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This document was canceled November 2, 2005

Order
Subject
Personnel Management Manual: Performance Evaluation Performance Management System (PMS); Part 1, Chapter 5, Section 2
Classification Code Date
M3000.1B September 30, 1996  

Par.

  1. Purpose
  2. Authority and References
  3. Coverage
  4. Developing the Performance Plan
  5. Performance Objectives and Standards
  6. Appraisal Assignment
  7. Performance Information While on Detail
  8. Rating Process
  9. Ratings of Record
  10. Resolving Performance Rating Disagreements
  11. Linkage with Other Personnel Decisions or Actions
  12. Exceptions and Waivers
  13. Performance Appraisal Training
  14. System Evaluation

  1. PURPOSE. To provide specific implementing and operating details for the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Performance Management System and to establish FHWA's revised performance management program as required under the Departmental Personnel Manual (DPM) Letter 430-4, Department of Transportation Performance Management Framework, issued by the Department of Transportation (DOT) on October 12, 1995. The DPM Letter is available in each servicing personnel office and provides overall system parameters and guidance to the operating instructions in this directive.

  2. AUTHORITY AND REFERENCES.

    1. Public Law 103-89,

    2. Title 5, United States Code (U.S.C.), Chapters 23, 35, 43, 53, 55, and 71,

    3. Title 5, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Parts 293, 351, 430, 432, 451, 530, 531, 536, and 550,

    4. DOT DPM Letter 430-4, dated October 12, 1995, Department of Transportation Performance Management Framework, as amended, supplemented, or superseded,

    5. DOT DPM Letter 771-1, dated May 18, 1988, Agency Administrative Grievance System Handbook, as amended, supplemented, or superseded,

    6. DOT Order 3770.3, dated August 12, 1980, Personnel Actions Based on Unacceptable Performance, as amended, supplemented, or superseded, and

    7. FHWA Personnel Management Manual (PMM), Chapter 9, Section 2, Performance Awards.

  3. COVERAGE. The PMS shall apply to all General Schedule employees grades 15 and below, all prevailing rate (Wage Grade) employees regardless of grade, former Performance Management and Recognition System (PMRS) employees covered by P.L. 103-89, and other employees not excluded as specified in 5 U.S.C. 4301(2) and DOT DPM Letter 430-4, including student aides and temporary employees serving under appointments exceeding 120 days.

  4. DEVELOPING THE PERFORMANCE PLAN.

    1. A performance plan will be developed for all employees in accordance with the procedures outlined in paragraph 5 of this directive. The performance plan consists of the establishment of performance objectives and standardized rating criteria (performance standards). Performance objectives are defined as being the same as critical elements in 5 CFR 430, and equivalent to Performance Outcomes and Outputs (Results) in the DOT Framework. The performance objectives will be rated collectively against one set of standardized rating criteria to measure performance of the most important parts of the job as a whole. Performance plans must be established and approved, and a copy provided to the employee, no later than December 1 of each year; or, for newly appointed, promoted or reassigned employees, within 30 days of entry into the new position. The Federal Highway Administration Performance Appraisal Form (Form FHWA 1552) is to be used to record the performance plan, and a copy is attached for reference.

    2. The performance plan becomes final when approved by the first-level supervisor. The first-level supervisor and the employee will sign and date the plan to document its approval, and to indicate that the employee received a copy. Changes in the plan may occur at any time during the appraisal period. However, all changes must be discussed with the employee, signed or initialed, and dated by both the employee and first-level supervisor.

    3. A second level of review and approval of the performance plan by the second-level supervisor, and subsequent review and approval of the summary rating assigned, is not required but may be helpful to ensure consistency with organizational outcomes and objectives. A decision to require second-level review and approval before performance plans and summary ratings become final may be made at the discretion of local management at any organizational level.

    4. A copy of the approved performance plan must be given to the employee at the beginning of the rating period. The original is retained by the first-level supervisor. Forms that contain the Social Security number, rating information, progress reviews, and final ratings must be kept in a locked and secure file, in accordance with the Privacy Act.

