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Army DCIPS FAQs



The following FAQs are intended to provide answers to common questions regarding Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS). The HQDA-ODCS, G-2 Intelligence Personnel Management Office (IPMO) Transition Team will update these FAQs as new information becomes available.


Q: What is DCIPS?

A: The Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS) is a Title 10 Excepted Service civilian Human Capital management system for the DoD Intelligence Community. DCIPS legislation was passed in October 1996 and it provides the Secretary of Defense the authority to establish a separate personnel system to meet the unique needs of the Defense Intelligence Community. This authority was delegated to the Under Secretary for Defense (Intelligence) (USD(I)) and Human Capital Management Office (HCMO). DCIPS includes:

  • A new occupational structure that defines work in terms of work categories and work levels;
  • A common Pay Banding and Compensation architecture that is associated with the work categories and work levels throughout the Intelligence Community (IC);
  • A common performance management system to measure employee work accomplishments achieved against work objectives; and
  • A comprehensive career management program that will provide a roadmap for a career path.

  • Q:Why do we need DCIPS?

    A:DCIPS strengthens our ability to accomplish the mission in our ever-changing national security environment.

  • DCIPS accelerates the Intelligence Community’s (IC) use of a Total Force, to include military, civilian personnel, Military Reserves, National Guard, and contractors, operating as one cohesive unit with each performing the work most suitable to their skills.
  • DCIPS provides a civilian human resources system that appropriately recognizes and rewards our employees’ performance and their contributions to the Department of Defense (DoD) and individual component missions.
  • DCIPS also provides new tools to retain and reward our current high-performing workforce, and provides modern initiatives for the IC to be a more competitive employer of choice in order to recruit new employees with the competencies needed to meet the Army Intelligence mission.

  • Q:Who within the Army Intelligence functional community is converting to DCIPS?

    A: There are three categories of employees: General Government (GG), Wage Grade (WG), and SES. Only the GG employees are converting to DCIPS. WG and SES employees are not converting to DCIPS.

    Q: When are we converting to DCIPS?

    A: DCIPS has two components: performance management and pay bands. The BETA group consisting of approximately 300 HQDA-ODCS, G-2 and INSCOM personnel will convert to the performance management component of DCIPS on 1 April 2009. They will convert to the pay band component in July 2009. The purpose of the BETA group is to begin performance management objective setting and test the PAA Tool before full conversion in July 2009. The rest of the Army Intelligence functional community is converting to both components of DCIPS in July 2009.

    Q: Who from Army is coordinating DCIPS implementation?

    A: The HQDA-ODCS, G-2 Intelligence Personnel Management Office (IPMO) serves as the headquarters for DCIPS implementation throughout Army Intelligence and coordinates policy and implementation efforts with offices such as the Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1 for Civilian Personnel, Office of the General Council, and the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs (ASA(M&RA)). The IPMO has also partnered with KADIX a contract team which together with the IPMO staff comprises the IPMO Transition Team to guide Army towards a successful DCIPS implementation.

    Q: How will I receive information about DCIPS and the implementation process?

    A: Here are the key ways for you to receive information:

  • Updates from your Transition Manager;
  • Town halls;
  • DCIPS website;
  • The EYE of DCIPS monthly newsletter;
  • E-mails and other correspondence from the IPMO Transition Team.

  • Q: How will I benefit from DCIPS implementation?

    A: DCIPS will:

  • Allow DoD’s mission and goals to cascade through the organization which affords employees the opportunity to link performance expectations to the overall mission;


  • Clarifies the link between an employee’s contribution and the organizational goals to help the employee to understand their role in achieving the overall mission;


  • Provide employees greater opportunities for recognition and higher pay based on individual performance;
  • Promote more open communication between supervisors and employees;
  • Encourage employees to take ownership of their performance improvements and success;
  • Improve employee understanding of their role in career development, progression and professional achievement.

  • Q: Will there be software to assist in DCIPS implementation?

    A: Yes. DCIPS processes will be enabled through software tools that will interact with our existing Defense Civilian Personnel Data System (DCPDS). Here is a description of the tools that will be used:

  • My Biz allows employees on-line access to view information from their official personnel records including appointment, position, salary, benefits, awards, bonuses and performance. In addition, employees can update their work telephone number, email address, handicap codes, ethnicity and race identification, and foreign language proficiency.
  • My Workplace brings key information about personnel together in one place for supervisors. My Workplace keeps supervisors informed about their employees’ personnel actions. After conversion to DCIPS, the Performance Appraisal Application (PAA) tool which is part of My Workplace, will be used to generate and maintain performance plans.

  • Q: What happens to my retirement, health insurance, and other benefits when I convert to DCIPS?

    A: DCIPS does not impact the rules governing retirement benefits and eligibility, health and life insurance, leave, attendance, and other similar benefits.

    Q: Will I still receive within grade increases (WGIs)?

