6.511.1 Position Management and Classification Policy and Operational Guidance

Policy Provisions

  1. This section describes program policy for Position Management and Classification (PM/C).

  2. The legal and regulatory bases for Federal service PM/C are in 5 U.S.C. Chapter 51, sections 5101 to 5115. Further, 5 C.F.R. Part 511, sections 511.101 to 511.203, state that positions are classified based on the duties and responsibilities assigned and the qualifications required to do the work.

  3. The legal and regulatory bases for the Job Grading System are in 5 U.S.C. Chapter 53, section 5346 and 5 C.F.R. Part 532, Subpart F.

  4. Specific citations and references are in documents listed in Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) 6.511.1.8.18, Position Management and Position Classification Web Sites. Delegation Order 81, Delegation of Authority in Various Personnel Matters, as revised, identifies PM/C delegations under 5 U.S.C. and 5 C.F.R.

Applicability

  1. Provisions of this document apply to all positions subject to 5 U.S.C. Chapter 51 (General Schedule positions), and Chapter 53 (Federal Wage System positions).

  2. Provisions of this document also apply to positions in other pay systems unless specifically exempted by special instructions and authority governing the specific pay system involved.

Objectives of the IRS Position Management and Classification Program

  1. Establish a position structure which delivers work appropriately balanced among quantity, quality, and cost by:

    1. Achieving work unit effectiveness with a minimum of supervisory and staff resources,

    2. Clustering grade-controlling duties into the minimum number of positions, and

    3. Reconfiguring position structures to achieve cost-effective operations.

     

  2. Ensure that jobs are accurately classified in accordance with published Office of Personnel Management (OPM) position classification standards and supplementing IRS classification guides by using descriptions which clearly distinguish each position's appropriate title, series, and grade and serve as an effective aid in human capital decisions.

  3. Establish a position structure consistent with employee skill and development objectives while maintaining a cost-effective operation.

Program Responsibility

  1. The Human Capital Office (HCO) has responsibility to:

    1. Develop and coordinate the Service’s Position Management/Classification (PM/C) program;

    2. Develop and provide PM/C plans and program goals;

    3. Develop and issue PM/C operational and policy guidance/instructions;

    4. Develop classification guides and classify/issue Standard Position Descriptions (SPD);

    5. Provide PM/C training to new managers; and

    6. Serve as consultant to embedded Human Resources and management.

     

  2. Division Commissioners (or equivalent level) are responsible for ensuring that:

    1. The PM/C program is used as a management tool;

    2. A climate is provided in which subordinate executives and managers, in partnership, propose or make effective PM/C decisions; and

    3. The Division’s position management program effectiveness is reviewed.

     

  3. Embedded Human Capital Office has the responsibility to:

    1. Provide PM/C advice to management;

    2. Develop Business Operating Division-specific policy based on agency policy; and

    3. Implement agency PM/C policies and goals.

     

  4. All executives, managers, and supervisors that have day-to-day operational responsibility should:

    1. Understand the general principles and procedures of PM/C and be able to explain them to their employees;

    2. Utilize the workforce economically and effectively through optimum organization and assignment of work;

    3. Identify the duties and responsibilities of positions under their supervision;

    4. Ensure that positions are accurately described;

    5. Develop SPDs to reflect significant changes in an existing position, to describe a new position as necessary, or to replace local position descriptions and submit them for approval through appropriate management channels;

    6. Provide a copy of the appropriate SPD to each employee after signing the supervisory certification;

    7. Initiate classification actions;

    8. Provide position classification appeal rights to employees;

    9. Follow established procedures when responding to employee position classification complaints or appeals; and

    10. Ensure that the SPD is associated with an appropriate performance plan (e.g., critical job elements, responsibilities and commitments) when issued to an employee.

     

  5. Employees should:

    1. Review their position description (PD) to ensure that it accurately reflects the duties they are performing;

    2. Raise discrepancies between the PD and the work with their immediate manager; and

    3. Understand their placement in their organization.

     

Relationship of Position Management to Position Classification

  1. Position management is essentially a responsibility of line management and manifests itself in the way in which management combines duties and responsibilities, assigns work, and establishes organizations. Position management is reflected in the manner in which management elects to formulate jobs and structure organizational entities. As such, position management encompasses position classification and provides the framework upon which position classifications are based.

  2. Position classification primarily concerns itself with the application of Governmentwide job standards and classification principles to positions in order to establish the proper pay plan, title, series, and grade (all of which contribute to a position’s rate of pay) by dealing with duties, responsibilities, and work assigned by management in an organization structure established by management.

  3. Nonetheless, the position classification process is not complete until and unless adequate consideration has been given to position management, both by those authorized to effect changes in organization and job structure and by those authorized to classify the positions thereby affected.

  4. As a result, position management, rather than position classification, is the dominant element influencing the extent to which an organization approaches the maximum possible utilization of human resources, particularly in terms of financial resources.

  5. While determining job content and organizational structure is the prerogative of line management, support entities (including human resources staff, finance personnel, and advisory analysts) play a key role in advising and assisting management in carrying out these responsibilities in line with sound position management concepts. A full and open partnership should exist between line management and staff personnel in weighing the position management and classification impact and consequences of proposals affecting organization, work assignment, and changes in job content.

Position Management Program

  1. This section describes the Position Management Program objectives, responsibilities, and principles.

Definition

  1. Position management is the assignment of work to positions within an existing or planned organization in a manner that will best achieve mission goals, efficiency of operations, and effective employee utilization within approved resource levels, while also promoting employee development.

Purpose of Position Management

  1. The purpose of position management is to ensure efficiency and economy in attaining the objectives of the Service through maximum use of human resources. However, in all cases, the cost of an action should be weighed in terms of the benefits derived. Long-range benefits may, in some instances, override considerations of immediate costs. Continual cooperation between line managers and PM/C specialists is vital to ensure that all aspects of position management principles and concepts are explored.

  2. The objectives of position management are:

    1. To establish a position structure which will best serve organizational and program needs by providing optimum balance among such factors as economy, efficiency, skills utilization, employee motivation, and employee development;

    2. To contribute to employee productivity by appropriate utilization of positions, including supervisory and administrative support positions;

    3. To ensure that the duties and responsibilities of each position are clearly delineated, do not conflict with the duties of other positions, and serve as an effective aid in recruitment, placement, career progression, performance appraisals, and awards;

    4. To take positive actions to eliminate unwarranted fragmentation of grade-controlling duties;

    5. To ensure that jobs are accurately classified in accordance with Office of Personnel Management (OPM) position classification standards and supplementing IRS classification guides;

    6. To abolish positions which become vacant if their duties can be redistributed or eliminated without seriously affecting the accomplishment of essential functions;

    7. To lend maximum support to equal employment opportunity, upward mobility, and competitive merit placement programs through establishment of effective job structures; and

    8. To ensure that position analysis is effectively accomplished and that position descriptions are current, specific, and accurate.

     

  3. Position management affects:

    1. Work outcomes,

    2. Customer satisfaction,

    3. Cost of operations, and

    4. Employee satisfaction.

     

  4. The position management program directly affects balanced measures outcomes.

Responsibilities

  1. Division Commissioners (or equivalent level) have primary responsibility for the Position Management Program. They are responsible for ensuring that their subordinate managers, supervisors, and staffs coordinate efforts toward optimum staff utilization, and ensure adherence to the principles outlined in this manual.

  2. The IRS Human Capital Officer is responsible for developing, advocating, implementing, evaluating, and monitoring Position Management Program policies and operational objectives for the IRS.

  3. Other managers and supervisors have primary responsibility for the exercise of position management by determining the duties and responsibilities to be assigned to individual positions; determining whether positions should be established, abolished, or changed; determining the number and types of positions necessary to accomplish the work of the organization; and determining how to best organize the work and positions to achieve an optimal organizational structure. Position management decisions must take into consideration the availability of financial and human resources in addition to the utilization and development of employee skills.

