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Title 5 Part 362

Title 5 → Chapter I → Subchapter B → Part 362

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 5 Part 362

e-CFR data is current as of December 12, 2019

Title 5Chapter ISubchapter B → Part 362


Title 5: Administrative Personnel


PART 362—PATHWAYS PROGRAMS


Contents

Subpart A—General Provisions

§362.101   Program administration.

(a) The Pathways Programs authorized under Executive Order 13562 consist of the following three Programs:

(1) The Internship Program;

(2) The Recent Graduates Program; and

(3) The Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program.

(b) An agency may rename the Programs specified in paragraphs (a)(1) through (3) of this section, provided that the agency-specific name includes the Pathways Program name identified in paragraph (a) of this section, e.g., Treasury Internship Program.

(c) Agencies must provide for equal employment opportunity in the Pathways Programs without regard to race, ethnicity, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, or any other non-merit-based factor.

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§362.102   Definitions.

For the purposes of this part:

Advanced degree means a professional or graduate degree, e.g., master's, Ph.D., J.D.

Agency means an agency as defined in 5 U.S.C. 105, and the Government Printing Office.

Certificate program means post-secondary education, in a qualifying educational institution, equivalent to at least one academic year of full-time study that is part of an accredited college-level, technical, trade, vocational, or business school curriculum.

Director means the Director of OPM or his or her designee.

OPM means the Office of Personnel Management.

Participant Agreement means a written agreement between the agency and each Pathways Participant.

Program Participant or Pathways Participant means any individual appointed under a Pathways Program.

Qualifying educational institution means—

(1) A public high school whose curriculum has been approved by a State or local governing body, a private school that provides secondary education as determined under State law, or a homeschool that is allowed to operate in a State; and

(2) Any of the following educational institutions or curricula that have been accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education:

(i) A technical or vocational school;

(ii) A 2-year or 4-year college or university;

(iii) A graduate or professional school (e.g., law school, medical school); or

(iv) A post-secondary homeschool curriculum.

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§362.103   Authority.

An agency may make an appointment under this part to a position defined in §213.3402 of this chapter, provided a Memorandum of Understanding between the head of the agency or his or her designee and OPM is in effect.

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§362.104   Agency requirements.

(a) Memorandum of Understanding. In order to make any appointment under a Pathways authority, a Memorandum of Understanding (Pathways MOU) must be in effect between the head of an agency, or his or her designee, and OPM for the administration and use of Pathways Programs, to be re-executed no less frequently than every 2 years.

(b) The Director may revoke an agency's Pathways MOU when agency use of these Programs is inconsistent with Executive Order 13562, this part, or the Pathways MOU.

(c) The Pathways MOU must:

(1) Include information about any agency-specific program labels that will be used, subject to the Federal naming conventions identified in §362.101 (e.g., OPM Internship Program);

(2) State the delegations of authority for the agency's use of the Pathways Programs (e.g., department-wide vs. bureaus or components);

(3) Include any implementing policy or guidance that the agency determines would facilitate successful implementation and administration for each Pathways Program;

(4) Prescribe criteria and procedures for agency-approved extensions for Recent Graduates and PMFs, not to exceed 120 days. Extension criteria should be limited to circumstances that would render the agency's compliance with the regulations impracticable or impossible;

(5) Describe how the agency will design, implement, and document formal training and/or development, as well as the type and duration of assignments, and necessary exceptions for short term temporary work, such as summer jobs;

(6) Include a commitment from the agency to:

(i) Provide to OPM any information it requests on the agency's Pathways Programs;

(ii) Adhere to any caps on the Pathways Programs imposed by the Director;

(iii) Provide information to OPM about opportunities for individuals interested in participating in the Pathways Programs, as required by this part;

(iv) Ensure adherence to the requirements for accepting applications, assessing applicants, rating and ranking qualified candidates, and affording veterans' preference in accordance with the provisions of part 302; and

(v) Provide a meaningful on-boarding process for each Pathways Program;

(7) Identify the agency's Pathways Programs Officer (PPO), who:

(i) Must be in a position at the agency's headquarters level, or at the headquarters level of a departmental component, in a position at or higher than grade 12 of the General Schedule (GS) (or the equivalent under the Federal Wage System (FWS) or another pay and classification system);

(ii) Is responsible for administering the agency's Pathways Programs, including coordinating the recruitment and on-boarding process for Pathways Programs Participants, and coordinating the agency's Pathways Programs plan with agency stakeholders and other hiring plans (e.g., merit promotion plans, plans for hiring people with disabilities);

(iii) Serves as a liaison with OPM by providing updates on the agency's implementation of its Pathways Programs, clarifying technical or programmatic issues, sharing agency best practices, and other similar duties; and

(iv) Reports to OPM on the agency's implementation of its Pathways Programs and individuals hired under these Programs, in conjunction with the agency's Pathways MOU; and

(8) Identify the agency's PMF coordinator responsible for administering the agency PMF Program and serving as a liaison with OPM.

