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Performance management handbook (appraisal) - chapter 13

Chapter 13. Reduction-in-Force

The purpose of this chapter is to provide basic information on reduction-in-force as it relates to performance management. Contact your servicing human resources office for assistance and specific guidance on this subject.

Ratings of Record

For reduction-in-force (RIF) purposes, ratings of record include those given at the end of the:

  • Appraisal period; 
  • Minimum appraisal period; or 
  • Opportunity period to demonstrate acceptable performance (if an improved rating is given). 

In a RIF, an employee will receive service credit based on an average of the employee's three most recent ratings of record received during the four-year period (See Note below) prior to the date of the issuance of a specific RIF notice (or an officially designated performance credit cut-off date). Service credit is computed as follows:

  • Level 5 - 20 years 
  • Level 4 - 16 years 
  • Level 3 - 12 years 
  • Level 2 - 0 years
  • Level 1 - 0 years

An employee who does not have a rating of record will be assigned a modal rating. A modal rating is the summary rating level assigned most frequently among the actual ratings of record given that are: 

  • Assigned under the same summary pattern that applies to the employee’s position of record on the date of the reduction-in-force;
  • Given within the same competitive area or, at the agency’s option, within a larger subdivision of the agency or agency-wide; and
  • On record for the most recently completed appraisal period prior to the date of issuance of reduction-in-force notices, or the cut-off date the agency specifies prior to the issuance of reduction-in-force notices after which no new ratings will be put on record.

NOTE: Employees formerly covered under a 2-level system will receive service credit as follows:

  • Meets or Exceeds Expectations – 12 years
  • Does Not Meet Expectations – 0 years