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Title 5

Displaying title 5, up to date as of 9/15/2021. Title 5 was last amended 9/13/2021.

Title 5

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5 U.S.C. 1103 (c)(2)(C), 3396, 3397, 4101 et seq.


74 FR 65388, Dec. 10, 2009, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A - General Provisions
§ 412.101 Coverage.

This part applies to all incumbents of, and candidates for, supervisory, managerial, and executive positions in the General Schedule, the Senior Executive Service (SES), or equivalent pay systems also covered by part 410 of this chapter.

§ 412.102 Purpose.

(a) This part implements for supervisors, managers, and executives the provisions of 5 U.S.C. chapter 41, related to training, and 5 U.S.C. 3396, related to the criteria for programs of systematic development of candidates for the SES and the continuing development of SES members.

(b) This part identifies a continuum of leadership development, starting with supervisory positions and proceeding through management and executive positions Governmentwide. For this reason, this part provides requirements by which agencies:

(1) Develop the competencies needed by supervisors, managers, and executives;

(2) Provide learning through continuing development and training in the context of succession planning; and

(3) Foster a broad agency and Governmentwide perspective to prepare individuals for advancement, thus supplying the agency and the Government with an adequate number of well-prepared and qualified candidates to fill leadership positions.

Subpart B - Succession Planning
§ 412.201 Management succession.

The head of each agency, in consultation with OPM, must develop a comprehensive management succession program, based on the agency's workforce succession plans, to fill agency supervisory and managerial positions. These programs must be supported by employee training and development programs. The focus of the program should be to develop managers as well as strengthen organizational capability, and to ensure an adequate number of well-prepared and qualified candidates for leadership positions. These programs must:

(a) Implement developmental training consistent with agency succession management plans;

(b) Provide continuing learning experiences throughout an employee's career, such as details, mentoring, coaching, learning groups, and projects. These experiences should provide broad knowledge and practical experience linked to OPM's Federal leadership competencies, as well as agency-identified, mission-related competencies, and should be consistent with the agency's succession management plan; and

(c) Include program evaluations pursuant to 5 CFR 410.202.

§ 412.202 Systematic training and development of supervisors, managers, and executives.

All agencies must provide for the development of individuals in supervisory, managerial and executive positions, as well as individuals whom the agency identifies as potential candidates for those positions, based on the agencies' succession plans. Agencies also must issue written policies to ensure they:

(a) Design and implement leadership development programs integrated with the employee development plans, programs, and strategies required by 5 CFR 410.201, and that foster a broad agency and Governmentwide perspective;

(b) Provide training within one year of an employee's initial appointment to a supervisory position and follow up periodically, but at least once every three years, by providing each supervisor and manager additional training on the use of appropriate actions, options, and strategies to:

(1) Mentor employees;

(2) Improve employee performance and productivity;

(3) Conduct employee performance appraisals in accordance with agency appraisal systems; and

(4) Identify and assist employees with unacceptable performance.

(c) Provide training when individuals make critical career transitions, for instance from non-supervisory to manager or from manager to executive. This training should be consistent with assessments of the agency's and the individual's needs.

Subpart C - Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Programs
§ 412.301 Obtaining approval to conduct a Senior Executive Service candidate development program (SESCDP).

(a) An SESCDP is an OPM-approved training program designed to develop the executive qualifications of employees with strong executive potential to qualify them for and authorize their initial career appointment in the SES. An agency conducting an SESCDP may submit program graduates for Qualifications Review Board (QRB) review of their executive qualifications under 5 CFR 317.502. A program graduate certified by a QRB may receive an initial career appointment without further competition to any SES position for which he or she meets the professional and technical qualifications requirements.