General Principles

  1. General principles that can be used as guideposts when making position management decisions are identified in the following:

Organizational Changes
  1. Organizational changes should improve the effectiveness and/or efficiency of an organization. They should produce efficiency and economy through the optimum use of staff, while effectively accomplishing the organization’s goals and objectives. The cost of proposed changes should be weighed in terms of benefits derived. Reducing unnecessary subdivisions, supervisory levels, and positions will often accelerate work flow by broadening supervisory span of control, reducing the number of reviews, and shortening lines of communication and decision-making.

Controlling Positions
  1. Continuing efforts should be made to obtain or devise equipment, processes, or work methods which enable the Service’s objectives to be accomplished more efficiently while keeping staffing to a minimum.

Movements of Employees
  1. Assignments or reassignments of subordinates to supervisors should be based strictly upon the needs of the supervisor’s work program, rather than the effect of additional employees on the supervisor’s grade. For example, additional higher-grade employees should not be assigned to a group supervisor merely to permit the upgrading of the group supervisor’s position.

Organization of Duties and Responsibilities into Positions and Organizational Entities
  1. Clerical support duties should not be assigned to non-clerical positions to the extent possible.

  2. Unless higher-graded duties are assigned for developmental purposes, employees should be assigned only those duties and responsibilities appropriate to the grades of their positions.

  3. The number of organizational entities should be based on such factors as amount and complexity of work, supervisory span of control, and geographical dispersion. Levels of supervision and review should also be limited to a minimum.

  4. In lieu of creating additional first-level supervisory positions, serious consideration should be given to establishing work leader or team leader positions.

Assignment of Higher-Graded Work
  1. Upgrading a position based on adding higher-graded work to existing lower-graded work should be avoided wherever possible. Higher-graded work should be concentrated in the fewest number of positions needed to accomplish the work of the organization, and not spread to support higher grades for more employees.

  2. Before recommending more senior working positions, there must be a careful analysis to determine what part of the total amount of work available is above the first full-working-level. Then a determination must be made as to what part of this higher-level workload can be absorbed by the higher-graded position(s) already available and concentrated in as few additional higher-graded positions as are absolutely necessary.

  3. The assignment of a limited amount of higher-graded work (generally, this should not exceed 20 percent of the direct work time) to lower-graded employees for developmental purposes is an accepted management practice. Typically, this provides lower-graded employees with an opportunity to demonstrate the potential to perform work at the higher level.

Need for Skills and Knowledge
  1. Whenever possible, work should be simplified and employees specialized so that lower- grade duties may be performed at lower skill levels. This would include the appropriate use of paraprofessional or bridge positions in lieu of certain professional or specialist positions. Doing so will both enrich lower-grade positions and leave those in higher grades more time to perform work appropriate to their level. Also, it would contribute directly to providing upward mobility opportunities as well as assisting management with accomplishing its Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) objectives.

Use of Paraprofessional Positions
  1. In determining the best ways to utilize current staff, the use of paraprofessional positions is strongly encouraged.

  2. The paraprofessional concept serves to:

    1. Concentrate paraprofessional duties into lower-level positions (e.g., Tax Fraud Investigative Assistant, Management Assistant, Budget Technician); and

    2. Establish an additional means of qualifying (i.e., providing a broader base of recruitment) for professional, administrative, and technician-level positions.

     

Vacant Positions
  1. When a position is vacated, the appropriate line official should review it to see if the position can be eliminated or the work modified and assigned to another existing position.

  2. A vacant position should be abolished if it is one of several similar positions and other employees can absorb the duties, or if there has been a workload reduction equivalent to that of the vacated position.

Establishment of Full Assistant/Deputy Positions
  1. Full assistant or deputy positions will be established and maintained only when absolutely necessary.

  2. A full assistant/deputy position, regardless of title, is one which shares in the direction and supervision of a program or organizational segment headed by the immediate manager. A full assistant/deputy position generally entails an additional level of review and supervision, and is usually graded one grade level below that of the immediate superior in the General Schedule classification system.

  3. Full assistant/deputy positions are established only if:

    1. The chief’s duties require considerable travel, extensive external contacts, significant amounts of special project work, etc.; and/or

    2. The organization requires considerable program and managerial planning, coordination, and direction of numerous subordinate organizational entities, production control, and considerable follow-up work.

     

Establishment of Staff Assistant Positions
  1. Staff assistant positions will be established and maintained only when absolutely necessary.

  2. A staff assistant position, regardless of title, is one which aids the immediate manager by performing a consultative or staff support role, but does not directly share in directing or supervising subordinate staff.

  3. Staff assistants are normally established only where:

    1. The work of the organization entails extensive and frequent changes in systems and procedures;

    2. The complexity of the organization’s work and the manager’s span of control are such that the manager cannot be expected to perform required special projects and studies;

    3. In large organizations, a routine production control job must be conducted, but does not warrant establishing a full assistant position; and/or

    4. One segment of the organization’s work is highly-specialized or must integrate with other components of the organization, but is of insufficient volume to warrant an independent organizational entity.

     

Impact of the Person on the Job (Incumbent-Only Position)
  1. The policy for classifying positions based on "impact of the person on the job" (commonly referred to as "incumbent only" for IRS purposes) is based on the premise that the special knowledge, skills, abilities, talents, or achievements of an individual may have an important effect on the duties, responsibilities, and expectations of the job held. As such, the impact of the person on the job is reflected in the classification when the performance of a particular individual actually makes the job materially different from what it otherwise would be, i.e., a higher-graded position.

  2. The establishment of a position based on the concept of " impact of the person on the job" does not supplant the responsibility to classify the position’s additional duties and qualifications by reference to appropriate classification standards and guidelines. It is not acceptable to use "incumbent only" classifications to further the continuance of a misclassified position.

  3. An incumbent-only position which has been created to accommodate a particular incumbent should be either abolished or restored to its normal classification when the position is vacated.

  4. An incumbent-only position should be reviewed annually to verify/validate the continuing conditions which warranted the original "incumbent-only " designation. The PM/C Branch will initiate contact with the Embedded Human Resources Office (or equivalent) to begin the review process.

  5. In those situations where an encumbered position does not sustain the current grade level based on the actual work performed, the concept of "impact of the person on the job" or "incumbent only" does not apply and, therefore, corrective action will be taken by the business operating division.

Position Classification Program

  1. This section outlines the Position Classification Program objectives, authorities, and principles.

Definition

  1. Position classification is the analysis of a position’s duties, responsibilities, and qualification requirements to determine the position’s title, series, and grade level in accordance with classification standards issued by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

Objectives

  1. The objectives of position classification are to:

    1. Ensure pay is based on the principle of equal pay for substantially equal work, and

    2. Ensure that positions are classified consistent with the criteria and guidance issued by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

     

Delegation of Authority

  1. Position classification authority is the authority to determine and certify the proper pay plan, title, series, and grade of a position. Only an official who is delegated classification authority may certify the classification of a position by signing the Classification Approved section on the position description cover sheet.

  2. The authority to classify positions is limited to those officials identified in IRS Delegation Order 81, as revised. Delegation Order 81 delegates to Human Resources Specialists (Classification), or Human Resources Specialists assigned position classification responsibilities in the Human Capital Office, the authority to classify all General Schedule or equivalent positions and Federal Wage System positions covered by this IRM. This authority may not be re-delegated.

General Principles

  1. The position classification system is vital to the structure and administration of employee compensation. In this context, the agency will ensure that the duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required to perform work are classified in a manner which ensures that:

    1. Pay is based on the principle of equal pay for substantially equal work; and

    2. Differences in pay are in proportion to substantial differences in difficulty, responsibility, and the knowledge and skills required to perform the work.

     

  2. Current OPM policy stipulates that the grade of a position may be determined by the performance of higher-graded duties which constitute at least 25 percent of an employee’s work time. Human Resources Specialists will ensure that positions are classified consistent with this policy and will seek management input to validate the extent to which higher-graded duties are performed relative to the overall duties performed.

  3. Position classification recognizes/acknowledges the duties, responsibilities, and qualifications inherent within a position, and not those of an individual. Nevertheless, certain circumstances will exist whereby an individual distinguishes himself/herself by bringing to the job a greater set of skills and knowledge that enables management to recognize the position’s true value at a higher grade level (refer to 6.511.1.6.4.11, "Impact of the Person on the Job" ("Incumbent-Only Positions" ). In those situations, the additional duties and qualification requirements will be classified by reference to the appropriate classification standard(s) and guidelines, and the position will be identified as "incumbent only" on the Standard Position Description coversheet. Once vacated, the position will revert to its original classification or be abolished.