    A: Under the consolidated DCIPS pay bands and performance management system, there are no “step increases” as they currently exist in the graded pay system. Instead, pay increases and/or performance bonuses are based on your performance.

    Upon conversion to the consolidated DCIPS pay bands, eligible employees may receive a salary increase based on the length of time accumulated toward their next within grade increase. This is known as the “WGI Buy-in.” Employees at the step 10 level or above of their grade will not receive a WGI Buy-in at the time of conversion as there is no further salary increase due.

    Q: Do I need to do anything to ensure my position converts to the consolidated DCIPS pay bands?

    A: No. Conversion happens automatically based on your permanent position of record.

    Q: In general, is there anything I should be doing while DCIPS is being implemented?

    A: Yes. Here are some of the things you can do:

  • Actively participate in the town halls that will be held starting in January. This is a great forum for you to learn about DCIPS and get your questions answered.
  • Talk to your Transition Managers about the DCIPS implementation process and ask them questions and/or share your concerns with them.
  • Actively participate in DCIPS training and implementation processes as they become available.
  • Read the EYE of DCIPS monthly newsletter and other DCIPS communications to learn as much as possible about DCIPS and the implementation process.
  • The more you can learn about DCIPS now, the more comfortable you will feel once it has been implemented.

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    General Conversion

    Q: Who within the Army Intelligence functional community is converting to DCIPS?

    A: Positions/employees appointed to federal service under 10 USC 1601. There are three categories of employees: GG (Grades Equivalent to GS), Federal Wage System (WG, WL, etc) and Defense Intelligence Senior Executive Service (DISES)/Senior Leaders (DISL). Only the GG employees are converting to the new DCIPS pay for performance system. FWS and DISES/DISL employees are not converting to the new DCIPS.

    Q: When are we converting to DCIPS?

    A: DCIPS is a full life-cycle human resources system, i.e., Classification, Staffing and Recruitment, Training and Career Management, Performance Management, Management and Employee Relations, etc. Two significant changes are: performance management and occupational structure (classification to include conversion to pay bands). The BETA test group consisting of employees from HQDA ODCS, G-2, and Army G2X converted to the performance management component of DCIPS on 1 April 2009. BETA participants will convert to pay bands along with the rest of the Army Intelligence community in July 2009. The purpose of the BETA is to test a shortened performance cycle under DCIPS performance management processes, as well as the Performance Appraisal Application (PAA) Tool before full conversion in July 2009.

    Q: Why is there a moratorium on personnel actions?

    A: In preparation for the conversion into DCIPS, a moratorium for processing personnel actions prior to the conversion effective date must be implemented. The purpose of the moratorium is to ensure all necessary personnel actions for employees are processed in a timely manner and to ensure the conversion process runs smoothly. Human resource-related actions such as pay changes, promotions, resignations, LWOP, awards, etc. that are to be effective on or before the conversion effective date, must be submitted no later than the timeframe specified below. Emergency actions such as death, retirement and removal actions will be processed during the moratorium.

    Questions on the moratorium should be directed to the servicing Civilian Personnel Advisory Center (CPAC).


    RPA SUBMISSIONS AND PROCESSING DURING DCIPS CONVERSION
    If the action is: Proposed Effective Date is: RPA must be in the CPAC NLT:
    Pre-Conversion Reclassification/Reassignment Action On or prior to the effective date of conversion to DCIPS 6 weeks prior to the effective date of conversion to DCIPS
    Award (except for QSI - see ‘Pay Action’ below) On or prior to the effective date of conversion to DCIPS 2 weeks prior to the effective date of conversion to DCIPS
    Extension of Appointment (expiring during transition period.  These actions will be processed with an earlier effective date than would otherwise be used.) On or prior to the effective date of conversion to DCIPS 2 weeks prior to the effective date of conversion to DCIPS
    Non-Pay Action (Reassignments, Leave Without Pay, Realignment, etc) On or prior to the effective date of conversion to DCIPS 2.5 weeks prior to the effective date of conversion to DCIPS
    Pay Action (Promotion, Change to Lower Grade, Quality Step Increase, etc.) On or prior to the effective date of conversion to DCIPS 6 weeks prior to the effective date of conversion to DCIPS
    Accessions/New Hires** On or prior to the effective date of conversion to DCIPS
    (Unless previously set – new EODs will not be set to be effective during the moratorium)
    6 weeks prior to the effective date of conversion to DCIPS
    Emergency Actions (Death, Removal, Suspension, Accessions Critical to Mission Actions will be processed manually during the conversion period and input in the database after the conversion is completed.


    Q: I am a GG-0132-13 who received a Quality Step Increase (QSI) at the end of my last appraisal period (AUG 08). I am affected by the DoD mandated transition from TAPES to DCIPS and have a mandatory closeout date that now gives me a rating period of eight months. In accordance with U.S.C. 5336, Part § 531.505 (see below), my supervisor is not allowed to submit me for a second consecutive QSI. Is there some kind of waiver or exemption that allows employees whose performance has been exceptional, but whose rating period has been shortened due to DoD implemented mandates to receive a second QSI in less than the required 52 week period?

