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Order
Subject
FHWA Personnel Management Manual; Chapter 1: Personnel Actions and Records; Section 1: Personnel Actions
Classification Code Date
M3000.1C February 20, 2004  

Par.

  1. What is the purpose of this section?
  2. Does this directive cancel an existing FHWA directive?
  3. What references were used when writing this section?
  4. What are the key definitions used in this section?
  5. What are the delegated authorities for preparation, submission, review, and approval of the Standard Form (SF) 52, "Request for Personnel Action"?
  6. What are the types of personnel actions initiated by the SF-52?
  7. How is an SF-52 prepared and what are the responsibilities for initiating the personnel action?
  8. When are position descriptions sent to the human resources office?
  9. How are personnel actions documented on the SF-52 and the SF-50?
  10. How are effective dates of personnel actions determined?
  11. What are administrative personnel actions?
  12. What are confirmatory personnel actions?
  13. How is the SF-50, "Notification of Personnel Action", distributed?
  14. What are some useful resources to be used in preparing and completing the SF-52 and SF-50?

 

  1. What is the purpose of this section? The purpose of this section is to provide operating offices with information on the SF-52, "Request for Personnel Action", process and documentation.

  2. Does this directive cancel an existing FHWA directive? Yes. This directive cancels FHWA Personnel Management Manual (PMM) Part 1, Chapter 1, Section 1, Personnel Actions, dated June 28, 1996.

  3. What references were used when writing this section?

    1. Title 5, United States Code (U.S.C.), Chapter 29, Subchapter II, http://www.gpoaccess.gov/uscode/browse.html

    2. Title 5, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Chapter 1, (Office of Personnel Management), Part 7, (General Provisions) (Rule VII), http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/5cfr7_03.html

    3. The Guide to Processing Personnel Actions, Operating Manual, Office of Personnel Management (OPM), http://www.opm.gov/feddata/gppa/gppa.asp

    4. OPM Guide to Personnel Data Standards, www.opm.gov/feddata/guidance.htm

  4. What are the key definitions used in this section?

    1. Legal authority. The legal authority is the law, Executive Order, regulation, agency directive, or instruction under which the personnel action is taken.

    2. Nature of Action (NOA). The Nature of Action explains the action that is occurring, such as "appointment" or "promotion".

    3. Standard Form (SF) 52. The SF-52 is a form that is used to request the personnel action.

      1. (1) Supervisors and managers use the SF-52 to request position actions such as the establishment of a new position or reclassification of an existing position; employee actions, such as the appointment or promotion of an employee; and actions involving both a position and an employee, such as establishing and filling a position or the reclassification of a position and reassignment of an employee to the reclassified position.

      2. (2) Employees use the SF-52 to notify the agency of their planned resignation or retirement, to request leave without pay (LWOP), or to make a name change.

      3. (3) The Office of Human Resources uses the SF-52 to record staffing, classification and other personnel determinations to prepare the SF-50, "Notification of Personnel Action".

    4. Standard Form (SF) 50. The SF-50 is the required form of employee notification for actions such as accessions, conversions, separations, and for corrections and cancellations of those actions. The SF-50 constitutes the official documentation of Federal employment.

    5. Remarks. Remarks are put on the SF-50 to explain the action to the employee, the payroll office, future employers, the OPM, and to other Federal agencies. For some actions, specific remarks are always required; for others, the remarks will vary according to the employee's work history.

    6. Appointing Officer. An appointing officer is an individual in whom the power of appointment is vested by law or to whom it has been legally delegated.

  5. What are the delegated authorities for preparation, submission, review, and approval of the Standard Form (SF) 52, "Request for Personnel Action"?

    1. Washington Headquarters. Operating offices are responsible for proper preparation and timely submission of the SF-52 to the Office of Human Resources.

    2. Field Offices. The Resource Center and division offices are responsible for preparing the SF-52 for their employees or positions and for forwarding it to their servicing human resources office. It is the responsibility of the initiating office to verify the data contained on the SF-52 and for forwarding all the SF-52s to the servicing human resources office for processing.