Policy and Operational Guidance

  1. This section provides policy and operational guidance relative to position management and position classification program areas.

Role of the Human Resources Staffs in Organizational Change Initiatives

  1. The Human Capital Office (HCO) has a significant role to play in support of organizational change initiatives.

  2. Human Capital support may involve labor relations, recruitment, retirement counseling, use of strategies to mitigate impact on employees, classification of positions, advisory services for position management, and a variety of other support activities.

  3. The first point of contact in HCO for any major organizational change initiative is within the Workforce Progression and Management Division (WPMD) of HCO. The WPMD will facilitate review by governing bodies and collaborate and facilitate Operations Support activities. Major organizational change initiatives include those:

    1. Impacting services provided to taxpayers,

    2. Impacting services provided to other IRS business units, or

    3. Resulting in excess employees requiring use of mitigation strategies potentially impacting other business units.

     

  4. The Position Management/Classification (PM/C) Branch and the Embedded Human Capital function, are available to provide advisory and consultative services to management regarding proposed changes in such areas as organizational/supervisory structures, spans of control, use of higher-graded positions, analyst/administrative staffing, new or updating Standard Position Descriptions (SPD), establishing "deputy" and "assistant to" positions, ratio of "lead" positions to journey-level positions, position realignments and impact on supervisory grade levels, workload studies, position design, and other related program areas as needed or requested.

Authorized Staffing Patterns

  1. Reserved

Workload Studies

  1. Workload studies are performed to determine the adequacy of an organization’s staffing given past, current, and projected workloads. These studies identify the changes needed to the grade structure of an organization in order to match the appropriate number and grade levels of positions performing the work with the volume and complexity of work to be accomplished.

  2. Each Operating Division is responsible for conducting workload studies as necessary, and preparing paperwork/documentation in accordance with functional guidelines and requirements as well as those outlined in this IRM.

  3. The PM/C Branch will provide assistance and guidance necessary for the study.

Workload Studies (Operational Guidance )
  1. The following procedures for conducting workload studies may be used in determining staffing and grade level requirements for all occupations in all organizational segments of the Internal Revenue Service. However, where specific procedures have been developed by the Operating Divisions, guidance in those procedures will take precedence and will be followed by the respective function.

  2. Functions that are not covered by separate functional procedures will adhere to the basic principles outlined within this section.

  3. A workload study involves two basic procedures:

    1. Determining the staff years (or full time equivalents) of work to be accomplished and the skill (grade) levels required; and

    2. Determining the capacity of the current staff to perform current/projected work, given the staff’s current size and skill (grade) levels.

     

  4. The general process for conducting a workload study is as follows:

    1. Determine the amount of work to be performed (i.e., the work available) by measuring the past and/or present workload data along with information that may indicate future shifts in the workload of a given organizational segment.

    2. Measure the capacity of the staff available to accomplish this work by considering "direct" versus "indirect " time.

    3. Determine the differences between the staff available and the staff needed to carry out workload requirements.

     

  5. Organizations conducting workload studies are encouraged to coordinate their efforts with the PM/C Branch which may serve as the Human Resources (HR) validation of the findings and determinations of the function’s study, particularly as they relate to changes in grade structure levels.

  6. The PM/C Branch will provide technical assistance and guidance, as necessary.

Span of Control

  1. It is the policy of the Internal Revenue Service to establish and maintain an effective span of control (SOC), with particular emphasis on first-level and second-level managers. An effective SOC entails, to the extent possible, assigning the maximum number of individuals to the fewest number of managers while ensuring achievement of organizational goals and program objectives.

  2. Management is responsible for maintaining appropriate spans of control in accordance with the guidance outlined in this document as well as in line with sound position management and position classification principles.

  3. Management is responsible for developing and maintaining local SOC guidelines, in concert with agencywide guidelines outlined under IRM 6.511.1.8.4.2.

  4. Every effort should be made to establish a minimum of 10 subordinates for a first-level manager, where feasible.

  5. No organizational entity with a first-level manager will be established with less than five (5) subordinates unless exceptions are approved by the Division Commissioner or equivalent.

  6. The PM/C Branch will provide guidance and assistance as needed or requested in the establishment and maintenance of SOC goals and local guidelines.

Span of Control - Definitions
  1. Direct-report – Any individual, whether managerial or non-managerial, under the direct supervision of a specific manager, regardless of managerial level. For example, a first-level manager is considered a direct-report to his/her immediate manager.

  2. Span of control (SOC) – The total number of subordinate positions (both managerial and non-managerial) under the direct supervision of the immediate manager. This is shown in the form of an SOC ratio (e.g., 1:12).

  3. SOC range – A numerical range delineating the minimum and maximum number of individuals that may be assigned to their immediate manager. For example, an SOC range for a first-level manager may be shown as 10 –15.

  4. SOC ratio – A numerical indicator that reflects the total number of individuals assigned to the same immediate manager. For example, 10 individuals assigned to the same immediate manager are represented as an SOC ratio of 1:10.

Span of Control(Operational Guidance )
  1. The following guidance is to be followed when establishing and maintaining local SOC guidelines:

    1. For Campus operations, SOC ranges will be established for first, second, and third-level managers. Ranges for higher-level managers are optional.

    2. For Non-Campus operations, SOC ranges will be established for first and second-level managers in field operations. Ranges for higher-level managers are optional.

    3. SOC ranges for first, second, and third-level managers should be developed in the form of a numerical range. The following suggested formats are provided:

      Processing Support (Campus) Field Operations (Non-Campus)
      First-level Manager = 12 – 20 First-level Manager = 10 – 15
      Second-level Manager = 8 – 12 Second-level Manager = 5 – 10
      Third-level Manager = 3 – 6  

       

    4. Span of control ranges will pertain to actual on-rolls versus authorized positions. (Note: Divisions may consider the span of control for authorized positions when establishing or modifying organizational structures; but span of control will be tracked based on actual on-rolls.)

    5. Only permanent and temporary employees in "pay" status should be considered for span of control purposes. Conversely, employees in "non-pay" status should NOT be considered in determining SOC.

    6. Whenever possible, staffing levels of organizational entities should be structured on the high side of the SOC range.

    7. SOC ratios for first-level managers will be determined by counting the total number of subordinates (on-rolls) reporting directly to the manager.

    8. SOC ratios for second-level and third-level managers will be determined by counting the total number of on-rolls (both manager and non-manager) reporting directly to the immediate second or third-level manager.

    9. In calculating an overall SOC ratio for an organization, divide the total number of managers into the total number of non-managers. For example, a function with 10 managers and 90 non-managers would have an SOC ratio of 1:9.

    10. At a minimum, local guidelines should be reviewed on an annual basis. Updates or modifications to locally-established SOC ranges must be approved by the appropriate Division Commissioner or equivalent functional executive.

     

Standard Position Descriptions

  1. A Standard Position Description (SPD) is the official description of management’s assignment of major duties, responsibilities, and supervisory relationships to a position. The description of each position must be kept up to date and include information about the job which is significant to its classification. Position descriptions serve as the primary authorization document for the expenditure of appropriated Federal funds.

  2. All positions in the IRS must be established by means of a classified SPD. Existing position descriptions not designated as SPDs will be re-designated or cancelled.

  3. The Position Management/Classification Branch is responsible for maintaining and updating the SPD Digest on the HCO website at http://hco.web.irs.gov/posclass/positiondesc/spdsearch.html .

Responsibilities for the Preparation and Classification of SPDs
  1. Supervisors and managers assign the duties, responsibilities, and supervisory controls documented in an SPD. Technical advice/guidance is provided by the Position Management/Classification (PM/C) Branch.

  2. All SPDs must include a statement signed by the approving official certifying the accuracy of the major duties, responsibilities, and organizational relationships.