  5. PERFORMANCE OBJECTIVES AND STANDARDS.

    1. Performance objectives for the rating year will be identified for each position by the employee and the supervisor. Each employee should actively participate in developing his/her performance objectives, including the designation of performance outcomes and targets for the rating period. Performance objectives should outline the most critical or important assignments, responsibilities, and performance expectations of the employee's individual, non-supervisory work for the coming year, and should reflect the goals of the unit to the extent applicable. They should be results-oriented, and link the work of the employee to the organization's outcomes. Therefore, they should include any action items in the National Strategic Plan, the unit/subunit plan, the manager's SES objectives, and any other organizational goals for which the employee is directly responsible. These objectives should be listed briefly and concisely in the "Individual and/or Team Objectives" section of Part D on the performance appraisal form. Each performance objective should include designated performance outcomes and targets, as well as any target dates that are applicable for the rating period.

    2. Those organizations using a formal team-based structure, where the work of the positions on the team is interdependent, have the option of identifying team objectives in lieu of or in addition to individual ones in the same section of Part D. Team performance objectives should be clearly labeled as such, and should also include designated performance outcomes, targets, and target dates.

    3. For all supervisory and managerial positions, Supervisory and Leadership Performance Objectives should also be indicated in Part D. Generic supervisory performance objectives are provided, and any unique or job-specific supervisory and leadership objectives should also be identified, if applicable. Performance results, targets, and target dates should also be included in Supervisory and Leadership Performance Objectives to the extent that they are applicable. Part D on the appraisal form should list all performance objectives for the position.

    4. All of the performance objectives identified in Part D of the performance plan will be tracked and measured collectively against one set of generic performance standards consisting of eight factors applicable to all jobs. These standard factors are: (1) Job Knowledge; (2) Quality of Work; (3) Volume of Work; (4) Timeliness/Dependability; (5) Teamwork; (6) Resource Management; (7) Customer Service; and (8) Communication. These performance standards and the rating form are contained in Part E of the appraisal form. These performance standards, in combination with the performance targets and target dates and any other qualifying information contained in the performance objectives, comprise the Performance Expectations of the position as described in the DOT Framework. Each of the factors will be rated at one of three levels (or Does Not Apply), and the factor ratings for all those that are applicable will be used to derive the summary rating, as described in paragraph 8c of this directive. For positions in team-based organizations that have elected to identify team objectives, two additional factors may be used in addition to or in lieu of the eight standard factors in determining the summary rating. These additional factors are: (1) Team Accomplishment; and (2) Individual Effectiveness as a Team Member. This provides a means to emphasize the performance of the team as a whole, and the extent of the individual's participation in the team process. To the extent that team objectives are rated against the factor Team Accomplishment, those objectives are considered to be noncritical elements under 5 CFR 430, for the performance output of the team is not entirely within the control of the individual being rated.

    5. For supervisory positions, Supervisory and Leadership Performance Objectives will be further measured against a second set of generic performance standards consisting of five factors applicable to supervisory positions in Part E-1 of the appraisal form. These supervisory factors are: (1) Organizational Accomplishment; (2) Planning and Organizing; (3) Staff Development and Motivation; (4) Counseling and Appraising; and (5) Fostering and Achieving EEO and Diversity. These factor ratings will be combined with those in Part E, and the combined factor ratings will be used to produce a summary rating for supervisors and managers. The use of the supervisory performance standard in Part E-1 is mandatory for supervisors and managers, and optional for team leaders. When used for team leader positions, two additional factors are available to evaluate team leader responsibilities, along with any of the five supervisory factors that are applicable to the position. These additional team leader factors are: (1) Motivating and Guiding Team Efforts; and (2) Facilitating Group Interaction and Achievement.

