DCIPS replaces CIPMS. Until all references can be updated, both terms may appear and are considered interchangeable.
An EPA is a tool for use by management and is unique to the Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS). An EPA is an increase in basic pay equivalent to two Quality Step Increases (QSIs). It recognizes pay plan GG DCIPS employees whose continued exemplary performance far exceeds the standards expected for their assigned grade level. It may also be used as a retention incentive when all of the following requirements have been met.
--The employee to be awarded must have been in the same grade for the last 3 years. Time spent on Details and Temporary Promotions during this period can be credited towards meeting this requirement.
--The last three consecutive ratings must have been rated Successful – Level 1. The three year period must be successive, meaning the current rating cycle and the previous two.
--Each year of performance during this three year period must have been documented by an official performance appraisal.
The EPA and the Quality Step Increase are both cyclical awards. QSIs can be awarded in consecutive years, but only after 52 weeks have passed. If all of the above conditions are met and management wishes to award an EPA to an employee who received a QSI the preceding year, they must ensure that at least 52 weeks have passed between the granting of the QSI and the EPA.
An EPA may be granted even when the employee's pay rate is already at the 9th or 10th step or equivalent. In these cases, the employee's pay will be fixed at a rate equivalent to the value of a two-step increase. However, the maximum payable rate of the GG pay schedule (that is, the pay cap), may not be exceeded. An EPA may not be awarded when it would increase a salary past the equivalent of the 12th step in the grade. An EPA is the only way in which the rate of pay may be set beyond Step 10 of a grade level.
How to submit: The EPA is supported solely by the three consecutive performance ratings documenting the employee's (current and two preceding) Successful - Level 1 (Exceptional) annual performance appraisals. Therefore, these forms must be attached to the copy of the Annual Appraisal, DA Form 7222 or 7223, which is used to approve the award. The rater must complete the information in Part III by entering "EPA" in the block for QSI information. The rater should project the two-step increase and enter the information after the "To" in the block for QSI information.
The EPA will be processed in the Defense Civilian Personnel Data System (DCPDS) and documented on a Standard Form 50-B, Notification of Personnel Action.