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§362.105   Filling positions.

(a) Workforce Planning. Before filling any positions under these Programs, agencies should include measures in their workforce planning to ensure that an adequate number of permanent positions will be available to convert Pathways Participants who successfully complete their Programs.

(b) Announcements. When an agency accepts applications from individuals outside its own workforce, it must provide OPM information concerning Pathways Programs job opportunities as provided in each Pathways Program. For the purposes of this paragraph, “agency” means an Executive agency as defined in 5 U.S.C. 105 and the Government Printing Office. An Executive department may treat each of its bureaus or components (first major subdivision that is separately organized and clearly distinguished from other bureaus or components in work function and operation) as a separate agency or as part of one agency, but must do so consistent with its Delegated Examining Agreement.

(c) Appointments. (1) Agencies must fill positions under the Pathways Programs using the excepted service appointing authority provided by §213.3402 (a), (b), or (c) of this chapter, as applicable.

(2) Agencies must follow the procedures of part 302 of this chapter when filling a position under a Pathways Program.

(3) Appointments are subject to all the requirements and conditions governing term, career, or career-conditional employment, including investigation to establish an appointee's qualifications and suitability.

(d) Eligibility. Except as set forth in this section, eligibility requirements for appointment under a Pathways Program are specified in each Pathways Program.

(e) Citizenship. (1) An agency may appoint a non-citizen provided that:

(i) The Pathways Participant is lawfully admitted to the United States as a permanent resident or is otherwise authorized to be employed; and

(ii) The agency is authorized to pay aliens under the annual Appropriations Act ban and any agency-specific enabling and appropriation statutes.

(2) A Pathways Participant must be a United States citizen to be eligible for noncompetitive conversion to the competitive service.

(f) Employment of relatives. In accordance with part 310 of this chapter, a Pathways Participant may work in the same agency with a relative when there is no direct reporting relationship and the relative is not in a position to influence or control the Participant's appointment, employment, promotion or advancement within the agency.

(g) Length of Appointments. Except as provided in subpart B, Recent Graduate and PMF appointments under this authority may not exceed 2 years plus any agency-approved extension of up to 120 days.

(h) Terminations. An agency may terminate a Pathways Participant for reasons including misconduct, poor performance, or suitability under the provisions of this chapter.

(i) Performance and progress evaluation. Each Participant must be placed on a performance plan, as prescribed by part 430 of this chapter or other applicable law or regulation, establishing performance elements and standards that are directly related to acquiring and demonstrating the various leadership, technical, and/or general competencies expected of the Participant, as well as the elements and standards established for the duties assigned.

(j) Compensation. The rules for setting pay upon the initial appointment of a Participant are governed by the pay administration rules of the pay system or pay plan of the Participant's position under the Pathways program. In determining the Participant's compensation, agencies may also use any applicable pay flexibilities available under that pay system or pay plan (e.g., recruitment, relocation, and retention incentives under part 575 of this chapter; student loan repayments under part 537; and, for General Schedule positions, special rates under part 530, subpart C, and the superior qualifications and special needs pay setting authority and the maximum payable rate rule under part 531, subpart B).

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§362.106   Participant Agreement.

Agencies must execute a written Participant Agreement with each Pathways Participant that clearly identifies expectations, including but not limited to:

(a) A general description of duties;

(b) Work schedules;

(c) The length of the appointment and termination date;

(d) Mentorship opportunities;

(e) Training requirements as applicable;

(f) Evaluation procedures that will be used for the Participant;

(g) Requirements for continuation and successful completion of the Program; and

(h) Minimum eligibility requirements for noncompetitive conversion to term or permanent competitive service employment according to the requirements of the applicable Pathways Program.

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§362.107   Conversion to the competitive service.

(a) Subject to any limits on conversion imposed by the Director, and in accordance with the provisions of each Pathways Program, an agency may noncompetitively convert an eligible Pathways Participant to a term or permanent competitive service position.

(b) A Pathways Participant who is noncompetitively converted to a competitive service term appointment may be subsequently converted noncompetitively to a permanent competitive service position.

