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Online Tutorial Science and Technology (S&T) Personnel Demonstration Project Purpose of Instruction This tutorial is designed to help you understand the basic components of the demonstration project It can be viewed at your desktop at any time and at your own pace

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online tutorial

Online Tutorial

Science and Technology (S&T) Personnel Demonstration Project

purpose of instruction
Purpose of Instruction
  • This tutorial is designed to help you understand the basic components of the demonstration project
  • It can be viewed at your desktop at any time and at your own pace
  • The tutorial can be viewed in sections, should you at any point in the future feel the need to review a particular topic . . .
  • During the tutorial, click on the symbol at the end of each section to return to the table of contents
table of contents
Table of Contents
  • Introduction
  • Conversion into the Demonstration Project
  • Position Descriptions
  • Pay Banding
  • Pay for Performance
  • Reconciliation Process
  • Performance Payouts
  • Supervisory/Team Leader Pay Adjustments
  • Employee Development
  • Leaving the Demonstration
  • Conclusion
  • FAQ
  • Additional Resources
  • Glossary
  • Feedback
what is the personnel demonstration project
What is the Personnel Demonstration Project?
  • The personnel demonstration project is an opportunity to develop and test new ways of conducting Human Resource functions that are considered more efficient and effective.
  • The goal is to recruit and retain the enthusiastic, innovative and highly educated scientists and engineers and committed technical, clerical and administrative support personnel needed to meet our critical mission
what is the personnel demonstration project6
What is the Personnel Demonstration Project?
  • Advantages to the new, flexible pay system offered through the personnel demonstration
  • Supervisors
    • Improved hiring system
    • Improved management accountability
  • Employees
    • Expanded pay progression through pay banding
    • Expanded developmental opportunities
    • Improved employee accountability

Rewards Performance

Pay for Performance

Incentives Non-Performance

personnel management boards
Personnel Management Boards
  • Personnel Management Boards exists in the CERDEC and SEC to oversee and monitor the fair, equitable and consistent implementation of the provisions of the demonstration project to include establishment of internal controls and accountability
what happens when i convert into the demonstration project
What happens when I convert intothe Demonstration Project?


Engineering & Science


Business & Technical


General Support

Step 1: You will be converted into one of three occupational families and pay plans

You will track into a family and pay plan based upon your occupational series at the time you enter the demonstration project

Did you know?

DB, DE and DK are not acronyms. While D stands for demonstration, these are simply designators for a family and pay plan.

conversion into the demonstration project10
Conversion into the Demonstration Project

Determine which one of the three Family Pay Plans you will convert into

engineering science db pay plan
Engineering & Science DB Pay Plan
  • 0180 Psychologist Series
  • 0801 General Engineering Series
  • 0810 Civil Engineering Series
  • 0830 Mechanical Engineering Series
  • 0850 Electrical Engineering Series
  • 0854 Computer Engineering Series
  • 0855 Electronics Engineering Series
  • 0892 Ceramic Engineering Series
  • 0893 Chemical Engineering Series
  • 0896 Industrial Engineering Series
  • 0899 Engineering and Architecture Student Trainee Series
  • 1301 General Physical Science Series
  • 1306 Health Physics Series
  • 1310 Physics Series
  • 1320 Chemistry Series
  • 1515 Operations Research Series
  • 1520 Mathematics Series
  • 1550 Computer Science Series
  • 1599 Mathematics and Statistics Student Trainee Series
business and technical de pay plan
0018 Safety and Occupational Health Management Series

0028 Environmental Protection Specialist Series

0301 Miscellaneous Administration and Program Series

0334 Computer Specialist Series

0340 Program Management Series

0341 Administrative Officer Series

0342 Support Services Administration Series

0343 Management and Program Analysis Series

0346 Logistics Management Series

0391 Telecommunications Series

0501 Financial Administration and Program Series

0510 Accounting Series

0560 Budget Analysis Series

0802 Engineering Technician Series

0818 Engineering Drafting Series

0856 Electronics Technician Series

1001 General Arts and Information Series

1035 Public Affairs

1082 Writing and Editing Series

1083 Technical Writing and Editing Series

1084 Visual Information Series

1101 General Business and Industry Series

1102 Contracting Series

1150 Industrial Specialist Series

1152 Production Control Series

1311 Physical Science Technician Series

1410 Librarian Series

1412 Technical Information Services Series

1499 Library and Archives Student Trainee


1521 Mathematics Technician Series

1601 General Facilities and Equipment Series

1640 Facility Management Series

1670 Equipment Specialist Series

1910 Quality Assurance Series

2001 General Supply Series

2003 Supply Program Management Series

2010 Inventory Management Series

2101 Transportation Specialist Series

2130 Traffic Management Series

2181 Aircraft Operation Series

2210 Information Technology Management Series

Business and Technical DE Pay Plan
general support dk pay plan
General Support DK Pay Plan
  • 0085 Security Guard Series
  • 0086 Security Clerical and Assistance Series (Non– CIPMS)
  • 0302 Messenger Series
  • 0303 Miscellaneous Clerk and Assistant Series
  • 0305 Mail and File Series
  • 0312 Clerk-Stenographer and Reporter Series
  • 0318 Secretary Series
  • 0326 Office Automation Clerical and Assistance Series
  • 0332 Computer Operation Series
  • 0335 Computer Clerk and Assistant Series
  • 0344 Management Clerical and Assistance Series
  • 0394 Communications Clerical Series
  • 0399 Administration and Office Support Student Trainee Series
  • 0525 Accounting Technician Series
  • 0561 Budget Clerical and Assistance Series
  • 1087 Editorial Assistance Series
  • 1411 Library Technician Series
  • 2005 Supply Clerical and Technician Series
  • 2102 Transportation Clerk and Assistant Series
what s the next step
What’s the next step?