    3. Human Resources Offices. Human Resources offices are responsible for the review, approval, and processing of the personnel action.

  6. What types of personnel actions are initiated by the SF-52? The SF-52 is used to request all personnel actions relating to a position, an employee, or both. Personnel actions include reclassification and abolishment of a position; promotion, reassignment, change to lower grade, or other position change of an employee; name change; quality step increase; performance and incentive awards; denial of within-grade increase; appointment or reinstatement of a person to a position; recording and termination of a detail in excess of thirty days; recording and termination of leave without pay in excess of eighty hours, furlough, or suspension; return to duty; resignation, termination, retirement, or other separation of an employee; death; corrections; and other actions.

  7. How is an SF-52 prepared and what are the responsibilities for initiating the personnel action? The OPM's Guide to Processing Personnel Actions, Operating Manual, provides detailed guidance on preparing the SF-52, Request for Personnel Action.

    1. The SF-52 is usually initiated by the office or supervisor who wants to take a personnel action. If the request is for a classification or redescription of an existing position, the office should submit it to the appropriate human resources office at least four weeks in advance of the proposed effective date. All other requests for personnel actions should be submitted at least two weeks in advance of the proposed effective date or as soon as the supervisor or administrative official is aware that a personnel action is required.

    2. The gaining office is responsible for initiating the personnel action in the case of reassignment, transfers, and promotions between two field offices, or between the Washington Headquarters and a field office.

    3. The losing office is responsible for initiating the personnel action in cases of detail between two organizations.

  8. When are position descriptions sent to the human resources office? An SF-52 that requests the establishment of a new position, or the classification of, or promotion, reassignment, or detail to an established position, must be forwarded to the appropriate human resources office with a copy of the draft position description. A copy of the approved position description will be returned to the originating office after the position has been classified.

  9. How are personnel actions documented on the SF-52 and SF-50? The SF-52, Request for Personnel Action, is generally a temporary record used to initiate the SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, which is a permanent record in an employee's Official Personnel Folder (OPF). Personnel actions which affect an employee's status, tenure, position, or compensation must be documented and reported. The SF-50 is the required form of employee notification for accessions, conversions, and separations, and for corrections and cancellations of those actions. The SF-50 is used to document and report all personnel actions except mass transfer and mass change actions, which may be reported by a listing of the employees impacted.

  10. How are effective dates of personnel actions determined? Unless otherwise indicated on the Notification of Personnel Action, separations and actions to terminate grade and pay retention are effective at the end of the day (midnight); all other actions are effective at the beginning of the day (12:01 a.m.) Most personnel actions must be approved by the appointing officer on or before their effective dates. The OPM Guide to Processing Personnel Actions, Operations Manual, Chapter 3, "General Instructions to Processing Personnel Actions," Tables 3A and 3B, and Chapter 4, "Requesting and Documenting Personnel Actions", Tables 4A and 4B, contain information on setting effective dates for specific personnel actions. Some examples of established effective dates are:

    1. For conversion to a career appointment where the conversion does not require prior approval, the effective date may be no earlier than the date on which the employee met all of the requirements for conversion.

    2. For a death, the effective date is the date of death shown on the death certificate.

    3. For resignations and retirements, the date is set by the employee. Unless the employee specifies otherwise, the separation is effective at midnight.

    4. When there is a change in tenure or appointment based on completion of service requirements for career or permanent tenure, the effective date is the day following that on which the service requirement is completed.

    5. For Leave Without Pay (LWOP) actions, except during a reduction-in-force (RIF) notice period or for assignment to State or local government under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA), the effective date is the date approved by the employee's supervisor (or other official designated by the agency) on the SF-52.

    6. For Return to Duty (RTD) from LWOP actions or nonpay status, the effective date is the date approved by the employee's supervisor (or other official designated by the agency) on the SF-52.

    7. For details/termination of details, change in work schedule, and/or change in hours for an employee with a part-time work schedule, the employee's supervisor or his/her designee approves the effective date on the SF-52.

