Federal personnel manual system


Material Information

Federal personnel manual system
Portion of title:
FPM letter
Physical Description:
United States Civil Service Commission
United States -- Office of Personnel Management
United States Civil Service Commission
Place of Publication:
Washington, D.C
completely irregular


Subjects / Keywords:
Personnel management -- Handbooks, manuals, etc -- United States   ( nal )
Civil service -- Handbooks, manuals, etc -- United States   ( lcsh )
Personnel management -- Handbooks, manuals, etc -- United States   ( lcsh )
federal government publication   ( marcgt )
periodical   ( marcgt )


Issuing Body:
Vols for 1979- issued by: Office of Personnel Management.
General Note:
Description based on: 410-19 (Aug. 22, 1977); title from caption.
General Note:
Latest issue consutled: 292-23 (No. 3, 1983); title from caption.

Record Information

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University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 021549616
oclc - 06727309
lccn - 2009238041
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T ( i' 1 '-/A| -
Office of Personnel Management FPM Letter 338- 9

Federal Personnel Manual System Publshed in advance
FPM Letter 338- 9 of incorporation in FPM
Chapter 338
SUDECT: Elimination of Chapter 271; Revision of Guidance on TAN UNT
Training Agreements and Superior Qualifications
Washington, D. C. 20415
October 14 1980
Heads of Departments and Independent Establishments:

1. Attached is revised guidance on the authorities for training agreements and superior
qualifications appointments. The information contained in the attachments will be
incorporated into the Federal Personnel Manual within the next few months. In the
meantime the material in this letter should be used instead of that now contained in
chapter 338, subchapter 6 and chapter 271, subchapter 7.

2. Major changes include:

Provision for delegation agreements under both authorities;

Expanded discussion of what constitutes "superior qualifications",
"existing pay" and "special need of the Government";

Statement of all purposes which may be served by training agreements; and

Expanded discussion of how training agreements relate to appointing
authorities, merit promotion and qualifications requirements.

3. As part of the FPM Update Project, we propose to eliminate chapter 271 and distribute
its contents to other chapters. The material on training agreements will be incorporated
in chapter 338. (A complete breakdown of the proposed restructuring of chapter 271
appears in FPM Letter 271-6 .) /

SJule M. Sugarman
SDeputy Director

Attachments II

(On elimination of chapter 271) Office of Policy Analysis and Development,
Inquiries: Staffing Services, 632-6817; (on superior qualifications appointments and
training agreements) Inservice Placement Branch, 632-6000
338-Qualification Requirements (General)
Distribution: em





Attachment I to FPM Letter 338-9 (1)

(For interim use pending publication in FPM.


The principles summarized in this subchapter are derived from sections 5333 and 5334 of
title 5, United States Code, which authorize appointments to positions at grades GS-ll and
above at rates higher than the minimum rate for the grade when the candidate has superior
qualifications for the position, and from sections 531.201 and 531.203(b) of the regulations
issued by OPM under these provisions.


a. Use of authority for new appointments and reemployment. An agency may make a superior
qualifications appointment under this authority by new appointment or by reemployment
except that when made by reemployment, the candidate must have a break in service of at
least 90 calendar days since his/her last period of Federal employment or employment by the
Government of the District of Columbia other than (a) employment under an appointment as
an expert or consultant under section 3109 of title 5, United States Code, (b) employment
under a temporary appointment effected primarily in furtherance of a postdoctoral research
program or effected as part of a predoctoral or postdoctoral training program during which the
employee received a stipend, or employment under a temporary appointment of a graduate
student when the work performed by the student is the basis for completion of certain
academic requirements for an advanced degree, (c) employment as a member of the
Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or the Commis-
sioned Corps of the Public Health Service, (d) employment which is neither full-time
employment nor the principal employment of the candidate, or (e) employment under the
provisions of the Intergovernmental Personnel Act.

b. Positions with special rate ranges. This authority may also be used for General Schedule
positions for which special rate ranges have been established under authority of section 5303
of title 5, United States Code, and rates within the special rate ranges may be used in fixing
the appointee's pay upon approval by OPM or by an agency acting under an agreement with

c. Merit pay positions. This authority may also be used for positions covered by the Merit Pay
system. In these cases, the pay rate requested should be that of the appropriate step of the
applicable General Schedule grade.


a. Prior approval. In all cases when an agency wishes to make a superior qualifications
appointment above the minimum rate under this authority, prior approval must be obtained
from OPM or from an authorized agency official acting under an agreement with OPM.
Furthermore, agencies may not appoint a candidate at the first step of the grade and then ask
for approval to change the appointment to a higher step. The statutory authority is not
appropriate after the candidate enters on duty, and there is no provision in the law or
regulations for retroactive approval. Selecting officials should be cautioned against making
firm salary commitments to prospective appointees before the required approval is obtained
and should be advised to allow sufficient time for action on the advanced rate requests when
establishing reporting dates for individuals for whom advanced rates are requested.