    § 531.505 (Restrictions on granting quality step increases) 52 weeks is the required waiting period between QSI awards. "As provided by 5 U.S.C. 5336, a quality step increase may not be granted to an employee who has received a quality step increase within the preceding 52 consecutive calendar weeks."


    A: The 52 week requirement in relation to the granting of the QSI continues to apply as we transition to the new DCIPS pay for performance system.

    Management, however, still has the flexibility of offering an Exemplary Performance Award until conversion as authorized under AR 690-13.

    a) The EPA (a two step increase) recognizes GG DCIPS employees whose continued exemplary performance far exceeds the standards expected for their assigned grade level and for an extended period (three years).

    b) Prohibition on Granting Two Monetary Awards for the Same Achievement. DCIPS employees cannot receive both an EPA and a Performance Award, when the most recent performance rating is the basis for both awards. AR 690-13 states that performance awards will be granted in accordance with AR 672-20, which prohibits giving more thane one monetary or more than one honorary award for the same act or achievement. For example, a DCIPS employee may be granted a QSI, if the criteria has been met, but may not receive both the QSI and a Performance Award. However, a DCIPS employee may receive a QSI or other performance award for each of the last two years and on the third year be eligible for an EPA. The EPA may also be used as a retention incentive if all other criteria are met.

    c) Specific criteria: Employee must be in the same grade for last three years. (Details and Temp promotion during three years - ok; Employee on Retained grade - not ok.) Timing is KEY in granting EPA-- Must be same grade at start and ending of three year period. Documented performance for the last three consecutive years is rated Successful - Level 1. Current and two previous rating types must be annual. The EPA (two-step increase) can go above a step 9 or 10.


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    Pay Bands

    Q:What is the pay band structure?


      Work Categories
    Pay Bands and Salary Ranges Technician/ Administrative Support Professional Supervision/Management
    Pay Band 1
    $17,540 - $45,753
    Entry/
    Developmental
       
    Pay Band 2
    $33,477 - $61,628
    Full
    Performance
    Entry/
    Developmental
     
    Pay Band 3
    $49,544 - $96,509
    Senior Full Performance Supervisor/
    Manager
    (Full Performance)
    Pay Band 4
    $70,615 - $114,047
      Senior Supervisor/
    Manager
    (Senior)
    Pay Band 5
    $98,156 - $134,148
      Expert Supervisor/
    Manager
    (Expert)
    *Note: Salary ranges reflect 2009 Base Pay rate and do not include a Local Market Supplement (LMS) (aka Locality Pay).

    Q: What happens to my current grade and step under the GG pay scale?

    A: Upon conversion to DCIPS, all Army DCIPS civilian personnel will convert from their position of record to their new pay band that is appropriate to the type of work they perform and their current level of responsibility. Employees can use the conversion calculator on the Army DCIPS website to see the work category their position maps to under DCIPS. Please use the following links to access the Army DCIPS website:

    NIPRnet: http://www.dami.army.pentagon.mil/site/dcips/

    SIPRnet: http://www.dami.army.smil.mil/site/dcips

    JWICS: http://www.dami.ic.gov/site/dcips

    Q: How do employees move from one pay band to another?

    A: Generally, movement across pay bands will be through a competitive process (i.e., vacancy announcements), much like promotions from grade to grade occur today.

    Q: How do you move within a pay band?

    A: Salary increases within a pay band are determined annually based upon performance reviews and performance ratings.

    Q: Which occupational series are considered “professional” and “technical and administrative support” work categories?

    A: The Intelligence Community Directive (ICD) 652 defines the occupational structure and work categories for the Intelligence Community (IC). The work categories describe broad sets of related occupational groups characterized by common types of work. In applying these criteria, IC components will base their decisions on the work category most applicable to the predominant type of work performed or assigned (e.g., primary purpose of the work, required qualifications), except as otherwise provided by the ICD 652. When you take and complete DCIPS 101, you will have the opportunity to see what work category your position maps to under DCIPS by using the Conversion Calculator referenced above.

    Q: Can location of the position have an impact on the classification of the position?

    A: The location of a position is not a classification factor under DCIPS. Position classification under DCIPS considers the overall nature and purpose of the position's duties and responsibilities, along with the required qualifications. A position's classification is based on work that is performed on a regular and frequent basis, is crucial to the position's primary purpose, and governs the primary qualifications.

    Q: Is there a set percentage increase tied to the overall performance rating?

    A: There will be guidance set by USD(I) and the Army Intelligence community each year for the percentage tied to the overall performance rating. Other considerations like, work accomplishments, achieving organizational goals, on-board all year, recent promotions, and total resulting salary will be considered by pay pool panels in determining pay increases.

