Review. A rating official's and employee's review and documented discussion of the employee's performance, progress in meeting the performance elements and standards of the employee's performance plan, and training and development needs and requirements. A progress review does not result in a Rating of Record.

Quality Step Increase (QSI). In the context of this directive, A QSI is an additional WGI that may be used to recognize and reward GS employees who receive a Distinguished summary rating.

Rating of Record. The performance appraisal prepared at the end of an appraisal period (or when required for special circumstances) for performance of assigned duties over the entire period and the assignment of a summary rating level. The Rating of Record must be supported by a narrative summary of the employee's performance.

Rating Official. The individual (usually the immediate supervisor) who is responsible for:

Planning. Engaging the employee as a partner in the establishment of the employee's performance elements and standards.

Monitoring. Promoting two-way communications with the employee and providing open, honest, and constructive feedback relative to the employee's performance during the appraisal period.

Developing. Assessing the employee's training and development needs and requirements to improve good or poor performance and, when possible, providing educational, developmental, and growth opportunities.

Rating. Appraising in a fair, accurate, and timely manner the employee's performance against the performance plan at the end of the appraisal period.

Rewarding. When appropriate, fully and fairly utilizing awards and recognition to recognize the employee's performance and achievements.

Reviewing Official. The individual (usually the second-level supervisor) who is responsible for the overall review of annual performance ratings in their organizations.

| TOC | ChangeHistory | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | Chapter5 | Chapter6 | AppendixA | AppendixB | ALL |
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