    6. Whenever performance is identified as dropping to the Fails to Meet Requirements level, a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) will be developed, and a separate, secondary process for evaluating performance will be initiated. This will involve the development of critical elements from the performance objectives, and individual performance standards for each critical element, as part of the PIP. The regulations in 5 CFR 430 and 432 provide more information about critical elements and performance standards. The PIP process is described in greater detail in paragraph 8e of this directive.

  6. APPRAISAL ASSIGNMENT.

    1. Twelve consecutive months is the normal appraisal period. The minimum period for which performance may be appraised is 90 days. The appraisal period is October 1 through September 30 of the following year.

    2. An official appraisal will be given for an appraisal period of less than 12 months if:

        (1) at any time during the performance appraisal period an employee's performance falls below the Meets or Exceeds Requirements level (following the implementation of and evaluation under a Performance Improvement Plan); or

        (2) at the end of the appraisal period the employee has completed the minimum appraisal period but not a full 12 months in his/her current position.

    3. For an employee who has not been in the position occupied on September 30 under current performance objectives and standards for at least 90 days, the appraisal period will be extended for the amount of time necessary to meet the minimum appraisal period at which time a rating of record shall be prepared. An exception to this requirement is provided in paragraph 6d of this directive. There may be other extenuating circumstances in which it is not possible to rate the employee during the annual appraisal period. The supervisor will need to contact his or her servicing personnel office for assistance.

    4. A summary rating (a written record of the performance appraisal but not a final rating of record) must be obtained from the losing organization when an employee changes positions or transfers during the appraisal period if the employee has served for the minimum appraisal period in the position from which he or she has changed. The summary rating must be taken into consideration in determining the final rating of record. If the position change or transfer occurs within 90 days of the end of the appraisal period, and a summary rating is prepared by the losing supervisor, the gaining supervisor has the option of using the summary rating as the official rating of record; or the gaining supervisor may extend the rating period to provide the minimum appraisal period in the position occupied on September 30, and rate the employee in the new position.

    5. A mid-year progress review will be held between the supervisor and employee concerning progress being made toward meeting performance objectives and standards, currency of performance objectives and standards, and whether any changes or adjustments in the performance plan are necessary. The first-level supervisor and employee will sign and date the plan to show that the review took place. If the employee's performance is determined by the supervisor to be less than Meets or Exceeds Requirements at any time during the appraisal period, the employee must be placed under a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). The PIP will be presented to the employee and will explain the employee's performance deficiencies, the steps to be taken to resolve the deficiencies, and it will communicate the critical elements and written performance standards at the Meets or Exceeds Requirements level for each critical element.

    6. An employee will be appraised on the identified performance objectives as a whole, against those standardized performance rating factors that apply to the position. Specific rating factors that do not apply should be identified at the beginning of the rating period, or as soon as possible thereafter. When new assignments or objectives that are important enough to merit being part of the overall evaluation are added to the job during the year, they should be added to the performance objectives in the performance plan at the same time. Newly added performance objectives must be included in the performance plan for at least the minimum rating period of 90 days before being included in the appraisal.

  7. PERFORMANCE INFORMATION WHILE ON DETAIL. Performance of PMS employees detailed or temporarily assigned for a period of 120 calendar days or longer will be appraised upon completion of the detail or temporary assignment. Performance plans must be prepared by the gaining organization no later than 30 days after the start of the detail or temporary assignment. Ratings on these performance objectives and standards must then be forwarded to the employee's permanent or official immediate supervisor who must consider the evaluation in completing the rating of record. For periods of less than 120 calendar days, the development of a written performance plan and receipt of a written performance rating are not required. However, information regarding the employee's performance should be obtained and given appropriate consideration.

  8. RATING PROCESS.

    1. Rating Levels. Summary ratings and ratings for individual rating factors will be assigned on a three- level scale (Outstanding, Meets or Exceeds Requirements, and Fails to Meet Requirements). Each rating factor in Parts E and E-1 of the rating form that applies to the position will be assigned one of the three levels of ratings as defined in paragraph 8b of this directive, and as further described for that factor on the rating form. A summary performance rating will then be determined in accordance with the instructions that follow in paragraph 8c. The appraisal of performance should be a continuing process with the supervisor providing information to and consulting with the employee in one-on-one discussions on a regular or as- needed basis. Reports of accomplishments or progress from the employee, if required by the supervisor, should be as brief as possible and designed to facilitate discussion between the supervisor and employee. Elaborate self-evaluation systems or supporting documentation are neither required nor encouraged for either progress meetings or the final performance evaluation.