(c) Noncompetitive conversion. (1) An Intern may be converted to a position within the employing agency or any other agency within the Federal Government.

(2) A Recent Graduate or Presidential Management Fellow may be converted within the employing agency. Agencies may not convert Recent Graduates or Presidential Management Fellows from other agencies.

(d) The provisions of the career transition assistance programs in subparts B, F and G of part 330 of this chapter do not apply to conversions made under this part.

(e) Time spent serving as a Pathways Participant counts towards career tenure when the individual is noncompetitively converted to a permanent position in the competitive service upon completion of the Program, with or without an intervening term appointment, and without a break in service of one day.

(f) Though Pathways Participants are eligible for noncompetitive conversion to the competitive service upon successful completion of their Program and any other applicable conversion requirements, service in a Pathways Program confers no right to further employment in either the competitive or excepted service. An agency wishing to convert a Pathways Participant must therefore execute the required actions to do so.

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§362.108   Program oversight.

(a) The Director may establish caps on the number of Pathways Participants who may be appointed or converted in any Pathways Program within a specific agency or throughout the Federal Government.

(b) The Director may establish such caps based on agency or Governmentwide use of the Pathways Programs, input from the Executive agencies, and consideration of the following:

(1) Agency MOU compliance;

(2) Agency approach to entry-level hiring;

(3) Agency engagement in sound workforce planning to ensure that an adequate number of permanent positions will be available to which Pathways Participants who successfully complete their Programs can be converted;

(4) Agency record in using the Pathways Programs as a supplement to competitive examining, rather than as a substitute for it;

(5) Agency record of publicizing their positions in the Pathways Programs and recruiting and selecting from a broad array of sources; and

(6) Any other information the Director deems relevant.

(c) In the event the Director determines that any caps would be appropriate, OPM will publish notice of such caps in a manner chosen by the Director.

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§362.109   Reporting requirements.

Agencies must provide information requested by OPM regarding workforce planning strategies that includes:

(a) Information on the entry-level occupations targeted for filling positions under this part in the coming year;

(b) The percentage of overall hiring expected in the coming year under the Internship, Recent Graduates, and Presidential Management Fellows Programs; and

(c) For the previous year:

(1) The number of individuals initially appointed under each Pathways Program;

(2) The percentage of the agency's overall hires made from each Pathways Program;

(3) The number of Pathways Participants, per Program, converted to the competitive service; and

(4) The number of Pathways Participants, per Program, who were separated.

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§362.110   Transition.

OPM will provide written guidance for the orderly transition of employees currently appointed as students under the Student Educational Employment Program and current PMFs to the applicable Pathways Program and may revise that guidance as necessary.

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Subpart B—Internship Program

§362.201   Agency authority.

The Internship Program provides students in high schools, colleges, trades schools and other qualifying educational institutions, as defined in §362.102 of this part, the opportunity to explore Federal careers as paid employees while completing their education. Students appointed under this authority are referred to as Interns.

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§362.202   Definitions.

In this subpart:

Student means an individual accepted for enrollment or enrolled and seeking a degree (diploma, certificate, etc.) in a qualifying educational institution, on a full or half-time basis (as defined by the institution in which the student is enrolled), including awardees of the Harry S. Truman Foundation Scholarship Program under Public Law 93-842. Students need not be in actual physical attendance, so long as all other requirements are met. An individual who needs to complete less than the equivalent of half an academic/vocational or technical course-load immediately prior to graduating is still considered a student for purposes of this Program.

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§362.203   Filling positions.

(a) Announcement. (1) When an agency accepts applications from individuals outside its own workforce, it must provide OPM information concerning opportunities to participate in the agency's Internship Program. For the purposes of this paragraph (a), “agency” means an Executive agency as defined in 5 U.S.C. 105 and the Government Printing Office. An Executive department may treat each of its bureaus or components (first major subdivision that is separately organized and clearly distinguished from other bureaus or components in work function and operation) as a separate agency or as part of one agency, but must do so consistent with its Delegated Examining Agreement. The information must include:

(i) Position title, series and grade;

(ii) Geographic location of the position, and

(iii) How to apply. A public source (e.g., a link to the agency's Web site with information on how to apply) for interested individuals to seek further information about how to apply for Internship opportunities; and

(iv) Any other information OPM considers appropriate.

(2) OPM will publish information on Internship opportunities in such form as the Director may determine.

(b) Eligibility. Except as provided in paragraph (h) of this section, Interns must meet the definition of student in §362.202 throughout the duration of their appointment.