Now that I know which occupational family and pay plan I will be in, what’s the next step in the conversion process?

Step 2: Generally your current GS grade determines which pay band level you convert into:

DB Pay Band

I – II – III – IV – V

5 levels

DE Pay Band

I – II – III – IV

4 levels

DK Pay Band

I – II – III

3 levels

pay band chart and equivalent gs range
Pay Band Chart and Equivalent GS Range

Occupational Family

Pay Bands and Equivalent GS Grades

Engineering & Science


GS-01 - GS-04


GS-05 - GS-11


GS-12 - GS-14


GS-14 - GS-15




Business & Technical


GS-01 - GS-04


GS-05 - GS-11


GS-12 - GS-13


GS-14 - GS-15


General Support


GS-01 - GS-04


GS-05 - GS-08




GS-14s within the DB pay plan may be converted into Level III or IV (based on a review of the complexity and scope of current duties)

Within your family, which pay band level are you converted into?

Pay band level ranges are linked to the GS schedule, and will adjust each year along with the GS general pay increase (AKA COLA)

Dollar values are determined based upon Step 1 of the lowest GS grade in the band level to Step 10 of the highest GS grade in the band level.

position descriptions
Position Descriptions
  • Once converted, your salary level is no longer referred to in terms of a GS grade and step.
  • Ok, I understand the conversion process, no I want to learn more about pay bands.
  • Before we review pay banding, there is one more important point regarding your conversion into the demo.

Before:General Schedule GS Grade 1-15 Step 1-10

Upon Completion:

Pay Band


I - V

You may be entitled to a pay increase upon conversion!

step 2 cont
Step 2 (cont.)
  • If you are already at Step 10 of your grade at the time of conversion, you will not receive a salary increase when converting into the demonstration project.

Your conversion is complete

  • If you are at Steps 1-9 of your grade at the time of conversion, your pay will be adjusted based upon the number of weeks completed toward the next step.

Proceed to Step 3 of the conversion process

Let’s calculate the buy-in of your step increase!

step 3
Step 3

Step 3: You will need 3 numbers to calculate your “buy in”:

  • Determine the “number of weeks” between steps that applies to you.
    • Step 1 to 2 to 3 to 4 52 weeks
    • Step 4 to 5 to 6 to 7 104 weeks
    • Step 7 to 8 to 9 to 10 156 weeks
  • Calculate the number of full weeks you have completed towards your next step by the conversion date.


  • Use the salary rate chart applicable for your current position (excluding locality pay) to determine the dollars per step interval for your grade.


step 3 cont
Step 3 (cont.)
  • Apply the following formulas using the values you found for
    • a (total required weeks to next step),
    • b (your weeks completed toward next step) and
    • c (dollars per step interval)

Divide b by a: b / a = d

Multiply d times c: d x c = “Buy in” salary increase

Did you know?

No one will ever see a reduction in salary when converting into the demonstration project. Your salary will either stay the same or increase upon conversion into the demonstration.

4 important points about pay banding
4 Important Points About Pay Banding
  • Within your pay band level
    • Promotions are not necessary to progress within a pay band level
    • Pay progression through a pay band level is based upon individual performance
  • Moving to a higher pay band level
    • A promotion is normally required to move to a higher pay band level
    • An individual must receive a total performance score of 21 or higher on their annual appraisal to be considered for a promotion to a higher pay band level
how often can i receive a performance pay increase
How often can I receive aperformance pay increase?
  • How often can I receive a performance pay increase?
    • It’s possible to receive a performance pay increase each year, but there are several factors to consider. One is the score you receive. You must score at least 21 to be eligible for a performance payout. Others are if you are at the maximum pay for your band, or if you are impacted by a performance-based rule. More to follow on the rules. Your performance payout each year is in the form of a salary increase, a lump sum bonus, or most likely a combination of both.
  • What does pay banding mean for a GS-13, Step 10, Engineer?
    • A former GS-13, Step 10 after conversion is now a DB III. Under pay banding he/she could as a result of annual performance pay increases, progress upward in pay over time to the equivalent of a GS-14, Step 10, without requiring a promotion.

