6.335.1  IRS Merit Promotion Plan and Internal Placement

Manual Transmittal

March 20, 2013

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised IRM 6.335.1, Promotion and Internal Placement.

Background

This IRM is part of the Servicewide effort to provide IRS Human Resource practitioners with the most current policies and procedures from the Human Capital Office, Employment, Talent and Security Division.

IRM 6.335.1, Merit Promotion Plan, dated December 29, 2009 has been revised to include current Servicewide policy and procedures. The following guidance has been superseded:

  1. Interim Guidance HCO-06-1110-002, Accelerated Training and Promotion Program, dated November 9, 2010.

  2. Policy 20, Priority Consideration, dated December 24, 2001.

  3. Policy 64, Restricted Area of Consideration for NBU Permanent Continuing Position Vacancy Announcement.

  4. Alert 335-32, Interim Procedures for Tracking Temporary Actions to Same or Lower Grade, dated June 4, 2010.

  5. Alert 335-39, LB&I Approval of Temporary Promotions for Specific Large Case Audits in Increments Longer than One Year, dated July 26, 2011.

  6. Alert 335-40, Calculating Limits on Temporary Promotions, dated November 23, 2011 (previously dated July 21, 2011).

  7. Alert 335-42, Quality Groups and Internal Non-Bargaining Unit (NBU) Positions Announced in an Automated Hiring System.

Material Changes

(1) IRM 6.335.1 provides Servicewide policy, standards, requirements, and guidance relating to the administration of promotion and internal placement within the IRS. This IRM must be read and interpreted in accordance with pertinent law, Governmentwide regulations, Treasury Human Resources Directives, and applicable case law. All previous official Servicewide policy guidance, requirements, and authorities formerly contained in memoranda, guides, processing guidance, and other documents are incorporated into this IRM, if current and applicable.

(2) For employees in bargaining units covered by negotiated agreements, appropriate negotiated agreement provisions relating to subjects in this Chapter should also be reviewed. For bargaining unit employees, should any of these instructions conflict with a provision of a negotiated agreement, the agreement will prevail.

(3) IRM 6.335.1.4, Definitions, was revised to include additional definitions.

(4) IRM 6.335.1.9, Career Promotions, was revised to include additional explanatory information.

(5) IRM 6.335.1.10.1, Calculating Limits on Non-Competitive Temporary Promotions, was added.

(6) IRM 6.335.1.10.6, LB&I Approval of Temporary Promotions for Specific Large Case Audits in Increments Longer than One Year, was added.

(7) IRM 6.335.1.12.14, Determining Highly and Best Qualified, was revised for additional clarification.

(8) IRM 6.335.1.12.14.1, Use of Quality Groups For Internal Non-Bargaining Unit (NBU) Non-Managerial Positions Announced in CareerConnector (CC), was added.

(9) IRM 6.335.1.12.16, Temporary Reassignment Actions, was added.

(10) IRM 6.335.1.12.16.1(2) Temporary Reassignment Actions, was reworded.

(11) IRM 6.335.1.17, Release of Evaluative Information to Employees, Unions and Others, was reworded.

(12) IRM 6.335.1.21.1, Accelerated Training and Promotion Program, was added.

(13) Exhibit 1-2, Acknowledgement of Temporary Promotion, was added.

(14) Exhibit 1-10, Calculating Limits for Temporary Promotions, was added.

(15) Exhibit 1-11, Acknowledgement of Temporary Reassignment, was added

(16) Editorial changes were made throughout as needed.

Effect on Other Documents

Interim Guidance HCO-06-1110-002, Accelerated Training and Promotion Program, dated November 9, 2010; Policy 20, Priority Consideration, dated December 24, 2001; Alert 335-32, Interim Procedures for Tracking Temporary Actions to Same or Lower Grade, dated June 4, 2010; Alert 335-39, LB&I Approval of Temporary Promotions for Specific Large Case Audits in Increments Longer than One Year, dated July 26, 2011; Alert 335-40, Calculating Limits on Temporary Promotions, dated November 23, 2011 (previously dated July 21, 2011); and IRM 6.335.1, Merit Promotion Plan, dated December 29, 2009, are superseded.

Audience

All Operating Divisions and Functions

Effective Date

(03-20-2013)

Becky Barber
Director, Employment, Talent and Security Division

6.335.1.1  (03-20-2013)
Overview of IRM 6.335.1

  1. This IRM constitutes the Merit Promotion Plan (Plan) of the IRS. In accordance with 5 CFR § 335.103, the Plan ensures a systematic means of selection for promotion and internal placement actions according to merit. Such actions must be taken in accordance with this Plan and all other applicable statutory, regulatory, and contractual requirements.

6.335.1.2  (03-20-2013)
Purpose

  1. The Plan ensures that promotions and other actions (whether competitive or noncompetitive) are based on merit, and that all employees are provided with the opportunity to develop their capabilities to the fullest.

  2. Merit system principles were established by the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA) and codified at 5 USC § 2301(b). All actions - whether identification, qualification, evaluation, or selection of candidates - will be made on a fair and equitable basis, without regard to any non-merit reason such as race, color, religion, age, gender, national origin, political affiliation, disability, sexual orientation, marital or family status, personal favoritism, membership or non-membership in an employee organization or activity, or the holding of office in an employee organization, and shall be based solely upon job related evaluation procedures.

  3. The Service provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation must notify their servicing Human Capital Office (HCO), Employment, Talent and Security Division (ETS), Employment Office (EO). Decisions on granting reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

6.335.1.3  (03-20-2013)
Scope and Authority

  1. This Plan applies to all positions within the IRS.

  2. The authority for this Plan is derived from 5 USC § 3301, 5 USC § 3302, and 5 CFR Part 335, Subpart A. The Plan is consistent with 5 CFR Part 430, Performance Management, the CSRA; and the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures, 29 CFR Part 1607, and the negotiated agreement for bargaining unit employees.

  3. The Department of Treasury (Treasury) has delegated to bureau heads the authority to establish and approve promotion and placement programs for their respective bureaus.

6.335.1.4  (03-20-2013)
Definitions

  1. Agency - Any executive department, military department, Government corporation, Government controlled corporation, or other establishment in the executive branch of the Government (including the Executive Office of the President), or any independent regulatory agency.

  2. Application - Form or method used by employees to indicate interest in promotion, change to lower grade, or reassignment to a particular position or category of positions anywhere in the IRS.

  3. Appointing Office - Organizational segment with the delegated authority to effect personnel actions. Appointing offices are the servicing EOs for the Business Operating Divisions (BODs) or equivalent.

  4. Area of Consideration - The area designated by the Plan in which it can reasonably be expected to locate enough highly qualified candidates to fill vacancies in the positions covered by the Plan.

  5. Bargaining Unit Position - Position in a unit for which a union has been certified as exclusive representative.

  6. Behavioral Indicators - Crediting plan used to assess a candidate’s potential for successful job performance. These indicators are the measurable aspect of behaviors that predict a potential level of success for the competency.

  7. Best Qualified (BQ) Candidates - Highly qualified candidates who rank at the top when compared with other highly qualified candidates and who are referred to the selecting official for consideration and selection.

  8. Bonafide Consideration - A Priority Consideration (PC) eligible is referred to the selecting official alone on a certificate, or with other PC eligibles. The certificate containing the PC eligible's name will be referred before applicants with lesser priority in the order of consideration outlined in IRM 6.335.12.5.

  9. Career Promotions - The promotion of an employee without competition when:

    1. Competition was held at an earlier stage, i.e., the employee was selected from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) register (or under other competitive promotion procedures), and the fact that the initial selection could lead to promotion was made known to all potential candidates (career ladder promotions); or

    2. Employee’s position is reclassified to a higher grade because of the accretion of additional duties and responsibilities.

  10. Change to Lower Grade (also called "Demotion" and "Reduction in Grade" ) - Personnel action that moves an employee, while serving continuously in the same agency, to: (1) a position at a lower grade when both the old and new positions are under the General Schedule or under the same type graded wage schedule, or (2) to a position with a lower rate of basic pay when both the old and the new positions are under the same type ungraded wage schedule or in a different pay-method category.

  11. Commuting Area - The geographic locality that constitutes one area for employment purposes. It includes any population center and the surrounding localities within which people live and can reasonably be expected to travel back and forth daily to their usual place of employment. The Consolidated Commuting Area document contains specific authorized commuting area definitions and may be found at: http://hco.web.irs.gov/pdf/commuteareas.pdf.

  12. Competency - A measurable pattern of knowledge, skills, abilities, behaviors, and other characteristics that an individual needs in order to perform work roles or occupational functions successfully. See Delegated Examining Operations Handbook (DEOH) Appendix F for examples at: https://www.opm.gov/deu/Handbook_2007/DEO_Handbook.pdf .

  13. Competitive Service - All civilian positions in the Federal Government that are not specifically excepted from the civil service laws by or pursuant to statute, by the President, or by the OPM under Rule VI, and that are not in the Senior Executive Service.

  14. Conversion - The change of an employee from one type of appointment to another.

  15. Crediting Plan - Criteria or standards against which the eligible candidates are compared and ranked for determining the highly and/or best qualified (BQ).

  16. Demotion - The change of an employee to a lower grade when both the old and the new positions are under the General Schedule, under the same type of graded Wage Schedule, or to a position with a lower rate of pay when both the old and new positions are under the same type of ungraded Wage Schedule or in different pay systems (i.e., IR, GM).

  17. Detail - Temporary assignments of an employee to a different position for a specified period with the employee returning to regular duties at the end of the detail. This includes positions at the same, higher, or lower grades.

  18. Eligible Candidates - Those applicants who meet the minimum qualification standards for the position and other regulatory requirements such as time in grade (TIG), as well as applicable selective placement factors, by the closing date of the announcement or by a date specified on the announcement.

  19. Evaluation Criteria - Standards of job-related knowledge, skills, abilities and other personal characteristics (e.g., behavioral indicators, etc.), and/or competencies which are indicative of successful performance in the position to be filled. Criteria are used as standards against which the eligible candidates are compared and ranked for determining the highly and/or best qualified (BQ).

  20. Evaluation Methods - The means of measuring a candidate against the evaluation criteria. Mandatory methods, which must be considered for all candidates, are performance appraisals and relevant incentive awards. Optional methods include tests, interviews and relevant training.

  21. Excepted Service - Unclassified service, unclassified Civil Service or positions outside the competitive service and the senior executive service. Excepted service positions have been excepted from the requirements of the competitive service by law, Executive order, or OPM regulation. (5 USC. 2103 and 5 CFR part 213).

  22. Exceptions - Promotions that do not require competitive procedures and are therefore excepted from competitive procedures of this Plan.

  23. Highly Qualified (HQ) Candidates - Eligible candidates who have been determined to possess the knowledge, skills, abilities and other personal characteristics described by the evaluation criteria as necessary to perform the position in a highly successful manner.

  24. Job Analysis/Job Profiling - A critical process necessary to determine the minimum knowledge, skills, abilities, and other personal characteristics required of the position to be filled to be used to identify the candidates who can be expected to perform in a fully successful manner, and to determine the applicability of appropriate evaluation methods.

  25. Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Other Characteristics (KSAOs) - The attributes and other characteristics (i.e., professional certification) required for successful performance in a job that are generally demonstrated through qualifying experience, education, or training.

  26. Non-Status Employee - A current employee who is serving on an excepted, term, or temporary appointment that does not confer competitive status or reinstatement eligibility.

  27. Personal Competitive Status - Competitive status that was gained through employment in a career/career-conditional appointment in the competitive service that confers reinstatement eligibility.