    2. Individual Factor Ratings. The first step in determining the summary rating is to rate each of the individual rating factors in Parts E and E-1 (if applicable) of the rating form that apply to the position. Each rating factor will be assigned one of three levels of ratings as described for that factor on the rating form. In assigning rating levels for both individual factor ratings and for the summary performance ratings described in paragraph 8c of this directive, the following overall rating level definitions should be used as guidance:

        (1) Outstanding - this is a level of superior performance. Almost all aspects (at least 75 percent of the rating factors) of the employee's performance have clearly and significantly exceeded the documented expectations and performance standards for the "Meets or Exceeds Requirements" level to such an extent as to be truly unusual and noteworthy. Performance at this level has added value to the organization to an unusual degree, and has made significant contributions to mission accomplishment.

        (2) Meets or Exceeds Requirements - this is a range of performance that meets or exceeds the expectations of the rating official. It describes good, sound performance and reflects the employee's positive response in accomplishing assignments. This is a wide range, where at the base level, the employee has made significant contributions, and performance is adequate to fully meet the requirements and expectations of the rating official. At the top of the range, performance is high-quality in most or all aspects (rating factors), exceeds expectations in major areas of the job, and adds value to the organization.

        (3) Fails to Meet Requirements - the employee's performance and work products do not meet the minimum requirements and contain major deficiencies. Fails to Meet Requirements performance in any rating factor in Sections E and E-1 (except Factor 9 in Section E, Team Accomplishment) will result in an overall summary rating of Fails to Meet Requirements. A rating of Fails to Meet Requirements is the same as a rating of Unacceptable in the DOT Framework and 5 CFR 430 and 432. See paragraph 8e for specific instructions for dealing with performance that fails to meet requirements.

    3. Summary Performance Ratings. After all individual rating factors in Parts E and E-1 (if applicable) are rated, the following criteria will be used to establish the summary performance rating.

        (1) Outstanding - at least 75% of the factors in Section E* (plus Section E-1 where appropriate) are rated Outstanding, and none are rated less than Meets or Exceeds Requirements.

        (2) Meets or Exceeds Requirements - all factors rated in Section E* (plus Section E-1 where appropriate) are rated at least Meets or Exceeds Requirements.

        (3) Fails to Meet Requirements - one or more factors in Section E* (plus Section E-1 where appropriate) are rated Fails to Meet Requirements. Before a rating of Fails to Meet Requirements is assigned, the employee will also have been provided a PIP, and failed to meet the specific requirements of the PIP for raising performance to at least the Meets or Exceeds Requirements level.

      * An exception to these definitions is that Factor 9 in Section E, Team Accomplishment, may not be used to derive a rating of Fails to Meet Requirements. To the extent that Factor 9 is rated Meets or Exceeds Requirements or Outstanding, it is included in the definitions in paragraphs 8.c(1) and 8.c(2) in this directive.

      Example of Summary Rating of Outstanding:

      Rating Factor Rating
      Section E:
      1. Job Knowledge
      Outstanding
      1. Quality of Work
      Outstanding
      1. Volume of Work
      Outstanding
      1. Timeliness/Dependability
      Outstanding
      1. Teamwork
      Meets or Exceeds Requirements
      1. Resource Management
      Meets or Exceeds Requirements
      1. Customer Service
      Outstanding
      1. Communication
      Outstanding

      Section E-1

      Not Applicable for Non-Supervisory Employee

      (6 of 8 Factors (75%) Rated Outstanding)

      Since 75 percent or more of the individual rating factors were rated Outstanding, with no factor being rated lower than Meets or Exceeds Requirements, the employee's summary rating is Outstanding.