There are no more within-grade increases

db pay band v
DB Pay Band V

Senior Scientific Technical Managers (SSTM)

> GS-15

  • These “demo unique” positions have characteristics of both SES and ST positions by combining:
    • Scientific / technical expertise
    • Full managerial and supervisory authority
    • Expertise and responsibilities that warrant classification above the GS-15 level

Band V positions are subject to limitations imposed by DOD. There are 40 Band V positions currently authorized among all S&T personnel demonstration projects.

pay for performance24
Pay for Performance

Increase communication between supervisor and employee

Increase employee involvement in assessment

Provide clear accountability for performance

Facilitate employee career progression

Provide rational basis for salary changes

  • What is the purpose of the Pay for Performance system?
    • To develop a highly productive workforce
    • To provide an effective, efficient and flexible method for assessing, compensating and managing the workforce
pay for performance25
Pay for Performance

An understanding of responsibilities, and provide direction and focus on achieving the results

Performance objectives that define the task with the expected result

  • Will Pay for Performance increase communication between employees and supervisors?

Increased Communication

is a critical factor toward promoting a clear accountability of performance



Changing Requirements

Performance to date

Areas for improvement


Potential obstacles to meeting goals

What is needed from supervisor

Accomplishments to date

are performance objectives the same as is tapes
Are Performance Objectives the same as is TAPES?

The answer is Yes and No


  • Because Performance Objectives still define your specific responsibilities, goals and expected results


  • Because you will not be measured in terms of meeting, exceeding or failing to meet your objectives
performance objectives
Performance Objectives
  • Three Easy Steps
    • Define the task with the expected result
    • Define your responsibility in the task toward achieving the result
    • Include the appropriate metric
      • Goal, Timeline, Quantity, Quality, etc.
performance elements
Performance Elements

How is my total performance score calculated each year?

Your accomplishments are evaluated in the context of the performance elements and a set of performance standards for each element.

There are 6 performance elements

Each employee will be evaluated on 4 or 5 of those performance elements depending on your position

Performance Elements

performance elements30
Performance Elements

The performance elements are weighted and must total 100%

Technical Competence


Interpersonal Skills


These 4 performance elements will be used to evaluate all employees

Mgmt of Time & Resources


Minimum Weights

Customer Satisfaction


Non-supervisory team / project leaders are also evaluated on this element

Team/Project Leadership


Either or not both

Supervisors / managers are also evaluated on this element

Supervision/ Leadership & EEO


performance elements31
Performance Elements
  • The supervisor (or rater) evaluates the employee on each element, in relationship to the employee’s success in achieving his/her performance objectives as compared to the benchmarks (standards)
  • How does the supervisor score each element?
    • By comparing actual performance against benchmarks that have been written for each element between 0 and 50. The benchmarks are different for each element and provide examples of performance at 5 scoring ranges in anywhere from 5-8 different performance factors.
  • Then what?
    • Each element score is multiplied by the element weight and carried out to 2 decimal places.
    • The scores are added and rounded to the nearest whole number to compute the total performance score.
let s look at an example
Let’s look at an example

Technical Competence

Interpersonal Skills

Mgmt of Time & Resources

Customer Satisfaction










X 36

X 48

X 28

X 33








Total Performance Score of 37

What might we surmise about this employee based on his / her elements and weights?

This employee is not a supervisor nor a team leader because he / she would have had a 5th element

Employee is probably in a technical field due to the high weight applied to technical competence

how does the pay for performance system work
How does the Pay for Performance system work?
  • Performance payouts are based upon a percentage of the employee’s salary
  • The higher the performance score, the more shares earned

Annual Performance Period

February 1 – January 31

Employee rated each year

February – March

  • Each employee receives a total performance score and a summary rating of Acceptable or Unacceptable
  • Based upon the total performance score, the employee may receive an annual performance payout

To receive a performance payout, an employee must receive a score of 21 or higher

  • 10 or higher in all elements is acceptable
  • 9 or below in any element is unacceptable, regardless of overall score

Scores range from

0 - 50

what happens if i get a score of 9 or below in any element
What happens if I get a score of 9or below in any element?
  • You must be placed on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) and given an opportunity to improve
  • That applies to a total performance score of 9 or below OR if you receive a score of 9 or below in any one of the performance elements
  • If you are on a PIP in January, you will not receive the general pay increase (aka COLA), until you successfully complete the PIP and continue performing at an acceptable level of performance for 90 days
  • You are then eligible for the general pay increase
    • but it is not retroactive!

All employees in the demonstration performing at an acceptable level will receive the General Pay increase (aka COLA), in January

how are performance payouts budgeted
How are performance payouts budgeted?
  • Within grade increases
  • Quality step increases
  • Promotions between grades (where now those grades are in the same pay band)
  • Performance awards

Replaced by Annual Performance Payouts

These pay features no longer exist under the demonstration.

pay for performance36
Pay for Performance

The initial performance scores are determined by the rater

  • Is that the number that will determine my performance payout?
    • No, all initial scores go through a reconciliation process at several levels within the organization before they are finalized
  • What’s the purpose of the reconciliation process?
    • To ensure consistency and equity in the rating process throughout the organization
reconciliation occurs in several stages
Reconciliation occurs in several stages

Includes all raters under the division chief

First round reconciliation typically chaired at division level

Next Level Supervisor

Next Level Supervisor

























Other first round reconciliations are taking place in parallel

Employees are rated by their supervisor

the next level of reconciliation
The next level of Reconciliation

Division Chief

Division Chief

Division Chief

The next level of reconciliation is chaired by second level of supervision (typically Deputy Director)

Deputy Director/Director

Upon completion of this level reconciliation, scores are reconciled and approved by the Pay Pool Manager

Pay Pool Manager has final authority

grievance procedures for employees not represented by a union
Grievance Procedures for Employees Not Represented by a Union

Pay Pool Manager

Written decision signed

Response 15-60 calendar days

Pay Pool Panel

Together reach a decision

15 calendar days


15 calendar days

15-30 calendar days

Higher Authority

Employees can grieve their performance rating/ score

If employee is still dissatisfied, may request reconsideration from higher official

Submits grievance in writing


performance payouts42
Performance Payouts

What exactly is a pay pool?