  3. Delegation Order 81, as revised, specifies final authority to classify positions in the IRS.

Preparation and Classification of SPDs ( Operational Guidance)
  1. Management develops new SPDs (or revises existing SPDs) in accordance with the templates established for supervisory and non-supervisory SPDs, with technical advice/guidance from the Embedded Human Capital Office and PM/C Branch. The templates can be found on the PM/C website: http://hco.web.irs.gov/posclass/positiondesc/pdguides.html .

  2. Non-supervisory General Schedule and Federal Wage System SPDs will be written in the format of the classification standard used to evaluate them (i.e., factor level or narrative format), unless otherwise stipulated by the PM/C Branch.

  3. At any time during the development/revision process, management is encouraged to coordinate their efforts with the Embedded Human Capital Office and the PM/C Branch.

  4. Draft SPDs and supporting documentation will be forwarded through appropriate management channels to PM/C for review and formal classification.

  5. The PM/C Branch will classify the draft/revised SPD within 21 calendar days. Also, PM/C will assign all SPD coversheet information to include: Bargaining Unit Status, Competitive Level Code, Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Status, Risk/Sensitivity Level, Supervisory Code, and Full-Working Level.

  6. The PM/C Branch will build job codes in HR Connect.

  7. PM/C will notify the submitting office when the SPD has been classified and is available for use on the PM/C website.

Evaluation Statements
  1. The SPD evaluation statement is a written explanation of how the pay plan, title, series, and grade were determined by the classifier.

  2. A written evaluation statement is required for those specified positions identified in IRM 6.511.1.8.5.2.1.

  3. Human Resources Specialists of the Position Management/Classification Branch are responsible for writing evaluation statements.

Evaluation Statements (Operational Guidance)
  1. Each position classified by a Factor Evaluation System (FES) standard will have a written record of the classification determination.

  2. At a minimum, non-supervisory General Schedule positions covered by FES standards will include the following information either on the SPD or on a separate evaluation form:

    1. Standard Position Description number and organization;

    2. Reference to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) classification standard(s) and guides, IRS guidelines, and any other guides used, including the publication date(s) of the reference(s) cited;

    3. The point value for each Factor Level Description (FLD):

    4. The point range and total point values;

    5. The General Schedule title, series, and final grade determined; and

    6. Signature and date of the evaluator, and the date classified.

     

  3. In addition to the information cited above under (2), a comprehensive written evaluation statement is required for the following:

    1. Non-supervisory GS-13 and above positions,

    2. Supervisory positions,

    3. 01 series positions (e.g., 201, 301),

    4. GS-343 positions,

    5. Projected duties,

    6. Mixed-grade and/or mixed-series positions,

    7. Positions where there are no published standards,

    8. Positions that exceed the highest grade of a standard,

    9. Controversial or precedent-setting positions,

    10. Positions evaluated by use of narrative (non-FES) standards,

    11. Positions subjected to desk audits, or

    12. Positions undergoing classification appeal.

     

  4. Comprehensive written evaluation statements for non-supervisory positions evaluated using FES classification standards will include the following information:

    1. The Standard Position Description number and organization;

    2. Reference to the OPM classification standard(s) and guides, IRS guidelines, and any other guides used, including the publication date(s) of the reference(s) cited;

    3. The justification for the series and title determinations;

    4. The Factor Level Descriptions used in point ratings, including the level credited, how the selected level exceeds the previous lower level, and how the next higher level is not met;

    5. The point value for each FLD, the total point values, the point range, and the grade assigned;

    6. The final classification of the position, i.e., title, series, grade, and pay plan; and

    7. Signature and date of the evaluator, and the date classified.

     

  5. Comprehensive written evaluation statements for non-supervisory positions evaluated using OPM narrative standards will include the following information:

    1. The Standard Position Description number and organization;

    2. Reference to the OPM classification standard(s) and guides, IRS guidelines, and any other guides used, including the publication date(s) of the reference(s) cited;

    3. The justification for the series and title determinations;

    4. Identification of the evaluation factors in the classification standard controlling the overall classification of the position;

    5. For each classification factor, the evaluation statement should explain how the information described in the position description for that factor meets that criterion at the grade level, and how the next higher grade level is not met;

    6. The final classification of the position, i.e., title, series, grade, and pay plan; and

    7. Signature and date of the evaluator, and the date classified.

     

  6. Comprehensive written evaluation statements for supervisory/managerial positions will include the following information:

    1. The Standard Position Description number and organization;

    2. Reference to the OPM classification standard(s) and guides, IRS guidelines, and any other guides used, including the publication date(s) of the reference(s) cited;

    3. The justification for the series and title determinations.

    4. Formatting content will subscribe to any one of the following:

       

      1. Evaluation statements for General Schedule supervisory/managerial positions covered by OPM’s General Schedule Supervisory Guide (GSSG) classification standard will follow the six (6) factor-point evaluation criteria outlined in the standard.

      2. Evaluation statements for General Schedule supervisory/managerial positions covered by other OPM classification standards will follow the evaluation criteria outlined in the specific standard used for evaluation purposes.

      3. Evaluation statements for Wage Schedule supervisory positions covered by the OPM Federal Wage System Job Grading Standard for Supervisors will follow the four (4) factor-point evaluation criteria outlined in the standard.

       

       

    5. Identification of the individual evaluation factors in the classification standard controlling the overall classification of the position;

    6. The point value or evaluation levels assigned for each evaluation factor;

    7. The total point values or evaluation levels;

    8. The final classification of the position, i.e., title, series, grade, and pay plan; and

    9. Signature and date of the evaluator, and the date classified.

     

Pen and Ink Changes (Amendments)
  1. A "pen-and-ink change" or amendment to a position description is authorized when there is a change in the duties that does not affect the original classification of the position’s current series and grade. An amendment documents the revision in duties, but does not require a complete re-writing of the original position description.

  2. Management is responsible for initiating pen-and-ink changes. The PM/C Branch is available to provide guidance and assistance as needed or requested.

  3. The Human Capital Office, through the PM/C Branch, will coordinate those pen-and-ink changes impacting multiple Operating Divisions.

Statements of Difference
  1. Statements of Difference are no longer used or authorized within the Internal Revenue Service.

Competitive Level Codes (CLC)
  1. Competitive Level Codes (CLC) are used to document competitive levels which are groups of interchangeable positions in the IRS that have the following characteristics:

    1. They are in the same grade and the same occupational series;

    2. They are sufficiently alike in duties, responsibilities, pay schedules, working conditions, terms of appointment, and qualification requirements; and

    3. The incumbent of any one position could be moved to any other position without undue interruption.

     

  2. Agencies are required to assign competitive levels to all position descriptions for the purpose of a Reduction in Force. Competitive Level Codes are assigned by the PM/C Branch to all Standard Position Descriptions to document competitive levels.

  3. Requests by Operating Divisions for a review, change, or assignment of a new CLC must be made in writing and sent to the Position Management/Classification Branch. Justification must be provided that includes:

    1. Why the position is not considered sufficiently alike to others in an existing CLC, and

    2. Why undue interruption will occur if the request is not approved.

     

  4. Other supporting documentation may be requested by the PM/C Branch.

Desk Audits

  1. A desk audit is an interview process conducted on site or by phone (and may be supplemented by written documentation) to gather information necessary to validate the accuracy of a position description, including title, series, grade, and pay plan.

  2. Operating Division management is responsible for initiating desk audit requests.

  3. Desk audits will only be conducted on work that is currently being performed.

  4. Human Resources Specialists from the Position Management/Classification Branch are responsible for conducting desk audits.

  5. Any IRS employee may request a desk audit as a result of a formal classification appeal and/or grievance filed by the employee.

Desk Audits (Operational Guidance )
  1. Desk audit requests must be in writing and include, at a minimum, the following information:

    1. Name of employee(s) to be audited;

    2. SPD number, title, series, grade, and pay plan;

    3. Organizational location of the assigned unit of the affected employee(s);

    4. Name, title, and telephone number of the immediate manager(s) of the subject position(s);

    5. Reason(s) for the request, e.g., how the work and/or organization have changed, part of an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) grievance, accretion of higher-graded duties, etc.; and

    6. Other documentation that will support/justify the desk audit request (i.e., identification of duties being performed, but not on the SPD).

