Human Resources Desk Guide (HRDG) - Introduction

Human Resources Desk Guide (HRDG) Introduction


 What is the Human Resources Desk Guide?

The HRDG is HRD's mechanism for communicating personnel procedures for the three agencies that comprise USDA's Marketing and Regulatory Programs: AMS, APHIS and GIPSA.

The purpose of the guide is to give supervisors, managers and employees information needed to fulfill their personnel responsibilities. The HRDG is carefully written and organized to present the information in the clearest and most useful way possible.

 Who is the audience for the HRDG? Can I have one? 

The HRDG is available to all MRP supervisors, managers and employees through the HRD home page under the "HR Guides & Directives" button. We do not print, stock or mail hard copies of the HRDG.

We encourage use of the on-line copy so you never have to worry about missing out on an update, but if you're more comfortable with a hard copy, it is possible for you to print Sections of interest (one section at a time) using the "Printable Version" button. If you choose to do that, please make sure to check the “HRDG Updates” area of the HR web site occasionally to see if there have been any changes to the material you are referencing. Another suggestion is to only print the Table of Contents for the chapters you are interested in so you can browse that before going on-line to find what you need.

How will I know when HRDG materials are added or changed? 

Here are some ways you will know when chapters are issued or changed:

  • Subject matter experts often send e-mails, have meetings, or communicate otherwise with customers about new issuances.
  • Updates are listed in Quarterly Issuance Checklists that are sent to all MRP offices.
  • Changes are posted in the following areas of the HR home page:

 How is the HRDG organized? 

HRDG Subchapters are organized in a numbering pattern that follows the patterns used for USDA Directives and the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

Example: HRDG Subchapter 4630

  • The first digit indicates the area of primary responsibility in the USDA Directives system. All USDA personnel directives begin with the number 4 (e.g., 4630).
  • The next three digits indicate the appropriate Departmental Personnel Manual chapter and CFR part/section (e.g., 4 630).
  • Corresponding directives often have an extension to indicate the number of directives issued in that particular series (e.g., 4630 .1, 4630 .2, etc.).


Sometimes there is material that doesn't fit neatly into one Subchapter/category, because it covers several topics. These materials are listed as “Supplements” and can be found at the end of the HRDG.

 How does the HRDG relate to Directives and Administrative Notices? 

Directives are broad statements of agency or mission area policy, signed by the Administrator or his/her designee. When it is necessary or helpful to supplement policy statements with operating guidelines, they are issued in the HRDG.

Administrative Notices are temporary issuances used to establish short-term procedures and to announce interim regulations. They have an automatic expiration date of 1 year.

Directives and Administrative Notices can be issued without corresponding HRDG material, and vice versa.

 What if I still have questions? 

You may contact your servicing human resources specialist at any time for information, clarification and guidance on any human resources topics.

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