    Q: Will there be a limit on the number of employees allowed in each of the pay bands?

    A: It is expected that USDI will recommend a preferred distribution of employees for each pay band, but this has not been determined yet.

    Q: What mechanisms are in place to reward those employees that are high performers who are at the max of the pay band, but are unable to be promoted to the next band (for one reason or another, such as lack of available billets)?

    A: Those employees who are at the maximum end of their band and are high performers will be treated in the same fashion as those employees who are high performers but at the highest step within their current GG-level. Therefore, nothing changes in this area with the conversion to DCIPS. Employees at the top of the pay bands will still be eligible to receive non-monetary performance awards as well as annual performance bonuses based on their performance rating. DCIPS remains subject to biweekly and aggregate pay caps as dictated by statue.

    Q: Will employees in the same pay band have the same position description?

    A: If employees have the same job title and are in the same pay band and same work category, they will have the same position description.

    Q: What exactly is the GG-13 split and why is it happening?

    A: In the USD(I) memo dated April 8, 2008, Mr. James R. Clapper, Jr. stated that the allocation of positions to Pay Bands 4 and 5 at conversion will be limited to no more than 55% of the authorized GG/GS strength, with not more than 15% of positions allocated to Pay Band 5. These allocations are necessary to ensure each organization’s work and workforce is consistent with mission requirements as well as the budget. In order to meet this mandate, all GG/GS-13 professional employees in steps 1 and 2 will convert into Pay Band 3, and all GG/GS-13 professional employees in steps 3 through 12 will convert to Pay Band 4.

    The decision was made on the assumption that employees in GG/GS-13, steps 1 and 2, are the most junior employees in the GG/GS-13 grade and are performing work that is consistent with their positions in Pay Band 3, rather than in Pay Band 4. If this assumption is incorrect, organizations may request a waiver on a case-by-case basis (please see “How can I get a waiver” below). Exceptions will also be considered for positions that include special mission requirements.

    Q: How can I get a waiver for the GG-13 split?

    A: If your organization's management in the Army Intelligence community would like to request a waiver, they will need to follow the following guidelines.

        First, the request for the waiver must come from the Commander to HQDA ODCS G-2, IPMO for review. The letter submitted by the commander must include the:

  • Employee's full name,
  • Position title,
  • Complete organization's location including installation, Branch and Section,
  • Information on the mission and structure of the organization,
  • Organizational chart detailing the title, series, grade, and job number of all positions in the unit, including military positions.

  •     This justification must indicate the work the employee is doing that is above and beyond what is included in their position description. In addition to the letter, there will be a format made available to the commands for the complete waiver request process. The letter and supporting documents must be submitted to the IPMO for review. The final approval authority is the USD(I).

    Q: If a Command wants to make all their GG-13's in band 3 (regardless of the step-level) vice splitting them (based on step) into band 3 and 4, do they need to submit a waiver request to the IPMO or can they just do this with their servicing CPAC?

    A: There is no provision to place all 13's in band 3 unless all 13's are step 1 or 2. If you will recall, USD(I)'s original decision was to place all 13's in Band 4 as the original band structure. After further analysis, per USD(I)'s memo, the decision was make to split the 13's between the bands.

    The IPMO recently elevated the same question to USDI. Response is there is no provision/waiver to place all 13's in Band 3. The Band 4 position can be reclassified/reengineered to a band 3 (Full Performance) when the incumbent departs the position.

    Q: We have a position we want to hire as a GG-12, full performance 13. When the employee is selected, the employee will be a pay band 3 (GG 12 equivalent) employee; when management is ready to "promote" the employee to the next grade, will there be an opportunity to move the position to the next pay band?

    A: The following answer applies if the person in the scenario reports for duty prior to the conversion date on 19 July 2009. The person would still remain in pay band 3 after he/she is promoted to the old GG-13. GG-13 step 1 and 2 will convert into Pay Band 3. Pay Band 3 is the Full Performance Band and will accommodate the employee's salary range when management decides all requirements have been met for the GG-13.

    When management is ready to promote to the full performance level (GG-13), the person will receive the higher amount of money within Pay Band 3 that would equate his salary to a 13 step 1. However, if the report/hire date is post conversion, there would be no grandfathering as to how the salary would be set when he/she is assigned the higher level (current GG-13 level) duties.

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    Q: Will I lose money upon conversion to DCIPS pay bands?

    A: No. Employees will move into DCIPS pay bands based on their permanent position of record without a loss in pay. In many cases, employees will receive a one-time salary increase, based on the length of time accumulated toward their next within grade increase. This is known as the “WGI Buy-in.” To receive a WGI buy-in, an employee must be at an acceptable level of performance and the employee must be below Step 10 of their current pay grade.

    The conversion calculator in DCIPS 101 will help you determine your estimated new base salary upon conversion to DCIPS in July 2009.