Is it the same thing as a pay band?

  • A pay band is a salary range
  • A pay pool is a grouping of employees for the purpose of calculating performance payouts
  • Pay pool considerations:
    • Common organization
    • Supervisors vs. non-supervisors
    • Size (typically between 35 and 300 employees)
    • Geographic location

Center Directors determine the composition of pay pools

how is my performance payout determined
How is my performance payout determined?
  • FIRST, the total $$ available for performance payouts is established by pay pool based on a percentage of total base salaries of employees in the pay pool on 31 January
  • Pay Pool Funding 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Years of Demo
    • Salary Increases 2.4%
    • Bonuses 1.4%
    • TOTAL 3.8%
how do percentages translate into dollars
How do percentages translate into dollars?
  • The base salaries for each individual in the pay pool eligible for a performance rating are totaled on 31 January of each year
  • That total is multiplied by the performance payout factor percentage

Let’s look at an example:

  • Sum of all base salaries in a pay pool $5,000,000
  • Performance payout factor % 3.8%
  • Total dollars available for performance payouts $190,000

The entire $190,000 must be used for performance payouts

how is my performance payout determined45
How is my performance payout determined?
  • SECOND, the total performance score for each individual within the pay pool is translated into shares
  • Each point above 20 is worth 1/10 of a share
  • With a score of 36, how many shares would you have?
    • Answer: 1.6 shares
  • With a score of 43, how many shares would you have?
    • Answer: 2.3 shares

While no shares are earned for scores below 21, it should be noted that a score of 10 and higher is considered “Acceptable”

A score of 9 or below is considered “Unacceptable”

50 3 shares

40 2 shares

30 1 share

20 and below 0 shares

how is my performance payout determined46
How is my performance payout determined?
  • THIRD, we multiply each individual employee’s salary by the shares earned based on his/her score

Salary x Shares =

  • That gives us a new number for each individual in the pay pool
  • We add all of those new numbers together to compute a total “Salary x Shares” value for the entire pay pool

Now we can compute the value of a single share.

example 1
Example #1

Given the following information, let’s calculate the value of one share

  • Payout factor 3.8%
  • Total salaries of all individuals in pay pool $5M
  • Total “salary x shares” value 10M
  • First, calculate the total dollars available for payouts

$5,000,000 x 3.8% = $190,000

  • Next, divide $190,000 by the “salary x shares” value

190,000 / 10,000,000 = 1.9%

1.9% is the value of a single share in this example

so how does the share value impact my performance payout
So, how does the share valueimpact my performance payout?

Now that we know the value of one share, we can calculate your payout

  • Let’s say your total performance score is 38
  • That entitles you to how many shares? 1.8
  • If the value of a pay increase share = 1.2%
  • And the value of a bonus award share = 0.7%
  • Your salary increase will be: 1.2% x 1.8 = 2.16%
  • Your bonus award will be: 0.7% x 1.8 = 1.26%

Performance payouts are initially determined as a percentage of your base salary (excluding locality pay) The locality is then added.

Share Value

Your Shares Based

on Rating

example 2
Example #2
  • In this example, if your base salary on 31 January was $60,000, and you scored a 38, your performance payout would be:
  • Salary increase 2.16% x $60,000 =$1,296
  • Lump sum bonus 1.26% x $60,000 =$756
  • So the value of a share is key
    • The value of a share cannot be computed until all of the scores for each individual in the pay pool have been finalized. As such, share values may vary from one pay pool to another.
    • Now let’s look at why your salary increase might be converted to bonus

Performance is evaluated once a year, therefore, you could potentially receive a salary increase and bonus each and every year

performance based rules51
Performance Based Rules
  • There are 4 possible circumstances in which you may be unable to receive a salary increase
    • You are already at the maximum pay for your pay band level
    • You are on retained pay that exceeds your pay band level
    • You are impacted by the Midpoint Rule
    • You are impacted by the Significant Accomplishment Rule

The first 2 circumstances have to do with reaching or exceeding the maximum salary of your pay band level

The next 2 circumstances have to do with performance-based rules

midpoint rule
Midpoint Rule
  • Midpoint Rule
    • You cannot move beyond the salary mid-point of your pay band level unless you achieve a score of 30 or higher
    • Once your base pay exceeds the salary mid-point of your pay band level, you must receive a score of 30 or higher to receive any additional base pay increases
    • You will still receive the payout to which you are entitled, however, it will all be in the form of a lump sum bonus
  • Why do we have this rule?
    • It ensures that individuals who move into the higher end of a pay band level are demonstrating a high level of performance and continue to do so to receive additional base pay increases


how to calculate the midpoint of your pay band level
How to calculate the midpoint of your pay band level
  • Find the salary at the low end of the pay band level
  • Find the salary at the high end of the pay band level
  • Add them together
  • Divide by 2
significant accomplishment contribution rule
Significant Accomplishment – Contribution Rule

