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Definitions for frequently encountered AcqDemo terms and concepts

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ABOVE THE RAILS This region is the area above the upper rail ("A" Region) of the normal pay range. Under CCAS, an employee whose salary versus OCS plots within this region could be denied part or all of the general pay increase and will receive neither a contribution rating increase nor a contribution award.
APPROPRIATELY COMPENSATED REGION The appropriately compensated region ("C" Region) is the area on or between the upper and lower rails of the Normal Pay Range. Under CCAS, an employee whose salary versus OCS plots within this region, must receive the full general pay increase, may receive a Contribution Rating Increase of up to 6%, and may receive a Contribution Award.
BELOW THE RAILS This region is the area below the lower rail of the normal pay range ("B Region"). Under CCAS, an employee whose salary versus OCS plots within this region is considered to be inappropriately compensated and must receive the general pay increase, may receive a contribution rating increase, and may receive a contribution award.
BROADBAND LEVEL A broadband level is a pay range derived from the General Schedule pay rates. There are four broadband levels within the NH (Technical and Management Professional) and NJ (Technical Support) career paths, and three broadband levels within the NK (Administrative Support) career path.
CAREER PATH One of three categories into which an employee is grouped that corresponds to the employee's occupational series.
CATEGORICAL SCORES One of the two types of scores employees receive for each factor at the end of the CCAS rating cycle. These scores provide a contribution, and help indicate whether employees are contributing at, above, or below expected level.
COMPETITIVE AREA A competitive area is the organizational unit(s) and geographical area(s) in which employees compete during a Reduction-in-Force (RIF).
CONTRIBUTION AWARD The Contribution Award is a lump-sum payment based upon an individual's contribution to the mission of the organization. This award does not affect base salary.
CONTRIBUTION-BASED ACTIONS Contribution-based actions are actions taken as the result of inadequate contribution and include: change in assignment; change in broadband and/or career path; reduction in pay; and / or removal from Federal Service. See also CIP.
CCAS CCAS (Contribution-Based Compensation and Appraisal System) is a contribution-based assessment system that links salary adjustments to the individual’s overall contribution to the organization’s mission.
CONTRIBUTION IMPROVEMENT PLAN (CIP) The Contribution Improvement Plan is a document issued by the rating official that outlines specific areas in which the employee is inadequately contributing. This document states how the employee's contribution is inadequate; what improvements are required; recommendations on how to achieve increased contribution; assistance that the agency will offer to the employee in improving inadequate contribution; and the consequence of failure to improve.
CONTRIBUTION RATING INCREASE (CRI) A Contribution Rating Increase is an annual increase in an employee's base salary, dependent upon an individual’s contribution to the mission of the organization. CRI counts toward an employee's retirement and is a permanent increase that can only be reduced through adverse action.
DESCRIPTORS Descriptors are narrative statements that describe contributions typical for the broadband levels, and are the basis for contribution assessment. Descriptors are not used individually to assess contributions but taken as a whole to derive a single evaluation for each factor.
DISCRIMINATORS Discriminators are the various categories in which an employee's contribution is assessed. Discriminators for each factor are the same for all career paths and all broadband levels.
DISPLACEMENT For purposes of this demonstration project, displacement means the movement via RIF procedures of a fully qualified employee into a position held by an employee of lower retention standing in the same or lower broadband level. The undue interruption standard of 5 CFR 351.403(a)(1) serves as the criterion to determine if an employee is fully qualified. In addition, to be fully qualified, the employee must meet DAWIA statutory requirements for the position, if applicable. (However, statutory waivers shall continue to apply.)
EXPECTED RATING (OCS) Each employee in AcqDemo has an expected rating (OCS). This is determined by the employee's base salary and is mathematically correlated to the General Schedule. The salary of a GS 1 Step 1 is equal to OCS 0. The salary of GS 15 Step 10 is equal to OCS 100. Each employee, therefore, will have an Expected OCS that ranges from 0-100.
FACTORS Factors are the basis for assessing contributions. The same six factors (problem solving, teamwork/cooperation, customer relations, leadership/supervision, communications, and resource management) apply to all career paths.
