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Performance management handbook (appraisal) - chapter 6

Chapter 6. Timetable of Performance Management Activities Annual Performance Cycles

Employees covered by this system are appraised annually under one of the following appraisal periods: October 1 through September 30, or November 1 through October 31 (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Wage Marine only).

Minimum Appraisal Period 

The minimum performance appraisal period is 120 days. A minimum appraisal period is normally determined using calendar days, except when an adjustment to the minimum appraisal is needed due to an employee who isin a nonpay status for part of the appraisal cycle (e.g., leave without pay, intermittent work schedules, re-employed annuitants).In these cases, workdays are used.

New Plans

Performance plans for all employees must be established and approved within 60 days of the beginning of the appraisal cycle. When an employee enters a position or changes positions after the start of the annual appraisal cycle, a plan must be established and approved within 60 days of the effective date of the appointment to the new position.

When an employee is detailed or temporarily promoted to a position within the Department and is expected to serve in the position for 120 days or longer, an approved performance plan must be established and approved within 60 days from the beginning of a detail or temporary promotion. 

Progress Reviews

At least one progress review, or midterm appraisal, must be completed for each employee during each appraisal cycle. For the typical employee who is in a position on the first day of the appraisal cycle, this progress review should take place at or near the midpoint of the cycle. Both employees and supervisors may request additional progress reviews throughout the appraisal cycle as necessary.

Final Appraisals

Summary ratings/ratings of record must be completed within 30 days of the end of the annual appraisal period, except:

  • New employees, who are un-ratable at the end of the appraisal period because they have not served in a position for at least the minimum appraisal period (120 days) of the operating unit, must be rated within 30 days after they have served for the minimum appraisal period;
  • Schedule A employees of the U.S. Census Bureau must receive their ratings with 60 days of the appraisal period; and
  • Employees who at the last day of the appraisal period have begun, but have not completed, an opportunity period to improve performance to an acceptable level will have their ratings deferred until the completion of the opportunity period.

There is no minimum required period that a supervisor must be in place before completing an employee’s appraisal as long as that supervisor was in place on the last day of the rating cycle. 

Departing Supervisors

When a rating official changes positions or leaves the Department:

  • More than 120 days remaining of the appraisal period, or
  • Less than 120 days remaining in the appraisal period

he or she should complete interim ratings for his or her employees (who served in their current position 120 days) before leaving the position and/or the Department. 

In many cases, these interim ratings may become the final rating of record for employees who serve in several positions (for less than 120 days) throughout the remainder of the appraisal period.

In both situations, the departing supervisor must do the following:

  • Request written accomplishments from each employee.
  • Prepare/sing the interim rating for each employee (check interim ratings on Summary Rating page of CD-430).
  • Transmit the interim rating to the new supervisor.
  • Discuss the employee’s performance without divulging the interim rating.
  • Notify the employee that the interim rating may be changes by the new supervisor before it becomes final on September 30.