[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 151 (Friday, August 5, 2011)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 47495-47515]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-19623]


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Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

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Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 151 / Friday, August 5, 2011 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 47495]]



OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT

5 CFR Parts 213, 302, 315, 330, 334, 362, 531, 536, 550, 575, and 
890

RIN 3206-AM34


Excepted Service, Career and Career-Conditional Employment; and 
Pathways Programs

AGENCY: U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

ACTION: Proposed rule with request for comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is proposing 
regulations to implement the Pathways Programs established by E.O. 
13562, signed December 27, 2010, to provide clear paths to Federal 
internships and potential careers in Government for students and recent 
graduates. As directed by the President, the Pathways Programs consist 
of the Internship Program, the Recent Graduates Program and the 
Presidential Management Fellows Program. The President determined that 
these programs should be excepted from the competitive service and 
placed in the newly created Schedule D of the excepted service.
    OPM's proposed implementing regulations would provide for more 
transparency in Federal internship opportunities, limit the programs so 
they are used as a supplement to competitive examining and not a 
substitute for it, apply veterans' preference, and provide for OPM 
oversight. Agencies would only be permitted to use the Pathways 
Programs as part of an overall workforce planning strategy and pursuant 
to an agreement with OPM. The regulations would require agencies to 
make an investment in the program participants' development through 
training, mentorship, and other means. The regulations would further 
require agencies to conduct meaningful assessments of participant 
performance as part of an agency's determination as to whether the 
program participants should be converted to permanent positions in the 
competitive service.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before October 4, 2011.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, which are identified by RIN 3206-
AM34, by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRuling Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow 
the instructions for submitting comments.
     E-mail: employ@opm.gov. Include ``RIN 3206-AM34'', 
Excepted Service, Career and Career-Conditional Employment; and 
Pathways Programs'' in the subject line of the message.
     Fax: (202) 606-4430.
     Mail: Angela Bailey, Associate Director for Employee 
Services, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Room 6566, 1900 E 
Street, NW., Washington, DC 20415-9700.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gale Perryman, 202-606-1143, Fax: 202-
606-4430, by TTY: 202-418-2532, or e-mail: gale.perryman@opm.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The President is authorized by statute to 
provide for ``necessary exceptions of positions from the competitive 
service'' whenever warranted by ``conditions of good administration.'' 
5 U.S.C. 3302. The President has also delegated to OPM the authority to 
except positions from the competitive service. 5 CFR 6.1(a). It has 
been a long-standing practice under these authorities for the 
President, and for OPM exercising its delegated authority, to permit 
positions that would otherwise be in the competitive service to be 
filled through excepted service appointments where conditions of good 
administration warrant exceptions from competitive examining procedures 
(e.g., people with disabilities and students). One of the purposes for 
which exceptions have been made in the past is to fulfill the merit 
system principles, which provide, in part, that ``[r]ecruitment should 
be from qualified individuals from appropriate sources in an endeavor 
to achieve a work force from all segments of society * * *.'' In 
keeping with that objective, President Obama issued Executive Order 
13562, which established the concept of the Pathways Programs, 
``find[ing] that conditions of good administration (specifically, the 
need to promote employment opportunities for students and recent 
graduates in the Federal workforce) make necessary an exception to the 
competitive hiring rules for certain positions in the Federal civil 
service.'' Exec. Order No. 13562, 75 FR 82,585 (Dec. 27. 2010). The 
Pathways Programs consist of three discrete excepted service internship 
programs for students and recent graduates: the Internship Program; the 
Recent Graduates Program; and the Presidential Management Fellows 
Program.
    The Internship Program is for current students. It will consolidate 
provisions of the Student Educational Employment Program (SEEP) into a 
new student internship program designed to provide high school, 
vocational and technical, undergraduate, and graduate students 
opportunities to be exposed to the work of Government through Federal 
internships. This program is designed to attract the interest of 
students enrolled in a wide variety of educational institutions, with 
paid opportunities to work in agencies and explore Federal careers 
while still in school. Agencies may convert Interns who successfully 
complete program and academic requirements to any competitive service 
position for which the Intern is qualified, but they are not required 
to do so. It is expected that, even if an agency does not convert an 
Intern, service in the Internship Program will increase the likelihood 
that the Intern will consider applying for a Federal position at some 
point in the future, based upon the exposure to employment in the 
Pathways Program.
    The Recent Graduates Program is a new program that will provide 
opportunities for individuals who have recently graduated (or obtained 
certificates) from qualifying educational institutions or programs. To 
be eligible, applicants must apply within 2 years of educational 
program completion (except that veterans who are precluded from 
applying within 2 years due to a military service obligation will have 
up to 6 years from the date they completed their educational program to 
participate in the Recent Graduates Program (i.e., A veteran's 2-year 
eligibility is postponed until completion of military service 
obligation. Thus, a veteran will have up to a 6-year period to exercise 
his or her 2-year eligibility). Successful applicants will be placed in 
a 2-year career development program. Agencies may convert Recent 
Graduates Program participants who successfully complete the program to 
competitive service jobs,