(b) An agency covered by subchapter II of chapter 31 of title 5, United States Code, may apply to OPM to conduct an SESCDP alone or on behalf of a group of agencies. (In this subpart, the term “agency” refers to either a single agency or a group of agencies acting in partnership under this subpart.) Any agency developing an SESCDP must submit a policy document describing its program methodologies to OPM for formal approval before implementing the SESCDP. An agency must seek OPM approval every five years thereafter, and must also consult OPM before implementing a change substantially altering how the SESCDP complies with the requirements of this regulation. An agency implementing an SESCDP without first obtaining formal approval may not submit graduates of the program for QRB review.

(c) An agency that obtained OPM approval under previous regulations must apply for re-approval in accordance with requirements in paragraph (b) and this subpart before initiating a new SESCDP. All existing SESCDP approvals expire within 2 years after publication of this regulation.

(d) An agency covered by subchapter II of chapter 31 of title 5, United States Code, may authorize a major agency component employing senior executives to apply directly to OPM for approval to conduct an SESCDP. Such an application from a component must be accompanied by the agency's written endorsement. To obtain approval, the component must meet the SESCDP requirements of this subpart independent of agency involvement.

(e) As always, agencies should be mindful of merit principles in carrying out their functions under this subpart.

§ 412.302 Criteria for a Senior Executive Service candidate development program (SESCDP).

(a) Executive Resources Board requirements. An agency's Executive Resources Board (ERB) must oversee the SESCDP. The ERB ensures the development program lasts a minimum of 12 months and includes substantive developmental experiences that should equip a successful candidate to accomplish Federal Government missions as a senior executive. The agency ERB must oversee and be accountable for SESCDP recruitment, merit staffing, and assessment. The agency ERB must ensure the program follows SES merit staffing provisions in 5 CFR 317.501, subject to the condition explained in § 412.302(d)(1) of this part. The ERB also must oversee development, evaluation, progress in the program, and graduation of candidates, and submit for QRB review within 90 workdays of graduation those candidates determined by the ERB to possess the executive core qualifications. The ERB must also oversee the writing and implementation of a removal policy for program candidates who do not make adequate progress.

(b) Recruitment. In recruiting, the agency, consistent with the merit system principles in 5 U.S.C. 2301 (b)(1) and (2), takes into consideration the goal of achieving a diversified workforce. Recruitment for the program is from all groups of qualified individuals within the civil service, or all groups of qualified individuals whether or not within the civil service. The number of expected SES vacancies must be considered as one factor in determining the number of selected candidates.

(c) Senior Executive Service candidate development program requirements. An SESCDP lasts a minimum of 12 months. To graduate, a candidate must accomplish the requirements of the program established by his or her agency. Each individual participating in an SESCDP must have:

(1) A documented development plan based upon a competency-based needs determination and approved by the agency ERB. The components of the development plan must:

(i) Address the executive core qualifications (ECQs);

(ii) Address Federal Government leadership challenges crucial to the senior executive;

(iii) Provide increased knowledge and understanding of the overall functioning of the agency, so the participant is prepared for a range of positions and responsibilities;

(iv) Include interaction with senior employees outside the candidate's department or agency to foster a broader perspective; and

(v) Have Governmentwide or multi-agency applicability in the nature and scope of the training;

(2) A formal interagency and/or multi-sector training experience lasting at least 80 hours that addresses the ECQs and their application to SES positions Governmentwide. The training experience must include interaction with senior employees outside the candidate's department or agency;

(3) A developmental assignment of at least 4 months of full-time service to include at least one assignment of 90 continuous days in a position other than, and substantially different from, the candidate's position of record. The assignment must include executive-level responsibility and differ from the candidate's current and past assignments in ways that broaden the candidate's experience, as well as challenge the candidate with respect to leadership competencies and the ECQs. Assignments need not be restricted to the agency, the Executive Branch, or the Federal Government, so long as they can be accomplished in compliance with applicable law and Federal and agency specific ethics regulations. The candidate is held accountable for organizational or agency results achieved during the assignment. If the assignment is in a non-Federal organization, the ERB must provide for adequate documentation of the individual's actions and accomplishments and must determine the assignment will contribute to development of the candidate's executive qualifications; and

(4) A mentor who is a member of the SES or is otherwise determined by the ERB to have the knowledge and capacity to advise the candidate, consistent with goals of the SESCDP. The mentor and the candidate are jointly responsible for a productive mentoring relationship; however, the agency must establish methods to assess these relationships and, if necessary, facilitate them or make appropriate changes in the interest of the candidate.