(c) Qualifications. Individuals may be evaluated against either agency-developed standards or the OPM Qualification Standard for the position being filled.

(d) Appointments. (1) An agency may make Intern appointments, pursuant to its Pathways MOU, using the Schedule D excepted service appointing authority provided in §213.3402(a) of this chapter.

(2) Appointments may be made to any position for which the individual is qualified. The duties of the position to which the individual is appointed should be related to either the Intern's academic or career goals.

(3) An agency may:

(i) Appoint an Intern for an initial period expected to last more than 1 year. Intern appointments are not required to have an end date. However, agencies are required to specify an end date of the appointment in the Participant Agreement with the Intern; or

(ii) Appoint an Intern on a temporary basis, not to exceed 1 year, to complete temporary projects, to perform labor-intensive tasks not requiring subject-matter expertise, or to fill traditional summer jobs. The agency may extend these temporary appointments as provided in part 213 of this chapter.

(e) Promotion. An agency may promote any Intern who meets the qualification requirements for the position. This provision does not confer entitlement to promotion.

(f) Classification. (1) Intern positions under the General Schedule or appropriate pay plan must be classified to the -99 series of the appropriate occupational group.

(2) Intern positions under the Federal Wage System must be classified to the -01 series of the appropriate occupational group.

(g) Schedules. There are no limitations on the number of hours an Intern can work per week (so long as any applicable laws and regulations governing overtime and hours of work are adhered to). Agencies and students should agree on a formally-arranged schedule of school and work so that:

(1) Work responsibilities do not interfere with academic schedule;

(2) Completion of the educational program (awarding of diploma/certificate/degree) and the Internship Program is accomplished in a reasonable and appropriate timeframe;

(3) The agency is informed of and prepared for the student's periods of employment; and

(4) Requirements for noncompetitive conversion to a term or permanent position in the competitive service are understood by all parties.

(h) Breaks in program. A break in program is defined as a period of time when an Intern is working but is unable to go to school, or is neither attending classes nor working at the agency. An agency may use its discretion in either approving or denying a request for a break in program.

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§362.204   Conversion to the competitive service.

(a) An agency may noncompetitively convert an Intern who is a U.S. citizen, to a term or permanent appointment in the competitive service.

(b) To be eligible for conversion, the Intern must have:

(1) Completed at least 640 hours of work experience acquired through the Internship Program, except as provided in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, while enrolled as a full-time or part-time, degree- or certificate-seeking student;

(2) Completed a course of academic study, within the 120-day period preceding the appointment, at a qualifying educational institution conferring a diploma, certificate, or degree;

(3) Received a favorable recommendation for appointment by an official of the agency or agencies in which the Intern served;

(4) Met the qualification standards for the position to which the Intern will be converted; and

(5) Met agency-specific requirements as specified in the agency's Participant Agreement with the Intern.

(c)(1) An agency may evaluate, consider, and grant credit for up to one-half (320 hours) of the 640-hour service requirement in paragraph (b)(1) of this section for comparable non-Federal internship experience in a field or functional area related to the student's target position and acquired while the student:

(i) Worked in, but not for, a Federal agency, pursuant to a formal internship agreement, comparable to the Internship Program under this subpart, between the agency and an accredited academic institution;

(ii) Worked in, but not for, a Federal agency, pursuant to a written contract with a third-party internship provider officially established to provide internship experiences to students that are comparable to the Internship Program under this subpart; or

(iii) Served as an active duty member of the armed forces (including the National Guard and Reserves), as defined in 5 U.S.C. 2101, provided the veteran's discharge or release is under honorable conditions.

(2) Student volunteer service under part 308 of this chapter and other Federal programs designed to give internship experience to students (e.g., fellowships and similar programs), may be evaluated, considered, and credited under this section when the agency determines the experience is comparable to experience gained in the Internship Program.

(d) An agency may waive up to one-half (i.e., 320 hours) of the 640-hour minimum service requirement in paragraph (b)(1) of this section when an Intern completes 320 hours of career-related work experience under an Internship Program appointment and demonstrates high potential by outstanding academic achievement and exceptional job performance. For purposes of this paragraph:

(1) Outstanding academic achievement means an overall grade point average of 3.5 or better, on a 4.0 scale; standing in the top 10 percent of the student's graduating class; and/or induction into a nationally-recognized scholastic honor society.

(2) Exceptional job performance means a formal evaluation conducted by the student's Internship supervisor(s), consistent with the applicable performance appraisal program that results in a rating of record (or summary rating) of higher than Fully Successful or equivalent.