    Once we convert to DCIPS, money that would have been used for within grade increases, QSI, GPIs and EPAs will become part of the money available for annual performance payouts. Employees will have opportunities to receive additional salary increases each year based upon the results of their performance evaluations.

    Q: When our employees are converted to DCIPS, they receive a conversion pay. How is this funded, especially if the organization has not forecasted or does not have the funds available?

    A: All employees will convert into DCIPS at their current base pay rate, adjusted for the pro-rated share of their next WGI earned at the date of conversion. Funding for WGI Buy-in was provided to the Army by the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (USDI) and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) for conversion. These funds will be transferred from Army G-2, Directorate for Resources Integration to the responsible resource offices in late June prior to conversion.

    Q: Can an agency give bonuses in lieu of pay increases?

    A: No, it is expected that agencies, e.g. Army Intelligence, DIA, NGA, etc., will provide salary increases to all employees with the following exceptions: a) the employee does not achieve a performance rating of at least "successful;" (In this case, the employee receives neither a performance-based pay increase or a bonus.) b) the employee is at, or above, the top of the pay band. Bonuses are intended to be supplemental awards for exemplary employees, not take the place of salary increases.

    Q: What happened to the COLA?

    A: Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) are only paid to employees in non-foreign OCONUS locations such as Hawaii. COLA will continue to be paid to those employees unless Congress decides to accept a recommendation from OPM that the COLA be replaced with an overseas locality rate.

    Q: How will the Army Intelligence community allocate funds for pay?

    A: USD(I) will dictate the percentage of payroll (or the average pay increase) that the DCIPS community will allocate. That same percentage should apply to each pay pool.

    Q: If an employee meets expectations (receives a Successful rating of record), is he or she given the General Pay Increase (GPI) and the Local Market Supplement?

    A: Employees who are performing at a "successful" level may receive a mix of a pay increase and/or bonus. However, the relative percentage increase is likely dependent on the overall distribution of the individual performance ratings. There is a possibility for a pay "floor" to be established. This "floor" would be set by USD(I) annually and would be a guaranteed increase for each employee receiving an overall "successful" rating. This floor would roughly be equal to the General Pay Increase (GPI) each year.

    Q: Is it possible for "management" to offer employees that meet expectations their increase all in the form of a bonus (i.e., no salary increase)?

    A: Given fiscal and other constraints, pay pool panels may have the flexibility to structure an appropriate mix of a pay increase and/or bonus.

    Q: I have heard that if a DCIPS employee accepts another DCIPS position in the same pay-band, that there is NO opportunity for a wage increase (as with NSPS, where the employee can negotiate up to a 5% increase). In other words, the employee would have to accept the new position at their current salary with no negotiation ability to increase their income. Is this truly the case?

    A: The information you heard is correct. Below is an extract from draft DCIPS Policy, 1400.25 Volume 2006, Compensation Administration:

         d. Setting Pay Upon Lateral Transfer Within and Between DoD Components With DCIPS Positions.

    - DCIPS employees who accept or are directed to move without a break in service within the Department of Defense and the IC, through competitive or non-competitive processes in accordance with Volume 2005, will be moved at their current salary as of the effective date of the transfer movement, except that:

    (1) For employees whose transfer movement to another component occurs effective on a date such that they are not eligible for consideration for an annual performance-based pay increase in the losing DoD Component, and who were evaluated as "Successful" or above, the hiring manager in the gaining DoD Component may, at his or her discretion, consider the employee for a salary increase of not more than would have been available to another employee in the gaining Component with the same performance history, at a comparable position in the pay band to which being appointed, and performing comparable work.

    (2) For employees whose transfer movement to another component occurs effective on a date such that they are not eligible for a within-pay-band developmental salary increase for which they would have been eligible had the transfer movement not occurred, the hiring manager in the gaining DoD Component may, at his or her discretion (consistent with Component published guidelines and in consultation with the losing Component), adjust the employee's salary on the effective date of the transfer movement by an amount not greater than that which would have been received as a developmental salary increase in the losing Component.

          e. Setting Pay Upon Promotion.

    - A promotion occurs when an employee moves to a higher pay band within the DCIPS base compensation structure, either within his or her current DoD Component or another Defense Intelligence Component. Upon the effective date of the promotion, an employee will receive a base pay increase of 6 percent of the base pay rate or the minimum rate for the pay band to which the employee is being promoted, whichever is greater. In no case will an employee's rate of pay be set higher than the maximum rate for the pay band.

    Q: What motivation is there for someone to take on additional responsibilities within their own pay band without a pay increase? Isn’t this just more work for the same money?

    A: Even in the existing grade-step system, employees make lateral moves for any number of reasons that are not directly tied to a pay increase. The same will be true under DCIPS. Keep in mind, gaining additional expertise and skills, working in a different area, demonstrating ability to handle increased responsibility can all be important factors when competing for positions in higher bands.

