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Career Transition Assistance Programs


Since early 1996, Executive branch agencies have been required to have Career Transition Assistance Plans for their surplus and displaced employees. Surplus or displaced Federal employees may be entitled to special priority selection under the Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP).

Agency Career Transition Assistance Plans (CTAP)

Agency Plans must consist of three parts:

1) Agency Career Transition Services

Each agency provides career transition services to its employees in order to give them the skills and resources necessary to find other employment. These services can include, but are not limited to: skills assessment, resume preparation, counseling, and job search assistance. Agencies must also develop policies for retraining their employees who are affected by downsizing.

2) Agency Special Selection Priority under the Career Transition Assistance Plan

Well-qualified surplus or displaced agency employees who apply for vacancies within their own agency components in the local commuting area must be selected before any other candidate from within or outside the agency.

3) Agency Reemployment Priority List (RPL)

Each agency is also required to establish and maintain an RPL for each commuting area in which it separates eligible employees due to a reduction in force or due to full recovery from a compensable injury after more than 1 year. RPL registration is available as soon as the employee receives a Reduction in Force (RIF) separation notice. When an agency fills a position with a candidate from outside its workforce, employees registered on the agency's RPL must be selected before anyone from outside the agency can be hired.

Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP)

Through the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP), displaced employees are given the tools and resources to help them make successful career transitions. They have the opportunity to apply for positions in the local commuting area and exercise special priority selection for these positions. This means that an employee who has a RIF notice of separation, for example, can apply for a competitive service vacancy announced by another agency in the local commuting area, and if found well-qualified, must be selected for the position over an applicant from outside the agency.

Requirements for Eligibility

Special selection priority may be given to displaced federal employees who are eligible for ICTAP. Please refer to the information in The Employee's Guide to Career Transition (linked to below), for information on whether you are eligible.

Selection priority for CTAP/ICTAP is limited to positions at or below the grade level of the position from which an individual is (or will be) separated that does not have more promotion potential.

To receive special priority selection, CTAP and ICTAP applicants must submit proof of eligibility as described below, meet all qualification and eligibility requirements, be rated well-qualified (i.e., receive a score of 85 or higher without points added for veterans' preference) and be able to perform the duties of the position upon entry.

CTAP/ICTAP applicants must submit proof that they meet the requirements of 5 CFR 330.605 (a) for CTAP and 5 CFR 330.704 for ICTAP. Therefore if you are applying to an announcement as CTAP or ICTAP you must submit the following:

1. Documentation proving eligibility (RIF separation notice, notice of removal for declining a reassignment, etc.)

2. A copy of your most recent Performance Rating (must be at least Fully Successful)

3. A copy of your most recent SF-50 showing the position, grade level, and duty location of the position from which you were (or will be) separated. Please annotate your application to reflect that you are applying as an CTAP or ICTAP eligible.

For additional information, visit the following OPM sites:


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