      Example of Summary Rating of Meets or Exceeds Requirements:

      Rating Factor Rating
      Section E:
      1. Job Knowledge
      Outstanding
      1. Quality of Work
      Outstanding
      1. Volume of Work
      Meets or Exceeds Requirements
      1. Timeliness/Dependability
      Meets or Exceeds Requirements
      1. Teamwork
      Outstanding
      1. Resource Management
      Meets or Exceeds Requirements
      1. Customer Service
      Outstanding
      1. Communication
      Outstanding

      Section E-1

      1. Organizational Accomplishment
      Meets or Exceeds Requirements
      1. Planning and Organizing
      Meets or Exceeds Requirements
      1. Staff Development and Motivation
      Outstanding
      1. Counseling and Appraising
      Outstanding
      1. Fostering and Achieving EEO and Diversity
      Meets or Exceeds Requirements

      (7 of 13 Factors (54%) Rated Outstanding)

      Since less than 75 percent of the individual rating factors were rated Outstanding, with no factor being rated lower than Meets or Exceeds Requirements, the employee's summary rating is Meets or Exceeds Requirements.

      Example of Summary Rating of Meets or Exceeds Requirements (Organization with a Total Team Emphasis):

      Rating Factor Rating
      Section E:
      1. Job Knowledge
      Does Not Apply
      1. Quality of Work
      Does Not Apply
      1. Volume of Work
      Does Not Apply
      1. Timeliness/Dependability
      Does Not Apply
      1. Teamwork
      Does Not Apply
      1. Resource Management
      Does Not Apply
      1. Customer Service
      Does Not Apply
      1. Communication
      Does Not Apply
      1. Team Accomplishment
      Outstanding
      1. Individual Effectiveness as Team Member
      Meets or Exceeds Requirements

      Section E-1

      Not Applicable for Non-Supervisory Employee

      (1 of 2 Factors (50%) Rated Outstanding)

      Since less than 75 percent of the rating factors actually rated were rated Outstanding, with no factor being rated lower than Meets or Exceeds Requirements, the employee's summary rating is Meets or Exceeds Requirements.

    4. Performance That Meets Minimum Requirements But Needs Improvement. Performance that meets at least the minimum requirements for Meets or Exceeds Requirements in all rating factors, but which still contains significant weaknesses or is not at the level it should be for an employee functioning at the full performance level in the position should be identified by checking the block at the end of Part E or E-1, as appropriate. This block indicates that improvement or additional development is needed to operate at the full performance level, and provides a space to identify the rating factors where improvement is needed. This indicator is provided to aid communication about areas where significant improvement is needed. Training and development activities to address the identified areas should be discussed with the employee, and initiated or encouraged. Use of this block does not affect the overall rating or any resulting pay entitlement. However, its use should generally be limited to identifying areas or rating factors that, while not causing the overall performance of the performance objectives to fail to meet requirements, are still potential problems or significant weaknesses that fall below the expected full performance level for the position.

    5. "Fails to Meet Requirements" Ratings

        (1) Pre-Rating Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). If at any time during the performance appraisal period an employee's performance falls below the Meets or Exceeds Requirements level, the first-level supervisor should consult the servicing personnel office for assistance in developing a PIP. The identification of performance at the Fails to Meet Requirements level and the initiation of a PIP will trigger a separate, secondary process for evaluating performance, requiring the use of specific critical elements and job-specific performance standards for each critical element. Critical elements will be identified, developed, or consolidated from among the performance objectives as part of the PIP. Individual, job-specific performance standards for each critical element will also be developed as part of the PIP. The supervisor will present the PIP to the employee, explain the employee's performance deficiencies and steps to be taken to resolve the deficiencies, and provide the employee with critical elements and written performance standards describing the minimum level of performance needed to attain the Meets or Exceeds Requirements level for the key elements of the position.