Attachment I to FPM Letter 338-9 (2)

b. General considerations. The prime consideration in using this authority is to be able to
meet the needs of the Government by giving agencies some flexibility in bargaining with
individual candidates. In determining whether to request authority to make use of this
flexibility in fixing a prospective appointee's pay, agencies should keep in mind that pay rates
above the minimum are intended to be the exception, not the rule. It is expected that .
extensive use will not be made of this authority. Instead, it is expected that most candidates
will be appointed at the minimum rate of the grade. A special rate may be appropriate,
however, to reflect the conditions discussed below.

c. Conditions of use.

1. Qualifications of the candidate. Unusually high qualifications means qualifications of a
candidate which are markedly superior to those which could be expected of a well-qualified
candidate for the position to be filled. Unique qualifications means qualifications of a
candidate which are a rare combination of education and experience immediately pertinent to
the position. In determining what would be expected of a well-qualified candidate and what
constitutes unusually high or unique qualifications, an agency should not apply an absolute
standard, but should make a realistic assessment of the overall quality of candidates available
in the specialty field of the position and the qualities which would distinguish the best
prospects for the position being filled. If many applicants showed high-level experience or
education directly pertinent to the position, a superior candidate might be expected to have
outstanding reputation among others in the field and to have advanced degrees, published
articles, unusual skills, or interdisciplinary training in the specific projects or programs
treated by the position. On the other hand, when there is a shortage of qualified candidates in
a particular occupation, a basically qualified candidate may be found superior without having
advanced degrees or unusual attainments, based on a finding that he/she is better able to
perform the needed work than other candidates who were recruited or who could reasonably be
expected to respond to renewed recruiting efforts. In an emerging specialty where persons
with directly pertinent formal education or high-level experience do not exist, a candidate
with related experience or unusually high attainment in the broad occupational field (e.g.
management, law, physics), or with demonstrated ability to adapt to different subject-matter
specialties, may be found to have superior qualifications. The qualifications of the candidate
are only one factor which must be considered as part of a total picture.

2. Existing pay. One of the factors to be considered when deciding whether to request an
advanced rate for a candidate is the existing pay which the candidate would have to forfeit by
accepting Federal employment. Existing pay includes the candidate's actual income from
his/her present position and from any outside employment which forms a regular, continuing
portion of the candidate's total income and which the candidate will not be able to continue as
a Federal employee. (Actual income for this purpose does not include projected or annualized
earnings higher than the candidate actually receives, unless such projections are supported by
firm offers. For example, a candidate who is paid on a 10-month basis cannot be credited with
12 times his or her monthly salary. A candidate who works 20 hours a week cannot be credited
with double his or her actual pay as the 40-hour equivalent unless the candidate has an offer to
work full time. A consultant who has had a single contract or assignment at a rate
significantly higher than his or her previous earnings may not be credited with annual income
based on that rate unless he or she has other offers of assignments at the same rate.) Current
bona fide offers of employment at a higher rate than the candidate's existing salary may also
be considered. While, in a few instances, it may be appropriate to consider the monetary value

Attachment 1 to FPM Letter 338-9 (3)

of fringe benefits which are substantially superior to those offered by the Government, the
Federal fringe package compares favorably to those available in the private sector so it is not
expected that this will be a significant factor in most cases. The candidate's existing pay is
only one factor to be considered; this factor and the candidate's superior or unique
qualifications must be considered jointly.