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    Q: How is Performance Management going to change under DCIPS?

    A: The DCIPS performance management system is intended to provide a common framework and a fair and equitable process for evaluating performance throughout the Department of Defense (DoD). With the implementation of DCIPS, the Army Intelligence functional and HR communities will no longer use Total Army Performance Evaluation System (TAPES).  DCIPS mandates the use of the Performance Appraisal Assessment (PAA) Tool, an automated performance management system; a change from the paper-based TAPES. The PAA Tool shows relevant performance elements and performance objectives for each employee and also captures a midpoint and final rating.

    Employees will continue to be encouraged to take ownership of their performance and success. Civilian employees at all levels will be recognized for their success and their accomplishments, and conversely, held accountable for poor results of their work. Open communication between supervisors and employees will continue to be critical to ensure that goals and objectives are clearly communicated and understood by both employees and supervisors.

    Q: How does the DCIPS performance management process more closely link organizational and agency-wide objectives to individual performance objectives?

    A: DCIPS can help create a line of sight showing how command/division, work unit, and individual performance contribute to the overall Army Intelligence functional and National Intelligence community results. Usually when employees are able to see how their work is connected to the strategic plan and how it affects the entire Army Intelligence functional community, they are more committed to performing at a higher level. Mission-support employees can also connect to the strategic plan under relevant goals for their workstreams. A critical aspect is that each employee develops performance objectives that can be aligned with the needs of the organization. At the end of the appraisal cycle, employees can then see how their work benefited the overall mission.

    Q: What is the process for the first performance cycle between 19 July 2009 and 30 September 2010?

    A: The first performance cycle for DCIPS will begin on 19 July 2009. From 19 July to 18 August 2009, supervisors and employees will draft and discuss 3 to 6 individual performance objectives. Supervisors will input these objectives into the PAA Tool after discussion with their employees. Then Reviewing Officials will review and approve the performance objectives in the PAA Tool. Throughout the performance cycle, supervisors and employees will continue to have discussions on employee performance. About halfway through the performance cycle, employees will be rated on their progress toward meeting their performance objectives and their supervisor’s rating will be inputted into the PAA Tool. This midpoint review rating will be used for the mock pay pool cycle that will occur around March 2010. The final employee rating will occur in September 2010. The final rating will be used for evaluating employee performance increases and bonuses in November 2010. The final payout will be in January 2011.

    Q: Under DCIPS, will there be a standard supervisor-to-employee ratio? If so, what is it?

    A: There will not be a standard ratio, but it’s well recognized that DCIPS’ new emphasis on performance management and performance-based pay decisions will require more supervisory and management time and attention. Senior leaders will assess their organizations to determine whether structural adjustments are needed so that managers and supervisors can effectively plan and rate performance, and provide useful performance feedback.

    Q: What safeguards are in place to ensure fairness in the performance management process?

    A: Ultimately, any pay or performance management system reflects the integrity of, and is only as effective as, the people who manage it. To encourage effective use of DCIPS, and integrity in DCIPS-related activities, each agency implementing DCIPS will establish a Performance Review Authority (PRA) that will establish transparent procedures that will include setting expectations, monitoring processes, auditing and evaluating results, providing employees an avenue to appeal their performance ratings, and holding managers and employees accountable.

    Q: I am a military supervisor so I am not under DCIPS but my employees will be under DCIPS. How does this affect my role as their supervisor?

    A: Military supervisors and NSPS supervisors will be responsible for planning, evaluating, rating, documenting and providing feedback on their employee’s performance. So even though the military supervisors and NSPS supervisors are not under DCIPS, it is critical that they learn about DCIPS since their employees will be affected by DCIPS. Military supervisors and NSPS supervisors should look at this as an opportunity to use their leadership skills to mentor their employees and help their employees achieve their individual goals.

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    Q: Can commands develop a standard objective for employees in similar positions?

    A: Commands are discouraged from developing standard performance objectives for employees because objectives must be tailored to the unique responsibilities and assignments of individual employees and provide the specific objectives that each is expected to accomplish. Employees and supervisors are encouraged to use iSuccess, an on-line application tool, to help develop effective job objectives. iSuccess is a self-paced, interactive course that uses a step-by-step approach, as well as a “virtual coach” and “virtual employees” to teach employees how to write SMART performance objectives and self-assessments.

    Q: Does the Reviewing Official have to approve the form with the performance objectives before it is discussed with the employee?

    A: Yes, all performance objectives must be reviewed and approved by the Reviewing Official before the Rating Official discusses them with the employee. This is to ensure consistency among the employees under the Reviewing Official’s purview.

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    Q:Is there a quota for assigning ratings?

    A: No. There are no quotas for assigning ratings to employees across the Army Intelligence functional community.

    Q: Does the PRA change ratings?