(e) An agency may not grant a credit or waiver (or a combination of a credit and waiver) totaling more than 320 hours of the 640-hour service requirement in paragraph (b)(1) of this section.

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§362.205   Reduction in force (RIF) and termination.

(a) Reduction in force. Interns are covered by part 351 of this chapter for purposes of RIF.

(1) Tenure Groups. (i) An Intern serving under an appointment for an initial period expected to last more than 1 year is in excepted service Tenure Group II.

(ii) A temporary Intern, serving under an appointment not to exceed 1 year, who has not completed 1 year of service, is in excepted service Tenure Group 0.

(iii) A temporary Intern serving under an appointment not to exceed 1 year, who has completed 1 year of current, continuous service, is in excepted service Tenure Group III.

(2) [Reserved]

(b) Termination. As a condition of employment, an Intern appointment expires:

(1) 120 days after completion of the designated academic course of study, unless the Participant is selected for noncompetitive conversion under §362.204, or

(2) Upon expiration of the temporary Internship appointment.

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Subpart C—Recent Graduates Program

§362.301   Program administration.

The Recent Graduates Program provides an entry-level developmental experience designed to lead to a civil service career in the Federal Government after successfully completing 1 year under the Program, unless the training requirements of the position warrant a longer and more structured training program. Employment under the Recent Graduates Program may not exceed 2 years plus any agency approved extension of up to an additional 120 days. Individuals appointed under this authority are referred to as Recent Graduates. An agency wishing to participate in the Recent Graduates Program must:

(a) Identify in the MOU the duration of its Recent Graduates Program, including any criteria used to determine the need for a longer and more structured training program that exceeds 1 year;

(b) Ensure, within 90 days of appointment, that each Recent Graduate is assigned a mentor who is an employee outside the Recent Graduates' chain of command;

(c) Ensure, within 45 days of appointment, that each Recent Graduate has an Individual Development Plan (IDP) that is approved by his or her supervisor; and

(d) Provide at least 40 hours of formal interactive training per year that advances the goals and competencies outlined in each Recent Graduate's IDP. Mandatory annual training, such as information security and ethics training, does not count towards the 40-hour requirement.

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§362.302   Eligibility.

(a) A Recent Graduate is an individual who obtained a qualifying associates, bachelors, master's, professional, doctorate, vocational or technical degree or certificate from a qualifying educational institution, within the previous 2 years or other applicable period provided below.

(b)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, an individual may apply for a position in the Recent Graduates Program only if the individual's application is received not later than 2 years after the date the individual completed all requirements of an academic course of study leading to a qualifying associates, bachelor's, master's, professional, doctorate, vocational or technical degree or certificate from a qualifying educational institution.

(2) A veteran, as defined in 5 U.S.C. 2108, who, due to a military service obligation, was precluded from applying to the Recent Graduates Program during any portion of the 2-year eligibility period described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section shall have a full 2-year period of eligibility upon his or her release or discharge from active duty. In no event, however, may the individual's eligibility period extend beyond 6 years from the date on which the individual completed the requirements of an academic course of study.

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§362.303   Filling positions.

(a) Announcement. (1) When an agency accepts applications from individuals outside its own workforce, it must provide OPM information concerning opportunities to participate in the agency's Recent Graduates Program. For the purposes of this paragraph, “agency” means an Executive agency as defined in 5 U.S.C. 105 and the Government Printing Office. An Executive department may treat each of its bureaus or components (first major subdivision that is separately organized and clearly distinguished from other bureaus or components in work function and operation) as a separate agency or as part of one agency, but must do so consistent with its Delegated Examining Agreement. The information must include:

(i) Position title, series and grade;

(ii) Geographic location of the position;

(iii) How to apply. A public source (e.g., a link to the agency's Web site with information on how to apply for interested individuals to seek further information about how to apply); and

(iv) Any other information OPM considers appropriate.

(2) OPM will publish information on Recent Graduate opportunities in such form as the Director may determine.

(b) Appointments. (1) An agency may make appointments to the Recent Graduates Program, pursuant to a Pathways MOU executed with the OPM, under Schedule D of the excepted service in accordance with part 302 of this chapter.

(2) An agency must appoint a Recent Graduate using the excepted service appointing authority provided by §213.3402(b) of this chapter.

(3)(i) An agency may make an initial appointment of a Recent Graduate to any position filled under this authority for which the Recent Graduate qualifies, up to the GS-09 level (or equivalent under another pay and classification system, such as the Federal Wage System), except as provided in paragraphs (b)(3)(ii) through (iv) of this section.