3. Special need of the Government for the candidate's services. In extremely rare instances,
an advanced hiring rate may be appropriate when the conditions discussed above are not
strictly met, but when there is a need for the services of a particular candidate because
his/her special experience, knowledge, or skills are essential to the accomplishment of a highly
important agency program objective. In other words, it must be clearly demonstrated that a
significant part of the agency's mission will have to be curtailed if the candidate is not hired.
Mere inconvenience to the agency does not meet this criterion. Also, curtailment of a
function at a single-agency activity would not justify approval of an advanced rate unless this
function was a material part of a major agency program. For example, curtailment of hours at
a health unit operated for the benefit of an agency's employees or dependents would not create
a special need; but curtailment of hours at an Indian Health clinic operated by an agency with
a primary responsibility for providing health care to Indians might constitute such a need.

d. Determining the rate. Because a conservative approach to pay setting is generally
desirable, as a general rule agencies should not request authority to use a rate which is more
than $5,000 above the candidate's existing pay. However, when justified by exceptional or
unusual circumstances, the OPM or an agency, as authorized by a delegation agreement, may
approve a higher rate than is provided for by the general rule. In no case may an advanced
rate be approved to circumvent any other restriction. For example, an advanced rate may not
be used to compensate for military retired pay forfeited under dual compensation law.

e. Relation to current employees. Before requesting an advanced rate for a new appointee,
agencies should ensure that current employees will not be adversely impacted. In other words,
it is important not to disrupt pay alignment of an organization just to hire a single individual if
that individual does not truly meet the requirements for an advanced pay rate.

f. Using authority to recruit persons with Ph.D degrees. When candidates having recent Ph.D.
degrees appropriate to the positions to be filled are found to have superior qualifications,
these candidates may be currently unemployed, or may be employed at the university where
they received the degree so that their incomes may be nonexistent or artificially low. In these
cases, agencies should consider the number of offers which the individual has received and the
rate at which Ph.D. degree holders are being paid in the candidate's field.

g. Procedures for requesting prior approval. Request for prior approval under this authority
should be submitted only after it is determined that authority exists for the appointment
either by virtue of the candidate's being within reach on a certificate of eligibles or having
reinstatement or noncompetitive appointment eligibility if the position is in the competitive
service, or by application of the procedures prescribed in Part 302 of the regulations if the
position is in the excepted service. In agencies which have delegation agreements with OPM
for the exercise of this authority, requests will be submitted to the officials) designated in the
agreement in accordance with procedures established by the agencies. Agencies which have
not established delegation agreements with OPM, will submit requests for positions at GS-15
and below to the regional director in the OPM region which contains the area office which has
examining jurisdiction over the position or, for excepted positions, to the region which would
have examining jurisdiction if the positions were not excepted. (For attorney positions,
requests should be sent to the regional or central office having geographic jurisdiction over the
position.) For positions under the jurisdiction of the OPM central office, requests should be
sent to the Deputy Associate Director for Staffing, Attention: Inservice Placement Branch,

Attachment 1 to FPM Letter 338-9 (4)

OPM, Washington, D.C. 20415. For all positions at GS-16 and above, requests should be sent to
the Assistant Director, Senior Executive Service, EPMD, OPM, Washington, D.C. 2041,.
Requests should include: (1) two copies of Standard Form 59, Request for Approval of
Noncompetitive Action; and (2) one copy of all other supporting material including (a) the
candidate's application, (b) Standard Forms 39, Certification Form, and 39A, Request and
Justification for Selective Factors and Quality Ranking Factors, if appropriate, with notation.
of the disposition of each eligible on the certificate, such as declined or nonselected, (c)
information about the position to be filled, including current position description, and the
appointing authority used, (d) the rate which is requested and the basis for that rate, (e) a
complete justification for the use of the authority, (f) a list of recruiting sources used, and g)i-
a comparison of the candidate's qualifications with those of others within reach on the
certificate, or any who may have been determined to be among the best qualified by internal.
merit promotion procedures.


Attachment 2 to FPM Letter 338-9(1)

(For interim use pending publication in FPM.)



Development of employees through training is carried on by all Government departments and
agencies as a continuing part of the management responsibility as discussed in Chapter 410,
Training. It is only when training is to be used as a substitution for normal qualification
standards requirements or as a basis for promotion under section 6-4c of chapter 300, or both,
that formal agreement must be executed with the OPM or developed under the terms of a
delegation agreement between the agency and the Office. This section covers only that small
area of training which is conducted under such formal training agreements.


a. Purpose. A training agreement is a useful management tool for special recognition and
advancement of persons with high potential in career fields essential to the effective
accomplishment of agency mission. Although not required for such placement, a training
agreement may also be a useful vehicle for preparing employees, who would otherwise be
separated, for placement in another agency, as provided in subsection (b) of section 4103 of
title 5, United States Code. A training agreement makes it possible to substitute intensive,
accelerated training for a portion of the normal qualification requirements. Specifically, a
training agreement can authorize the following:

(1) Waiver of qualification requirements for trainee positions to permit employees to
enter the program;