          (a) This period of intensified evaluation and assistance to the employee prior to the assignment of a final rating is the initial phase of the overall PIP process (herein referred to as the pre-rating PIP).

          (b) The pre-rating PIP must be at least 90 days in duration to provide at least the minimum rating period under the critical elements and performance standards identified in the PIP.

          (c) Rather than waiting until the end of the appraisal period, the supervisor should determine whether a pre-rating PIP is needed during the mid-year progress review, or even earlier if the employee's performance appears to have fallen below the Meets or Exceeds Requirements level.

          (d) At the end of the pre-rating PIP, the supervisor will reevaluate the employee's performance and prepare a final rating, based upon the critical elements and performance standards in the PIP. After the final rating is determined under the PIP process, it may then be documented on the Performance Appraisal Form.

        (2) "Fails to Meet Requirements" Performance. If performance under the pre-rating PIP is rated Fails to Meet Requirements, the employee must be given assistance and a reasonable period of time (at least 90 days) as an opportunity to demonstrate performance at the Meets or Exceeds Requirements level. This is the second phase of the PIP process (referred to as the post-rating PIP, or opportunity period). At the conclusion of the opportunity period, a determination will be made as to whether the employee's performance has improved to a higher level or remained at the Fails to Meet Requirements level. If the first- and second-level supervisors determine that the performance has remained at the Fails to Meet Requirements level at the conclusion of the opportunity period, the supervisor must initiate a reassignment, reduction-in-grade or removal action. The supervisor shall contact the servicing personnel office for assistance.

        (3) Performance That is Raised to the Meets or Exceeds Requirements Level. If performance under the pre- rating PIP is rated Fails to Meet Requirements, but had improved to Meets or Exceeds Requirements during the required opportunity period to demonstrate acceptable performance, a new final rating of Meets or Exceeds Requirements must be assigned. The opportunity period is ended and the new appraisal period begins. At that point, the supervisor must decide for the new appraisal period whether to return the employee to a performance plan using the Performance Appraisal Form, with performance objectives and standardized rating factors, or to continue using a PIP for the next appraisal period. If the PIP is continued, with critical elements and specific standards, and performance again drops to the Fails to Meet Requirements level, a final rating can be given at that point, and a new opportunity period of at least 90 days in duration must be given to the employee before any performance-based action can be taken. If the employee is returned to a performance plan with performance objectives and standardized rating factors, and performance again drops to the Fails to Meet Requirements level, the entire PIP process must be started again by initiating a pre-rating PIP.

        (4) Impact of "Fails to Meet Requirements" Performance on Pay and Other Personnel Decisions. In any instance where an employee is given a final rating of Fails to Meet Requirements, the employee is not eligible for a within-grade increase (WIG), Performance Award, or a career-ladder promotion to the next grade. When a WIG has been withheld, the supervisor, at any time thereafter (but not later than 52 calendar weeks following the original eligibility date for the WIG), may prepare a new rating of record for the employee and grant the WIG when the determination has been made that the employee has demonstrated performance at the Meets or Exceeds Requirements level. Warning of the possibility of such a WIG denial should be given at the first instance where performance is determined to require a PIP.

    6. Completed Appraisal Forms. The completed appraisal forms must be forwarded to the servicing personnel office as soon as possible but not later than November 30 (or 30 days after the end of an extended rating period.)

  9. RATINGS OF RECORD. Under this plan, ratings of record shall be assigned:

    1. at the end of the annual appraisal period (or extended period); or

    2. when a PMS employee changes positions or organizations within 90 days of the end of the appraisal period, and the gaining supervisor elects to use the transferred summary rating as the rating of record (as discussed in paragraph 6d); or

    3. at the end of the pre-rating PIP when the performance has been determined to be Fails to Meet Requirements; or

    4. at the end of the opportunity period in which the employee's performance has improved from Fails to Meet Requirements to at least Meets or Exceeds Requirements or higher; or

    5. when a WIG increase decision is not consistent with the employee's most recent rating of record, a more current rating of record must be prepared.