This rule applies to only DB-III employees at a certain salary range

  • The range is 15% of the top DB-III salary
  • The Significant Accomplishment-Contribution Rule impacts the amount of base salary payout an employee can receive
  • Any base salary payout that cannot be received due to application of this rule will be given to the employee in a lump sum bonus

Top of the range

To calculate the range to which this rule applies

- GS-14 Step 10 equivalent

Bottom of the range

- Top of the range x 85%

significant accomplishment contribution rule cont
Significant Accomplishment – Contribution Rule (cont.)
  • Employees in top 1/3 of pay pool scores
    • Receive full base pay increase
    • Lump sum cash bonus
  • Employees in middle 1/3 of pay pool scores
    • Receive base pay increase limited to 1%
    • Remaining base pay increase converted to cash bonus
  • Employees in bottom 1/3 of pay pool scores
    • Receive no base pay increase
    • All performance payout in the form of cash bonus award

Top 15% of DB-III

Salary Range:



$101,130 *

* 2006 pay rate without locality

Applies only to this group

and only in this pay family

and level.

supervisory team leader pay adjustments differentials58
Supervisory/Team Leader Pay Adjustments/Differentials
  • Funded separately from performance pay pools
  • Approved by Center Directors based in part on recommendations from the Personnel Management Board
  • Up to 10% for Supervisors
  • Up to 5% for Team Leaders
  • Cannot cause employee to exceed maximum pay rate in his / her pay band level
  • Does not apply to DB-V pay band level employees
  • What’s the difference between an adjustment and a differential?
pay adjustment pay differentials
Increases in base pay

Reviewed annually with possible increase/decrease based on appraisal scores

Cash bonus paid on a pay period basis

Specified not-to-exceed date; can be terminated at discretion of a Center Director at any time

Pay Adjustment / Pay Differentials

Pay adjustments and differentials can be used to compensate supervisors/ team leaders as an incentive for additional supervisory/leader responsibilities; where salary inequities exist or to reward exemplary performance

Pay Adjustments

Pay Differentials

  • Advanced academic teaching, study or research
  • Self-directed or guided study
  • On-the-job work experience
    • Public, private or non-profit organization
  • One sabbatical per employee in a 7-year period
  • Eligible to apply after completing 7 years of federal service
  • Paid Sabbatical up to 12 months
  • Unpaid Sabbatical up to 6 months
  • Agree to continue employment in CERDEC-SEC after paid sabbatical for minimum of 3x sabbatical length

Employees must sign a service obligation agreement

degree training
Degree Training

Educational program


  • Expanded opportunities to pursue degrees under the demonstration project for all series that require degree training to meet critical skills
  • Primarily for advanced degrees
    • Except where undergraduate degree or credits are prerequisites
  • Center level personnel management board evaluates and approves applications

Applicant must show relationship between . . .

leaving the demonstration64
Leaving the Demonstration
  • When leaving the demonstration due to promotion, transfer or reassignment, a 2 step process is followed to first convert your demo project salary back to GS
  • Determine GS Grade
    • DK-III employees convert to GS-9
    • All other pay band levels follow the Step 4 rule:
      • Take the highest applicable GS rate range chart
      • Find the GS grade in which your demonstration salary > Step 4
      • That is your GS grade
  • Determine GS rate of pay (step)
    • Again use the highest applicable GS rate range chart
    • Looking at the GS grade you convert into, if your demonstration salary falls between 2 steps, convert to the higher step

Singled out because only one GS grade equivalent applies to DK-III; all other pay band levels have more than one GS grade equivalent

base/ locality/ special rate

(starting with the highest GS grade in your pay band level, and continuing successively with lower grades)

You cannot convert out at a lower grade than when you entered the demo, unless your pay was decreased due to an adverse action

If demo pay exceeds Step 10, convert to next higher grade, then determine GS rate of pay

reduction in force
Reduction in Force







Years of Credit

10 years

9 years

8 years

7 years

6 years







Years of Credit

5 years

4 years

3 years

2 years

1 year

Occupational family

Specialty work codes

Pay band


Occupational series

Position qualifications

Competitive areas defined by geographic location

Credit for performance ratings

Length of service adjusted for additional years based upon sum of last 3 performance scores during preceding 4 years