(2) Credit of time spent in training at an accelerated rate for qualifications or time-in-
grade purposes;

(3) Credit as specialized experience of rotational assignments outside the target
occupation; and/or

(4) Extension of details up to the maximum limits provided under section 8-3 of chapter

b. Need for prior approval. Since a training agreement is, in essence, a modification of
qualification standards, the OPM or an agency acting under an agreement with OPM must
review and approve the training plans before the trainees enter the training program. This
review is to make certain that the training will, or can be predicted to, equip the candidate for
promotion to perform higher level work (or in reassignments, to work in a different
occupational area), even though he/she has not had the amount and kind of experience or
education called for in the qualification standard.

c. Justification. Because an approved training agreement authorizes exceptions to require-
ments which are normally considered to be the minimum needed for successful performance,
the agreement should be developed for a valid objective which serves the administrative
interest of the agency. For example, an agreement involving exceptions to normal qualifica-
tion requirements may be designed to increase effectiveness of personnel utilization by

Attachment 2 to FPM Letter 338- 9 (2)

broadening managerial skills, developing special skills needed in an emerging occupation,
retraining employees whose positions are becoming obsolete because of technological ad-
vances, or creating career opportunities for lower level employees who demonstrate potential
for more responsible work. An agreement involving an exception to normal time-in-grade ...
requirements must be needed to permit recruitment and retention of qualified personnelini an
occupation characterized by shortage of eligibles and must document scarcity of qualified ..
personnel at the level at which employees will serve on completion of training under the agree- J
ment, difficulty in recruiting personnel at the trainee level in relation to the available labor :-.p..
supply and agency recruiting efforts, and difficulty in retaining personnel in the line of work
covered by the training agreement. .


a. Comparison with other internal training programs. Training programs developed lby
agencies for their internal use should contain clear guides to the methods of selection of .::
trainees, identification of positions tc be filled under the program, nature of the training : i
to be given, and the methods for evaluating the effectiveness of the training. (At the time the
training programs are being developed, agencies should make sure the classifications of the
trainee and target positions are current and accurate since both the planning and the success
of the program are largely based on this assumption.) In developing programs utilizing formal
training agreements, agencies should also consider the need to provide training or opportunity
for movement to persons who already meet basic qualifications. This is particularly true when
developing an agreement for upward mobility or cross training which will allow employees to
move into new occupations. Making a training agreement the only avenue for such movement
may have undesirable results: either fully qualified employees, who do not really need the
training, may apply for the program and outrank in competition those for whom the training is
designed; or, if fully qualified employees are bypassed for desirable assignments by those with
lesser qualifications, morale may suffer and turnover may increase. Agencies should
remember that a training agreement is only one staffing tool and must be used in connection
with other methods to produce the best utilization of personnel.

b. Selection of trainees. (1) Sources of candidates. Candidates for a training program may
come from within or outside the agency. However, first consideration should be given to those
persons within the workforce who meet eligibility requirements for purposes of the training
program. Generally, training agreements aimed at correcting staffing problems, such as
underutilization of employees or overstaffing in a particular function or occupation, will limit
competition to current employees, while agreements aimed at creating a pool of talent for
administrative and managerial jobs may provide for consideration of eligibles from all sources.
Whatever sources are used, consideration must be limited to candidates who are eligible for
movement into the target positions, i.e. to career and career-conditional employees, to
persons eligible for reinstatement or noncompetitive appointment, to persons within reach for
appointment from competitive civil service registers, or to persons serving under excepted
appointing authorities, such as veterans readjustment appointments or Schedule A appoint-
ments of the severely physically handicapped, which provide for conversion to competitive
status and/or movement into competitive positions. A training agreement by itself does not
constitute proper authority for movement of temporary or excepted employees into the
competitive career service, and such employees may not be converted unless other legal
authority exists for their movement.

...... .. ... ............ .................. I

Attachment 2 to FPM Letter 338-9 (3)

(2) Qualification standards to be used. Depending on the purpose of the training
program, trainees may be required to meet all or part of the published qualification standard
for the trainee position, plus any additional requirements such as supervisory potential which
may be appropriate for the trainee or target position, or may be rated solely on their potential
to absorb the training and to succeed and progress in the target occupation. The training
agreement cannot impose any form of positive education requirements except those already
required by published qualification standards governing the trainee or target positions, nor can
the agreement constitute proper authority to waive such requirements when contained in the
applicable standards for target or trainee positions.