    A: Under DCIPS, the Performance Review Authority (PRA) does not have the authority to change ratings. If the PRA has concerns regarding a rating, it does have the authority to return evaluations to the Reviewing Official and subsequently the Rating Official before ratings are finalized. Only the Rating Official may change an employee’s rating.

    Q: Are final performance ratings scored to one decimal point (i.e., can employees receive a score of 3.8)?

    A: Yes, each performance objective and each performance element on the performance assessment form receives a rating of 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest). An employee's final score is based on an average of these scores and are averaged to one decimal point (3.8).

    Q: Can I receive a rating of "Outstanding" even if my supervisor does not rate me as a 5 on each performance objective and each performance element?

    A: Yes, the overall rating is an average of the performance element rating and the performance objective rating. An overall rating of 4.6 or higher will result in an Evaluation of Record of "Outstanding."

    Q: What is the appeals process for employees to “grieve” ratings?

    A: You may challenge only the overall evaluation of record. The performance objectives rating and the performance elements rating are not subject to the reconsideration process.

    An employee has 10 calendar days from the receipt day to file a written request for reconsideration with the PRA. A copy of the request and the evaluation must be sent to the Rating Official, the Reviewing Official, and CPAC MER. The request for reconsideration may include a request for discussion with the PRA. The request must include a copy of the rating being challenged, state what change is being requested, and provide the employee’s basis for requesting the change. The employee must also provide relevant supporting documentation.

    An employee may identify someone to act as their representative to assist in pursuing the reconsideration request. Their representative may not have any real or perceived conflict of interest regarding the request for reconsideration. The PRA shall determine whether there is any potential conflict of interest.

    The PRA has 15 calendar days to decide. During this time, the PRA may confer with the Rating Official about the reconsideration. The decision of the PRA is final.

    If the employee makes an allegation that the overall evaluation was based on prohibited considerations, such as race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, or reprisal; on prohibited personnel practices; or on protections against whistleblower reprisal, then it will not be processed through the reconsideration process. Instead, it will be processed through the Equal Employment Opportunity discrimination complaint procedures, DoD Administrative Grievance process, Army Intelligence administrative grievance process, Component Inspector General, or other appropriate avenues.

    Q: If we are moving to a system that rates 1 to 5 and everyone gets a 3, do we all get the same amount of money?

    A: That is unlikely because each raw score for performance objectives are averaged, and are likely to extend to a decimal. The same occurs when calculating the performance element score and then calculating the average of the two. This final score is carried out one decimal place, and the exact numeric score is used when computing payouts.

    Q: What safeguards will be in place to guard against individual employees trying to game the system and take credit for someone else’s work?

    A: There are several protections built into the DCIPS performance management system to make sure that your work is properly evaluated and credited. Every employee will be rated against performance objectives that are developed between the supervisor and the employee. These objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

    Next, with the priority in the Intelligence Community being collaboration and teamwork, all employees are required to assess their performance against a common performance element, Engagement and Collaboration. Finally, the rater narratives will serve as the justification for the overall summary rating, and must be distinct and separate for any rating above or below Successful. The Reviewing Official will see both employee and rater narratives as part of the process, working to ensure ratings are fair, accurate and that all criteria is applied in a consistent manner across the organization.

    Q: Despite all the emphasis on “teamwork,” being evaluated and thus paid on performance as a team member, doesn’t this system really encourage individuals to strike out on their own to excel – “I can be no better than the average of my team, but alone I can shine,” even to the point of making others look bad?

    A: DCIPS will direct pay increases and bonuses to employees according to their performance ratings against standards that value six key behaviors, called Performance Elements, including teamwork. Collaboration is a critical performance element across the Intelligence Community, reflected in DCIPS performance rating criteria. Your average rating against your six performance elements makes up half of your overall performance rating. “How” you go about accomplishing your goals is equally important as “what” you accomplish.

    Q: How will a supervisor rate an employee’s performance if the employee works at a separate location or a different shift than the supervisor?

    A:Performance management is a priority for supervisors, managers, and employees under DCIPS. The success of a supervisor's performance is linked to the performance of their employees and the execution of performance management and pay-for-performance responsibilities. Supervisors are accountable for those employees who work at remote locations and on other shifts.

    Q: What is the impact of an unsuccessful rating?

    A: The initial dialogue between the employee and the supervisor sets the stage for follow-up midpoint and evaluation reviews throughout the rating period. If performance issues or deficiencies are identified, supervisors should contact the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center Management Employee Relations (CPAC MER) for guidance which may include instituting a formal process such as placing an employee on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP).

    Before giving an employee an “Unacceptable” rating, an employee must have provided the employee the opportunity to improve with the PIP at least 60-90 days before the final rating.  The PIP identifies the:

    • Performance objective(s) and/or performance element(s) that are being performed in an unacceptable manner
    • Actions needed to be taken to meet the objective(s) and/or element(s)
    • Assistance that will be provided
    • Consequences for failing to improve during the PIP period of 60-90 days


    If an employee does end up receiving a rating of "1" on any performance objective, the overall evaluation of record is a rating of "Unacceptable." There are no entitlements to a general pay increase, or local market supplement increase, nor is the employee eligible for bonus consideration.