  28. Post of Duty (POD) - The geographic location of an office or an organization.

  29. Promotion - The change of an employee to a higher grade when both the old and the new positions are under the General Schedule, or under the same type graded wage schedule; or to a position with a higher rate of pay when both the old and the new positions are under the same type of ungraded wage schedule or are in different pay systems (i.e. IR, GM).

  30. Promotion Plan - Program designed to ensure a job-related, valid, and systematic means of selection for promotion based on merit.

  31. Qualification Standards - A description of the knowledge, skills, abilities and experience requirements needed to meet basic eligibility requirements.

  32. Ranking Official/Panel - Person(s) charged with the responsibility of determining the HQ and BQ candidates as described by the evaluation criteria when an automated ranking system is not utilized.

  33. Reassignment - The change of an employee from one position to another, without promotion or demotion, within the Department of Treasury.

  34. Reinstatement Eligibility - Once a person has attained competitive status in a career or career-conditional appointment, they are entitled to reinstatement into the competitive service. If separated from a competitive service appointment as a career-conditional employee (completing less than three substantially continuous, creditable years of federal service), the individual has until three years from the date of his/her separation to be reinstated. If he/she has veterans' preference or if he/she separated from a competitive service appointment as a Career employee (completing three substantially continuous, creditable years of Federal service), he/she can be reinstated at any time.

  35. Remain in POD – When a vacancy is announced as Remain in POD, the applicant selected remains in his/her current POD for his/her permanent position of record.

  36. Seasonal Employment – Employees who work a seasonal work schedule and are on career/career-conditional, excepted, term or temporary appointments. Seasonal employees who work a seasonal work schedule are placed in non-pay status or recalled to duty as the workload dictates and in accordance with their seasonal work agreement. Seasonal employees who are career/career-conditional are entitled to full consideration as part of the minimum area for promotion as well as reassignment purposes.

  37. Selecting Official – Manager with the delegated authority to make a selection.

  38. Selective Placement Factors - KSAOs that go beyond minimum qualification standards but are prescribed as necessary for meeting basic eligibility. These factors must be essential to successful performance in the position to be filled and cannot be readily attained after promotion. The selective placement factors must be documented and justified by the KSAOs contained in the position description (PD), critical job elements, and other job related processes.

  39. Status Employee - A current or prior employee who has attained competitive status through a current or prior appointment to a career or career-conditional appointment in the federal service. Status pertains to a person, not a position.

  40. Term Appointment – Appointment to a position that will last more than one year, but not more than four years where the need for an employee’s services is not permanent. Reasons for making a term appointment include, but are not limited to: project work, extraordinary workload, scheduled abolishment, reorganization, etc. (5 CFR Part 316, Subpart C).

  41. Time After Competitive Appointment (TACA) Restriction – The provision that three months must elapse after an employee’s latest nontemporary competitive appointment before he or she may be:

    1. Promoted or reassigned, or transferred to a different line of work or to a different geographical area; or

    2. Transferred to or reinstated to a higher grade or different line of work in the competitive service (5 CFR Part 330.501). See IRM 6.330.1, Recruitment, Selection and Placement, for more information.

  42. Time-limited Promotion - Promotion made under specific and written conditions with a not-to-exceed date to meet a need of a short-term nature. Upon expiration of the short-term need, the employee so promoted normally reverts to the former position. Time-limited promotions include both "temporary" and "term" promotions.

  43. Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA) - The VEOA provides that agencies must allow eligible veterans to apply for positions announced under merit promotion procedures when the agency is recruiting from outside its own workforce. "Agency" in this context means the parent agency, i.e., Treasury, not IRS. See IRM 6.307.1, Veterans Employment Programs and Restoration to Duty, for further guidance.

6.335.1.5  (03-20-2013)
Responsibilities

  1. The IRS Human Capital Officer (IRS HCO) is responsible for ensuring that:

    1. A Merit Promotion Plan is developed and implemented for the IRS;

    2. The Plan is evaluated and updated periodically; and

    3. The Plan is carried out in principle and in practice throughout the IRS.

  2. Business Operating Division (BOD) Commissioners (or equivalent) are responsible for the administration of the Plan within their respective jurisdictions.

  3. Director, Employment, Talent and Security (ETS) is responsible for:

    1. Implementing the Plan;

    2. Developing operating procedures and implementation guidance, coordinating with the IRS HCO as necessary;

    3. Providing technical assistance and advice necessary for operating the Plan;

    4. Providing timely and efficient service to operating officials in determining qualifications and referring applicants for promotion consideration;

    5. Ensuring that all employees entitled to consideration for promotion receive full and fair consideration;

    6. Ensuring procedural and documentation requirements are observed in all promotion actions. This includes the development of job-related criteria and application of appropriate evaluation methods; and

    7. Providing employees with information on the basic principles and procedures of the Plan, the career opportunities available, and the means by which they can be considered for promotion.

  4. Managers are responsible for:

    1. Complying with the spirit as well as the requirements of the Plan;

    2. Evaluating employees fairly, objectively and in a timely manner;

    3. Sharing evaluations that will be used in promotion actions with employees;

    4. Developing job-related evaluation criteria and determining appropriate evaluation methods in conjunction with ETS prior to announcing the position; and

    5. Ensuring that all employees have access to Plan procedures and are fully informed of career opportunities and related matters.

  5. Employees are responsible for:

    1. Familiarizing themselves with the provisions of the Plan;

    2. Supplying ETS with current, timely, and accurate information about their qualifications and job interests; and

    3. Submitting complete and timely application packages.

6.335.1.6  (03-20-2013)
Plan Coverage

  1. Except as noted in the following paragraphs (Exclusions), the provisions of this Plan apply to all Competitive Service positions, as well as the Excepted Service positions of Attorney and Law Clerk in the IRS. Attorney and Law Clerk positions within the Office of Chief Counsel are not covered under this Plan. See IRM 6.213.1, Employment in the Excepted Service, for further guidance on Attorney positions.

  2. The provisions of the negotiated agreement will take precedence in filling bargaining unit positions where those requirements conflict with the Plan. If the provisions in the Plan are mandated by higher regulation, or the negotiated agreement is silent, the provisions herein will govern.

  3. Competitive procedures apply to the following actions:

    1. Filling a position by promotion above the highest grade held by the employee on a permanent basis;

    2. Filling a position by time-limited promotion when it becomes known the promotion will exceed 120 days;

    3. Reassignment or demotion to a position with increased promotion potential above the highest grade held by the employee on a permanent basis as required by Reduction in Force procedures (RIF);

    4. Detail of more than 120 days to a higher graded position or to a position with higher promotion potential. Competitive promotion procedures must be used if the detailed employee will have spent more than 120 days (prior service on details to higher graded positions and noncompetitive time-limited promotions included) in a higher graded position or positions with increased promotion potential during the preceding 12 months;

    5. Detail of a non-SES employee to an SES position for more than 240 days unless the employee is eligible for a non-competitive career SES appointment;

    6. Transfer (unless based upon selection from OPM Register) to a higher graded position or to one with increased promotion potential beyond the highest grade previously held on a permanent basis;

    7. Reinstatement (unless based upon selection from OPM register) to a higher graded position or to one with increased promotion potential beyond the highest grade previously held on a permanent basis;

    8. Selections for training required primarily to prepare an employee for advancement, and required for promotion (e.g., when eligibility for promotion depends on whether the employee has completed training); and

    9. Conversion of a term appointee to a permanent appointment, to a position in the same line of work if the appointee received a term appointment under competitive procedures.

6.335.1.7  (03-20-2013)
Plan Exceptions

  1. The following actions must be made as exceptions to the competitive procedures of this Plan:

    1. An action taken to provide restoration entitlements to individuals with statutory placement or re-employment rights (such as an IRS employee or former IRS employee who is returning to duty after sustaining compensable work-related injuries or illness from Worker’s Compensation or returning from military service);

    2. An action taken as a remedy for failure to receive proper consideration in a competitive promotion action (priority consideration);

    3. A promotion resulting from the upgrading of a position without significant changes in duties and responsibilities due to the issuance of a new classification standard or the correction of a classification error. In such cases, the incumbent must be promoted with the upgrading of the position unless a decision is made to remove the incumbent from the position;

    4. A position change required by RIF regulations which is technically termed a promotion because the agency gives an employee the benefit of a slightly higher pay rate or because the minimum rate of the new position exceeded the rate received in the old position;

    5. A re-promotion, reassignment, developmental or training action required under the IRS Priority Placement Program (IRSPPP) for employees entitled to Grade/Pay Retention. Consideration is to be based on downgrading actions that took place on or after January 1, 1977; and

    6. A promotion resulting from the selection of a Federal employee from a competitive examination register. Such an employee is no longer to be evaluated according to promotion procedures.

  2. The Service has determined that the following actions will also be made as exceptions to the competitive procedures of this Plan:

    1. Career promotions, as defined in IRM 6.335.1.9;

    2. Promotion, reassignment, demotion, transfer, reinstatement or detail to a position having no greater promotion potential than that currently or previously held by the employee on a permanent basis in the competitive service from which an employee was not separated or demoted for performance or conduct reasons;

    3. Position change within the Department of Treasury or transfer outside the Department from a position having known promotion potential to a position having the same promotion potential as the highest grade held by the employee on a permanent basis;

    4. Detail of 120 days or less to a higher-graded position or to a position with higher promotion potential when the employee has not spent more than 120 days (prior service on details to higher graded positions, with higher promotion potential, and time limited promotions included) in a higher graded position or positions with higher promotion potential during the preceding 12 months;

    5. Temporary promotion of 120 days or less during the preceding 12 months. See Time-Limited Promotions for special guidance on the use of 180 day temporary promotions;

    6. Temporary promotion of a Criminal Investigator, for any length of time less than two years, to a higher-graded position involving potentially dangerous undercover penetration activities; and

    7. Non-competitive conversion of an employee appointed under a program that confers the authority to non-competitively reassign or promote to a competitive position as specified in IRM 6.335.1.8.

  3. Candidates outside the competitive service ("non-status" candidates without current competitive status or reinstatement eligibility to the competitive service) are excluded from consideration for competitive positions under internal merit promotion procedures and must be considered under OPM or IRS DEU competitive examining procedures. Conversion of Term appointees to permanent career or career-conditional appointments who have met the conditions described in IRM 6.335.1.11 are excepted from this requirement. The following are exceptions to these requirements:

    1. Conversion of Term appointees to permanent career or career-conditional under RRA ’98 who have met the conditions described in IRM 6.335.1.11; and

    2. VEOA applicants when recruiting outside the Department of the Treasury.

    See IRM 6.335.1.8, Special Program Coverage, for programs covered under merit promotion that have special program procedures (i.e., Schedule A Employment of People with Disabilities and VRA Appointments).

6.335.1.8  (03-20-2013)
Special Program Coverage

  1. The following programs, while subject to the merit principles outlined in this Plan, have special procedures, which are covered under other documents. When these special program procedures and the Plan procedures conflict, the special procedures should be followed unless mandated by higher regulation.