Competitive levels

  • Key Points to Remember
    • Pay increases are now predicated upon performance—tenure is no longer a factor
    • Even if your salary is topped out, you can still receive bonus awards each year
  • Impact on Participants
    • Pay banding offers greater opportunities to increase pay without a promotion—capitalize on it
    • Know how your supervisor feels you’re doing—if unsure, ask
    • Seek development opportunities
  • Worthy of your Attention
    • Get familiar with the elements you will be rated on and how they are weighted
    • Familiarize yourself with the benchmark standards
    • Throughout the year, document your accomplishments relevant to your objectives
faq s
  • Q: What exactly is a personnel demo?
  • A:A "personnel demo" is an opportunity to test changes in personnel practices or procedures that result in improved Federal personnel management. The authority to conduct personnel demonstration projects and waive existing personnel laws was part of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978.
  • Q: Are there other DoD personnel demo projects?
  • A:Yes. There are eight active personnel demo projects in DoD. Two in the Navy, five in the Army, one in the Air Force and the DoD Acquisition Work force Demo which includes all services.
  • Q: What is the duration of the demo? Is there an evaluation period for success or failure of the demo project and what are the criteria?
  • A:The initial test period is 5 years. At the 5-year point, the demo will be re-examined for permanent implementation; changes and another 3-5 year test period; or expiration.
  • Q: Who originally designed this personnel demo?
  • A:"Demo Teams" were established to design the major aspects of the plan, e.g. Pay & Classification, Staffing-Employee Development and Performance Management. All levels of employees and supervisors were invited to volunteer. At Fort Monmouth 75 people (which included four supervisors) volunteered. Sixteen employees volunteered at Fort Belvoir (four of which were supervisors) and fifteen at Fort Huachuca (three of which were supervisors).
  • Q: How is the pay and classification system different under a demo project?
  • A:General Schedule (GS) grades (GS-1 thru GS-15) are replaced with broad pay bands. The current 60 occupational series are grouped into one of three occupational families. Each occupational family is divided into three to five pay bands. Pay bands follow typical levels of progression from entry--through--developmental--full performance--expert/supervisory--to--managerial.
faq s cont
FAQ’s (cont.)
  • Q: What are the advantages to Pay Banding?
  • A: A pay band covers a larger range of pay than a single grade. For example, DB-03 in the E&S family spans the salary of a GS-12 (1) to a GS-14 (10). Pay progression in a band does not require competitive promotion. A competitive promotion is required only for movement to a higher band. The experience of other demo projects has indicated the advantage of pay bands are: increased satisfaction with pay, reduced turnover of high performers and reduced conflict between management and CPO over job classification.
  • Q: Does each person have the potential to go to the top salary of his or her band?
  • A: Yes, based on their individual performance.
  • Q: Will pay banding result in higher salary costs?
  • A: Research on pay banding, has, indicated average salaries did rise at the China Lake project after 14 years to 3% above the GS rate. At the National Institute for Science and Technology (NIST) after 8 years costs increased by 10%.
  • Q: What about a reduction in pay?
  • A: A reduction in pay can occur if an employee is placed into a lower pay band within the same occupational family or placed into a pay band in a different occupational family with a lower salary. This reduction may be for cause (poor performance or misconduct) or for reasons other than cause. Examples of reasons other than cause are reclassification of duties to a lower pay band; the employee requests to be moved to a lower paying position or a placement action as a result of RIF.Employees demoted for cause are not entitled to retain their pay, however employees demoted for reasons other than cause may be entitled to pay retention.
faq s cont71
FAQ’s (cont.)
  • Q: What happens when someone reaches the top of a pay band?
  • A: When someone reaches the top of a pay band they are basically "capped" just as they are under the GS system when they reach step 10 of their grade.
  • Q: Will the range of salaries for each pay band increase with the annual General Schedule (GS) pay Increase (aka COLA)?
  • A: Yes.
  • Q: Will there still be individual job descriptions?
  • A: Yes, but the format will change. The major duties will be broadly stated, while a specialty work paragraph defines the specific skills, knowledge and abilities needed for the position as applicable.
  • Q: If I go into the demo and later go back to a GS position, how will my grade and pay be determined?
  • A: All demo projects contain provisions to determine the grade and pay for an employee who moves to a GS position. These provisions are spelled out in detail in the Internal Operating Procedures, Chapter 15, which are posted on this site.
  • Q: What about Probationary Periods for New Hires?
  • A: Newly hired employees currently complete a one-year probationary period. Under demo the probationary period is extended to three years for newly hired Engineers & Scientists. The purpose of extending the probationary period is to allow supervisors a longer period of time to fully evaluate these employee's performance contributions.
faq s cont72
FAQ’s (cont.)
  • Q: What’s the demo performance appraisal system?
  • A: The demo project uses a pay for performance (PFP) approach to performance management. PFP promotes a clear accountability of performance and provides a rational basis for salary changes (performance pay-outs) by linking pay to performance and eliminates longevity based within-grade increases and quality step increases.

Each employee begins the rating cycle with individual, results-oriented, customer-focused performance objectives.