    7. If higher-graded work is alleged, describe alternatives management considered in lieu of assignment of alleged higher-graded work. Include an explanation of other options considered (e.g., dividing the duties among existing positions, contracting externally or with other agency counterparts, etc.), and the reasons these alternatives were rejected.

     

  2. Completed desk audit requests and supporting documentation will be forwarded through management channels (via the Embedded Human Capital Office or equivalent), or with a copy to the Embedded Human Capital Office, as determined by the division, for approval.

  3. The signed desk audit request and applicable supporting documentation will be forwarded to the PM/C Branch for review and further disposition.

  4. The PM/C Branch will conduct the desk audit(s) either telephonically or in person at a date agreed with the employee(s) and manager(s). Management interviews may also be conducted. Work samples and other supporting written documentation, including desk audit questionnaires, may be requested by the Specialist performing the desk audit.

  5. The PM/C Branch will present tentative findings to the requesting function and solicit additional information as needed or appropriate.

  6. The PM/C Branch will issue a final report of findings to the requesting function based on established timeframes. In those instances where three (3) or more audits are conducted, a mutually-agreeable completion date will be established between management and the Specialist conducting the audit(s).

  7. Based on the report of findings issued, management may respond accordingly:

    1. If the finding results in a proposed increase in grade , management may elect to:

       

      1. Upgrade the position competitively,

      2. Upgrade the position non-competitively provided all criteria are met relative to the agency’s policy on accretion of higher-graded duties,

      3. Reassign the higher-graded duties from the position and maintain the position’s current grade, or

      4. Eliminate the higher-graded duties completely and maintain the original position’s current grade.

       

       

    2. If the finding results in a proposed reduction in grade , management may elect to:

       

      1. Assign higher-graded work appropriate to the position in order to sustain its current grade level, or

      2. Initiate appropriate personnel action to change the employee to the lower grade. The personnel action must be effective no later than the beginning of the fourth pay period following the date of the decision to change the position to the lower grade, except when a subsequent date is specifically provided in the decision.

       

       

    3. If the finding results in no proposed change to the grade of the position, but a proposed change only in the title and/or series, management must:

       

      1. Initiate the appropriate action to update the SPD accordingly,

      2. Assign the employee(s) to an appropriate SPD that already exists, or

      3. Develop a new SPD as appropriate.

       

       

     

Position Review Program (PRP)

  1. The Treasury Department’s Human Resources Issuance System (HRIS) Transmittal Number 07-002, issued October 23, 2006, requires all Treasury Department bureaus, offices, and organizations to establish and conduct a program which periodically reviews position classification and position management.

  2. The Position Review Program (PRP) is established for the Internal Revenue Service to implement the provisions of the Treasury Department’s HRIS Transmittal Number 07-002.

  3. The overall objective of the PRP is to assess and provide recommendations relative to position classification and related position management issues within an organizational entity. In this vein, the program is not intended as a "policing" process. Rather, it is intended to be a partnership process for evaluating current PM/C issues and practices, coupled with ideas and approaches designed to enhance and improve those program areas that would benefit from further management action. As such, the potential payoff resulting from a collaborative PRP process can be substantial in such areas as increased employee satisfaction and morale, improved organizational effectiveness, reduced labor costs, and expanded upward mobility opportunities, among others. Some specific PRP objectives may include:

    1. Enhancing management’s awareness of the importance of the accuracy of position descriptions, ensuring the existence of a current, adequate, and accurate position description for each employee;

    2. Ensuring managerial accountability for accuracy in assigning work commensurate with assigned position descriptions;

    3. Providing for periodic management monitoring of the match between workload and grade structure, and redesigning positions accordingly;

    4. Establishing bridge positions for career progression purposes;

    5. Maintaining the consistency of position classifications with appropriate standards;

    6. Identifying problem areas or positions requiring classification action;

    7. Increasing the understanding of managers and employees of the principles, uses, and objectives of position management and position classification;

    8. Ensuring incumbent-only positions are reviewed with the objective of ensuring their continued accuracy; and

    9. Eliminating questionable positions and structures.

     

  4. The IRS Human Capital Officer has responsibility for:

    1. Effectuating the Position Review Program within the IRS, and

    2. Developing and issuing general guidelines and reporting requirements to ensure attainment of the objectives of the PRP.

     

  5. Within a three-year period, the Human Capital Office is primarily responsible for completing a Position Review cycle of the entire agency for the purpose of assessing the technical adequacy/accuracy of position descriptions and related position management issues. However, the process will be a collaborative effort between the Operating Division/equivalent function and the Human Capital Office through the PM/C Branch.

  6. No numerical or percentage qualifiers will be officially established or required as part of any PRP process. Further, review processes can be accomplished through any combination of desk audits, special studies, and/or written management certification.

  7. Review results and recommendations will be provided to each Division Commissioner or functional equivalent at the end of the review cycle.

Position Review Program (Operational Guidance)
  1. The cyclical review process should assess, at a minimum, the areas listed below. Each area contains guidance questions suggested for inclusion as part of the review process:

    1. GS-14 and GS-15 non-supervisory positions – Does the position description (PD) accurately reflect the duties being performed? Are the incumbents performing at the established grade levels? If vacant or soon to be vacant, can the position(s) be abolished and the duties reassigned to other existing GS-14 or GS-15 non-supervisory positions without impacting the efficiency and effectiveness of program operations?

    2. GS-301 and GS-343 positions – What duties and responsibilities do the incumbents perform? What paramount knowledge is required to perform these duties? Should these positions be re-classified to a more specialized series (e.g., 512, 930, or 1169) based on the duties performed and knowledge required? If vacant or soon to be vacant, and if they are remaining in the 301 or 343 series, can the duties be absorbed into other like positions without impacting the efficiency and effectiveness of program operations?

    3. Unusual or precedent-setting positions – Are these positions performing the duties and tasks outlined in the position descriptions? Are they established on a temporary or interim basis? Are the PDs designated as subject to classification review following a prescribed period of time? If vacant or soon to be vacant, can the duties be absorbed into other like positions without impacting the efficiency and effectiveness of program operations?

    4. Deputy/assistant chief positions – Does the position description accurately reflect the duties being performed? Are these positions functioning as originally established? To what degree do these positions deliver essential "program control and review " value that justifies the extra managerial layer? If vacant or soon to be vacant, can the position(s) be abolished without impacting the efficiency and effectiveness of program operations?

    5. Positions established within the past 12 months – Does the position description accurately reflect the duties being performed? Is the position functioning as originally established? If currently classified as a GS-301 or 343, should the position be re-classified to a more specialized series (e.g., GS-342, 560, or 2210) based on the duties performed and paramount knowledge required? If vacant or soon to be vacant, should the position(s) be continued or should the position(s) be abolished and duties assigned to other existing "like" positions?

    6. Span of Control (SOC) – Is the organization in compliance with established SOC guidance as outlined in 6.511.1.8.4? Are spans of control in compliance with established SOC ranges for the organization? If below/falling outside the approved range, what options exist to move into the approved range? If currently at the lower end of the SOC range, what problem(s) exist which prevent moving to the higher side of spans of control? Can positions be consolidated into fewer organizational entities?

    7. Impact of the Person on the Job (Incumbent-Only) positions – Are the incumbents performing the additional higher-level duties/tasks as described in the position descriptions? Are these higher-level duties/tasks performed for at least 25 percent of the incumbent’s work time? Are the higher-level knowledge and skill requirements still valid as outlined in the position descriptions?

    8. Management Official positions – Does the position description adequately describe the management official duties/responsibilities? Are the incumbents performing the management official duties described in the position description? What specific examples exist which show that the incumbents formulate, determine, or influence agency policies?

    9. Overall Grade Structure – Does the currently-approved grade structure match the grade level of work being performed? Do a sufficient number of positions exist at the appropriate grade levels? Are there any vacant positions which can be abolished if their duties can be redistributed or eliminated? Is a workload study being contemplated to validate the current grade structure and the number of positions needed to accomplish the work?

    10. Areas of Special Interest – Examples may include test organizations, upcoming studies or projects, unique or special classification issues, specific position management practices, average grade, impact of current/proposed policies or procedures, etc.