    1. Management Selection Program (See IRM 6.335.1.22);

    2. Employment of People with Disabilities (5 CFR § 213.3102 (u)) and Office of Personnel Management Federal Plan for Employment of People with Disabilities. However, people with disabilities who are employed under Schedule A, 5 CFR § 213.3102(u), who apply (on a voluntary basis or in response to a vacancy announcement) must be considered for promotion in accordance with this Plan (See IRM 6.213.1, Employment in the Excepted Service);

    3. Schedule B positions (when the appointing authority does not specify a time limit on the length of the appointment) (5 CFR § 213.3201);

    4. Internal Revenue Service Priority Placement Program (IRSPPP). (IRM 6.330.1, Recruitment, Selection and Placement);

    5. Competitive Selection Procedures for Undercover Training and Assignments for Criminal Investigators;

    6. Special appointing authorities for veterans such as the Veteran’s Recruitment Appointment (See IRM 6.307.1, Veterans Employment Programs and Restoration to Duty);

    7. Computer Audit Specialist Training; and

    8. Merit staffing and classification of SES positions.

6.335.1.9  (03-20-2013)
Career Promotions

  1. Career promotion is the promotion of an employee without competition when competition was held at an earlier stage. For example: An employee was selected from an OPM register or under competitive promotion procedures and the fact that the initial selection could lead to promotion was made known to all potential candidates as described below:

    1. Career ladder position - Successive career promotions of employees until reaching the full performance level may be made if all employees in the particular occupation of the organization are given grade building experience and are promoted as they meet all basic eligibility requirements. They must also demonstrate ability to perform at the next higher level. Also, there must be sufficient work at the full performance level for all employees in the group. Promotions above the full performance level must be made under competitive promotion procedures.

    2. Apprentice Position - Career promotion of an apprentice in a recognized trade or craft through the various phases of his/her apprentice program may be made, up to and including assignment to a working level position.

    3. Trainee Position - Career promotion of an employee in a trainee position may be made upon satisfactory completion of the training period. Career promotions may be made from the types of trainee positions shown in the examples below.

      • Example: Agency-established training positions if the training program is well defined, of a definite duration and involves performance of assigned tasks under close guidance and instruction with promotion scheduled upon satisfactory completion of the training period.

      • Example: Positions under OPM approved training agreements or executive development agreements (covering non-SES positions) if the agreement specifically provides for promotion and other requirements for career promotion are met.

      • Example: Positions filled by detail for the purpose of training or evaluating an employee for a higher grade position or to a position with increased promotion potential, if selection for the detail was made under competitive Plan procedures and the fact that the detail could lead to promotion without further competition was made known to all candidates.

    4. Positions filled at a grade below the established or anticipated grade, provided all potential candidates were made aware of the promotion potential to the higher grade.

  2. A career promotion also applies when the employee’s position is reclassified to a higher grade because of the accretion of additional duties and responsibilities. Such situations should be documented to clearly identify the basis for the job change (e.g. impact of the incumbent, change in the method of performing the work, etc.) When an additional position is created, or when the new position is not a clear successor to the former position, a career promotion may not be made. Likewise, a career promotion may not be made to a supervisory position on the basis of the addition of supervisory duties to a non-supervisory position (See IRM 6.511.1.8.12, Position Management and Classification Policy and Operational Guidance - Accretion of Higher-Graded Duties (Operational Guidance), for additional exclusions.

  3. Employees eligible for a career promotion who are certified by their immediate supervisor as capable of satisfactorily performing at the next higher level will be promoted on the first pay period after certification takes place and the action has been approved by the servicing EO.

    1. No employee shall receive a career ladder promotion unless his or her current rating of record under Part 430 of this chapter, is "Fully Successful" (level 3) or higher.

    2. No employee may receive a career ladder promotion who has a rating below "Fully Successful" on a critical element that is also critical to performance at the next higher grade of the career ladder.

6.335.1.10  (03-20-2013)
Time-limited Promotions

  1. Time-limited promotion is generally the most appropriate means of meeting a situation requiring the temporary services of an employee in a higher graded position (except when the service is for a brief period and a detail is used). Appointing an employee to an established position gives better recognition to management needs and the employee’s new responsibilities and compensates the employee for the higher graded work performed. Therefore, managers will refrain from rotating assignments of employees to avoid compensation of a particular employee at the higher level. This would not, however, preclude the use of details to higher graded positions without a time-limited promotion, for the purpose of providing a developmental opportunity or for such reasons as workload considerations and/or budget limitations for a brief period of time.

  2. A time-limited promotion is not appropriate primarily for training or evaluating an employee in a higher graded position. It may not be used, for example, to give an employee a trial period before permanent promotion, or to train an employee in higher graded duties.

  3. Competitive promotion procedures apply in making all time-limited promotions permanent unless the time-limited promotion was made initially under competitive procedures and the fact that it might lead to a permanent position was made known to all potential candidates.

  4. Competitive promotion procedures must be used when a time limited promotion will exceed 120 days by the original action or upon extension, except for the following exceptions:

    1. When the time-limited promotion is for the purpose of assigning a Criminal Investigator to perform undercover operations. In the rare situation where a lower-graded Criminal Investigator must be assigned to a higher graded undercover assignment of less than two years in duration (i.e., that Investigator’s characteristics are the best available match for the assignment in question), a temporary promotion may be a possible consideration. In such circumstances, where adherence to the standard merit requirements might place the Investigator in potential danger or identify the assignment, temporary promotions up to two years may be approved by the Division Commissioner, Criminal Investigation; and

    2. IRS has an approved exception from OPM for noncompetitive time-limited promotions for up to 180 days for all grade/band levels within the GS-300 and GS-500 occupational groups and the GS-962 series within recognized organizations during specific pre-determined peak tax filing seasons. This authority does not apply to details. Requests for modifications to the peak filing season list must be forwarded by the Division’s Human Resources Director to Human Capital Office (HCO), ETS, Policy and Programs Office. The request must provide justification of the business need, the specific operational area and the specific peak season period. For a complete list of specific peak filing seasons see the HCO Recruitment & Staffing website at: http://hco.web.irs.gov/recruitstaff/internalplac/noncompact/index.html .

      • All 180-day noncompetitive time-limited promotions must begin and end during the specified timeframe indicated on the peak filing season list. Areas outside of the specified Division and identified timeframe are not approved for the 180-day noncompetitive time-limited promotion.

      • All time served under the 180 day noncompetitive time-limited promotion authority does not have to be consecutive, nor does it have to be in the same position or in the same recognized organization. In addition, the full 180 days does not need to be served within the recognized peak season. If time is served on a noncompetitive temporary promotion outside the recognized peak season, the remaining time can be served within the recognized peak season for a total of 180 days. However, the remaining time served must begin and end during the recognized peak season. Time served outside the peak season is limited to 120 days. See examples below:

        Example: An employee served on a 120 day noncompetitive temporary promotion outside of the peak season and is now needed during the recognized peak season of January through June. The employee can be temporarily promoted for the remaining 60 days during the January through June peak season which would total 180 days. The remaining 60 days served must begin and end during January through June. The employee received a temporary promotion effective January 15, 2012, NTE March 10, 2012.

        Example: If the peak season lasts from January through September, four months can be served from January through May and two months could be served from July through September for a total of six months.

      • Any additions to the above occupational groups and series of bargaining unit positions must be submitted to HCO, ETS, Policy and Programs Office for approval by OPM and discussion with NTEU. Additionally, prior service during the preceding twelve months under noncompetitive time-limited promotions and noncompetitive details to higher-graded positions or positions with higher promotion potential counts toward the 180-day total.

  5. A time-limited promotion for a pay band covered position should be advertised in accordance with current guidance. See IRM 6.335.1.22.

  6. A time-limited promotion ends on a specified date unless extended to meet additional temporary needs. However, it may be ended at any time, at the discretion of management. Neither adverse action nor reduction in force procedures apply when a time-limited promotion is ended and the employee is returned to his/her permanent position or placed without time limit, in a different position, in a grade no lower than their permanent position.

  7. A temporarily promoted employee may not be reassigned or demoted to a position with a higher grade or with promotion potential higher than her/his permanent position without the use of competitive procedures. The termination of the time limited promotion must be documented by a formal personnel action.

6.335.1.10.1  (03-20-2013)
Calculating Limits on Non-Competitive Temporary Promotions

  1. On May 26, 2011 the Department of Treasury issued guidance on calculating limits for non-competitive temporary promotions. Treasury bureaus could use either the effective date or NTE date of the new non-competitive temporary promotion PAR to calculate the 12 month period between non-competitive temporary promotions. Beginning July 21, 2011 IRS changed from using the effective date to using the NTE date when determining if an employee is eligible for a 120 or 180 day non-competitive temporary promotion. This change in procedure alleviated multiple personnel actions being initiated by management and processed by HR staff and provided a greater benefit to the employee being temporarily promoted.

  2. Employment Offices should subtract one year from the NTE date of the current proposed non-competitive temporary promotion. Prior non-competitive temporary promotions and noncompetitive details to higher graded positions or positions with higher promotion potential, during the preceding 12 months must be subtracted when computing the time available. See Exhibit 6.335.1-11 for an example of how to calculate the 12 month period between non-competitive temporary promotions.

6.335.1.10.2  (03-20-2013)
Temporary Promotion Not to Exceed (NTE) One Year

  1. Competitive time-limited promotions and all subsequent extensions (up to the maximum of five years) will be made in one year increments. The announcement will indicate that it is temporary NTE one year. At the end of the one year (or whenever deemed appropriate), the change to lower grade or extension personnel action will be processed. If the employee was serving on a second time limited promotion, known as a stacked promotion (See IRM 6.335.1.10.8), the employee can be returned to complete remaining time associated with the first temporary promotion at management's discretion. See Exhibit 6.335.1-1, Actions Required When Processing Time-Limited Promotions.

6.335.1.10.3  (03-20-2013)
Extension of Temporary Promotion in One Year Increments

  1. Time-limited promotions can be extended in one year increments when the original temporary promotion was announced under competitive procedures as NTE one year with the possibility of extension.

  2. The vacancy announcement must contain a statement that the possibility exists for extending the time-limited promotion in increments of one year, up to not more than five years, and/or may be made permanent without further competition when it is expected that the position may be extended or made permanent.

  3. If the vacancy announcement does not contain the required language, the position must be re-announced in order for the time-limited promotion to be extended or made permanent.

6.335.1.10.4  (03-20-2013)
Request for Temporary Promotion in Increments Over One Year

  1. Competitive time-limited promotions (and extensions) can be made in increments longer than one year at the onset of the temporary promotion with an approved business case.

  2. Business case approval will be made on a case-by-case basis by the BOD's embedded Human Resource (HR) Director. The business case must certify that the employment need is temporary and meets the regulatory requirements for a temporary time-limited promotion.

  3. Justification must include the following:

    1. The anticipated length of the assignment;

    2. Reasons for the extended need beyond one year, alternatives considered;

    3. Difficulties in filling the temporary position; and

    4. Proposed language to be included in the vacancy announcement.

  4. Examples of valid business cases could include:

    1. Filling behind an employee on extended assignment or leave of absence (i.e., maternity leave, on-the-job injury, military leave, etc.);

    2. Reorganizations where positions will be phased out or eliminated;

    3. Long-term assignment (e.g., a large case, special task force or reengineering ) to fill a business related need; and

    4. Other special circumstances.

6.335.1.10.5  (03-20-2013)
Request for Extension of Temporary Promotion in Increments Over One Year

  1. If the initial temporary promotion was announced as NTE one year, may be extended, and there is a need to extend the temporary promotion, management must submit a business case (See IRM 6.335.1.10.4) to their embedded HR Director for approval within four weeks prior to the NTE date of the current temporary promotion. Business case approval is not required for an extension of a temporary promotion for one additional year.

  2. When the business case is approved, the embedded HR Office will notify (usually by e-mail) the appropriate servicing EO within three to five business days. The BOD or embedded HR Office will then submit a request for personnel action to the servicing EO to extend the temporary promotion; the length of the extension and business case approval must be noted in the remarks. The business case, along with the approval, will be filed in the promotion file.