(3) Methods for selecting trainees. Methods for evaluating prospective trainees may
include review of their training and experience (including that gained off the job through
volunteer activities, union activities, etc.), supervisory evaluations, written tests, oral
interviews, and assessment centers. All methods for evaluating and selecting trainees must
conform to the requirements of merit promotion policy as described in chapter 335 and
Supplement 335-1 and to the Uniform Guidelines for Employee Selection Procedures, i.e., they
must be valid and job related. In particular, written tests must be used in accordance with the
guidelines contained in Supplement 335-1. Service requirements beyond those specified in
time-in-grade regulations and published qualification standards (e.g., requirements that
employees have completed a specified amount of time in the agency, in their current grades or
positions, or since their last formal training) may be imposed only if they clearly meet the
tests of validity and job relatedness for the positions filled under the training agreement. Since
training agreements are typically used to qualify employees for new career fields or new
responsibilities, such administrative service requirements will very rarely be appropriate.

c. Content of the training program. The training program may include both on-the-job and
formal training. However, trainees may not be required to complete or maintain a specified
grade-point average in college courses other than courses required by a published qualification
standard; establishment by agencies of such positive education requirements is prohibited by
section 3308 of title 5, United States Code. Neither may trainees be required to take courses
after working hours, as such required training would constitute uncompensated overtime,
which is prohibited by the Fair Labor Standards Act. The content of the training program
should be designed to supplement the trainees' present qualifications so that they will be able
to perform the requirements of the target position at the end of the training program. At
least 50 percent of the training must be in the target occupation or directly related fields.
The entire program must be of sufficient length to accomplish this goal.

d. Credit for training. () Training may be credited at an accelerated rate only if it can be
expected to quicken the rate of development of the trainee over that normally obtained from
experience on the job. If the proposed training actually will reduce the time required to
qualify a person with high learning ability to perform the duties of the target position, this
training may be credited at a rate of no more than one month of training for two months of on-
the-job performance. For purposes of time-in-grade requirements, training agreements which
provide for accelerated promotions may not be used to permit consecutive promotions at an
accelerated rate. For qualifications purposes, the training provided each employee under a
training agreement must be at least half as long as the difference between the qualifications
which that employee brings into the program and the qualifications required by the published
standard for the target position. For example, if an employee who has completed 2 years of
college but has held routine clerical positions is selected to train for a target position of
Management Analyst, GS-7, the employee's education would substitute for 18 months of the

Attachment 2 to FPM Letter 338-9 (4)

general experience required by the Standard, and the employee would need to make up ISI.'.||1|
months of general and 1 year of specialized experience. The employee's training time would,
therefore, be at least 15 months.

(2) Training agreements may be used in conjunction with the General Amendment for
Crediting Experience contained in the Handbook X-ll8 qualification standards. The Genet.:'
Amendment permits employees td qualify for positions for which they have demonstrae.ii :i j
competence at the full p&rformande ev61l and have experience in closely related fields, evi
though they may not me6t the full specialized experience requirement contained in t
applicable standard. A training agreement which gives employees the opportunity to gain ai
demonstrate competence in occupations related to their own may be a useful tool fqoi
executive and managerial development. Although the General Amendment does not spe. iii
the length of time which must be spent in an occupation in order to demonstrate acceptafsii
competence, assignments for this purpose made under a training agreement should be.: $i.iil
sufficient length to ensure that the employee has the opportunity to perform all signifkr'.i!a i
functions of the occupation, including those which occur at widely spaced intervals.

(3) Because training which justifies credit at an accelerated rate must be designed :1il'O;i
include all essential knowledge, skills and abilities needed in a specific target position I;t:i,
occupation, completion of less than the full program of training cannot be assumed to equ ,iEy .!
enhance an employee's ability to learn and succeed in the target position. Therefore, .iieiii
training agreement may be the basis for crediting qualifications or service at an acceJerated :
rate only when making assignments to positions under the program; it may not praov ide:i
accelerated credit for qualifications earned in training by anyone who leaves the program ,:
without reaching the target position.

e. Flexibility in the program. To avoid the necessity for minor amendments of training
agreements, and to make known in advance to trainees the types of circumstances which MWlii:'
prolong their training, agencies may wish to include flexibility provisions which would make it
possible to:

(1) Tailor, within the total length of the training program, the length and intensity of tie -
subject matter to the individual needs of different trainees in terms of differences in their
total backgrounds.

