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5-Level Performance Management System (Broadcast Email)

Note: This broadcast e-mail is intended for nonbargaining unit employees only. If you are a bargaining unit employee, this information will be made available to you once labor relations obligations have been satisfied.

In October 2005, the Department will begin a phased implementation of a new and improved 5-level performance management system. This new system is a result of a large scale effort by the Department to review its current performance management system with the goal of developing and implementing a comprehensive results-oriented framework for promoting a high-performance culture. The primary reason for this effort was to develop a single multi-level rating system for all employees covered under the current 5- and 2-level systems. Essentially, the Department made a commitment to develop a performance management system which makes meaningful distinctions in performance. It is widely acknowledged that 2-level systems do not make these distinctions.

The Department currently holds its employees accountable for performance through one of four performance management systems: (1) Five-Level System, (2) Two-Level (Pass/Fail) System, (3) Demonstration Project, and (4) Alternative Personnel Management System at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

This new system does not affect employees currently under the Demonstration Project or the Alternative Personnel Management System.

Under the new system, employees (except Office of Inspector General and NOAA Wage Marine employees) will be rated on an October 1 to September 30 appraisal cycle. Phase I implementation of the new system, which will begin in October 2005, will include the following bureaus: Bureau of Industry and Security, Economics and Statistics Administration, International Trade Administration, Minority Business Development Agency, National Institute of Standards and Technology (Wage Grade Only), National Telecommunications and Information Administration, National Technical Information Service, and Office of the Secretary.

Several of the Phase I bureaus have impact and implementation bargaining obligations with labor organizations which may delay implementation for bargaining unit employees until labor relations obligations have been satisfied. Phase II implementation will begin October 2006, and involve the migration of the Bureau of the Census and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to the new system.

The new 5-level system includes a number of features that are different from the existing 2- and 5-level systems. These include linkages by element to organizational goals and objectives and a new performance management form. To learn more about the new system, the Office of Human Resources Management has created a Performance Management (PM) Homepage at: http://www.hr.commerce.gov/Practitioners/PerformanceManagementandAwards/index.htm

The PM Homepage provides links to the following information:

    • Department Administrative Order 202-430, Performance Management System

    • Performance Management Handbook

    • New Form (CD-430, Performance Management)

    • Performance Management System Fact Sheet

    • Department Briefing (Video) on New 5-level System

As part of the migration, all nonbargaining unit employees and bargaining unit employees, when appropriate, will be briefed and trained on the new system. Supervisors will receive training on all aspects of the new system including instructions on how to develop performance plans which link to organizational goals and objectives. In addition, the training will assist supervisors in developing performance objectives for two new required elements: Customer Service and Leadership.

If you have any questions on the new system, please contact your servicing human resources office.