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  • Accession. A personnel action that results in the addition of an employee to the rolls (staff) of USAMRDC laboratory demonstration project.
  • Acquisition Positions. Civilian positions and military billets that are in the DoD acquisition system, have acquisition duties, and fall in an acquisition position category established by the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology (USD (A&T)). While most frequently located in organizations having an acquisition mission, acquisition positions are also located in management headquarters (HQ) organizations, management support organizations, and other organizations.


  • Benchmark Performance Standards. Statements of the type of performance that correlate with levels of performance against generic performance elements. Benchmark performance standards (Appendix I) are provided for performance levels of 100%, 70%, 50%, and Unsatisfactory.
  • Benchmark Position Descriptions. General descriptions of duties within a given payband and occupational family that, when combined with a completed benchmark position description cover sheet, serve to document demo project position classification decisions. Benchmark position descriptions usually cover a range of complexity in terms of duties and responsibilities within a given payband. Appendix B depicts all the benchmark descriptions approved for use with the demo project.
  • Break in Service. The time when an employee is no longer on the payroll of an agency. (In computing creditable service for benefits, e.g., leave accrual and reduction in force retention, a separation of 1, 2, or 3 calendar days is not considered to be a break in service; a separation of 4 or more calendar days is considered to be a break in service and the days of separation are subtracted from the employee's total creditable service.)
  • Bumping Rights - RIF. Bumping is an employee's right of assignment to a position occupied by another employee in a lower tenure group, or in a lower tenure subgroup, in another competitive level within the same competitive area. Restriction for bumping is one band below the employee's existing band. For 30 percent or more veteran's preference eligibles the limit is two paybands below the existing payband.


  • Competitive Area. For reduction in force, that part of MRDC within which employees are in competition for retention.
  • Competitive Level. A competitive level for reduction in force consists of all jobs in a competitive area which are so similar in all important respects that the organization can readily move an employee from one to another without significant training and without loss of productivity.
  • Confidential Financial Disclosure Report, SF-450. Must be filed by DoD employees comparable to GS-15 or below when their official responsibilities require them to participate personally and substantially through decision or exercise of significant judgment in taking an official action for contracting or procurement, administering or monitoring grants, subsidies, licenses or other Federally conferred financial or operational benefits, regulating or auditing any non-Federal entity or other activities in which the final decision or action may have a direct and substantial economic impact on the interest of any non-Federal entity.
  • Contingent Employee. Employee that occupies a non-permanent position (exceeding one year) needed to meet fluctuating or uncertain workload requirements. Employees hired for more than one year, under the contingent employee appointment authority are given term appointments in the competitive service for no longer than five years.


  • Fair Labor Standards Act. See Appendix E.
  • Functional Code. A broad designation of work in terms of overall characteristics, defined by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Functional codes identify broad functional areas of effort such as research, development, test, evaluation, design, etc.; and are applicable to only the Engineers and Scientists occupational family. Appendix D specifies the functional classification codes, categories, and category definitions.


  • Grade Retention (Payband Retention). Entitlement to maintain pay and benefits for two years, encompassed in the payband level of the position from which he/she was reduced.


  • High Grade. A position where the base pay exceeds that of GS-13, Step 10.


  • Long Term Training. Full-time training assignments in excess of 120 consecutive calendar days. This includes formal training programs, full-time academic study programs and planned development assignments.


  • Modal Rating. Rating based on a scale that utilizes the most common rating given within a specific group of individual's assigned ratings as to overall review of work performance. For example, if "B" is the rating most often received in a given group of individuals (competitive area), then "missing" ratings are assigned a "B".


  • Occupational Family. A broad classification category containing groups of occupations which are sufficiently alike to warrant similar treatment in personnel and pay administration. Appendix A describes each occupational family in the demo project and specifies which OPM occupational series are included in each occupational family.
  • Occupational Series. The specific OPM numerical code (for example: 855 for Electronics Engineer, 560 for Budget Analyst) used for purposes of identification. Correlates to a specific occupational family under the demo project classification system. Appendix A depicts a listing of occupational series and the occupational family to which each series has been assigned. The Unites States Office of Personnel Management Handbook of Occupational Groups and Series, and the Position Classification Standards provide specific definitions of the occupational series.