FEEDBACK Feedback is communication between the rating official and employee about the employee's contribution during the appraisal cycle. Feedback should focus on the employee's strengths and weaknesses in areas of contribution to the organization's mission, professional development, and career development activities.
GENERAL SCHEDULE PAY INCREASE The General Schedule Pay Increase allows for a percentage increase to the General Schedule, as authorized by Congress and the President each year. All employees whose contribution is rated as appropriate or above expected will receive the full annual GPI. Employees whose contribution is rated below expected may receive all, some or no GPI, depending on organizational policy.
INADEQUATE CONTRIBUTION An employee is considered to be inadequately contributing if his/her contribution in any factor is at or less than the midpoint of the next lower broadband level (or a factor score of zero for broadband level I employees). Additionally, when an employee's contribution plots in the area above the upper rail of the normal pay range, the employee is considered to be contributing inadequately.
LOWER RAIL The curved line that is below the standard pay line (SPL) by an 8 percent difference in salary from the SPL throughout the OCS range. It is used to define the lower boundary of the NPR.
MASTER RETENTION LIST List of competing employees in descending retention standing order as defined by their tenure, veterans' preference, and length of service as determined by their adjusted service computation date.
NORMAL PAY RANGE (NPR) The Normal Pay Range is the region bounded by the upper and lower rails. An employee scoring in this region is considered to be appropriately compensated and can receive up to a 6% salary (CRI) increase as well as GPI and CA.
OCCUPATIONAL SERIES One of the lines of work identified under the present, government-wide classification system. In AcqDemo, each occupational series is assigned to one of three career paths.
OVERALL CONTRIBUTION SCORE The Overall Contribution Score (OCS) is a numerical value representing the employee’s contribution to the mission of the organization. It is computed by averaging the scores of the six contribution factors.
PAY POOL A group of employees among whom a certain amount of salary increase and award money is distributed. Each participant in the demonstration project is a member of only one pay pool.
PAY POOL PANEL The pay pool panel, which includes the pay pool manager and rating officials (who normally report directly to the pay pool manager), conducts a final review of the OCSs and the recommended compensation adjustments for the pay pool members.
PAY POOL MANAGER The manager of the pay pool has final authority over scores and annual pay adjustment. This manager is typically the director or deputy director of an organization and can be either civilian or military.
POSITION REQUIREMENTS DOCUMENT The Position Requirements Document (PRD) for each employee provides job-specific information, broadband level descriptors, and other information pertinent to the job, including staffing requirements and contribution expectations. This one- or two-page document replaces the agency-developed position description form.
PROBATIONARY PERIOD The probationary period is the time during which supervisors evaluate a newly hired demonstration project employee’s contribution and conduct within the acquisition workplace environment to determine whether the employee should be retained.
RAILS (UPPER AND LOWER) The rails are lines +/-8.0 % (approximately +/- 4 points) from the Standard Pay Line and define the Normal Pay Range.
RATING OFFICIAL The rating official is the individual who formally rates or appraises the employee for the annual rating of record. Normally this is the first-level supervisor. The terms "rating official" and "first level supervisor" are used interchangeably in this tutorial.
RATING OF RECORD The rating of record is the official rating that is entered into the employee’s official personnel file (or database).
RETENTION STANDING A competing employee’s retention standing in RIF based on tenure, veteran’s preference, length of service, and contribution, as compared to other employees in the same broadband level.
STANDARD PAY LINE (SPL) The Standard Pay Line is a mathematical relationship between contribution and salary. The Standard Pay Line tracks from the lowest pay, GS-1/1, to the highest pay, GS-15/10. It is increased annually in accordance with the General Schedule pay increase.
SUPERVISOR The first-level supervisor is usually the individual who formally rates or appraises the employee for the annual contribution assessment (rating of record). The terms "rating official" and "first level supervisor" are used interchangeably in this tutorial.
UPPER RAIL The curved line that is above the SPL by an 8 percent difference in salary from the SPL throughout the OCS range. It is used to define the upper bound of the NPR.
WEIGHTS Weights are values from 0.5 to 1.0 that may be used to define the relative importance of the factors.

Glossary