    • Example: An employee is currently on a temporary promotion NTE one year that was announced as may be extended. The temporary promotion was processed with an effective date of September 12, 2012, NTE September 11, 2013. Management submits a business case in March 2012 to extend the temporary promotion for three additional years. The business case is approved and the extension is processed September 12, 2012, NTE September 11, 2015.

    Extensions can only be authorized if the vacancy announcement included a statement for an extension provided the total time period of the temporary promotion does not exceed five years.

    • Example: Management decided that the temporary need could be met in two years; however, management wanted the flexibility of extending for two additional years if work was warranted. A statement was included in the vacancy announcement that the temporary promotion was NTE two years with the possibility of an extension for two additional years. The temporary promotion would be processed with an effective date of September 12, 2012, NTE September 11, 2014. If needed, an extension would be processed with an effective date of September 9, 2014, NTE September 8, 2016.

  3. The servicing EO will review the request for personnel action for compliance and document the justification in the comments section of the PAR.

6.335.1.10.6  (03-20-2013)
Large Business and International (LB&I) Approval of Temporary Promotions for Specific Large Case Audits

  1. On July 26, 2011, the Director ETS approved LB&I’s request to process temporary promotions in increments longer than one year and up to five years.

  2. The blanket approval is applicable only to LB&I GS-14 positions identified in Exhibit 6.335.1-10, LB&I Approved GS-14 Large Case Audit Position for LB&I Temporary Assignments NTE Five Years.

  3. Upon receipt of the power recruit to post the GS-14 temporary NTE, may be extended for up to five years (will not become permanent), the servicing Employment Office will review the listing (Exhibit 6.335.1-10), to verify if the GS-14 position falls under the blanket approval. Once a determination is made that the GS-14 position is a covered position, the following steps will be taken:

    1. Verify the position using the list in Exhibit 6.335.1-10. Once verified the servicing Employment Office will;

    2. Include a statement on the vacancy announcement that the position is being filled on a temporary basis and include the NTE (e.g. NTE two years, five years, etc.); and can be terminated at any time.

  4. The servicing EO will add in tracking on the PAR document "LB&I Blanket Approval, IRM 6.335.1.10.6(6)." The personnel action will be processed for the anticipated full period of time.

    Example: A temporary need exists to fill a position for two years, and the selection is effective on September 12, 2012. The NTE date would be September 11, 2014.

  5. Processing temporary promotions for multiple years should not impact pay determinations. Follow current guidance found in IRM 6.531.1, Pay Under the General Schedule, and 5 CFR Part 531 when setting pay.

  6. Request for business case approval for any positions that fall outside of the LB&I blanket approval, should follow the process outlined in IRM 6.335.1.10.4, Request for Temporary Promotion in Increments Over One Year. Business case approval will be made on a case-by-case basis by the BOD’s Embedded HR Director.

  7. The servicing EO will complete the Acknowledgement of Time-Limited Promotion Letter. See Exhibit 6.335.1-2.

6.335.1.10.7  (03-20-2013)
Request for Time-Limited Promotion Over Five Years

  1. Requests for time-limited promotion beyond five years must be approved by OPM. Requests will be submitted to the official delegated authority to approve extensions beyond one year (See IRM 1.2.45, Delegation of Authorities for Human Resource Management Activities). Following review and approval by the appropriate IRS official, requests must be forwarded to HCO, ETS, Policy and Programs Office for submission to OPM. Information concerning the duties of the position, the temporary nature of the job, competitive procedures employed, and the need for extension beyond five years must be included in the request. Consideration will also be given to whether a permanent promotion is more appropriate.

  2. The five year limit applies to the total continuous time an employee is temporarily promoted without further competition. If an employee is promoted temporarily and later competes and is selected for another time-limited promotion, a new five year period begins at the start of the second time-limited promotion. Also, if an employee is noncompetitively promoted for 120 days, and the promotion is extended after competition has been held, the first 120 days counts toward the five year limit

6.335.1.10.8  (12-29-2009)
Stacked Temporary Promotions

  1. Under certain circumstances, management may have a need to temporarily assign an employee already serving under a time-limited promotion to another position at a higher grade. An employee may be competitively or non-competitively temporarily promoted to a second temporary position. This secondary action is known as a stacked or sequential promotion.

  2. At the end of the stacked time-limited promotion, if management determines the employee’s services are still required under the initial time-limited promotion; the employee may be returned to the initial time-limited promotion. However, if at the end of the stacked time-limited promotion, management determines the employee’s services are no longer required under the initial time-limited promotion, the employee shall be returned to his/her permanent position of record.

  3. Once the employee is returned to his/her permanent position of record, the employee must re-compete for another time-limited promotion. See Exhibit 6.335.1-1 Actions Required When Processing Time-Limited Promotions and Extensions.

6.335.1.10.9  (03-20-2013)
Acknowledgement of Time-Limited Promotions

  1. The 5 CFR § 335.102(f)(1) requires that employees selected for a time-limited promotion be provided advance notice. The personnel action must be fully documented to show that the employee has full knowledge of the action taken and the conditions of the promotion. If advance notice is not possible, appropriate notice must be provided as soon as possible after the promotion is made. The notice must include the following:

    1. The conditions of the promotion;

    2. The type of promotion and limit;

    3. The employee may be returned at any time to the position from which temporarily promoted, or to a different position of equivalent grade and pay; and

    4. The return is not subject to any adverse action procedures.

  2. Once notified of the selection for a time-limited promotion, including a stacked promotion, the servicing EO must complete an Acknowledgement of Time-Limited Promotion (See Exhibit 6.335.1-2, Acknowledgement of Time-Limited Promotion). The acknowledgement must be forwarded to the gaining manager to share with the employee and retained in the Employee Performance File (EPF); the servicing EO must maintain a copy in the promotion file.

6.335.1.11  (03-20-2013)
Conversion of Term Appointees to Permanent Appointment

  1. Term appointees can be converted to a permanent career or career-conditional appointment under the provisions of this Plan based on the authority granted to IRS under RRA 98, and codified at 5 USC § 9510 (a)(1). The permanent appointment may be made only to a position in the same line of work as the position to which the employee received a term appointment under competitive procedures. The same line of work determination is based on the employee’s actual duties and responsibilities. The duties performed must be similar in nature and require substantially the same qualifications, including KSAOs/competencies so that the employee could be interchanged between the positions without significant training or undue interruption to the work.

  2. This authority (see (1) above) is applicable to any competitive term appointment made by the Service that meets the following conditions:

    1. The vacancy announcement from which the term appointment was made stated that there was a potential for conversion to a permanent appointment as stated in IRM 6.335.1.11(3). The term employee’s personnel action will be annotated to reflect that the position was announced with the potential for conversion to a permanent appointment in the same line of work;

    2. The term appointment was made under competitive procedures prescribed for permanent appointment (e.g., OPM/DEU registers);

    3. The employee completed two years of current continuous service or any combination of term appointments in the competitive service;

    4. The employee’s performance under the term appointment must be rated at the fully successful level or higher; and

    5. The term employee must be selected from an internal IRS merit promotion certificate. The term employee must be considered equally with all other IRS employees based on the qualifications and KSAOs/competencies required for the permanent position.

  3. The vacancy announcement from which the term appointment was made must have contained the following information:

    1. A statement indicating that there is potential for conversion to a permanent appointment;

    2. The permanent appointment may be made only to a position in the same line of work as the position for which the employee received a term appointment under competitive procedures;

    3. The employee must have completed two years of current continuous service or any combination of term appointments in the competitive service at the time of conversion; and

    4. The employee’s performance under the term appointment must be rated at the fully successful level or higher.

  4. There is no requirement that the term employee be selected for conversion to a permanent appointment and there is no provision for automatic conversion to permanent appointment. However, new term employees hired under this authority will be informed of the potential for conversion and the requirements.

  5. IRM 6.335.1.12.3.2 describes the requirements when posting an internal vacancy announcement open to IRS employees on term appointments with potential for conversion to permanent appointment.

6.335.1.12  (03-20-2013)
Merit Promotion Plan

  1. This guidance outlines the Merit Promotion Plan procedures to be used in filling positions within the IRS. For bargaining unit positions, appropriate negotiated agreement provisions relating to subjects in this Chapter should also be reviewed. Should any of these instructions conflict with a provision of a negotiated agreement, the agreement will prevail.

6.335.1.12.1  (03-20-2013)
Area of Consideration

  1. The area of consideration for NBU positions is servicewide unless the position is announced as a training opportunity such as Frontline-Leaders-Readiness-Program (FLRP), collateral duty, management cadre, or other solicitation for participants.

  2. Positions that are not "true vacancies" offering permanent placement into a continuing position are not subject to the Servicewide area of consideration. Examples of positions that are not considered true vacancies are: training opportunities such as FLRP, collateral duties such as an on-the-job instructor (OJI), and management cadre.

6.335.1.12.2  (03-20-2013)
Office of Chief Counsel (Counsel) and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) Applicants

  1. Counsel and TIGTA applicants can apply under a status announcement when IRS is recruiting outside the Department of the Treasury.

6.335.1.12.2.1  (03-20-2013)
Counsel and TIGTA Applicants Who are Career or Career-Conditional

  1. Counsel and TIGTA applicants can apply under a status announcement when IRS is recruiting outside the Department of the Treasury.

6.335.1.12.2.2  (03-20-2013)
Counsel and TIGTA Applicants on Excepted Service Appointments With Prior Competitive Status

  1. Counsel and TIGTA employees who are currently on excepted service appointments may also apply for vacancies if they have prior service on a competitive appointment which confers personal competitive status, or reinstatement eligibility.

    Example: John Doe is currently on an excepted service attorney position in the Office of Chief Counsel. Prior to his appointment as an attorney, he was on a career appointment as a GS-987-14 Tax Law Specialist for a period of four years. John has reinstatement eligibility indefinitely.

  2. Once an employee has achieved career status, the person (not the position) retains competitive status indefinitely. If the employee did not complete the time required to achieve career tenure, the reinstatement eligibility is retained for a period of only three years unless extended by other circumstances such as military service. Since Counsel and TIGTA applicants are not IRS employees, the following procedures apply:

    1. Ensure that the vacancy announcement or other public notice (such as the opening instructions of the COL) includes the statement "open to Office of Chief Counsel and TIGTA employees on career/career-conditional appointments or with personal competitive status." (Do not include TIGTA in the statement if the position is in the bargaining unit.);

    2. Include a statement in the internal vacancy announcement requiring Counsel/TIGTA applicants to submit a copy of their SF-50, as proof of current competitive status;

    3. Review applicant’s SF-50 for prior competitive status (reinstatement eligibility) and determine basic qualifications;

    4. Disqualify TIGTA applicants from any BU positions;

    5. For purposes of rating and ranking, make no distinctions between IRS employees and Counsel/TIGTA employees;

    6. Bargaining Unit positions: Issue separate BQ lists for status IRS applicants and Counsel applicants. Give "first consideration" to status IRS applicants before considering the Counsel applicants. The top four BQ Counsel names are referred plus one additional name for each vacancy in accordance with the National Agreement;

    7. Non-bargaining unit positions: Management has the option to use separate BQ lists for status IRS applicants and Counsel/TIGTA applicants or a single BQ list with both status IRS and Counsel/TIGTA applicants .Separate BQ lists may be referred in any order or both at the same time; and

    8. Before selecting a Counsel or TIGTA applicant with prior competitive status, the RPL and ICTAP must be cleared. The ICTAP vacancy, which is posted on USAJOBS, must allow Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA) eligibles to apply. ICTAP applicants have priority over VEOA eligibles.

