DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF FOR PERSONNEL
WASHINGTON, DC 20310-0300
31 JUL 1991
MEMORANDUM FOR ALL STAFF AND OPERATING CIVILIAN PERSONNEL OFFICES
SUBJECT: STAFFING BULLETIN - Merit Promotion Issues
1. Purpose: To answer questions about merit promotion issues.
2. Several questions have been raised regarding Army's simplified candidate evaluation method. The following are intended to clarify AR 690-335-1, Appendix B, paragraph B-4a:
- Rating beyond basic qualifications must always be done when there are two or more qualified candidates. When there are 10 or fewer applicants, all "high quality" candidates may be referred without ranking them into quality groups. This requires a judgment by the rater that the referred candidates possess the knowledges, skills, and abilities (KSAs) required for the job. Candidates referred after applying simplified rating procedures are to be considered high quality, not just minimally qualified.
- It is not necessary to develop a multi-level crediting plan before applying simplified candidate evaluation procedures. This procedure allows referral of candidates upon determination that they are high-quality (i.e., that they possess the required KSAs identified by a job analysis). There must be sufficient documentation to show what criteria candidates were evaluated against and the judgments used to determine their referral as high quality. KSAs must go beyond basic qualification (OPM's X-138 and X-1180) requirements. When using a crediting plan, applicants, as a minimum, must meet the fully satisfactory or equivalent level description. Levels typically described as barely acceptable, marginal or equivalent cannot be used.
- The following must be done to support judgments made. Before the vacancy is announced, a job analysis must be completed to identify the KSAs essential for successful performance. KSAs easily learned on the job should be excluded. The essential KSAs should be announced so applicants will know what information is pertinent in the evaluation process. A basic definition of each KSA listed in the announcement will suffice. After applications are received, the rater can make basic qualification and high quality determination evaluations at the same time. The rater must then document the basis for his or her decisions to include:
- the basic qualifications standard applied,
- the position description of the job being filled,
- the job analysis (and essential KSAs)
- how high quality judgments were arrived at for each candidate (brief explanation) and
- the name, title, series, and grade of the rater.
- When using the simplified method of candidate evaluation, military spouse preference eligibles are evaluated along with other promotable applicants to determine if they meet the essential KSAs. If they meet KSAs for the position, they are considered to be high quality and spouse preference provisions must be applied.
- Simplified candidate evaluation procedures may not be used when there are more than 10 qualified candidates.
3. Numerous questions have been raised regarding noncompetitive promotions based solely on an employee's position being upgraded due to impact of person on the job. There is currently no provision for this type of noncompetitive promotion in AR 690-300, chapter 335. Personnel offices that wish to apply this provision may request an exception to AR 690-300, chapter 335. Requests should be sent through command channels to HQDA (DAPE-CPE) and must indicate why application of the provision is desired.
4. There have been some questions on how time is to be counted when determining if a detail to higher grade or temporary promotion must be competitive. Competition is required when temporary promotions or details to a higher graded position (s) pr position(s) with promotion potential will exceed 120 days in a 12 month period. In computing the 120 days, an individual's temporary service in all higher graded positions during the preceding 12 months is counted, including all competitive and noncompetitive details and temporary promotions. This interpretation was made in conjunction with the Office of Personnel Management's policy office.
5. Questions relating to merit promotion issues in this bulletin should be directed through major Army command headquarters to Shirley Howard DSN 221-3889 or commercial (703) 325-3889.
FOR THE DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF FOR PERSONNEL:
Anna E. Yurkoski, Chief
Employment and Classification