(ii) Initial appointments to positions for science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) occupations may be made at the GS-11 level, if the candidate possesses a Ph.D. or equivalent degree directly related to the STEM position the agency is seeking to fill.

(iii) Initial appointments to scientific and professional research positions at the GS-11 level for which the classification and qualification criteria for research positions apply, if the candidate possesses a master's degree or equivalent graduate degree directly related to the position the agency is seeking to fill.

(iv) Initial appointments to scientific and professional research positions at the GS-12 level for which the classification and qualification criteria for research positions apply, if the candidate possesses a Ph.D. or equivalent degree directly related to the position the agency is seeking to fill.

(v) Positions must have progressively more responsible duties that provide career advancement opportunities (i.e., positions must provide for career ladder advancement).

(c) Extensions. An agency may extend the Program period for up to an additional 120 days to cover rare or unusual circumstances or situations. The agency's Pathways MOU must identify criteria for approving extensions.

(d) Qualifications. An agency must evaluate candidates using OPM Qualification Standards for the occupation and grade level of the position being filled.

(e) Promotions. An agency may promote any Recent Graduate who meets the qualification requirements for the position. This provision does not confer entitlement to promotion.

(f) Trial period. The duration of the Recent Graduates appointment in the excepted service is a trial period.

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§362.304   Movement between agencies.

(a) A Recent Graduate may apply for and accept a new Recent Graduates appointment with another agency covered by this part, as long as the agency meets all the requirements for participating in the Recent Graduates Program.

(b) To move to the new agency, the Recent Graduate must separate from the current employing agency.

(c) The new employing agency must appoint the Recent Graduate without a break in service.

(d) Time served under the previous agency's Recent Graduates Program is credited toward the Program requirements for noncompetitive conversion eligibility to the competitive service. Because there is no break in service, the Recent Graduate does not begin a new period in the Program upon moving to the new agency.

(e) The new employing agency's plan must identify requirements for Program completion and eligibility for noncompetitive conversion.

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§362.305   Conversion to the competitive service.

(a) An agency may noncompetitively convert a Recent Graduate who is a U.S. citizen to a competitive service term or permanent position when the Recent Graduate has:

(1) Successfully completed at least 1-year of continuous service in addition to all the requirements of the Recent Graduates Program;

(2) Demonstrated successful job performance consistent with the applicable performance appraisal program established under the agency's approved performance appraisal system that results in a rating of record (or summary rating) of at least Fully Successful or equivalent and a recommendation for conversion by the first-level supervisor; and

(3) Met the OPM Qualification Standard for the competitive service position to which the Recent Graduate will be converted.

(b) An agency must make the noncompetitive conversion effective on the date the service requirement is met, or at the end of an agency-approved extension, if applicable.

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§362.306   Reduction in force and termination.

(a) Reduction in force. Recent Graduates are in excepted service Tenure Group II for purposes of §351.502 of this chapter. Expiration of the Recent Graduates appointment is not otherwise subject to part 351 of this chapter.

(b) Terminations. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, as a condition of employment, a Recent Graduate appointment expires at the end of the agency prescribed Program period, plus any agency-approved extension, unless the Participant is selected for noncompetitive conversion under §362.306.

(2) A Recent Graduate who held a career-conditional or career appointment in an agency immediately before entering the Program, and fails to complete the Program for reasons that are not related to misconduct, poor performance, or suitability, may, at the agency's discretion, be placed in a permanent competitive service position, as appropriate, in the employing agency.

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Subpart D—Presidential Management Fellows Program

§362.401   Definitions.

For purposes of this subpart:

Agency PMF Coordinator is an individual, at the appropriate agency component level, who coordinates the placement, development, and other Program-related activities of PMFs appointed in his or her agency. The agency Pathways Programs Officer may also serve as the PMF Coordinator.

Executive Resources Board (ERB) has the same meaning as specified in §317.501(a) of this section; in those agencies that are not required to have an ERB pursuant to that section, it means the senior agency official or officials who have been given responsibility for executive resources management and oversight by the agency head.

Presidential Management Fellow (PMF) or Fellow is an individual appointed, at the GS-9, GS-11, or GS-12 level (or equivalent under a non-GS pay and classification system such as the Federal Wage System), in the excepted service under §213.3402(c) of this chapter.

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§362.402   Program administration.