  • Pay Pool. Funding for performance pay increases and/or bonuses managed by designated managers for a particular organizational component. The pay pool is composed of money previously available for within-grade increases, quality step increases, performance awards and promotions between grades that are now banded under the demonstration project.
  • Pay Pool Manager. The official designated to manage a pay pool. Pay pools will be monitored by the Personnel Management Board.
  • Pay Pool Share. That portion of the overall pay pool which is awarded to an employee in recognition of his/her level of performance at Level "A" or "B".
  • Pay Pool Value. The value of the available dollars budgeted for salary increases and bonuses. The value is determined by a percentage applied to the total MRDC direct basic labor costs based upon money that would have been available from within-grade, quality step increases, performance awards and from grade-level promotions that are now within a band.
  • Pay Retention. Entitlement to retain, under certain circumstances, a rate of basic pay higher than the maximum rate of the top of the designated payband for the position occupied.
  • Pay Schedules. Occupational family pay schedules which replace the current GS pay schedule, as follows: DB - Engineers & Scientists, DE - E&S Technicians, DJ - Administrative, and DK - General Support.
  • Paybands. Paybands in the demo project classification system replace grade levels in the GS classification system. Each payband covers the same pay range now covered by one or more grades. Appendix A illustrates the paybands within each occupational family.
  • Performance Appraisal. Periodic evaluation of an employee's performance of duties and responsibilities as measured by expectations established by the weighted common performance elements of the position.
  • Performance Elements. The generic, critical attributes of job performance that are of sufficient importance that performance below the minimum standard requires remedial action and may be the basis for removing the employee from his/her position.
  • Performance Improvement Plan. (PIP) A "formal" process for which employee has an opportunity to improve his/her performance rating within a specific period of time.
  • Performance Objectives. Performance objectives are statements of specific job responsibilities expected of the employee during the rating period. These are to be based on the work unit's mission and goals and should be consistent with the employee's job description.
  • Performance Scores. Weighted points to assign to an employee's performance assisted by use of benchmark performance standards (Appendix D). Each benchmark performance standard describes the level of performance associated with a particular point on a rating scale. The overall score is the sum of the individual element scores. Employees will receive an academic type rating of "A", "B", "C", or "F" depending upon the percentage of goal attainment.
  • Performance. An employee's accomplishment of assigned duties and responsibilities in accordance with weighted common performance elements and agreed-upon performance objectives as compared to established benchmark performance standards.
  • Probationary Period. A period of time, up to 3 years, for all newly hired employees to allow supervisors an adequate period of time to fully evaluate an employee's ability.
  • Promotion. The movement of an employee to a higher payband within the same occupational family or to a payband in a different occupational family which results in an increase in the employee's salary.


  • Rater. The person assigned responsibility for directing and appraising an employee's performance. This is normally the employee's immediate supervisor.
  • Rating Period. The period of time during which an employee's performance will be appraised. This is normally one year for annual appraisals. If performance appraisal is postponed, the rating period includes the length of time covered by the postponement.
  • Reassignment. The change of an employee from one position to another without promotion or change to lower payband. Reassignment includes:
    1. Movement to a position in a new occupational series, or to another position in the same series.
    2. Assignment to a position that has been redescribed due to the introduction of a new or revised occupational series definition.
    3. Assignment to a position that has been redescribed as a result of position review.
    4. Movement to a different position at the same payband level with a change in salary which is the direct result of a different locality payment.
  • Reinstatement. Noncompetitive reemployment in the competitive service as a career or career-conditional employee of a person formerly employed in the competitive service who had a competitive status or was serving probation when separated.
  • Retreat Rights - RIF. Retreating is an employee's right of assignment to a position formerly held, or essentially identical to one previously held, when the position is occupied by a lower-standing employee in the same tenure subgroup and is in another competitive level in the same competitive area. Eligible employees can retreat to a position held by an employee with a later service date in the same subgroup. Restriction for retreating is to one band below the employee's existing band; a preference eligible veteran with a compensable service-connected disability of 30 percent or more may retreat to positions two bands or the equivalent of five grades below their current payband.


  • Sabbatical. An opportunity for career employees to engage in study or work experience that will contribute to their development and experience. Each sabbatical must result in a product, service, report or study that will benefit the USAMRDC mission as well as increase the individual effectiveness of the employee.
  • Senior Rater. The individual in the employee's performance appraisal chain who reviews and finalizes performance appraisals, normally the rating supervisor's immediate supervisor.
  • Share Value. Share value is computed by dividing the amount of the pay pool by the sum of each pay pool member's salary multiplied by his/her share(s). An individual's performance payout equals the share value times the individual's salary times his/her individual share(s).
  • Specialty Code. Delineates the identification of a specific nature of work to be performed within a position. Specialty codes serve to distinguish competitive levels and technical job aspects.
  • Status Employee. One who has completed the probationary period under the career-conditional employment system. Also known as an employee with competitive status.


  • Tenure. The period of time an employee may reasonably expect to serve under his or her current appointment. Tenure is governed by the type of appointment under which an employee is currently serving, without regard to whether the employee has competitive status or whether the employee's appointment is to a competitive service position or an excepted service position.
  • Trial Period. The first year of service for a contingent employee.