HRDG 4430 - Performance Management - Section D

HRDG 4430 - Performance Management - Section D

Subchapter 4430
Performance Management 

Section D - Conducting End of Performance Cycle Ratings

 

 

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Introduction
Updated 09/16
At the end of the appraisal period performance cycle, the supervisor considers observed performance and feedback provided by the employee, customers, and management to evaluate the employee's accomplishments. This section describes the requirements and procedures for providing the annual official rating of record.
Timeframe for Ratings
Updated 09/16
The performance appraisal cycle ends on September 30 of each year. Performance ratings must be completed within 30 days after the end of the performance cycle (October 30).
Minimum Appraisal Period
Updated 09/16

The minimum appraisal period is 90 days. An employee must be covered by performance standards by June 30 in order to be evaluated by the end of the cycle (September 30). If the employee has not served under performance standards for 90 days, the appraisal period should be extended. For example, if an employee begins work in a new position on July 27 and his/her performance plan is established and communicated on August 1, the appraisal period should be extended until November 1 and a rating of record prepared at that time.

Employees hired on or after August 16 must be issued a performance plan (within 15 days of start date) for the new performance year and would not require an extension of the current performance cycle.   Employees reassigned to new positions on or after August 16 must be issued a performance plan for the upcoming performance cycle by the new supervisor.  The employee’s former supervisor would be responsible to conducting the employee’s performance appraisal for the ending performance cycle.  The new supervisor should make efforts to contact the former supervisor to ensure the rating is prepared, approved by the former Reviewing Official, and shared with the employee. 

Input from Former Supervisors
Updated 09/16
When an employee has had a performance plan in place for the minimum period (90 days) and works under different supervisors during the appraisal period, each supervisor of 90 days or more must prepare an interim appraisal and forward it to the employee's rating official supervisor of record for appropriate consideration.

If there is a permanent change in the immediate supervisor during the rating cycle, former and new supervisors should ensure that employees get receive a performance rating for the cycle. The former supervisor should forward an advisory interim rating to the new supervisor, who will consider it when assigning the performance rating at the end of the rating cycle.
Input from Team Leaders and Acting Supervisors
Updated 09/16
Team Leaders should provide input regarding the performance of team members to the supervisor. Team Leaders should not conduct or sign performance appraisals for team members, unless designated by the supervisor and assigned the responsibility in the Team Leader's position description and performance plan.

Acting Supervisors should provide input regarding the performance of employees to the Reviewing Official. Reviewing Officials are responsible for conducting and signing performance evaluations until the supervisory position is permanently filled.
Input from Acting Supervisors
Updated 09/16

Acting Supervisors (those in acting roles at the end of the performance year or at the end of an extended appraisal period) may serve as rating or reviewing officials provided the following:

  • The employees have been under established performance plans for a minimum of 90 days;
  • The acting supervisor is officially designated as acting for a period of at least 60 days, either by detail or temporary promotion;
  • The acting supervisor has had formal training in assessing and rating performance (course via classroom training or AgLearn course);
  • If the acting supervisor has been in the acting supervisory role for fewer than 90 days, there is at least one interim rating to consider in the rating of record.

If the above provisions are not in place, the second-level supervisor will serve as the Rating official, and the third-level supervisor will serve as the Reviewing Official. 

Ratings for Employees on Details and/or Temporary Promotions
Updated 09/16
If an employee is detailed into a different position within the organization or is temporarily promoted for more than 120 90 days, the supervisor responsible for the detail or temporary promotion must establish elements and standards and communicate them, in writing, to the employee normally within 30 15 days of the start of the detail or temporary promotion. An interim progress review rating must be conducted prepared to document the employee's accomplishments performance at the end of the detail or temporary promotion and provided to the employee's rating official supervisor of record for consideration in the final rating of record issued at the end of the performance year. Upon completion of the detail or temporary promotion, the supervisor should document the employee’s performance and forward the performance feedback to the employee’s official supervisor of record for consideration in the final rating issued at the end of the performance year. 