6.335.1.12.2.3  (12-29-2009)
Counsel and TIGTA Applicants on Excepted Service Appointments Without Prior Competitive Status

  1. Counsel or TIGTA applicants currently on excepted service appointments who do not have prior competitive status are not eligible to be considered for IRS internal vacancies and may apply only for positions posted for open competitive examination by OPM or IRS Delegated Examining Unit (DEU).

6.335.1.12.3  (12-29-2009)
Non-Status IRS Employees

  1. Non-status IRS employees may be included in the merit promotion internal vacancy announcement area of consideration by management to increase their applicant pool.

6.335.1.12.3.1  (03-20-2013)
Non-Status IRS Employees With Prior Competitive Status

  1. If management decides to include in the merit promotion internal vacancy announcement area of consideration, "non-status IRS employees with prior competitive status (reinstatement eligibility)" to increase their applicant pool, current IRS employees on excepted service or temporary appointments with reinstatement eligibility may apply and be considered. The following procedures apply:

    1. Include the statement in the internal vacancy announcement that the area of consideration is "open to non-status IRS employees with prior competitive status." Require applicants to submit a copy of their SF-50 as proof of prior competitive status.

    2. Review applicant’s SF-50 for prior competitive status and determine basic qualifications.

    3. For purposes of rating and ranking, no distinctions will be made between IRS career/career-conditional employees and non-status IRS employees (with prior competitive status).

    4. Bargaining Unit positions: Issue separate BQ lists for status IRS applicants and nonstatus IRS applicants. Give "first consideration" to status IRS applicants before considering the non-status IRS applicants.

    5. Non-bargaining unit positions: Management has the option to use separate BQ lists for status IRS applicants and non-status IRS applicants or a single BQ list with both status and non-status IRS applicants. Separate BQ lists may be referred in any order or at the same time.

    6. Prior to selecting a non-status IRS applicant, RPL and ICTAP must be cleared. The ICTAP vacancy, which is posted on USAJOBS, must allow Veterans Equal Opportunity Authority (VEOA) eligibles to apply. ICTAP applicants have priority over a VEOA eligible.

6.335.1.12.3.2  (12-29-2009)
Non-Status IRS Employees on Term Appointments

  1. Term appointees can be converted to a permanent appointment based on the authority granted to IRS under RRA 98 and codified at 5 USC § 9501(a)(1). The permanent appointment may be made only to a position in the same line of work and the vacancy announcement from which the term appointment was made must have stated that there was potential for conversion to a permanent appointment. The following procedures apply.

    1. Include a statement in the internal vacancy announcement that the area of consideration is "open to IRS employees on term appointments with potential for conversion to a permanent appointment in the same line of work." See IRM 6.335.1.11(3) for information to include in the vacancy announcement.

    2. Verify that the applicant's term appointment meets the requirements in IRM 6.335.1.11. Determine basic qualifications.

    3. For purposes of rating and ranking, no distinctions will be made between IRS career/career-conditional employees and non-status IRS term applicants.

    4. Bargaining Unit positions: Issue separate BQ lists for status IRS applicants and nonstatus IRS term applicants. Give "first consideration" to status IRS applicants before considering non-status IRS term applicants.

    5. Non-bargaining Unit positions: Management has the option to use separate BQ lists for status IRS applicants and non-status IRS term applicants or a single BQ list with both status and non-status IRS term applicants. Separate BQ lists may be referred in any order or at the same time.

    6. Prior to selecting a non-status IRS term applicant, RPL and ICTAP must be cleared. The ICTAP vacancy, which is posted on USAJOBS, must allow VEOA eligibles to apply. ICTAP applicants have priority over VEOA eligibles.

    7. There is no requirement to select a term applicant. Term applicants selected will be converted to a career or career-conditional appointment.

    8. Applicants serving on Term appointments that were not announced with the statement that there is potential for conversion are not eligible for permanent conversion. These applicants may apply only for positions posted for open competitive examination by OPM or IRS Delegated Examining Unit (DEU).

6.335.1.12.3.3  (12-29-2009)
Non-Status IRS Employees Without Prior Competitive Status

  1. Current IRS employees serving on excepted service, temporary, or other appointment not conferring competitive status, and who do not have prior competitive status are not entitled to compete for internal merit promotion positions. They may apply only for positions posted for open competitive examination by OPM or IRS DEU.

6.335.1.12.4  (12-29-2009)
Alternate Sources of Candidates

  1. The decision whether to restrict consideration to Service employees, or to consider, concurrently, persons from outside the Service, or to select from other appropriate sources (e.g. reinstatement eligibles, transfers, persons with disabilities, Veteran’s appointments or those within reach on an OPM/DEU certificate) will be based on the nature of the position to be filled, the likely number of highly qualified candidates available, and the need for fresh ideas and new approaches.

  2. When considering candidates referred from an OPM/DEU register, it will be noted that these candidates have met prescribed qualification standards and have been evaluated by OPM/DEU and determined to be qualified for the position to be filled. Candidates on the OPM/DEU certificate who are within reach for selection will be referred to the selecting official. The selecting official will select from the BQ OPM/DEU or IRS candidates. IRS employees and OPM/DEU register eligibles will be referred on separate lists to the selecting official. The internal list of IRS employees will be referred to the selecting official prior to the external listing when the position is bargaining unit in order to meet the first consideration requirement of the negotiated agreement.

  3. When considering alternative sources of candidates, the provisions of IRM 6.335.1.6, Plan Coverage, and IRM 6.335.1.7, Plan Exceptions, must be followed to determine whether competition is required. To the extent possible, the same evaluation methods will be applied to both IRS employees and outside candidates.

6.335.1.12.5  (03-20-2013)
Order of Consideration

  1. The following indicates the order of consideration when filling IRS positions in accordance with governing law and regulation:

    1. Individuals with statutory placement or re-employment rights (such as an IRS employee or former IRS employee who is returning to duty after sustaining compensable work-related injuries or illness or returning from military service);

    2. Employees with placement rights established pursuant to a decision or settlement agreement directed or approved by a third-party adjudicatory agency, such as the Merit Systems Protection Board or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission;

    3. IRS employees with placement rights as established by the CTAP;

    4. Employees with placement rights established by the IRSPPP: Participants will be referred to the selecting official prior to taking any other action to fill a vacancy. Referrals and actions taken with IRSPPP participants will be documented in accordance with (IRM 6.330.1); and

    5. Employees granted Priority Consideration (PC) in accordance with 5 CFR Part 300.

      • Employees entitled to PC based on an IRS or OPM finding of discrimination when the employee was considered for promotion or employment, but it is not determined that the employee was the person who would have been hired or promoted. PC will be granted to an employee for any existing vacancy of the same type and grade for which initial consideration was given. An employee entitled to PC in this situation is entitled to PC prior to a candidate entitled to priority consideration for other reasons. If non-selected, the record will be documented to record the reasons for the non-selection; and

      • Employees entitled to PC due to a regulatory or procedural violation from a previous merit promotion action must be referred to the selecting official prior to filling the position by a promotion action or by any other type of personnel action, except as noted in a through d above.

    6. Employees with placement rights as established by the Reassignment Priority Program (RPP);

    7. Employees who are eligible for a hardship assignment;

    8. Competitive/Non-Competitive movement;

    9. RPL registrants;

    10. ICTAP;

    11. VEOA eligibles; and

    12. External Competitive/Non-Competitive movement.

6.335.1.12.6  (03-20-2013)
Vacancy Announcement

  1. Vacancy announcements will be used for notifying employees of a promotion, or other opportunity. Announcements should be adequately publicized and should remain open for 10 workdays (or a minimum of five workdays to accommodate unusual situations such as the need to clear special program priorities only) so that all eligible employees have an opportunity to apply for the position.

  2. Vacancy announcements must be concise, clearly written, with sufficient information for the employee to understand the area of consideration, the duties of the position, the qualifications required (including selective placement factors), the evaluation methods to be used and what the employee must do to be considered. If the information cannot be outlined in detail within the announcement, the announcement must inform the employees where it can be obtained.

  3. At a minimum, the vacancy announcement must contain the following information:

    1. Announcement number;

    2. Opening and closing dates;

    3. Anticipated number of vacancies;

    4. Area of consideration;

    5. Title, series and grade of the position; work schedule, and if seasonal –length of season;

    6. Organizational and geographic location (post of duty (POD)) of the position;

    7. Qualifications required for each grade level, including any selective placement factors;

    8. Meeting the requirements for one or more of the SAA provisions will qualify an applicant at the GS-7 level. See IRM 6.338.1.9, Qualification Requirements, Superior Academic Achievement (SAA);

    9. Statement indicating whether official transcripts, photocopies of transcripts or other evidence of qualifying education should be submitted at the time of application when qualifications can be based in whole or in part on the combination of education and experience;

    10. Description of the duties;

    11. Evaluation criteria to be used for qualifications (e.g., KSAOs/Competencies, Specialized experience statements). Specialized experience statements should not state that qualifying experience is "equivalent to the next lower grade." Specialized experience statements should provide applicants with information on what types of experience are qualifying for the position and can be determined from a job analysis or the KSAOs/competencies and duties from the PD of the next lower grade of the position to be filled.

      • Example: Specialized statements for a GS-303-07 Incentive Pay Coordinator position using the PD for the next lower grade (GS-303-06 PD# 95453) could read: Knowledge of analysis techniques and methods to gather data, evaluate information, interpret guidance, draw conclusions, and coordinate projects. Examples of qualifying specialized experience include, but are not limited to: Identifies potential and actual problems in the program such as inconsistent data findings in system-generated reports, and provides recommendations and/or feedback to management for resolution. Researches a variety of issues, gathers statistics and information, and reports findings for full scope of the program. Monitors various incentive pay program reports to ensure consistency and accuracy. Revises quality and quantity targets based upon computer-generated statistical data.

    12. Evaluation method to be used for ranking (i.e., performance appraisals, awards, etc.);

    13. Promotion potential, if applicable;

    14. Application procedures: Information pertaining to the method of application will be specified in the vacancy announcement or within a fax vault document;

    15. Whether moving expenses will be paid, if applicable;

    16. Any other required information (e.g., shift work, frequent travel, drug testing required, physical requirements, pay retention eligibility if position is under a formal development plan etc.);

    17. The following Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) statement: IRS is an equal opportunity employer. Selection for this position will be based solely on merit without regard to race, color, religion, age, gender, national origin, political affiliation, disability, sexual orientation, marital or family status or other differences. IRS provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the point of contact on the announcement. Decisions on granting reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis (For positions announced under an automated hiring system (i.e., CareerConnector) the EEO statement is included.);

    18. For supervisory and managerial positions, a statement that the employee must serve a probationary period, unless exempt; if applicable, must specify the pay band by which the position is covered;

    19. Statement that employees rated below fully successful in a particular performance aspect will be determined ineligible for competitive promotion to a vacant position that requires the same or similar performance aspect;

    20. Statement that pay retention may be offered for a position covered under a formal development program, if applicable (See IRM 6.335.1.21 for additional information);

    21. When management desires to advertise a position as temporary, may become permanent without further competition, the following remark should be used on the vacancy announcement: "At the time of selection, this position may be filled on either a permanent or temporary basis. If filled on a temporary basis, it may be extended or made permanent without further competition" ; Note: upon permanent conversion, the Reassignment Preference Program (RPP) must be cleared. RPP must be cleared by posting a separate announcement for five workdays; and

    22. When announcing a term position with potential for conversion to a permanent position, include the information specified in IRM 6.335.1.11(3); and

    23. Statement that Superior Academic Achievement (SAA) provision can be used to qualify for a GS-7 if applicable to the position being posted.