(2) Extend the length of the training program for a specific length of time, e.g., an
additional 3-6 months, to cover contingencies such as:

-Trainee's inability to grasp a portion of the training given.

-Illness. li

-Annual leave.

(3) Alter sequence of training to allow for learning experience to be responsive to ii
actual work situations as they arise during the training period when conditions or experience
indicates the desirability of these changes.

(4) Add or modify subject-matter material depending on technological changes, the
needs of the agency and the trainees, and evaluation of experience with the training program.

f. Evaluation of trainees' progresS. The training plan should provide definite means of
evaluating the progress of each trainee upon completion of each major phase of the training or
at regular time intervals to determine how well each phase has been learned and when the

Attachment 2 to FPM Letter 3384 (5)

trainee is able to perform in the target position. The final evaluation should contain
information on such matters as trainee's overall progress, demonstrated ability to apply
subject matter of the training, and capacity to perform assignments at a higher level of
difficulty and/or with greater independence and responsibility, to support the decision made
whether the trainee has satisfactorily completed the program and what personnel action is to
be taken, e.g., promotion, reassignment, removal from the program. Because a downgrade to
enter a training program is considered to be voluntary for merit promotion purposes, a training
agreement may not provide for noncompetitive promotion of trainees who fail to complete
the program successfully to their former grades or positions.

g. Time limit on training agreements. All training agreements approved by the Office of
Personnel Management will expire automatically 2 years after the date of Office approval
unless a shorter time limitation is specified. Training agreements approved by agencies
under delegation agreements with OPM need not have a 2-year expiration date. However, to
ensure periodic evaluation of training program effectiveness, such agreements should provide
for review of the agreement and renewal or cancellation, as appropriate, at regular intervals.


a. Employee personnel folder. A written record of satisfactory completion of training under
an approved training agreement must be a part of each trainee's Official Personnel Folder to
show that all of the terms of the training agreement have been met.

b. Training file. The training program file should contain a record of the actual training given
to each trainee. This record should be maintained for a minimum of 2 years after the
completion of training.


a. Requirements governing training. Training provided under a training agreement is subject
to all requirements applicable to training generally. These requirements are contained in
chapter 41 of title 5, United States Code, Executive Order 11348, Part 410 of OPM's regulations,
and in various other statutes or policies (such as individual agencies' appropriations acts) which
make specific provisions concerning training. Approval of a training agreement by OPM does
not constitute either a direct or implied agreement that the proposed training meets these
requirements; nor may approval of a training agreement by either OPM or an agency be the
basis for waiver of any of these requirements.

b. Requirements governing promotions. A training agreement may be the basis for promotions
as provided in subchapter 6 of chapter 300. An employee may be promoted a maximum of two
grades (or equivalent) in 1 year solely as a result of training agreements. When the
employee has had prior service which may be counted in determining eligibility for further
promotion, promotions of more than two grades in 1 year may result. Also, an employee
may have been promoted recently under another exception in subchapter 6 and that promotion
plus promotions under training agreements may result in promotions of more than two grades
in a 1-year period. The restriction in subchapter 5 of chapter 330, providing for a 3-month
waiting period after the employee's latest contemporary competitive appointment, applies to
promotion under training agreements.

1II llil3 l l l I III 313111 A l IIIIIl
3 1262 08729 3139

c. Restrictions an "quality graduates." Newly hired grade GS-7 .employees wiho.:
that grade an the basis of college graduation alone under the superior academie..c
standard will need to be trained in an intensive, carefully planned manner. Bee
employees have had no work experience or graduate study n whieh to bui,"tI
need to remain at the GS-7 level for a minimum of a full year in irder to p-et
development of their ability to perform at the GS-9 level. Therefore, training agrp
not be approved which will have the effect of authorizing'~ p.omotoui at tis
from GS-7 to GS-9 in less than the usual 1-year period of GS-7 experience.: Te~
allow exceptions to this policy only in rare eases when needed to ove;.doi e rnasl
recruiting and retention problems. If a program permitting accelerated pnroM.ti '
graduates is authorized, the agency must ensure that the classifieation the t
target positions is current and accurate, that the plan provides definitive means1e:
the progress of each trainee to determine when the trainee is able to perform i.
position, and that trainees are promoted to the GS-9 level only. when they .I
evidence of the knowledge, skills and abilities required toperfom at that. eve
trainees should be advised that promotions are not automate and are buntit
fulfillment of the training objectives, which should include clear descriptions of thel
skills and abilities to be acquired and the proficiency to be achieved.

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