(a) The Director may determine the number of Fellows who may be appointed during any given year. This determination will be based on input from the Chief Human Capital Officers Council, as well as input from agencies not represented on the Council.

(b) Thereafter, subject to the provisions and requirements of this chapter, an agency may appoint individuals selected by the Director as Fellows finalists according to its short-, medium-, and long-term senior leadership and related (senior policy, professional, technical, and equivalent) recruitment, development, and succession requirements.

(c) The Director will establish the qualification requirements for evaluating applicants for the PMF Program.

(d) An agency that hires Fellows in field locations outside the Washington, DC, Metropolitan Area may:

(1) In advance of making the appointment, discuss whether the finalist wants to do a developmental rotation to agency headquarters and, if so, make a commitment to allow and fund such a rotation, to the maximum extent practicable, in accordance with §362.405(b) of this part; and

(2) Promote interaction among regional Fellows with the agency Federal Executive Board (FEB) and permit Fellows to attend FEB-sanctioned activities in that region.

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§362.403   Announcement, eligibility, and selection.

(a) OPM will announce the opportunity to apply for the PMF Program and conduct a competition for the selection of finalists as set forth in this section.

(b) A Presidential Management Fellow is an individual who, within the previous 2 years, completed an advanced degree from a qualifying educational institution.

(c) An individual may apply for the PMF Program if:

(1) The individual has obtained an advanced degree within the 2-year period preceding the Program announcement described in paragraph (a) of this section, or

(2) The individual is still a student attending a qualifying educational institution, as defined in paragraph (2)(iii) of the definition of Qualifying educational institution in §362.102, and he or she expects to complete a qualifying advanced degree by August 31 of the academic year in which the competition is held.

(d) An individual may apply for the PMF Program more than once as long as he or she meets the eligibility criteria. However, if an individual becomes a finalist and subsequently applies for the Program during the next open announcement, the individual will forfeit his or her status as a finalist.

(e) OPM will select Fellow finalists based on an OPM evaluation of each candidate's experience and accomplishments according to his or her application and the results of a rigorous structured assessment process.

(f) OPM will publish and provide participating agencies the Fellow finalists list for appointment consideration.

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§362.404   Appointment and extension.

(a) Appointments. (1) An agency may make 2-year appointments to the PMF Program, pursuant to a Pathways MOU executed with the OPM, under Schedule D of the excepted service in accordance with part 302 of this chapter.

(2) An agency must appoint a PMF using the excepted service appointing authority provided by §213.3402(c) of this chapter.

(3) OPM will establish an eligibility period during which agencies may appoint Fellow finalists.

(b) Extension. An agency may extend a Fellow's appointment for up to 120 days to cover rare or unusual circumstances or situations. The agency's Pathways MOU must identify the criteria for approving extensions.

(c) Grade. An agency may appoint a Fellow at the GS-09, GS-11, or GS-12 level or equivalent depending on his or her qualifications.

(d) Trial period. The duration of the PMF appointment in the excepted service is a trial period.

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§362.405   Development, evaluation, promotion, and certification.

(a) Individual Development Plans. An agency must approve, within 45 days, an Individual Development Plan (IDP) for each of its Fellows that sets forth the specific developmental activities that are mutually agreed upon by each Fellow and his or her supervisor. The IDP must be developed in consultation with the Agency PMF Coordinator and/or the mentor assigned to the Fellow under paragraph (b)(3) of this section.

(b) Required developmental activities. (1) OPM will provide an orientation program for each class or cohort of Fellows and will provide information on available training opportunities known to it.

(2) The agency must provide each Fellow a minimum of 80 hours of formal interactive training per year that addresses the competencies outlined in the IDP. Mandatory annual training, such as information security and ethics training, does not count towards the 80-hour requirement.

(3) Within the first 90 days of a Fellow's appointment, the agency must assign the Fellow a mentor, who is a managerial employee outside the Fellow's chain of command.

(4) The agency must provide each Fellow with at least one rotational or developmental assignment with full-time management and/or technical responsibilities consistent with the Fellow's IDP. With respect to this requirement:

(i) Each Fellow must receive at least one developmental assignment of 4 to 6 months in duration, with management and/or technical responsibilities consistent with the Fellow's IDP. As an alternative, a Fellow may choose to participate in an agency-wide initiative or other Presidential or Administration initiative that will provide the Fellow with the experience he or she would have gained through the 4-to-6-month developmental assignment; and

(ii) The developmental assignment may be within the Fellow's organization, in another component of the agency, or in another Federal agency.