    • SAA is creditable in any degree and can be met through one of the following methods:

      1. Class standing; or

      2. Grade point average (GPA); or

      3. Election to membership in a national scholastic honor society.

  4. Management has the flexibility to advertise vacancies in a career ladder position under the same announcement, separate announcements, or by grade level.

    1. Applicants will not be required to submit more than one application per vacancy announcement.

    2. If the announcement includes information that requires the candidates to specify the lowest grade they will accept, management need not rank for the grade levels for which the applicant opted not to be considered.

    3. Selecting officials have the flexibility to make a selection(s) from any of the grade levels advertised in the announcement.

  5. Open continuous announcements will be used primarily for types of positions that have recurring and frequent vacancies. The announcement will contain language that notifies the applicants of the specific cutoff dates for submission of applications. This type of announcement allows applicants to submit their applications at any time; however, they will not be eligible for referral unless the application is received on or prior to the cutoff date specified in the announcement. Applicants are added to the register if they are determined to be highly qualified.

  6. Rosters will be utilized when it is anticipated that a significant number of vacancies will occur within a certain period of time (no longer than one year). Announcements for rosters have specific closing dates and will specify the final date upon which a selection will be made from the roster. Candidates must be eligible by the closing date of the roster announcement or by a date specified on the announcement. Rosters are considered "established" for the purposes of selection once the Highly Qualified determination has been made by the ranking panel/official or ranking has been completed by an automated hiring system.

6.335.1.12.7  (03-20-2013)
Application for Vacancy Announcement Consideration

  1. Forms required for vacancy announcement consideration are, at a minimum:

    1. Application form(s) for consideration as specified in the vacancy announcement;

    2. Current performance appraisal for merit promotion purposes, see Alert 335-36, Performance Appraisals Used in an Automated Hiring System (CareerConnector), for questions on performance appraisals for merit promotion and answers to a variety of performance appraisal situations raised during the implementation of the National Agreement II (NA II) and the automated hiring system (CareerConnector); and

    3. Other forms can be specified in the announcement if required to assess a candidate’s potential for the position to be filled.

  2. Employees will complete and ensure that an accurate record of work experience, incentive awards and training are contained on the required application forms. This information will be used to determine qualifications and rank the employee’s potential to perform the position to be filled. Applicants will be notified of their qualifications eligibility determination. This notification will contain the reason for an ineligible determination.

  3. In order to be considered for any vacancy announcement, employees will ensure that all required forms indicated on the vacancy announcement are received (or postmarked) by the servicing EO by the closing date of the announcement (unless otherwise specified in the announcement). For positions announced through an automated system, required forms should be received no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement (unless otherwise specified in the announcement). A separate application package must be submitted for each vacancy announcement.

  4. The immediate manager ensures that a method is in place to ensure that employees who are temporarily absent from duty (i.e., leave, training, furlough, etc.) are informed of vacancies announced within their area of consideration.

  5. Managers can submit names of employees for vacancies and must inform the referred employee of this referral. Managerial referrals must be submitted by the closing date or dates specified in the announcement in order to be considered; however, employees whose names have been submitted as managerial referrals must coordinate receipt of complete application forms with the servicing EOs. Solicitation of managerial referrals must never be used alone, but only as a supplement to other methods previously mentioned.

  6. Servicing EOs are responsible for referring for consideration the name(s) of employees:

    1. Who are absent due to compensable injury or in military service [in accordance with 5 CFR § 353.106(c)];

    2. Granted reemployment rights under a letter of authority from OPM or through legislation;

    3. On Intergovernmental Personnel Act mobility agreements in accordance with applicable law; or

    4. Serving in public international organizations in accordance with applicable law.

6.335.1.12.8  (03-20-2013)
Priority Consideration

  1. Priority Consideration (PC) is the process by which competitive procedures are temporarily suspended for the purpose of correcting or minimizing any injustice resulting from a violation of federal merit promotion procedures. To be entitled to PC, a non-selected employee must have been adversely impacted by the violation of competitive procedures. See EEO requirement in IRM 6.335.1.12.8(5).

  2. Once identified, every attempt will be made to correct the violation as quickly as possible. PC can only be granted as a remedy for violations of the merit promotion regulation or procedures, as outlined in this Plan or under the portion of the negotiated agreement outlining merit promotion procedures.

  3. When a PC is prescribed as an appropriate remedy for a violation of competitive procedures, it must be ordered by the Division Commissioner or the equivalent. The Division Commissioner or the equivalent may re-delegate the approval authority for PC to any executive or senior manager who is a direct report to the Division Commissioner or who is a direct report to an executive. Servicing EOs have the responsibility for administering priority consideration and ensuring it is properly applied in accordance with regulations and procedures.

  4. Below are examples of situations in which PC is an appropriate remedy when regulatory or procedural violations have occurred. Other situations involving procedural or regulatory violations may also warrant PC as a remedy. These examples are not all-inclusive:

    1. Employees in the BQ group not selected because of the selection of an unqualified employee or an employee who was not best qualified;

    2. An employee placed in the BQ group was not selected and subsequently, the selecting official determines that incorrect information or procedures caused a substantial negative impact on the employee’s consideration;

    3. Employees originally identified as qualified or highly qualified were improperly excluded from the BQ group; and

    4. Employees were not initially considered, but had they been considered he/she would have been in the BQ group.

  5. Priority Consideration is also an appropriate remedy in EEO discrimination cases when it is found through formal EEO complaint procedures that discrimination resulted in the improper consideration of the employee. Since it is the practice of the Service to correct identified promotion problems without waiting for the resolution of the EEO complaint, every attempt will be taken to correct the promotion violation as quickly as possible. Absent a finding of discrimination, PC under promotion procedures can only be granted as a remedy if a merit promotion violation has occurred that fully warrants the granting of such a remedy under the guidelines specified in this document.

  6. When PC is ordered, it will apply to the specific position for which the employee was not given proper consideration, if that position is vacant. However, if the position is encumbered, the employee who was not given proper consideration in the original promotion action and who has not already been promoted is entitled to PC for the first appropriate vacancy that becomes available.

  7. An appropriate vacancy is one for which the employee meets basic qualifications and is a reasonable candidate. An appropriate vacancy is linked to the actual vacancy for which the employee was not given proper consideration and should include the same:

    1. Business Operating Division (i.e., Wage & Investment);

    2. POD;

    3. Title, series and grade;

    4. Work schedule;

    5. Type - Temporary or permanent;

    6. Specialization; and

    7. Same full working level.

  8. A Remain in POD vacancy is an appropriate vacancy only if the employee with the PC is from another Remain in POD vacancy.

    • Example: Jane Doe received a PC for a GS-343-13 Remain in POD vacancy while in Chicago; eighteen months later Jane relocated to Washington D.C. A vacancy for a GS-343-13 position was announced "Remain in POD." Jane can use her PC for this vacancy.

    See IRM 6.330.1, Recruitment, Selection and Placement, Exhibit 6.330.1-3, Comparison Chart on Clearing Special Priority Programs, for additional information.

  9. An appropriate vacancy is generally in the same area of consideration as the position for which the employee was not given proper consideration. In those circumstances where no appropriate vacancy is anticipated in the original area of consideration within two years from the date priority consideration is granted, the employee’s priority consideration will be extended to include similar vacancies within the original area of consideration, provided the employee meets basic eligibility requirements. The employee entitled to PC will usually be consulted as to their job preferences and must always be informed in advance that PC is being given. If possible, the employee’s wishes will be accommodated, but management makes the final decision. The employee will receive PC only in the Division that had the vacancy. In unusual cases, at the discretion of management, PC may be allowed for a position in a different Division with concurrence of the other Division Commissioner. It is recommended that agreements that cross business unit lines be documented with the names of the manager’s involved.

  10. PC is granted once for each time proper consideration was missed.

  11. Employees eligible for PC for a position that was previously located in an organization that no longer exists as a result of reorganization must be considered for vacancies in the business unit where these positions were realigned. If the position was realigned to more than one business unit, employees are entitled to priority consideration in the business unit that announces the first vacancy. Employees eligible for PC for a position that was later reclassified to a different series within their division are entitled to priority consideration for the reclassified position.

  12. PC granted, as a result of a legal settlement agreement, must adhere to the conditions identified in this IRM.

  13. Candidates entitled to PC do not compete with nor will they be considered with, any candidates who are not also entitled to the same level of PC. Candidates entitled to PC must be given consideration in accordance with the order of consideration described in IRM 6.335.1.12.5.

  14. The selecting official must provide written and signed certification that the employee was given full and fair consideration for the vacant position as if he or she had been considered on a regular BQ list. Priority Consideration is intended to assure that the applicant receives bona fide consideration, which entails the PC applicant being referred alone or with other PC applicants on a certificate prior to lesser priorities in the order of consideration outlined in IRM 6.335.1.12.5.

  15. Since PC represents granting an exception to normal merit promotion competitive procedures, it can be authorized only under the conditions that have been described above. It cannot be granted to provide relief to an employee because of poor personnel practices or to settle disputes (such as grievance issues) not in violation of EEOC regulation or merit promotion requirements.

6.335.1.12.8.1  (03-20-2013)
Processing a Request for Priority Consideration as a Result of a Grievance

  1. If PC is recommended as an appropriate remedy for a grievance, the servicing Labor Relations Office (LRO) will coordinate the specifics of the grievance with the servicing EO with the vacancy to ensure that the PC is warranted in compliance with applicable regulatory and contractual guidelines.

    1. If it is determined by the servicing EO with the vacancy that a merit promotion regulatory or procedural violation has not occurred, the HCO, ETS, Chief Employment Branch (CEB) or designee will notify the servicing LRO in writing of their findings that PC is not warranted as a remedy for the grievance. The LRO will notify the deciding official;

    2. If it is determined by the servicing EO with the vacancy that a merit promotion regulatory or procedural violation occurred, the HCO, ETS, CEB or designee will notify the servicing LRO in writing of their findings and recommend that PC is an appropriate remedy for the grievance; and

    3. The HCO, ETS, EO with the vacancy will annotate the grievant’s ranking information and the rank order listing of candidates with the grievant’s revised ranked score and initial and date each document. Changes made in an automated system should be annotated in the tracking history to indicate the reason the scores were revised.

  2. If the deciding official agrees to PC as a remedy based on the servicing EO’s findings, the EO with the vacancy will prepare a memorandum requesting the PC on behalf of the deciding official. This memorandum, signed by the HCO, ETS, CEB, will be forwarded through the servicing LRO to the appropriate PC approving authority for the BOD with the vacancy. The PC approving authority will make the final determination on whether PC will be granted. If assistance is needed in determining the appropriate PC approving authority, the servicing EO will contact the BOD's Embedded HR Office. The memorandum should include the following information:

    1. Grievant information to include name, title, series, grade, division and POD.

    2. Vacancy information for which the PC is requested to include the announcement number, title, series, grade, specialization, type - temporary or permanent, work schedule, tour of duty, division and POD.

    3. If an employee lost consideration for a position announced as a career ladder, include the full career ladder of the position and the grade level(s) for which the employee qualifies.

      Example: The employee lost consideration for an Internal Revenue Agent GS-512-7/9/11 vacancy announcement. The employee qualified at the GS- 512-7/9 levels. The memo will state for grade: GS-512-7/9/11 qualifies at GS-512-7/9 level. The employee will only be referred for the grade level qualified at the time PC was granted. See Exhibit 6.335.1-4, Sample PC Request to the PC Approving Authority.

