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Title 5 Part 362 → Subpart A

Title 5 → Chapter I → Subchapter B → Part 362 → Subpart A

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 5 Part 362 → Subpart A

e-CFR data is current as of January 23, 2020

Title 5Chapter ISubchapter BPart 362 → Subpart A


Title 5: Administrative Personnel
PART 362—PATHWAYS PROGRAMS


§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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