     

  2. The following procedures pertain to conducting a PRP review process. All actions taken between the HCO and the Operating Divisions and equivalent functions will be coordinated through the Embedded Human Capital Office (or equivalent), including reports provided. HCO, through the PM/C Branch, will:

    1. Prepare proposed three-year schedules and share with the Operating Divisions and equivalent functions;

    2. Initiate discussions with the impacted functions regarding PM/C concerns and/or problem areas identified within the proposed schedules and coordinate identification of specific positions to be reviewed;

    3. Prepare and issue formal written notification using Position Review Program Forms to outline the concerns/problem areas and specific positions to be reviewed in the impacted office. Cross-functional issues will be identified up front and shared accordingly;

    4. Conduct the review(s) and gather data, as appropriate;

    5. Share tentative findings with the impacted office, and solicit additional information, as appropriate;

    6. Prepare a final written report of findings and recommendations based on the review(s) conducted and issue the report to the Operating Division or equivalent function. Findings relative to cross-functional issues will be shared with the appropriate Operating Division(s).

    7. Follow up with the impacted office to discuss the report of findings and proposed recommendations.

     

Draft and New Position Classification Standards

  1. The PM/C Branch is responsible for reviewing and providing IRS’ comments to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) on all draft position classification standards. The PM/C Branch will solicit and consolidate comments from affected Operating Divisions or equivalent functions, as appropriate.

  2. The PM/C Branch is responsible for beginning implementation of new or updated OPM position classification standards within one to three months from the official release date and completing it within 12 months from the official release date.

Draft and New Position Classification Standards (Operational Guidance)
  1. When OPM issues a draft classification standard, the PM/C Branch notifies the affected Operating Division(s) and solicits comments.

  2. The PM/C Branch reviews and consolidates comments received, in addition to its own comments, and submits back to Treasury/OPM within the prescribed timeframe.

  3. When a new or updated classification standard is issued by OPM for implementation, the PM/C Branch will notify (in writing) all impacted Operating Divisions of the new or updated standard and the position(s) impacted.

  4. The PM/C Branch applies the new or updated classification standard to all affected positions within 12 months of the date of issuance.

  5. Should any changes occur (i.e., title, series, grade) as a result of application, the PM/C Branch will immediately notify the affected organization in writing with a list of options/alternatives, along with a timeframe for response/action on the part of the organization.

  6. Prior to initiating action, the PM/C Branch will consider the affected organization’s response, if one is made.

Position Classification Appeals

  1. A position classification appeal is a formal written request initiated by any IRS employee asserting an inaccuracy in the title, series, grade, and/or pay plan of the position to which the employee is officially assigned.

  2. An employee may file a classification appeal either to the IRS or directly to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). See 6.511.1.8.9.1(b) for filing options. Appeal decisions rendered by OPM are final and binding for all incumbents. An appeal to OPM is an employee’s final appeal right.

  3. All written requests must be in accordance with established IRS and/or OPM criteria. IRS criteria are referenced under Operational Guidance at 6.511.1.8.9.1. OPM criteria can be found at: http://www.opm.gov/classapp/index.htm .

  4. The Director, Employment, Talent, and Security Division (HCO), will adjudicate appeal decisions within the IRS.

Classification Appeals (Operational Guidance)
  1. (1) The IRS is required by law to classify all positions in accordance with position classification standards or other guides issued by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Any employee covered by the General Schedule classification system or the Federal Wage System has the right to appeal the classification of the position to which he/she is currently assigned by an official personnel action.

    1. Filing an Appeal

       

      1. Employee Representative
        (1) The employee may personally file an appeal or may designate a representative to assist in preparing and presenting the appeal. The representative may be present at a desk audit or meeting to discuss the appeal, but may not participate in or contribute to the audit. Additionally, the representative cannot have management or classification authority over the position.

       

       

    2. Filing Options

       

      1. General Schedule (GS and GL) employees and pay-banded IR employees may appeal to the IRS or directly to OPM, but may not appeal to both the IRS and OPM at the same time. If an employee appeals first to the IRS and the decision is unfavorable, he/she can still appeal to the OPM. However, if the employee first appeals to the OPM and the decision is unfavorable, he/she cannot subsequently appeal to the IRS.

      2. Federal Wage System (FWS) employees must first appeal to the IRS before pursuing an appeal with OPM. If the decision is unfavorable, he/she may appeal to the OPM within 15 calendar days of the date the IRS decision was received.

      3. IRS appeals must be filed with the Associate Director, Position Management/ Classification (PM/C) Branch. The PM/C Branch will make the initial classification determination for the IRS. However, the final level of review and decision for the Agency will be made by the Director, Employment, Talent, and Security Division. There is no further review within the Department of Treasury. If the decision is unfavorable and the employee wishes to appeal further, the appeal must be filed with the OPM office serving the geographical area where the employee’s position is located. To find the OPM office that serves your area, visit the OPM website at: http://www.opm.gov/classapp/index.asp .

       

       

    3. Processing

       

      1. Upon receipt of the appeal, the Position Management/Classification Branch will notify the impacted Operating Division/equivalent function of the appeal filed by the employee.

       

       

     

  2. Required Information

    1. IRS Appeals - All classification appeals must be in writing and include the following information:

       

      1. Employee’s name, office mailing address, and office telephone number;

      2. Name and mailing address of the representative, if one is selected;

      3. Title of the organizational segment to which the employee is assigned;

      4. Employee’s current pay plan, official title, series, grade, and assigned position description number;

      5. Requested title, series, and grade;

      6. A copy of the employee’s official position description, along with a signed statement from the employee and manager that the PD is accurate;

      7. A detailed explanation of why the employee believes the position is inaccurately classified; and,

      8. Any additional information about the position that will aid in the decision process.

       

       

    2. OPM Appeals - In addition to the information required for appeals to IRS, appeals to the OPM must include:

       

      1. Name of the agency and office where the employee works;

      2. City where the employee is employed, and the installation’s mailing address;

      3. A copy of the employee’s official position description, and either a statement affirming that it is accurate or a detailed explanation of the inaccuracies and efforts made to correct the position description; and,

      4. Documentation supporting the requested classification by referencing the appropriate classification standard.

       

       

     

  3. Issues That May Be Appealed and Not Appealed

    1. Issues that can be appealed:

       

      1. Grade level of the position;

      2. Official title (but not the organizational title) of the position, when the applicable OPM classification standard has prescribed the title;

      3. Occupational series of the position; or,

      4. Position’s inclusion in or exclusion from the General Schedule or the Federal Wage System.

       

       

    2. Issues that cannot be appealed, but may be reviewed under Administrative or Negotiated Grievance Procedures as applicable:

       

      1. The content or accuracy of an official position description, such as the inclusion or exclusion of a major duty in the official position description. When an employee questions the accuracy of a position description, the manager should first review the matter;

      2. An assignment or detail outside the scope of the normally performed duties outlined in the position description;

      3. The accuracy, consistency, or use of any supplemental classification guides issued by the Service; or,

      4. The title of the position, unless OPM has established a specific official position title in the published classification standard or guide.

       

       

    3. Issues that cannot be appealed or reviewed:

       

      1. Class, grade level, or pay system of a position to which an employee is not assigned by an official personnel action (i.e., an employee cannot appeal the classification of someone else’s position);

      2. Class, grade level, or pay system of a position to which an employee is temporarily promoted less than two (2) years or to which an employee is detailed;

      3. Proposed classification of a position before the classification action actually takes place;

      4. The classification of an employee’s position based on comparisons with other positions rather than with OPM published standards and guides;

      5. The accuracy of grade level criteria contained in an OPM-originated classification standard or guide; or,

      6. A classification appeal decision issued by the OPM when no changes have occurred in either the major duties of the position or the applicable classification standard(s).

       

       

     

  4. Where to File Classification Appeals With the Internal Revenue Service

    1. Position classification appeals may be submitted to: Internal Revenue Service Associate Director, Position Management/Classification, 1111 Constitution Avenue, NW, OS:HC:ETS:PM, 7th Floor, Washington, DC 20224.