  • Q: Is the employee going to be made aware of what the formula was that his performance payout was based on, i.e. how his new salary was derived?
  • A: Yes, employees are given a performance appraisal document, which shows the performance score and what the payout amount is in terms of pay increase and bonus.
  • Q: What are the calendar dates for the rating period? Are they different for each Pay Band?
  • A: The rating period will be 1 February - 31 January of each year. All employees will be on the same rating period, regardless of band or occupational family. The normal rating period will be one year. An employee must be on approved performance objectives for a minimum of 120 days to be rated.
  • Q: If an employee disagrees with the rating, is there a grievance procedure?
  • A: Yes, Employees can grieve their rating/score. The procedures are outlined in the Internal Operating Procedures, which are posted on this site.
faq s cont73
FAQ’s (cont.)
  • Q: If the majority of the workers want the demo but the unions who represent the employees does not, can they stop it?
  • A: Unions represent the employees under their jurisdiction (i.e., in their bargaining unit) whether or not they are dues paying members. Employees need to let the union leadership know how you feel. The Labor Relations Specialist at the Fort Monmouth CPAC is Mr. Jim Maloney (X21386). He is the liaison between management and the unions, and can provide you with information.
  • Q: Can you post union representatives names and phone numbers at Fort Monmouth so employees can contact them?
  • A: NFFE Local 476      Attn: Warren M. Dasczynski     P.O. Box 120     Fort Monmouth, N.J. 07703     732 532-6770     AFGE Local 1904     Attn: Mr. John Poitras     PO Box 231     Eatontown, NJ 07724     732 532-4675
faq s cont74
FAQ’s (cont.)
  • Q: How are promotions done under pay banding? The old system jumps you at least two steps…how will that be handled in the future?
  • A: When an employee is promoted to a higher pay band or to a demo position from a GS grade the salary after promotion will be a 6% base pay increase or the lowest salary in the next band whichever is higher. The maximum amount of pay increase for promotion cannot exceed $10,000 or other such amount as stated by the Personnel Management Board. If the minimum rate of the new pay band is greater than $10,000, the minimum rate of the new band will be the new salary.
  • Q: How does NSPS impact this demo?
  • A: NSPS is the acronym for the National Security Personnel System, which is the new human resources management system for DoD civilian employees. It was enacted by section 1101 of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 04, November 24, 2003. While NSPS is to be the single personnel system for all of DoD, the legislation did stipulate that it “shall not apply to specified S&T laboratories currently conducting Personnel Demonstration Projects before October 2008. Information on NSPS is available at
points of contact
Points of Contact