  10. RESOLVING PERFORMANCE RATING DISAGREEMENTS. Whenever possible, disagreements concerning the performance rating should be resolved in an informal manner between the employee and supervisor. However, if the disagreement cannot be resolved informally, the PMS employee may formally grieve the rating. Employees who are members of a collective bargaining unit with a negotiated grievance procedure applicable to the appeal of performance ratings should file their appeal under the negotiated appeals procedure. All other employees must file their request for reconsideration of overall ratings in accordance with Agency Administrative Grievance System procedures.

  11. LINKAGE WITH OTHER PERSONNEL DECISIONS OR ACTIONS. In addition to those decisions and actions outlined in the DOT plan, the following are linked to the performance appraisal.

    1. Within-Grade Increase. To merit a within-grade increase, an employee's performance must be at an acceptable level of competence and must receive an overall rating of Meets or Exceeds Requirements or higher. (See FHWA Personnel Management Manual (PMM) Chapter 5, Section 1 for further information.)

    2. Step Increase Under Federal Wage System. Federal wage employees under a regular wage schedule who have an overall rating of Meets or Exceeds Requirements or higher after completing the prescribed period of service, advance automatically to the next higher step of their grades. (See PMM Chapter 5, Section 1 for further information.)

    3. Performance Awards. All eligible PMS employees receiving a current rating of record of either "Outstanding" or "Meets or Exceeds Requirements" may be granted a Performance Award, based on the recommendation of their supervisor and the approval of their Performance Awards Pool Manager. The performance award may be granted at any time during the year provided that it is within 12 months of the current rating of record, and is based on sustained superior achievements in accomplishing performance objectives of the position, as documented in the performance plan, for at least the minimum rating period (90 days). (See PMM Chapter 9, Section 2, for further information.)

    4. Merit Promotion. In evaluating an employee's qualifications for merit promotion under competitive promotion procedures described in PMM Chapter 3, Section 1, consideration may be given to performance appraisals. Past performance is an appropriate indicator for future performance only to the extent that the applicant's performance objectives and standards, and the duties or tasks upon which they are based, are relevant to those of the position being filled. However, no employee will receive a career-ladder promotion unless his or her current rating is Meets or Exceeds Requirements or higher.

    5. Reduction-in-Force. The results of the performance appraisal will be used in a reduction-in-force (RIF) situation. Additional service credit for RIF purposes shall be given based on an employee's last three annual performance ratings of record received during the four- year period prior to the date of issuance of a RIF notice. (See 5 CFR 351 for further information.)

  12. EXCEPTIONS AND WAIVERS.

    1. Organizations may request exceptions to the provisions of this chapter, or waivers of specific requirements under this chapter. Requests will be approved or denied by the Director, Office of Personnel and Training, with the concurrence of the Executive Director. Exceptions or waivers may be granted for such purposes as, but not limited to, pilot testing new approaches which show promise for improved results, or for meeting local conditions which cannot be accommodated under the existing provisions of this chapter.

    2. Requests for exceptions to or waivers from the provisions of this chapter should be submitted to the Director, Office of Personnel and Training, and should include justification for the proposed exception or waiver, a description of the time frames for which the exception or waiver would apply, and an evaluation plan for assessing the results. Additional information may be requested as needed.

  13. PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL TRAINING. During implementation of major revisions to the PMS, training or briefings for all FHWA employees will be conducted by Washington Headquarters and regional personnel. Personnel updates and notices pertaining to PMS will also be sent to employees. Subsequently, new employees will receive basic information from the servicing personnel office. Supervisors will receive performance appraisal training as part of the mandatory supervisory training.

  14. SYSTEM EVALUATION. The FHWA performance appraisal system is subject to review and evaluation by the Personnel Systems and Evaluation Division, Office of Personnel and Training. The FHWA personnel management evaluation program will include periodic reviews of the performance appraisal system as part of its cyclic review schedule of FHWA organizations, and will also include functional reviews of performance management as needed.
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