|DAMI-CP (AR 690-13)
||21 Nov 1991|
MEMORANDUM FOR SEE DISTRIBUTION
SUBJECT: Position Upgrades and Qualification Determinations (CIPMS MEMO No. 7)
- AR 690-13, Civilian Intelligence Personnel Management System (CIPMS) - Policies and Procedures, dated 30 Sep 90.
- DAMI-CP Memo, dated 11 Jun 90, Subject:   Guide to Classifying GS Positions in CIPMS and Implementation of CIPMS Primary Grading Standard (PGS) for Supervisory/Managerial Positions
- DAMI-CP Memo, dated 14 Aug 91, Subject:   CIPMS Model External Recruitment and Merit Promotion Plan (CIPMS Memo No. 5)
- A number of questions have been received concerning promotions occurring with or as a result of implementation of CIPMS Army Occupational Guides (AOGs). The information furnished below and in the enclosure provides guidance on affecting these actions as well as the interrelated issues of when competition and qualification determinations are required.
- Several CIPMS AOGs have been finalized and are now being implemented for non-supervisory positions. With regard to supervisory positions, MACOMs continue to have the implementation options specified in reference 1b. Application of either an AOG or the PGS, Part 3, is not a guarantee that a position will be upgraded. Although we anticipate that the majority of CIPMS grades will not change, it is clear that some positions will be upgraded. We have been advised of several cases in which initial application of the CIPMS AOG or PGS, Part 3, has tentatively resulted in evaluation at more than one grade level above that previously achieved under the OPM standard.
- Positions may be upgraded for a variety of reasons, to include planned assignment of higher-level duties; gradual accretions of higher level duties and/or responsibilities; correction of classification errors; and application of new or revised classification standards/guides.
- Promotions resulting from either planned assignment or gradual accretions of higher-level duties require review and verification of necessary qualifications. Unless an exception is allowed by AR 690-13  or the local merit placement plan, competitive procedures for such promotions will be used.
- Promotions resulting from either the correction of classification error or application of new or revised classification standards/guides do not require review and verification of qualifications. These types of promotions are processed noncompetitively.
- Grade level changes may have a profound impact on organization budgets and, potentially, the morale of other members of the work force. It is therefore incumbent on both management and the servicing Civilian Personnel Office (CPO) to work in partnership to ensure sound application of classification and position management procedures before final decisions are made. The following guidance will help ensure accuracy and equity in the decision-making process:
- Prior to application of the AOG or PGS, Part 1, all affected job descriptions must be carefully reviewed for accuracy and adequacy.
- If the job description is accurate as currently written, it must be redescribed in CIPMS format and evaluated as required by the AOG or PGS, Part 3 to determine grade impact.
- If the current job description is inaccurate for any reason, it must be corrected. Inaccuracies include changes in major duties and/or responsibilities (whether planned or by accretion), and changes in organization, mission, or functions that need to be incorporated in the job description. After inaccuracies have been corrected, classification guidance should be applied to determine grade impact.
- When grade impact is found, the evaluation should be carefully reviewed to verify that factor degree points were correctly assigned. Particular attention should be given to points assigned in the process of interpolation. Positions going up more than one grade should be reviewed for independent verification by a different classifier/manager or a board of classifiers/managers.
- Upon completion of the review, correction, and impact determination process, management must decide whether the impact (if any) is within the scope of the organization's best interests with regard to such considerations as efficiency, budget, work force morale and retention. At this point, if changes are necessary, management can control grade impact through restructuring of work.
- When management makes the final decision regarding the desired organizational work and/or position structure, the supervisor and the CPO representative must review each resulting position. The reasons for any upgrades (of occupied positions) will then determine what procedures must be followed.
- If the sole reason for upgrade is application of an AOG or PGS, Part 3, to a position which had been accurately described and classified by the previous standard, then the incumbent may be immediately noncompetitively promoted. This type of promotion (even if more than one grade level) may be made without regard to a separate qualification determination. In this specific situation, the incumbent's qualifications for the position are directly transferable from one personnel system to the other.
- If the upgrade is not based solely on the application of an AOG or PGS, Part 3, a separate qualification determination is required. In addition, a determination must be made as to whether or not competition is also necessary.
- When making qualification determinations, CIPMS "Quality of Experience" requirements must be met. Generally, this is one-year of specialized experience at the next lower grade. Note, however, that this one year requirement may be met by prior experience in other positions or through the substitution of education, or a mixture of both.   (Remember that CIPMS is not subject to OPM time-in-grade restrictions.) Additional judgment is needed in those cases where an upgrade can be attributed in part to a change in the job and in part to the application of a CIPMS standard. "Quality of Experience" requirements should be imposed unless the upgrade would have occurred despite any changes made to the job.
- Unless a specific exception is authorized by AR 690-13, competition is required when planned management action or accretion of duties raises the grade of a position from one grade band to another, a position changes from one career path to another, or the job changes from non-supervisory to supervisory. Reference 1c above provides examples of exceptions to competition authorized in CIPMS. When noncompetitive promotions are authorized, positions may be engineered downward or incumbents detailed until qualification requirements are met.
- Application of the AOGs and PGS, Part 3, must be done carefully and accurately. Subject matter experts and personnel specialists worked closely to ensure currency and validity of these standards. While in the past there may have been a tendency to inflate job descriptions to achieve perceived equity, the CIPMS classification guides will provide that equity without such inflation. For this reason, it is essential that they be precisely applied to accurately described positions. Cooperation between functional and CPO partners in this process is essential.
- Issues arising, which cannot be resolved at the local level, should be forwarded to the appropriate MACOM. Those that require further action should be forwarded by the MACOM to the Intelligence Personnel Management Office (IPMO). Point-of-contact at this office is Joyce Grignon, COM (703) 285-5200 or DSN 356-5200/5201.
MACOM Directors of Personnel
MACOM CP-35 Career Program Managers
Civilian Personnel Officers
Activity Career Program Managers
DENIS R. GRAFFUM
Director, Intelligence Personnel