If an employee is detailed into a different position within the Department or is temporarily promoted for 120 days or less less than 90 days, written performance elements and standards are not required. The supervisor responsible for the detail or temporary promotion should document the employee's accomplishments at the end of the detail or temporary promotion and forward it to the employee's rating official for appropriate consideration.

When employees are detailed outside of the Agency or Staff Office, the rating official must make a reasonable effort to obtain appraisal information from the outside organization.
Performance Appraisals for Employees on Active Military Duty 
 

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) require federal agencies to treat employees who deploy to perform military service as if they never left their civilian jobs.

  • A performance rating cannot be prepared unless the employee has completed the 90 day minimum appraisal period.
  • When a rating cannot be prepared at the end of the appraisal period, regulations require extending the appraisal period until the rating can be prepared (5 CFR 430.208(g) and 430.308(e)).
  • Federal regulations prohibit presumed and carryover ratings
     
    • Ratings must be based only on the evaluation of actual job performance for the designated appraisal period (5 CFR 30.208(a)(1)).
    • A rating of record may not assume a level of performance without an actual evaluation (5 CFR 430.208(a)(2)).
    • Agencies may not carry over ratings from a previous appraisal period without an actual evaluation of performance during the subsequent appraisal period (5 CFR 430.208(h)).
Documenting Performance (Completing the AD-435)
Updated 09/16

The table below describes the procedure for documenting performance:

Step: Action:
1. Determine the Rating Level for Each Element

The supervisor determines which of the three element rating levels is most appropriate by comparing the employee's performance with the fully successful performance standard definition that is established for that element. Then, the supervisor checks the appropriate box on the Form AD-435B to designate the rating for that element as:

  • “Exceeds,”
  • “Fully Successful,” or
  • “Does Not Meet Fully Successful.”

 

Supervisors must provide either an overall narrative justification of the summary rating or a written justification for each element rating, or both. A written justification is required for any element rated “Does Not Meet Fully Successful”.

2. Determine the Summary Performance Level

After all the elements have been rated, the supervisor transfers element ratings to the AD-435 last page of the AD-435E or AD-435S and determines a summary performance level rating. There are five summary levels, which are based on the following criteria:

  • Outstanding: All appraisal units for critical and non-critical elements were earned at the Exceeds Fully Successful level. A summary rating of Outstanding must be assigned when all performance elements are rated Exceeds Fully Successful.  This summary rating should reflect: (a) a level of performance for the appraisal period that shows exceptional contributions to the accomplishment of the Department and Agency or Staff Office mission; (b) a demonstrated mastery of required technical skills and a thorough understanding of the mission of the organization; (c) a level of effort which has had a fundamental impact on the completion of program objectives; and (d) an exceptional quality and quantity of work produced significantly ahead of established schedules or deadlines and with very little or no supervision. 
  • Superior: More appraisal units for critical and non-critical elements were earned at the Exceeds Fully Successful level than at the Meets Fully Successful level, and no appraisal units were earned at the Does Not Meet Fully Successful level. A summary rating of Superior must be assigned when: (a) Not all elements are rated Exceeds Fully Successful; (b) The unit points in the Exceeds Fully Successful column on the AD435-E or AD435-S are greater than the unit points in the Meets Fully Successful column; and (c) No elements are rated Does Not Meet Fully Successful.
  • Fully Successful: Appraisal units earned at the Meets Fully Successful level equal or surpass the number of appraisal units earned at the Exceeds Fully Successful level, and no critical element was rated Does Not Meet Fully Successful.  A summary rating of Fully Successful must be assigned when: (a) The unit points in the Meets Fully Successful column on the AD435-E and AD435-S are greater than the number of points in the Exceeds Fully Successful column; and (b) No elements are rated Does Not Meet Fully Successful.
     
  • Marginal: More appraisal units (for non-critical elements only) were earned at the Does Not Meet Fully Successful level than at the Exceeds Fully Successful level, and no critical element was rated Does Not Meet Fully Successful.
     
  • Minimally Satisfactory: A summary rating of Minimally Satisfactory must be assigned when no critical elements were rated Does Not Meet Fully Successful, but the level of performance in any non-critical element demonstrates the need for improvement to achieve a rating of Fully Successful.  If a performance plan does not contain any non-critical elements, this summary level will not be applicable.