(5) The Fellow may receive other short-term rotational assignments of 1 to 6 months in duration, at the agency's discretion.

(6) Upon the request of OPM, the appointing agency must make Fellows available to assist in the assessment process for subsequent PMF classes. Any interactive training provided to a Fellow in connection with assisting OPM in the assessment process may be counted toward the minimum 80-hour training requirement in paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

(c) Promotion. An agency may promote any Fellow who meets the qualification requirements for the position. This provision does not confer entitlement to promotion.

(d) Certification of completion. (1) Upon completion of the Program, the agency's ERB must evaluate each Fellow and determine whether it can certify in writing that the Fellow met all of the requirements of the Program, including the performance and developmental expectations set forth in the individual's performance plan and IDP. The ERB may consult the Fellow's mentor in reaching its determination.

(2) The ERB must notify the Fellow of its decision regarding certification of successful completion.

(3) ERB certifications must be forwarded to OPM.

(4)(i) If the ERB decides not to certify a Fellow, the Fellow may request reconsideration of that determination by the Director. Such reconsideration must be requested in writing, with appropriate documentation and justification, within 15 calendar days of the date of the agency's decision. The Director's decision on reconsideration is not subject to appeal.

(ii) The Fellow may continue in the Program pending the outcome of his or her request for reconsideration. The agency must continue to provide appropriate developmental activities during this period.

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§362.406   Movement between agencies.

(a) At any time during his or her appointment in the Program, a Fellow may move to another agency covered by this part, as long as the agency meets all the requirements for participating in the PMF Program. To move from one agency to another during the Program, the Fellow must separate from the current agency. The new employing agency must appoint the Participant without a break in service.

(b) The Fellow does not begin a new Program period upon appointment by the new employing agency. Because there is no break in service, time served under the previous Program appointment will apply towards the completion of the Program with the new employing agency.

(c) An agency must notify OPM when appointing a Fellow currently appointed in another agency.

(d) If the move occurs within the first 6 months of the Fellow's appointment, the original appointing agency may request reimbursement of one-quarter of the placement fee from the new appointing agency.

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§362.407   Withdrawal and readmission.

(a) Withdrawal. (1) A Fellow may withdraw from the Program at any time. Such withdrawal will be treated as a resignation from the Federal service; however, any obligations established upon admission and appointment (for example, as a result of accepting a recruitment incentive under part 575 of this chapter) still apply.

(2) A Fellow who held a permanent appointment in the competitive service in an agency immediately before entering the Program, and who withdraws from the Program for reasons that are not related to misconduct, poor performance, or suitability, may, at the employing agency's discretion, be placed in a permanent competitive service position, as appropriate, in that agency. The employing agency's determination in this regard is not subject to appeal.

(3) An agency must notify OPM when a Fellow withdraws from the Program.

(b) Readmission. (1) If a Fellow withdraws from the Program for reasons that are related to misconduct, poor performance, or suitability, as determined by the agency, he or she will not be readmitted to the Program at any time.

(2) If a Fellow withdraws from the Program for reasons that are not related to misconduct, poor performance, or suitability, he or she may petition the employing original agency for readmission and reappointment to the Program. Such a petition must be in writing and include appropriate justification. The agency may approve or deny the request for readmission. An agency must submit written notification of approved readmission requests to OPM. The individual's status in the Program upon readmission and reappointment must be addressed as part of the agency's submission. The Director may overrule the agency's decision to readmit and reappoint, and the Director's decision is not subject to appeal.

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§362.408   Termination and reduction in force.

(a) Termination. (1) An agency may terminate a Fellow for reasons related to misconduct, poor performance, or suitability.

(2) As a condition of employment, a Fellow's appointment expires at the end of the 2-year Program period, plus any agency-approved extension, unless the Participant is selected for noncompetitive conversion. If an agency does not convert a Fellow at the end of the Program, as provided in §362.409 of this part, or extend the individual's initial appointment under §362.404, the appointment expires when certification for Program completion is denied or when the Director denies the agency's request for an extension.

(3) The agency must provide written notification to OPM when a Fellow is terminated for any reason.

(b) Reduction in force. Fellows are in the excepted service Tenure Group II for purposes of §351.502 of this chapter.

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§362.409   Conversion to the competitive service.

(a) A Fellow must complete the Program within the time limits prescribed in §362.404 of this part, including any agency-approved extension. At the conclusion of that period, the Fellow may be converted, as provided in paragraph (b) of this section.

(b) An agency may convert, without a break in service, an ERB-certified Fellow to a competitive service term or permanent appointment.

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