Opportunity to Improve

At any time during the appraisal cycle that an employee's performance on any objective/resposibility is unacceptable (the "fails" level), the supervisor must inform the employee of the objectives/responsibilities in which performance is unacceptable, in what way it is unacceptable, and exactly what is required to bring it up to the "Success" level. The employee must be provided a reasonable opportunity period to demonstrate acceptable performance. That opportunity process, for employees who are not in a probationary or trial period, takes the form of a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). The PIP is a formal document that needs to be developed with the assistance of the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center (CPAC). The time needed to demonstrate acceptable performance is a judgment made by the supervisor based on such considerations as:
  • the employee's position,
  • the extent of the performance problem, and
  • the nature of the problem.

Normally it is 90-120 days.

Management Actions During the Opportunity Period: Below are actions that may be necessary during the opportunity period:

Managers should consult their personnel advisors about employees in probationary or trial status.

If, after a reason opportunity to improve, performance remains unacceptable, the employee should be removed from the position. If there are appropriate vacancies in the area serviced by the CPAC, efforts should be made to reassign the employee to a more suitable position. If no chance for reassignment exists, demotion should be considered before removal from service.

The decision to demote rather than remove an employee from the Federal service is based on the availability of a vacant position, the duties of which the employee could and would successfully perform. Action to remove the employee from the Federal service must be started if there are no suitable vacancies or if management decides that the employee could not adequately perform the duties of available vacant positions.

Content last reviewed: 6/20/2006-FMJ

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This page was last revised: 6/20/2006