    Supervisors must contact their servicing Employee Relations Specialist for guidance.

     
  • Unacceptable: One or more critical elements were rated at the Does Not Meet Fully Successful level. Should this occur, the supervisor must contact an employee relations specialist in HRD for guidance on how to proceed. A summary rating of Unacceptable must be assigned when the level of performance does not meet the established performance standards for Fully Successful in one or more of the employee’s critical elements.

    Supervisors must contact their servicing Employee Relations Specialist for guidance

The supervisor will identify the summary level by checking the appropriate block on the AD-435. Use the decision tree on the AD-435 for additional guidance. The supervisor will identify the summary rating by checking the appropriate block on the AD 435-E or AD 435-S.  The summary rating key is located on the last page of the AD 435-E or AD 435-S below the performance elements box.   

 
3. Obtain Reviewing Official Approval The employee's reviewing official Reviewing Official must review and approve must review and approve the supervisor's rating of record all employee ratings. The supervisor may not communicate ratings of record to employees prior to Reviewing Official approval. This does not preclude preliminary performance discussions between a supervisor and employee prior to the determination of the rating of record. This does not preclude preliminary performance discussions between a supervisor and employee prior to the determination of the rating of record.
4. Meet with the Employee / Employee Certification

The rating official must review the approved rating of record with the employee. The employee's signature on Form AD-435 will serve as certification that such a discussion took place. If this discussion cannot take place or the employee refuses to sign the Form AD-435, the supervisor must document the reason for not having the employee's signature on Form AD-435. The performance rating is valid and becomes the rating of record when the rating official and reviewing official sign the performance rating and document the reasons why the employee refused to sign the rating of record on Form AD-435.

The Reviewing Official must review and approve all employee ratings.  The supervisor may not communicate ratings of record to employees prior to Reviewing Official approval. This does not preclude preliminary performance discussions between a Rating Official and employee prior to the determination of the rating of record.

Note: MRP encourages the use of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program as a means to resolve performance disagreements. Please refer to the following for additional information.

  • APHIS (Employees Only)
  • GIPSA (PDF)
  • AMS - Employees may call Toll Free - 866-277-0328, or (Washington, DC) 202-690-3017
  • AMS -  Employees may call Toll Free – 866-277-0328, or (Washington, DC) 202-690-3017
  • APHIS (Employees Only Employees Only)
  • GIPSA
5. Complete End of Year Performance Process

When a performance rating of record is completed, the supervisor must:

  • Provide the employee a copy of the completed appraisal and worksheets (Forms AD-435, AD-435A, and AD-435B).
  • Retain one copy for the EPF.
  • Provide a copy of the completed rating (Form AD-435 only) to Human Resources Processing in Minneapolis for processing and maintenance.\


Summary ratings (AD-435) sent to HR Processing are maintained for a short period of time following input into the personnel database, and are then shredded. As a result, AD-435 forms are not available for retrieval by HR Processing, and are not filed in the electronic Official Personnel Folder (eOPF).

When a performance rating of record is completed and the evaluation meeting with the employee has been conducted, the supervisor must:

  • Provide the employee a copy of the completed appraisal (Forms AD 435-E or AD 435-S),

  • Retain one copy in the Employee Performance Folder (EPF).

  • Provide a copy of the completed rating (last page of Form AD435-E or AD435-S) to assigned Human Resources Processing Associate for entry in system.

Summary ratings (last page of Form AD435-E or AD435-S) sent to assigned HR Processing Associate are maintained for a short period of time for input into the personnel database and are then shredded. As a result, AD-435 forms are not available for retrieval by HR Processing.

Link to HR Processing webpage:  MRP HR Processing

 

Impact of Ratings on Other Personnel Actions
Updated 09/16

Performance ratings need to be completed timely (within 30 days after the end of the rating cycle) for a variety of reasons. The rating of record impacts other personnel actions, such as:

  • Probationary periods,
  • Granting within-grade increases,
  • Promotions,
  • Training and development,
  • Pay increases and performance awards, and
  • Retention service credit in a reduction in force.

 

Retention service credit in a reduction in force.


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