    4. A brief summary of the regulatory or procedural violation and/or issue that impacted the grievant’s standing on the BQ list.

    5. Supporting documents to include copies of the vacancy announcement, appraisal, original and revised ranking information, rank order list of candidates, and promotion certificate.

  3. The PC approving authority will sign and date the memorandum and check whether the request was approved or disapproved. A copy of the signed memorandum will be provided to the servicing LRO and the EO with the vacancy.

  4. The servicing LRO will prepare a grievance response on behalf of the deciding official notifying the grievant(s) or their representative of the decision. The response should include the following:

    1. Vacancy information for which the PC is requested to include the announcement number, title, series, grade, specialization, type - temporary or permanent, work schedule, tour of duty, division and POD;

    2. A brief summary of the regulatory or procedural violation and/or issue that impacted the grievant’s standing on the BQ list;

    3. Results of findings and recommendation that PC is an appropriate remedy;

    4. Statement citing the provision that entitles the employee to PC (e.g., National Agreement Article 13 Section 11 or IRM 6.335.1.12.7) and approval from the PC approving authority granting the remedy requested; and

    5. Statement that the servicing EO with the vacancy will prepare a Priority Consideration Memorandum within 30 days of the response confirming the grievant’s PC entitlement.

  5. The EO with the vacancy will prepare a memorandum notifying the employee of PC entitlement and provide a copy simultaneously to the servicing Labor Relations Office. (See Exhibit 6.335.1-5, Sample Notification to Employee of PC Entitlement).

  6. The EO with the vacancy will forward the documentation granting PC to the servicing EO of the PC eligible.

  7. The EO of the PC eligible will file the documentation in the employee’s PC file and enter the employee’s name on the National Special Programs Database.

6.335.1.12.8.2  (03-20-2013)
Processing a Priority Consideration Request Absent a Grievance

  1. Whenever a servicing EO discovers a regulatory or procedural violation that justifies ordering PC, the EO with the vacancy is obligated to take appropriate corrective action as quickly as possible.

  2. If upon reconstruction of the BQ it is determined that an employee selected would not have made BQ, corrective action will be taken as appropriate as outlined in IRM 6.335.1.19 Corrective Action.

  3. If an employee has filed a grievance and upon reconstruction of the BQ it is determined that another employee, who has not filed a grievance would have also made BQ, the EO with the vacancy will follow the process outlined in (5) a through h below.

  4. There is no limitation on when a PC request can be submitted to the appropriate PC approving authority for non-bargaining unit employees who lost proper consideration.

  5. EOs with the vacancy will follow the steps below when submitting a PC request to the appropriate PC approving authority recommending that PC be granted on the employee’s behalf. This process is used when the EO with the vacancy discovers a possible violation that justifies ordering PC and a grievance has not been filed.

    1. The EO with the vacancy that discovered the possible merit promotion violation will examine all appropriate information to determine if a merit promotion violation occurred and if the employee was harmed. If the servicing EO finds no evidence that a merit promotion violation has occurred, then no further action will be taken.

    2. If the EO with the vacancy determines upon reconstruction that the employee should have been referred on the BQ list, then the servicing will revise the employee's ranking information and the rank order listing of candidates with the employee's revised rank score and initial and date each document. Changes made in an automated system should be annotated in tracking history to indicate the reason the scores were revised.

    3. The EO with the vacancy will prepare a memorandum to the appropriate PC approving authority in the business unit with the vacancy outlining their findings and recommendations to grant PC. The Employment Branch Chief will review and sign the memorandum. The memorandum will include the information listed above in IRM 6.335.1.12.8.1(2). See Exhibit 6.335.1-6, Sample PC Request to PC Approving Official Absent a Grievance.

    4. The EO with the vacancy will route the memorandum to the appropriate PC approving authority in the business unit with the vacancy for a determination on whether the PC will be granted. If assistance is needed in determining the appropriate PC authority, the servicing EO will contact the BOD's Embedded HR Office.

    5. The PC approving authority will sign and date the memorandum and check whether the request was approved or disapproved. A copy of the signed memorandum will be provided to the servicing EO with the vacancy.

    6. The EO with the vacancy will prepare a memorandum notifying the employee of PC, and provide a copy simultaneously to the manager and servicing LRO. See Exhibit 6.335.1-5, Sample Notification to Employee of PC Entitlement.

    7. The EO with the vacancy will forward the documents granting PC to the EO of the PC eligible.

    8. The EO of the PC eligible will file the documents in the employee’s PC file and enter the employee’s name on the National Special Priority Programs Database.

6.335.1.12.8.3  (03-20-2013)
Referral of Priority Consideration Eligibles

  1. The EO with the vacancy is responsible for the following:

    1. Review the National Special Priority Programs Database to determine if there are any PC eligibles in the order prescribed in IRM 6.335.12.5. The database must be checked for PC eligibles prior to announcing a vacancy absent higher priority referrals, prior to issuance of a BQ certificate and prior to making a "temporary may become permanent position" permanent. When PC eligibles are referred, they must be given bonafide consideration which means they must be referred alone before other candidates are considered. See IRM 6.330.1, Recruitment, Selection and Placement, Exhibit 6.330.1-3, Comparison Chart on Clearing Special Priority Programs, for additional information.

    2. When an appropriate vacancy is identified on the database, contact the servicing EO of the PC eligible to request a copy of the employee’s paperwork which will include the following: memorandum notifying the employee of PC entitlement, decision document that authorized PC, employee’s current performance appraisal, and employee’s current application, as needed.

    3. Refer the names of all PC eligibles for the appropriate vacancy on the PC certificate for consideration by the selecting official at one time along with the required paperwork.

    4. Keep the servicing EO of the PC eligible informed of the status of the referral. Fax to the servicing EO of the PC eligible a copy of the PC certificate, signed by the selecting official, indicating selection or nonselection. If the PC eligible is selected, the selecting official will notify the employee that he/she is being selected and discuss report dates. If the employee was not selected, fax supporting documentation to the servicing EO of the PC eligible.

  2. The servicing EO of the PC eligible is responsible for the following:

    1. If the employee is not selected, prior to notifying the employee, review the supporting documentation in order to ensure that non-selection was based on merit reasons related to the performance requirements of the position being filled.

    2. If non-selection was not based on merit reasons, contact the servicing EO with the vacancy to discuss the reason(s) for non-selection. If necessary, the certificate will be returned to the selecting official through the servicing EO with the vacancy for further action.

    3. If non-selection was based on merit reasons, notify the employee that he/she had been referred for consideration, but had not been selected, citing the reasons for non- selection that were provided by the selecting official. The selecting official must provide written reasons for nonselection. Reasons for non-selection need to be clearly related to the ability of the candidate to successfully perform in the position. See examples in IRM 6.335.1.12.8.3 (3). Also notify the employee that he/she is referred only one time under the PC program and will no longer be referred for a vacancy. Advise the employee that his/her name will be removed from the active National Special Priority Programs database.

    4. Employees were not initially considered, but had they been considered he/she would have been in the BQ group.

    5. If the employee has questions concerning the reasons for non-selection, refer the employee to the selecting official.

    6. When an employee has been referred for consideration and either selected or not selected, the servicing EO of the PC eligible is responsible for the prompt removal of the employee’s name from the Active Priority Consideration database and moving it into the archive files.

  3. The following are examples of when non-selection of a PC eligible can be justified. This list is not all inclusive:

    1. A PC eligible has demonstrated a less than successful performance in his/her current position and the duties and responsibilities of that position are similar or related to the work of the position to be filled. Selecting officials will use all available information (i.e., performance appraisal, application, interviews, if conducted) to evaluate each candidate against the duties and responsibilities of the position to be filled. Case law supports non-selection of PC eligibles where the candidate has demonstrated job-related deficiencies and management can show a legitimate reason to justify the non-selection. The following statement can be used to support a non-selection of a PC eligible with a less than successful performance: "The PC eligible is not qualified based on current performance of less than successful in a position related to the position being filled;"

    2. Reasonable accommodations cannot be provided for the employee; or

    3. A PC eligible was not qualified for the position and was referred in error. The PC eligible should not be removed from the Special Priority Programs Database.

  4. The servicing EO of the PC eligible is responsible for maintaining the employee’s PC file. PC Certificates and all other supporting documentation must be kept in the employee’s PC file for future reference. The PC file will contain the following documentation as appropriate for each vacancy announcement for which consideration was denied:

    1. Vacancy announcement;

    2. Memorandum notifying employee of PC eligibility;

    3. Decision document that authorized PC (i.e., memo from PC approving authority, grievance settlement, FLRA decision);

    4. Documentation that indicates employee was not ranked properly i.e., employee’s revised ranking information, revised rank order list of candidates);

    5. Employee’s current appraisal;

    6. Employee’s current application, as needed;

    7. Promotion certificate for which the employee was referred and selected/non-selected;

    8. Management’s written reasons for non-selection; and

    9. Declination if employee declined consideration.

6.335.1.12.9  (03-20-2013)
Determining Basic Eligibility

  1. Candidates must meet all minimum eligibility (e.g., TIG, time after competitive appointment restriction, etc.) and qualification requirements before they may be promoted. Minimum qualification standards used for filling positions according to this Plan are standards established or approved by OPM and may be found in OPM Operating Manual, Qualification Standards for General Schedule Positions, Job Qualification System for Trades and Labor Occupations (Handbook X-118C) and IRM 6.338.1, Qualification Requirements. The EOs are responsible for the application of these standards and the determination of a candidate’s basic eligibility for specific positions. The qualification standard used in filling the position must be documented in the promotion records. Documentation of each candidate’s qualification determinations must also be maintained in the promotion records. For additional information on time after competitive promotion, see IRM 6.330.1, Recruitment, Selection, and Placement, or 5 CFR Part 330 Subpart E.

  2. Employees rated below fully successful in a particular performance aspect will be determined ineligible for competitive promotion to a vacant position that requires the same or similar performance aspect. This does not apply to employees rated below fully successful in a particular performance aspect applying for bargaining unit vacant positions that require the same or similar performance aspect.

  3. Candidates may also meet qualification requirements under the specific provisions of an appropriately approved training agreement, which makes it possible to substitute the successful completion of intensive and accelerated training for a portion of the normal qualification requirements. Documentation related to these requirements must be maintained in the promotion records.

  4. Selective placement factors will be applied in the same manner as minimum qualification requirements. However, they cannot be used merely because they would be desirable.

    1. EOs are responsible for maintaining the documentation of the validity and job-relatedness of the selective placement factors for individual positions (see OPM Operating Manual, Qualification Standards for General Schedule Positions, Section II. General Policies and Instructions). However, the development of the documentation is a joint responsibility between the BOD and HCO, ETS, EO.

    2. Documentation for Servicewide Selective Placement Factors is maintained by HCO, Talent, Acquisition, and Evaluation (TAE). See IRM 6.338.1, Qualification Requirements, for a full description of selective placement factors and positions with Servicewide selective placement factors.

  5. Candidates will be evaluated without regard to race, color, religion, age, gender, national origin, political affiliation, disability, sexual orientation, marital or family status (except as may be required to comply with restrictions on employment of relatives in IRM 6.300.1, Employment (General), or other differences.

  6. Written tests may not be used to determine basic eligibility unless specifically required by OPM standards.

  7. Crediting leave without pay (LWOP) for meeting length and quality of experience requirements will be determined in accordance with IRM 6.338.1, Qualification Requirements.