    8. Accession actions are effective on the Sunday at the beginning of the pay period when the employee works the following Monday. If the Monday is a National holiday, the new employee's effective date is the first workday after the National holiday. For transfers from other Federal agencies, the effective date is the day following the date of separation from the former agency. Accessions in the middle of the pay period are permitted only on rare occasions.

    9. Within FHWA, name changes are effective at the beginning of the pay period the SF-50 is prepared

  11. What are administrative personnel actions? Administrative personnel actions are those that, due to legal restrictions, cannot be made retroactively effective. The actions listed below must be approved on or before their effective date by the delegated approving official:

    1. Accessions include:

      1. (1) Career Appointments
      2. (2) Career-Conditional Appointments
      3. (3) Temporary Appointments
      4. (4) Term Appointments
      5. (5) Indefinite Appointments
      6. (6) Excepted Appointments
      7. (7) Overseas Limited Appointments
      8. (8) Restorations
      9. (9) Reemployment-Military Appointments
      10. (10) Reinstatements
      11. (11) Transfers

    2. Changes include:

      1. (1) Promotions
      2. (2) Demotions
      3. (3) Reassignments
      4. (4) Changes in Title
      5. (5) Administrative Pay Increases
      6. (6) Administrative Pay Decreases
      7. (7) Quality Increases
      8. (8) Suspensions
      9. (9) Furloughs
      10. (10) Return to Duty (from Furlough)
      11. (11) Conversions to Career, Career-Conditional, Excepted, Temporary, Reinstatement, or Overseas Limited Appointments
      12. (12) Extensions of Appointment
      13. (13) Change in Duty Station

    3. Separations include:

      1. (1) Reduction-in-Force
      2. (2) Removal
      3. (3) Termination (except expiration)
      4. (4) Separation (Disability)

  12. What are confirmatory personnel actions? Confirmatory personnel actions are those that become automatically effective but must be confirmed as a matter of official record. The actions listed below may be retroactively effective since effective dates of such actions are set by circumstances beyond the control of the approving officer:

    1. Changes include:

      1. (1) Within-grade Increases
      2. (2) Leave Without Pay (LWOP)
      3. (3) Return to Duty From LWOP
      4. (4) Conversion to Career Tenure
      5. (5) Mass Change and Mass Transfer
      6. (6) Conversion to Career or Career-Conditional Appointment

    2. Separations include:

      1. (1) Separation-Transfer
      2. (2) Separation-Military
      3. (3) Death
      4. (4) Resignation
      5. (5) Retirement (for any reason)
      6. (6) Removal - Abandonment
      7. (7) Termination (Expiration of Appointment)

  13. How is the SF-50, "Notification of Personnel Action", distributed? The original or employee copy of the SF-50 is forwarded to the employee through the operating office, except in the case of separation actions. In those cases, the SF-50 is mailed directly to the employee's forwarding address and includes any appropriate attached documents.

  14. What are some useful resources to be used in preparing and completing the SF-52 and SF-50? Some very useful resource documents that provide guidance and assistance in completing, reviewing and processing personnel actions are:

    1. The OPM Guide to Personnel Data Standards. (See paragraph 3. d.)

    2. The OPM Guide to Processing Personnel Actions (See paragraph 3. c.), in which:

      1. (1) Chapters 1-7 contain general instructions for processing personnel actions, including how to use the Guide, how to complete the SF-52 and the SF-50, and how to determine creditable service and calculate a service computation date (SCD). Reader aids such as charts and tables are provided throughout.

      2. (2) Chapters 9-32 contain instructions for specific types of actions such as Veteran's Preference, Competitive Appointments, Excepted Appointments, Career and Career Conditional Appointments, Natures of Action and Authority Codes, etc., and include charts and tables.

      3. (3) Chapter 34 contains a "Topic Index" to provide guidance and assistance in locating specific types of personnel actions, appropriate codes and corresponding remarks, etc.

      4. (4) Chapter 35 includes a "Glossary of Terms" to provide definitions and to be used in processing personnel actions.

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