     

  5. IRS Appeal Decisions

    1. The employee will be notified of the appeal decision in writing, or through the employee’s designated representative. Appeal decisions will:

       

      1. Identify the OPM standard(s) appropriate to the classification of the position, and the reason(s) why the employee’s request can or cannot be granted, including an evaluation of the position based on the OPM standard/guide used;

      2. Address any issue(s) related to position-to-position comparisons when the employee alleges they exist; and

      3. Notify the employee of any additional appeal rights.

       

       

    2. A copy of the decision will also be issued to the Operating Division or equivalent function.

    3. Employees desiring to file classification appeals directly to the OPM should address their appeals according to criteria outlined on the OPM website: http://www.opm.gov/classapp/index.asp .

     

Corrective Actions

  1. The Human Capital Office, through the Position Management/Classification Branch, is authorized to mandate corrective position classification actions for all positions in the IRS under its authority when the exercise of classification authority has been inconsistent, incorrect, or otherwise inappropriate.

  2. Corrective actions result from management inquiry, desk audits, position reviews, application of new classification standards, classification appeals, grievances, or reorganizations.

  3. Corrective actions directed by the HCO must be effected within established timeframes.

Upgrade of Positions

  1. Upgrades of positions are authorized via a non-competitive promotion action only when a position has been officially reclassified to a higher-grade level.

  2. Reclassification of a position by the PM/C Branch or the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is the only official means for a position to be upgraded. In those instances where a position is upgraded, the PM/C Branch will issue a memorandum to the impacted Operating Division/equivalent function along with appropriate implementing instructions.

  3. The following are considered appropriate non-competitive promotion actions:

    1. Upgrade of a position due to assignment of additional higher-graded duties and responsibilities (i.e., accretion of higher-graded duties),

    2. Upgrade of a position as a result of the implementation of a new or revised OPM classification standard, or

    3. Upgrade of a position as a result of the correction of an initial classification error.

     

Accretion of Higher-Graded Duties

  1. Accretion of higher-graded duties is the gradual addition of duties and responsibilities to a position over a period of time which results in re-classifying the position to a higher grade. A non-competitive promotion action based on higher-graded duties can be initiated when all of the following criteria are met:

    1. The position is encumbered and the affected employee gradually assumed and performed higher-graded work at least 25 percent of the time for a minimum period of six (6) consecutive months;

    2. A desk audit was performed by the PM/C Branch which documents the performance of higher-graded work by the employee;

    3. The proposed promotion is to a new position which replaces the former position, and which does not fall within the criteria outlined below under Exclusions (6.511.1.8.12(2);

    4. The proposed upgrade is in conformance with provisions of the National Agreement between IRS and the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), the IRM, and all other applicable statutes, rules, and regulations;

    5. The impacted employee(s) meet(s) all qualification and time-in-grade requirements;

    6. The proposed upgrade will not have an adverse impact on any other encumbered position; and,

    7. A position description is classified for the new position.

     

  2. Exclusions – The following situations are excluded from qualifying for non-competitive promotion based on accretion of higher-graded duties:

    1. An additional position is created which does not supersede or is not the clear successor to the affected position;

    2. There are multiple incumbents in the same organizational entity who perform like work and/or are on the same Standard Position Description (SPD) with the intent to promote only a specific individual(s);

    3. The major duties of the incumbent’s current position are not absorbed into the new position;

    4. The incumbent’s current position changes from a one-grade interval series to a two-grade interval series (e.g., GS-592 to GS-526);

    5. The incumbent’s current position changes occupational series (e.g., GS-343 to GS-201);

    6. The incumbent’s current position changes from a non-supervisory to a supervisory position, or vice versa;

    7. The incumbent’s current position changes from a non-lead to a lead position, or vice versa;

    8. Reassigning non-supervisory positions from one organizational entity to another as a means to upgrade a specific supervisory position;

    9. Assigning a specific set of higher-graded work all at once or within a short period of time (a few months) to an employee for the purpose of upgrading a specific employee’s position (i.e., planned management action); or,

    10. Changing the full working level/target grade of any position which crosses organizational and/or functional lines.

     

Accretion of Higher-Graded Duties ( Operational Guidance)
  1. The following procedures will be used when considering a promotion based on accretion of higher-graded duties:

    1. Any proposed upgrade will be requested in writing by the Operating Division, and submitted to PM/C in accordance with the established Servicewide PM/C procedures for requesting desk audits outlined in IRM 6.511.1.8.6.

    2. PM/C will conduct a desk audit of the affected position. At a minimum, the desk audit will determine:

       

      1. What, if any, higher-graded duties are being performed?

      2. Are the higher-graded duties being performed for at least 25 percent of the work time?

      3. Why was the work assigned to the position?

      4. How long has the incumbent been performing the higher-graded work?

      5. What other positions exist within the organizational entity that could perform the higher-graded work other than the affected position?

      6. What other identical/similar positions (i.e., non-supervisory) exist within the organizational entity that may/will be affected should an upgrade occur?

      7. What management position(s) exist within the organizational entity that may/will be affected should an upgrade occur?

       

       

    3. The desk audit findings and any officially-classified position description will be submitted to the Operating Division/equivalent function. Should the desk audit report find that an upgrade is warranted, the Operating Division will provide a copy of the entire package to the servicing Employment Office.

    4. The servicing Employment Office will determine if the promotion is competitive or non-competitive. In making a non-competitive promotion action determination, the servicing Employment Office will ensure all provisions of the merit promotion plan are met and procedures followed.

    5. Once a determination is made, the servicing Employment Office will notify the Operating Division in writing, and include what personnel action(s) to take. The servicing Employment Office will also provide a copy of the determination to the servicing Payroll Processing Center (PPC) for information and/or processing action.

     

Designation and Use of Management Official and Confidential Positions

  1. It is the policy of the Internal Revenue Service to ensure that employees are correctly designated as management official or confidential.

  2. Management Official is defined as "…an individual employed by an agency in a position the duties and responsibilities of which require or authorize the individual to formulate, determine, or influence the policies of the agency." (5 U.S.C. §7103(a)(11)

    1. The Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) has defined the critical terms in Section 7103(a)(11) as having the following meanings:

       

      1. "Formulate" means to create, to establish, or to prescribe;

      2. "Determine" means to decide upon or to settle upon;

      3. "Influence" means to bring about or to obtain a result; and

      4. "Policies" are general principles, plans, or courses of action.

       

       

    2. The FLRA has further interpreted the statutory definition of management official as "…an individual who is identified with management and who, by virtue of his or her stature and level of responsibility within the agency, must have the interests of agency management as his or her primary concern in the context of a collective bargaining relationship." (FLRA 172, October 30, 1981)

    3. The FLRA has further expounded on two key concepts relative to the role of a management official:

       

      1. The person goes beyond being solely a technical expert or "resource" person in creating policy; and

      2. The person is a KEY PLAYER and actively participates in the decision-making process to commit the agency to a specific course of action (i.e., establishing policy).

      3. Both of the above key concepts must be met in order to be defined as a management official.

       

       

     

  3. A Confidential employee is defined as "…an employee who acts in a confidential capacity with respect to an individual who formulates or effectuates management policies in the field of labor-management relations." (5 U.S.C. §7103(a)(13)

    1. The Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) has further determined that an employee is "confidential" if:

       

      1. There is evidence of a confidential relationship between an employee and the employee’s manager; and

      2. The manager is significantly involved in labor-management relations.

       

       

    2. To further expound, there needs to be clear indication that the manager would be significantly involved in additional labor relations activity other than the normal grievance activity routinely encountered in a managerial position. The manager would need to have significant workload involving his/her:

       

      1. Advising upper management on or developing negotiation positions concerning proposals;

      2. Preparing arbitration cases for hearing; and

      3. Consulting with upper management concerning the handling of unfair labor practices.

       

       

    3. A manager’s involvement with personnel matters such as appraisals, disciplinary actions, promotions, grievances, and commenting on matters regarding contract negotiations does not constitute significant involvement in labor relations activity.

    4. A confidential employee routinely maintains files containing confidential employee/labor relations material, has advance notice of personnel actions, has access to management recommendations on contract negotiations, attends regularly-scheduled management meetings on labor relations problems and grievance responses, and answers unfair labor practice (ULP) charges.