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    Q: If I experience a change of rater in the middle of the performance cycle, how is this handled under DCIPS?

    A: When your rater changes, your original rater (from the start of the performance cycle) completes a closeout performance evaluation as part of a close-out process. At the end of the performance cycle, your new rater considers the closeout performance evaluation when conducting your performance appraisal for the end of the evaluation period.

    Q: How do supervisors rate deployed employees?

    A: Closeout performance evaluations shall be completed for all employees detailed to another organization and on deployments for periods of 90 days or more. Such evaluations shall be completed by a supervisor or manager responsible for the employee’s work while on detail or deployment. The completed closeout evaluation shall be forwarded to the employee’s Rating Official for consideration in the preparation of the annual performance evaluation.

    Q: I was on a temporary assignment for 75 days. How is the work that I accomplished during that period documented?

    A: For periods of deployment or temporary assignment for 90 days or less, the supervisor at the location of deployment or temporary assignment who is knowledgeable of the employee’s contributions to that organization will provide a brief narrative of the employee’s contributions during the deployment for submission to the employee’s Rating Official at the parent command or organization.

    Employees, in their submission of accomplishments for the evaluation period, should include a brief summary of their accomplishments during any deployments or temporary assignments completed during the current performance evaluation period.

    Rating Officials are responsible for ensuring that all periods of deployment or temporary assignment in support of the Army, Department of Defense and Intelligence Community missions are considered and documented during the end-of-year performance evaluation.

    Q: What if an individual returning from active military duty does not have the required 90 days of civilian service at the close of the rating period?

    A: Employees who return to their civilian positions following a period of active military duty will be awarded a presumptive rating of record. The presumptive rating will be their last summary rating of record prior to departure for uniformed military service, but not less than a summary rating of "Successful" for the rating period that has closed.

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    Q: What is the plan for providing DCIPS training to the Army Intelligence community?

    A: Preparing the workforce for conversion is essential and detailed planning is underway right now. The Intelligence Personnel Management Office (IPMO) Transition Team has developed a training strategy and is working the details of that strategy with each Transition Manager to ensure that each command receives the right type of training in the right amount of time. 85% of the Army Intelligence community will be trained by the end of June 2009. The training strategy was developed to ensure people have as many opportunities as possible to receive training. Successful DCIPS implementation rests on the completion of implementation milestones, to include training.

    Q: What does the DCIPS training curriculum look like? What types of courses will we have to take?

    A: Employees and supervisors must take DCIPS 101 before taking any other training courses. DCIPS 101 is an online training course that serves as the first step in getting you ready for the change. From there, all employees and supervisors will need to take the DCIPS conversion training course, an instructor led course that leads each participant through the ins and outs of DCIPS. Additionally, this course touches on the core elements, the performance management process and SMART objectives, all of which are critical to DCIPS conversion. Employees also need to take iSuccess DCIPS, a web-based course on performance management that will help each employee become more prepared to set their performance objectives. For a complete list of DCIPS training courses, please visit the DCIPS website (see below for website address).

    NIPRnet: http://www.dami.army.pentagon.mil/site/dcips/

    SIPRnet: http://www.dami.army.smil.mil/site/dcips

    JWICS:http://www.dami.ic.gov/site/dcips

    Q: Do managers/supervisors have to take any additional training beyond what is required of employees?

    A: Managers/supervisors are required to take more hours of training than employees, and the completion of all training will be monitored, tracked and reported to the Army Intelligence IPMO level, the USD(I) level and at the ODNI level.

    Q: I tried to sign up for a training course but I was told I might have to wait for the next course since I am not a BETA participant. Why is this?

    A: In April 2009, the IPMO Transition Team will be launching a DCIPS BETA to help facilitate a successful DCIPS performance management process for the Army Intelligence functional and HR communities. The BETA includes employees from HQDA ODCS, G-2, and Army G2X. These groups convert to the DCIPS performance management system on 1 April 2009 so it is critical that they receive DCIPS training by the end of March 2009 in order to be prepared for conversion. Therefore, these individuals will be given priority for all of the training courses offered during March 2009. Non-BETA participants will be able to attend these courses if there are not enough BETA participants to fill the seats.

    Q: Why do I need to complete DCIPS training by the end of June 2009?

    A: The Army Intelligence community is converting to DCIPS performance management and pay bands on 19 July 2009. In June, the workforce will begin developing performance objectives. Therefore, the workforce needs to be trained so they understand how to write performance objectives. Additionally, the workforce also needs to be knowledgeable about the entire performance management and pay band process so they can understand where the performance objectives fit into the process and why they are so important.

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