  • Keith Dorr (732) 427-3179


  • Don Jenkins (703) 704-1129


  • Heidi James (804) 734-2946


A – Co

Cr – F

G – Pay for

Pay Pool – Position Description

Position Sensitivity – Rea

Ret - Z

  • Adverse Action – Actions taken under 5 CFR 752 against employees who are not in a probationary period for: disciplinary reasons (such as leave abuse), non-disciplinary reasons (such as inability to perform the duties of a position), or Legal reasons (some misconduct such as striking).
  • Army and Technology Work Force (A&TWF) – The personnel component of the Army acquisition system. The A&TWF includes permanent civilian employees and military members who occupy acquisition positions, or who are members of an acquisition corps, or who are in acquisition career development programs.
  • Base Pay Increase – An increase to the actual rate of pay or base pay.
  • Base Pay - An employees base pay is their annual salary before locality pay is added.
  • Bonus – A one-time lump sum payment that does not increase an employee’s base pay.
  • Career Related Experience in Science and Technology (CREST) – A component of the Student Educational Employment Program. Provides work experience directly related to a students academic program. The Army centrally funds CREST positions.
  • Center Director – The Director of a Center, e.g. RDEC, SEC, etc.
  • Competitive Area – The organizational unit(s) and geographical area(s) in which employees compete during a Reduction in Force (RIF).
  • Competitive Level – A numerical designation applied to all positions at the time they are established. Positions that share a common pay band, occupational series, duties and working conditions, are assigned to the same competitive level.
  • Critical Acquisition Positions (CAP) – Those senior positions, at GS-14 and above (or pay band equivalent). Occupants of these positions are required to have AAC membership.
  • DB – The pay plan identifier for the Engineering and Science occupational family.
  • DE – The pay plan identifier for the Business and Technical occupational family.
  • Delegated Classification Authority (DCA) - This is the authority to classify positions, which includes determining the title, series, and grade/pay band of civilian positions in accordance with classification standards, grading criteria, regulations and statutory requirements.
  • Detail – The temporary assignment of an employee to a different position or set of duties for a specified period of time, with the employee returning to his/her normal duties at the end of the assignment. Employees do not need to satisfy qualification requirements in order to be detailed, except for any specific educational requirements.
  • Demonstration Project – An experiment to test new and different personnel management concepts to determine if the result would improve Federal personnel management.
  • DK – The pay plan identifier for the General Support occupational family.
  • Functional Code – A designation that describes kinds of work activities for scientists or engineers such as research, development, test and evaluation, design, management, etc. Functional codes apply to the DB occupational family only.
  • FWS – The abbreviation and symbol for the Federal Wage System, which is the basic classification and compensation system for trades and labor occupations in the Federal Government.
  • General Pay Increase – An annual increase for GS employees (often referred to as a COLA) as recommended by Congress and approved by the President.
  • GS – The abbreviation and symbol for General Schedule. The General Schedule is the basic classification and compensation system for white-collar occupations in the Federal Government as established by the Classification Act of 1949.
  • Input Rating – A performance rating prepared when an employee or supervisor leaves their position prior to the end of a rating period. This is similar to a “special rating” that provides input to the annual appraisal. The rating supervisor submits the input rating to the final rater. The input rating is not subject to the reconciliation process, is not considered a rating or record and has no performance payout associated with it.
  • Locality Pay – A pay differential granted to all Federal employees within a specified area with the goal of making Federal employees’ pay more closely aligned to their non-government counterparts. The percentage above basic pay depends on the locality where an employee works. Under the demonstration project all employees continue to receive locality pay.
  • Occupational Series – A numerical code that corresponds to a recognized occupation in the Federal service. For example 855 is the numerical code or occupational series that corresponds with Electronics Engineer.
  • Occupational Family – A grouping of occupations e.g. 855, 854, 1515 similar in duties, qualifications and career development into a larger family. The demonstration project will have three occupational families: Engineers & Scientists, Business & Technical and General Support.
  • Pay Banding - Pay banding is a pay structure that consolidates GS grades into broader pay bands with relatively wide salary ranges. Performance and competency versus time in grade determine annual pay increases.
  • Pay for Performance – The name given to the performance appraisal system that will be used in the demonstration project. It is a performance-based pay progression strategy that is linked to pay banding.
  • Pay Pool – A group of employees common to an organization who share in the distribution of salary increases and cash bonuses. Funding is based on a percentage of the sum of salary dollars of the employees in the pay pool. Pay pools typically range from 35-300 employees.
  • Pay Pool Manager – The designated individual who makes final decisions on scores and payouts. The Pay Pool Manager is responsible for reviewing the scores of employees in the pay pool for consistency and fairness and resolving any scoring issues.
  • Pay Pool Panel – The group of supervisors/managers who reconcile scores and payouts for the pay pool employees.
  • Performance Benchmarks – Performance benchmarks express examples of performance at different levels. The benchmarks will be used to provide a standard against which to compare actual performance. A set of benchmarks is written for each of the performance elements at different levels and linked to a range of scores.
  • Performance Elements – Generic attributes of job performance that an employee exhibits in performing job responsibilities and associated performance objectives. Four performance elements will apply to all employees: Technical Competence, Interpersonal Skills, Management of Time and Resources and Customer Satisfaction. Two additional elements apply to either Team Leaders and/or Supervisors. All elements are critical.
  • Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) – The written plan that is provided to an employee whose performance is unacceptable.
  • Performance Objectives – Statements that specify what is expected of the employee during the appraisal period. These are not simply the activities or tasks already described in a position description. Objectives define an individual’s specific responsibility with regard to major functions and tasks of their job and are consistent with duties and pay levels.
  • Position Description (PD) – A written document that records the occupational series, title and grade/pay band of the position. The PD describes the key or major duties and responsibilities along with other position requirements.
  • Position Sensitivity Code - A designation of the level of risk associated with the position. This is based on an assessment of the degree of damage or adverse impact that the incumbent could have on the national security or efficiency of the service. Designations are Non-critical Sensitive, Non-sensitive or Critical Sensitive.
  • Preference Eligible – Veterans, spouses, widows or mothers who meet the statutory definition in 5 U.S. Code 2108. Preference eligibles are entitled to have 5 or 10 points added to their earned score on a civil service examination. They are also accorded a higher retention standing in RIF. Preference does not apply, however, to internal actions such as promotions.
  • Probationary Period – The period of time in which supervisors evaluate a newly hired employee’s performance and conduct to determine whether the employee should be retained.
  • Promotion – A promotion is the result of an employee moving to a higher pay band in the same occupational family or to a pay band in a different occupational family with a higher maximum salary. The move from one band to another must result in an increase in the employee’s salary to be considered a promotion.
  • Rater – The individual who formally rates or appraises the employee’s annual performance. Normally, this is the first-line supervisor.
  • Rating of Record – The official rating that is entered into the personnel system and retained in the employee’s official personnel file.
  • Reassignment – The change of a qualified employee from one position to another without promotion or demotion.
  • Retention List – A listing of employees in rank order by type of appointment (career, career conditional, etc.), veterans’ preference, and length of service as adjusted by performance ratings. A retention list is used to determine who is affected in a Reduction in Force (RIF).
  • RIF Notice – A written notice given to employees affected by RIF. The notice provides information on how the employee is affected (separation, change to lower pay band, reassignment, etc.), procedures to appeal or grieve the RIF action, effective date of the RIF action, etc.
  • Sabbatical – A period of paid or unpaid leave granted to employees to engage in study or uncompensated work experience that will benefit the organization and contribute to the employee’s development and effectiveness.
  • Staffing Supplement – A salary supplement added to an employees base pay when the highest regular rate in a pay band is lower than the special salary rate the employee formerly earned. The staffing supplement replaces the special salary rate, which disappears under the demonstration project.
  • Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) – A component of the Student Educational Employment Program. Provides work experience that is directly related to a student’s academic program. Organizations fund these positions.
  • Transfer – The movement of an employee from a position in one Federal agency to a position in another Federal agency.
  • Weights – Values assigned to performance elements that define the relative importance of the factors. The sum of the weights for all of the elements must equal 100.
  • Veterans’ Preference – See “Preference Eligible.”
  • Volunteer Service – Unpaid service to the Government covered by a written agreement between the volunteer and the employing organization.

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