    5. An employee is not confidential if he/she accesses information of a non-labor relations nature, e.g., maintaining files containing taxpayer returns, handling communications regarding work regularly assigned to the area, screening mail for a manager who does not effectuate management policies in the field of labor-management relations, operating equipment by which personnel data is extracted, or attending only those meetings where bargaining unit employees are in attendance. These examples do not extend to issues regarding labor relations policies.

     

  4. Responsibilities for ensuring the accurate designation and use of management official and confidential positions:

    1. Human Capital Office – The Human Capital Office (HCO) is responsible for ensuring that position descriptions contain the appropriate language, including the necessary duties and responsibilities that support the position description’s designation as management official or confidential .

    2. Business Operating Divisions – Each Business Operating Division (BOD), through their respective Embedded Human Capital (or equivalent) function is responsible for ensuring that employees placed on these position descriptions are assigned duties commensurate with that designation.

     

  5. In order to ensure that employees are correctly designated as management official or confidential, key aspects need to be considered prior to beginning this process:

    1. This guidance pertains to employees assigned to management official or confidential positions in any occupational series.

    2. Any employee assigned to a management official or confidential position will have his/her duties reviewed no later than 12 months following assignment to the position. Each BOD is responsible for documenting the review on Form 14119, Form to Validate Management Official or Confidential Positions Within the Internal Revenue Service. This form can be accessed on the PM/C website, or in the IRS Publishing Catalog, Catalog Number 54422M at http://publish.no.irs.gov.

    3. Those employees currently assigned to GS-301 and GS-343 management official and confidential positions that were part of the 2008 Unit Clarification Petition (UCP) Agreement are exempt from this process.

    4. Employees assigned to GS-318 Secretary positions are exempt from this process.

    5. Employees that are assigned to management official or confidential positions through details or temporary promotions which do not exceed one (1) calendar year are exempt from this guidance.

     

Designation and Use of Management Official and Confidential Positions (Operational Guidance)
  1. The process for designating and using management official or confidential positions in any series must involve a review and validation by each Business Operating Division of the duties and responsibilities carried out by employees assigned to those positions. The steps in the review/validation process are as follows:

    1. Identify any employee assigned to a position description as management official or confidential for more than 12 consecutive months and were not part of the 2008 UCP Agreement.

    2. Complete the Form to Validate Management Official or Confidential Positions Within the Internal Revenue Service. The completed form should be forwarded to the Embedded Human Capital Office (or equivalent) for review and validation. See Exhibit 6.511.1-1.

    3. The Embedded Human Capital Office (or equivalent) will determine whether or not duties are being performed that support the management official or confidential designation.

    4. If the review determines that the employee is performing duties appropriate to his/her designated position, no further action or review is required for the employee. Once the position is vacated, this process will be repeated within 12 months after the position is filled.

    5. If the review determines that the employee is not performing those duties appropriate to his/her designated position, immediate action will be taken to either assign duties commensurate with the position’s management official or confidential designation, or assign the employee to another position exclusive of those duties and responsibilities.

     

  2. At any time during this process, functions are encouraged to consult with the PM/C staff for assistance and guidance. Individual servicing PM/C Specialists can be found at the following website: http://hco.web.irs.gov/pdf/pmandclist.pdf .

  3. In conjunction with this process, it is imperative that employees be assigned the appropriate performance plan or critical job element (CJE) based on the position to which they are assigned.

    1. A management official will be assigned Form 12450-B Performance Plan for Management Officials, while employees designated as "confidential " will be under the appropriate CJEs or Form 12450-D for confidential GS-343 management/program analysts.

    2. Management should not assign performance plans inconsistent with how the position is designated. Guidance regarding performance plans can be found at the following website: http://hco.web.irs.gov/perfmgmt/perfplan/index.html .

     

Developmental or Trainee "Lead" and Management Positions

  1. Developmental or trainee positions are typically established for non-supervisory positions.

  2. There is no mechanism to legitimately document lead positions as "trainee" or "developmental." Per the OPM General Schedule Leader Grade Evaluation Guide, classification of a lead position is one (1) grade above the highest non-supervisory grade level of the work led. Subsequently, this is not subject to further interpretation and/or manipulation.

  3. Management positions are classified based on a combination of factors. In general, management positions are classified one or more grades above the base level of technical work performed within the organizational entity they manage. In this context, OPM philosophy and principles hold that " trainee" management positions at whatever level of the management hierarchy are neither condoned nor encouraged for sound position management considerations and, therefore, should be avoided.

  4. As an alternative to creating a trainee management position, use of the Frontline Manager Trainee template should be considered. This template utilizes the "manager-in-training" approach through the use of various training techniques, including on-the-job training, details, formal and informal training classes, and other methods as part of a formal training agreement process. Access to the template can be obtained from the PM/C website.

  5. The policy guidance described above under (4) applies to first-line management positions only. No consideration will be given to creating developmental or trainee positions to managerial positions above the first-line level.

Career Ladder for Above-Full Working Level Positions

  1. For positions established above the first full working level (FWL) or "senior" positions, establishment of developmental or career-ladder positions is generally discouraged since the notion of a "trainee" senior position runs contrary to the concept for which the senior position was originally established, i.e., the position serves as a program authority and technical expert which operates with a high level of independence. Creating a developmental or " trainee" senior position is a contradiction in terms, as well as in performance expectations and sound position classification.

  2. Requests for establishing developmental or career-ladder positions to senior positions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Collateral Duty Assignments

  1. Collateral duty assignments are separate, yet official duties and responsibilities assigned to an employee in addition to the primary duties of the position the employee occupies. Examples include: Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative (COTR), Taxpayer Advocacy Liaison, Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS) Security Representative, Functional Office Automation Coordinator, etc.

  2. Collateral assignments have the following characteristics with respect to position classification:

    1. The collateral assignment is distinct and separate from the primary duties and responsibilities of the affected position, and does not constitute the primary purpose for establishing or continuing the position;

    2. The assignment does not constitute a grade-controlling duty or responsibility;

    3. The assignment is not a primary duty of the position (it constitutes less than 25% of the employee’s work time); and

    4. The collateral duties are specific to the affected individual employee(s), not to all incumbents of the same position description.

     

  3. Management is responsible for initiating and completing Collateral Duty statements. The PM/C Branch is available to provide guidance and assistance.

  4. The approved collateral duties will become part of the official position description of the impacted employee(s).

  5. An official change to a position description is required when the collateral duty requires specific skills that are different from those in the original position description and are paramount in influence and weight, or when the collateral duty results in a change to the series, grade, and/or job elements and performance standards of the original PD.

Unclassified Duties

  1. Unclassified Duties are those tasks and responsibilities to which an appropriate classification authority has not yet assigned an occupational series, title, and grade level.

  2. An employee may be detailed to unclassified duties, but may not be officially assigned to unclassified duties. When necessary to detail an employee to unclassified duties, management is responsible for describing duties and responsibilities that will be performed.

  3. Details to unclassified duties should be made only on rare occasions. When such a detail is necessary, see HCO policy Number 28, Detailing Employees without Regard to the 120-Day Limitation, Amended August 26, 2003, for information on processing details.

Position Management and Position Classification Web Sites

  1. KEY OPM AND OTHER WEB SITES CONTAINING POSITION MANAGEMENT AND POSITION CLASSIFICATION INFORMATION:

    1. http://www.opm.gov - Provides access to all HR and related information on the OPM and linked web sites

    2. http://www.opm.gov/fedclass/index.asp - Position management and classification guidance

    3. http://www.opm.gov/classapp/index.asp - Classification Appeals and Significant Decisions database

    4. http://www.opm.gov/topics.asp - OPM web site index of subjects and information.

    5. http://www.usa.gov - A comprehensive compilation of Federal government information.

     

  2. KEY IRS WEB SITE CONTAINING POSITION MANAGEMENT AND POSITION CLASSIFICATION INFORMATION

    1. http://hco.web.irs.gov/posclass/index.html - IRS policies and procedures for position management and position classification including such items as SPD format templates, SPD’s, competitive level codes, classification guides, audit questionnaires, forms, program guidance, and many other IRS links and documents impacting position management and position classification.

     

Form to Validate Management Official or Confidential Positions Within the Internal Revenue Service

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