DCIPS replaces CIPMS. Until all references can be updated, both terms may appear and are considered interchangeable.
DA Form 1256 (Incentive Awards Nomination and Approval) is used for Special Act or Service Awards. However, they are no longer used for performance awards, Quality Step Increases (QSI), and Exemplary Performance Awards (EPA).
Nomination and approval of performance-based awards are documented in Part III of the Civilian Evaluation Report (CER) forms, DA Forms 7222 and 7223.
The rater nominates the employee (ratee) by making an extra copy of page 1 of the Evaluation Report Form, completing parts I, II, and III, and submitting it through the rating chain to the senior rater for approval along with the Evaluation Report. If approved, only the front page of the evaluation report is sent to the finance office for processing. No award information should be shown on the original (employee) copy or official record copy of the completed Evaluation Form.
In the case of a nomination for an EPA the rater completes 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. Remember, eligibility for the EPA requires two previous "Exceptional" (in the old system) or "Successful Level 1" (in TAPES) ratings, as well as the current "Successful Level 1" rating. Copies of documents supporting the two previous ratings must be submitted with the TAPES award nomination