6.335.1.12.10  (03-20-2013)
Identifying Highly Qualified And Best Qualified

  1. Developing the Evaluation Process: A comprehensive job analysis must be used in developing the specific evaluation criteria that will provide the basis for the evaluative process. Vacancies must be analyzed to determine what knowledge, skills, abilities and other personal characteristics (KSAOs), or competencies are needed and at what level they are required for successful and highly successful job performance. The result of the job analysis is the development of specific evaluation criteria and standardized instructions for their use.

  2. Evaluation methods must also be developed that will effectively measure the stated criteria. Methods must be valid, objective, reliable and job-related in accordance with the requirements described in the Scope and Authority portion of this Plan.

6.335.1.12.11  (03-20-2013)
Evaluation Criteria

  1. Evaluation criteria are stated requirements of knowledge, skills, abilities, other personal characteristics (KSAOs), or competencies necessary for successful performance in the position to be filled. Evaluation criteria are developed jointly between the BOD and HCO, ETS, EO and must be established and documented prior to the beginning of the competitive process. Criteria cannot be changed during the course of the promotion action. Evaluation criteria will be documented in the promotion file. Documentation pertaining to Servicewide evaluation criteria will be maintained by HCO, TAE.

  2. Current PDs as well as knowledge of the specific duties of the positions will be used as a base from which the evaluative criteria can be established. Criteria must also be measurable (i.e., there must be a method available to provide the required information). These criteria may be unweighted or weighted, but it must be ensured that the relative weight of each is proportionate to its relative importance in the performance of the job. If numeric scoring is used, cut-off scores for highly qualified will be established in advance.

  3. A crediting plan will be developed for each criterion identified through the job analysis/job profiling (unless the criteria and plan were developed nationally). Scores for each criterion will be given equal weight unless a determination is made during the job analysis that weighting of specific criterion is necessary.

  4. For career ladder positions, rating and ranking criteria must be developed for each grade level up to the target grade of the position. For example, when ranking the Human Resources Specialist (Recruitment), GS 201-5/7/9/11 position, rating and ranking criteria must be developed at all four grade levels.

  5. A complete record of all pertinent information used in the development of criteria, the actual information obtained, and the conclusions supported by this information must be maintained either in the promotion file or a notation must appear in the promotion file that would indicate where such information is maintained.

6.335.1.12.12  (03-20-2013)
Evaluation Methods

  1. Non-bargaining unit evaluation methods are the sources of information considered by a ranking official/ panel, or during an automated ranking process, according to pre-established criteria for a specific vacancy, to determine the BQ candidates. The selecting official in conjunction with the servicing EO must examine the evaluation criteria, determine the appropriate methods to be used to secure needed information and include them on the vacancy announcement. If appropriate methods are not available, new methods may need to be developed, or consideration given to combining pertinent available methods in a manner that furnishes the best combination of necessary information to evaluate the candidates against the criteria. The major consideration in selecting and using any evaluation method is its effectiveness in measuring the degree to which a candidate possesses the KSAOs/competencies that would enable the applicant to perform in a fully successful manner in the position within a reasonable time frame. Methods used must also be documented in the promotion file.

  2. The following evaluation methods are required:

    1. Performance Appraisals - Must be current and must have been shared with the employee. Refer to IRM 6.430.1 Introduction to Performance Management, and the National Agreement for guidance on time limits of performance appraisals for merit promotion. Only those appraisal factors that are relevant to the position to be filled will be considered. If relevant promotion information is not included in the annual appraisal, a special potential appraisal, or other appropriate appraisal that contains information relevant to the vacancy can be requested;

    2. Incentive Awards - Due weight must be given in the promotion process to all relevant awards received by a candidate that demonstrates ingenuity, industry, skill, resourcefulness or any other ability that may have an impact on the qualifications for the position to be filled. All non-Federally sponsored awards that are restricted on the basis of age or sex may not be considered in the merit process;

    3. Training - Pertinent training and self-development activities that are clearly related to the employee’s potential for successful performance in the position to be filled. Education may be considered only to the extent that it is clearly job related or it clearly provides evidence of learning ability for the position to be filled. A standard approach will be developed so that similar activities will be considered alike when rating the evaluation criteria; and

    4. Experience - The objective in evaluating experience is to determine how well the experience has prepared the candidate for higher level work. The type and quality of experience will be considered only in relation to the evaluation criteria. Length of service or experience may be used only when there is a clear and positive relationship with the potential quality of performance. A standard approach will be developed so that similar experience will be considered alike when rating the evaluation criteria.

  3. The following methods may be used at the Selecting Official’s option in addition to the mandatory methods listed above:

    1. Interviews - When an interview is being used as part of the promotion ranking process, it must be indicated either as a required method or as an option in the vacancy announcement. Interview records used in the ranking process must be retained in the promotion file. If used as part of the ranking process, any written record of an interview will be provided to the employee, if requested, in the same manner as the other ranking documentation;

    2. Potential Appraisals - Potential appraisals require the supervisor to make informed judgments about the KSAOs/competencies that a candidate has not clearly had to demonstrate on his/her current job. Potential appraisals may be necessary to assess job-relatedness requirements when the candidate’s current performance appraisal is not clearly relevant to the promotion process (i.e., a situation where the duties and required skills and abilities of the present job and the vacancy do not match). The evaluation criteria must be considered when the rater is responding to the factors and the questions on the appropriate potential appraisal form. The potential appraisal will address all of the evaluation criteria (e.g., KSAOs) necessary to perform in the vacant position in a highly successful manner) and all of the evaluation criteria for which the appropriate KSAOs/competencies have not been clearly reflected in the candidate’s appraisal of past performance. When completing a potential appraisal for a different job, information may be needed to assist the supervisor in making informed judgments on a particular candidate. A candidate’s potential may be demonstrated through successful performance on the job or in training courses, inventiveness on the job, special details and assignments, temporary promotions, or in other ways that may be generalized to show that the candidate possesses the necessary KSAOs/competencies to perform in the vacancy in a successful manner. Potential appraisals must be discussed with and provided to the employee by the supervisor or other rating official. If a potential appraisal is prepared at the time of the employee’s annual appraisal, it must be clearly identified as a potential appraisal so that it is not used as a basis of evaluating performance on the present job; and

    3. Written Tests - Written tests will not be used in promotion, transfer, reassignment or other personnel actions unless specifically authorized. Additional guidance on the use of written tests for promotion and other internal placement actions may be found in OPM's Operating Manual, Qualification Standards, General Policies and Instructions, available online at: http://www.opm.gov/qualifications/policy/index.asp.

6.335.1.12.13  (03-20-2013)
Ranking Officials, Evaluation Panels, and Automated Ranking Process

  1. Ranking of applicants may be conducted by an automated system, or a ranking official/panel.

  2. Ranking completed in the automated system will include the applicant’s current performance appraisal, related awards, and responses to questions based on the KSAOs and/or competencies and applicable crediting plan of the position to be filled to determine the applicant’s overall ranking score.

  3. When a manual ranking process is used, the use of a ranking official or panel is mandatory in identifying highly qualified (HQ) and best qualified (BQ) candidates. Ranking officials and panel members must be at or above the grade level of the position to be filled. It is recommended but not required that ranking panels be used for all professional and technical occupations. Ranking officials are generally used for clerical and paraprofessional occupations. Ranking officials and panel members must be non-bargaining unit. If there are insufficient NBU panel members, then a NBU official should be used.

  4. A ranking official must be someone other than the selecting official and must have an in-depth knowledge of the requirements and functions of the position to be filled.

  5. Panels must consist of at least three voting members, including at least one member who has direct working knowledge of the position to be filled. A representative of the servicing EO should also participate as a non-voting member to ensure that control and documentation of panel actions meet validity and job-relatedness requirements. Ranking officials/panels will be designated by the selecting official unless specified by other National Program requirements. Women and/or minorities should be included as ranking panel members, whenever feasible. Although not recommended, selecting officials can serve as a ranking panel member but not as a ranking official. There should not be only one evaluation panel for all jobs in one function; panels should be established for specific lines of work.

  6. Ranking officials and panel members should be carefully selected and trained in their responsibilities and in the merit promotion process so that evaluations by different raters will be comparable and consistent. Ranking officials and panel members should be rotated periodically to provide all officials with an opportunity to develop expertise in promotion operations. Ranking officials and panel members should be instructed by the HCO, ETS, EO to avoid discriminatory non-merit considerations (See 5 CFR § 335.103, Requirement 1).

6.335.1.12.14  (03-20-2013)
Determining Highly and Best Qualified

  1. The application of the evaluation methods measuring the applicants against the evaluation criteria during the ranking process should provide a meaningful distinction between the candidates and allow for the identification of the highly qualified (HQ) and best qualified (BQ).

  2. All candidates found to be basically eligible to compete for the position will be referred for ranking to be evaluated against the evaluation criteria using the mandatory methods and other job-related methods designated by the selecting official.

  3. Ranking panels/officials are not permitted to make changes to supervisory appraisals in the process of evaluating candidates. The ranking panels/officials will reflect and record the rating of potential for each candidate against all evaluation criterion for the position to be filled. Information from as many methods as possible is to be used by the ranking panel/official to assign individual criterion rating scores for each of the candidates. Scores on the criteria will be combined to form an overall score for each candidate. Candidates attaining the score previously identified in the crediting plan will be identified as HQ. Those applicants meeting the established level will be designated ″HQ″ and will be identified by the ranking panel/official, on the appropriate form.

  4. When a promotion package has 10 or fewer candidates for a non-bargaining unit vacancy, a simplified ranking process may be used. The simplified ranking will be conducted by the servicing EO with approval from business unit management. This abbreviated process eliminates the need for ratings to be assigned and allows for candidates to be grouped by quality level for selection.

  5. The simplified ranking process meets the requirement that applicants determined "BQ" be evaluated based on job-related criteria that has been applied fairly and consistently in all cases. (See Exhibits 6.335.1-7, 6.335.1-8, and 6.335.1-9 for additional information). At a minimum, the following must take place:

    1. Screen all candidates to ensure that they meet basic qualification requirements -including any selective factors that apply to a particular job;

    2. Identify job-related criteria to distinguish well-qualified candidates from those who meet only minimum qualification requirements; and

    3. Select only from the well-qualified group.

  6. The promotion file will be documented to show how the evaluation procedures were followed, how the methods were interpreted/used and the procedure for combining the results of the individual criterion ratings to arrive at the total score for each candidate.

  7. If the number of HQ candidates is five or fewer, all may be certified as BQ. If the number of HQ candidates exceeds five, the BQ will be the top three to five ranked HQ candidates. Up to 10 candidates may be certified if meaningful distinctions cannot be made from among a smaller number of HQ candidates. However, if additional applicants have tied scores with the 10th candidate—all may be referred. If the application methods repeatedly fail to indicate meaningful distinctions between candidates, the methods and criteria will be reevaluated to determine if modifications are necessary.

  8. BQ candidates will be referred to the selecting official in alphabetical order. Three to five BQ candidates may be certified for a single vacancy plus one additional candidate for each additional vacancy. However, candidates will not be arbitrarily eliminated from the best-qualified list when meaningful distinctions do not exist.

  9. BQ referrals for positions announced at multiple grade levels may be referred either:

    1. On one certificate with the appropriate number of best-qualified candidates referred to the selecting official; or

    2. Referred on separate certificates for each grade level.

  10. Candidates who have been determined to not meet the "HQ" cut-off can be referred for selection. However, they may be referred only if there are no highly qualified candidates even after the area of consideration has been expanded and there are no HQ candidates from outside of IRS.

  11. Qualified candidates who have applied for reassignment, transfer and reinstatement to the position to be filled and who are not required to compete for the position, can be listed separately and referred to the selecting official for consideration.


More Internal Revenue Manual