(d) An SESCDP is a training opportunity for which agencies must recruit consistent with merit system principles and paragraph (d)(1) of this section. An agency must provide procedures under which selections are made from among either all qualified persons or all qualified persons in the civil service. If selected, the individual participates in the agency's SESCDP.

(1) An individual who does not currently hold a career or career-type civil service appointment may only participate in an SESCDP by means of a Schedule B appointment authorized by 5 CFR 213.3202(j) to a full-time position created for developmental purposes connected with the SESCDP. Exercising its authority under § 302.101(c)(6) of this chapter, OPM hereby exempts these full-time positions created for developmental purposes connected with the SESCDP from the appointment procedures of part 302 of this chapter. Competition for these appointments must be conducted pursuant to SES merit staffing procedures at § 317.501 of this chapter, except agencies must follow the principle of veterans' preference as far as administratively feasible, in accordance with § 302.101(c) of this chapter. Candidates serving under this Schedule B appointment may not be used to fill an agency's regular positions on a continuing basis.

(2) An individual who currently holds a career or career-type appointment in the civil service must be selected through SES merit staffing procedures at § 317.501 of this chapter. Subject to the approval of the agency in which the selectee is employed, such an individual may be selected for and participate in an SESCDP in any agency while serving in his or her position of record. The individual may continue to participate in the SESCDP upon moving to other civil service positions under career or career-type appointment, assuming the employing agency approves. An SESCDP competition does not satisfy the requirements of part 335 of this chapter and therefore does not provide an independent basis to appoint or promote a career or career-type appointee.

(3) A career or career-type appointee may participate in an SESCDP conducted by an agency other than his or her employing agency under such terms as are mutually agreeable and outlined in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by both agencies involved. The MOU should be submitted to OPM after the candidate is selected and before the program begins. Terms of the MOU must be consistent with applicable provisions of 5 U.S.C. chapter 41, and a copy must be provided to OPM. Either agency may decline or discontinue a candidate's participation if such terms cannot be negotiated or are not fulfilled.

(4) Any candidate's participation in an SESCDP is at the discretion of the employing agency and subject to provisions established under 5 CFR 412.302(a) for removing a participant who does not make adequate progress in the program.

(5) For purposes of this paragraph (d), a “career-type” appointment means a career or career-conditional appointment or an appointment of equivalent tenure. An appointment of equivalent tenure is considered to be an appointment in the excepted service that is placed in Group I or Group II under section 351.502(b).

Subpart D - Executive Development
§ 412.401 Continuing executive development.

(a) Each agency must establish a program or programs for the continuing development of its senior executives in accordance with 5 U.S.C 3396(a). Such agency programs must include preparation, implementation, and regular updating of an Executive Development Plan (EDP) for each senior executive. The EDPs will:

(1) Function as a detailed guide of developmental experiences to help SES members, through participation in short-term and longer-term experiences, meet organizational needs for leadership, managerial improvement, and organizational results;

(2) Address enhancement of existing executive competencies and such other competencies as will strengthen the executive's performance;

(3) Outline developmental opportunities and assignments to allow the individual to develop a broader perspective in the agency as well as Governmentwide; and

(4) Be reviewed annually and revised as appropriate by an ERB or similar body designated by the agency to oversee executive development, using input from the performance evaluation cycle.

(b) Consistent with 5 U.S.C. 3396(d) and other applicable statutes, EDPs may provide for executive sabbaticals and other long-term assignments outside the Federal sector.