[[Page 47496]]

but they are not required to do so. Once again, it is expected that, 
even if an agency does not convert an employee participating in the 
Recent Graduates Program to a position in the competitive service at 
the expiration of the Recent Graduates Program, service in the Pathways 
Program will make it more likely that the Recent Graduate will want to 
pursue Federal service later in his or her career.
    For more than three decades the Presidential Management Fellows 
(PMF) Program has been the Federal Government's premier leadership 
development program for advanced degree candidates. Executive Order 
13562 expands the eligibility window for applicants, making it more 
``student friendly'' by aligning it with academic calendars and 
including those who have received a qualifying advanced degree within 
the preceding 2 years. Like Recent Graduates, PMFs work in a 2-year 
developmental program and, upon successful completion of the program, 
may be converted to competitive service jobs. Indeed, the Recent Grads 
program, in some respects, is patterned after the PMF Program.
    Each of these programs share 5 core principles that advance merit 
system principles and the policies established by the President in the 
Executive order:
    1. Transparency. The Pathways Programs provide for more 
transparency in Federal internship or other developmental 
opportunities. Members of the public interested in these opportunities 
with the Federal Government will now be able to learn about them 
through USAJOBS.gov. That Web site is the portal to all Federal jobs in 
the competitive service, and it will now also be used to provide 
information to the public about agency internship needs and the process 
for applying for agency internships as these opportunities become 
available.
    2. Limited Scope. The Pathways Programs are limited in nature, 
intended to provide agencies a supplemental authority to use as part of 
an overall workforce planning strategy. Accordingly, agencies must 
report the positions for which they intend to use the Pathways Programs 
to OPM on an annual basis. OPM will review the information provided by 
the agencies and, if appropriate, establish a cap on the number of 
individuals who may be converted from the Pathways Programs to 
positions in the competitive service. This safeguard will permit OPM to 
ensure that agencies use these programs in a limited way as part of an 
overall strategic plan rather than using them to avoid competitive 
examining altogether.
    3. Fairness to Veterans. The Pathways Programs will be fair to 
veterans because they will honor veterans' preference and provide 
additional flexibility to veterans in recognition of their military 
service. Thus, when agencies are making selections for internship 
positions in any of the three Pathways programs, they must apply 
veterans' preference in accordance with Part 302 when selecting from 
among qualified applicants. Moreover, the eligibility rule for the 
Recent Graduates Program is more flexible for veterans than it is for 
non-veterans. Whereas the general rule is that, to be eligible for the 
Recent Graduates Program, an individual must have completed his or her 
educational program within the preceding 2 years, veterans who were 
precluded from applying within that period due to a military service 
obligation have up to 6 years from the date they completed their 
educational program to participate in the Recent Graduates Program.
    4. OPM Oversight. The Pathways Programs will also be subject to OPM 
oversight. Agencies will be required to enter a memorandum of 
understanding (MOU) with OPM before using any of the Pathways Programs. 
The MOU will set forth the agency's obligations to the President and 
the Executive Branch in using the programs, and OPM will use the MOUs 
as an oversight tool. In addition, as mentioned above, agencies will be 
required to report to OPM annually on their usage of the Pathways 
Programs and will be subject to a cap on conversions of Pathways 
participants to non-Pathways positions in the competitive service if 
necessary.
    5. Agency Investment. Agencies that use the Pathways Programs will 
have to be committed to investing in the participants. The Pathways 
Programs are intended to be more than simple excepted service hiring 
authorities; they are intended to fulfill a need for developmental 
programs that will inspire interest in more permanent Federal service. 
The purpose of the programs is to foster a positive experience for 
participants that will help prepare them for successful careers in 
Government--either immediately or at some future date. Agencies are 
encouraged to create cohorts of Pathways participants, and provide them 
with common training and developmental experiences. In order to 
continue participating in the programs, they will be required as well 
to conduct meaningful assessments of the participants for purposes of 
determining whether they should be converted to the competitive 
service.
    By crafting the Pathways Programs around these core principles, we 
respond to the President's direction to address the special challenges 
the Federal Government faces in competing with private industry for the 
best candidates for Federal service, while safeguarding veterans' 
preference and ensuring that the normal competitive examining process 
is preserved to the greatest extent practicable.

Background

1. Steps OPM Took To Assess Student and Recent Graduate Hiring

    OPM has conducted a thorough review of the Federal Government's 
ability to recruit and hire students and recent graduates. This review 
began in August of 2009, when OPM convened an interagency team 
consisting of Federal employees from six organizations--State, 
Education, Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Internal Revenue 
Service (IRS), OPM, and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). These 
employees worked for 90 days to examine the current Federal recruiting 
and hiring process as it relates to students and recent graduates.
    On October 7, 2009, OPM hosted a ``Roundtable Discussion on Federal 
Recruitment and Hiring at Colleges and Universities'' (hereafter ``OPM 
Roundtable''). The OPM Roundtable was attended by representatives from 
nine different academic and good government organizations. It explored 
whether there are barriers to hiring students and recent graduates into 
Federal jobs.
    On June 25, 2010, OPM convened a public hearing to consider issues 
connected to hiring students and recent graduates. OPM issued a Federal 
Register notice inviting the public to submit comments on three issues: 
(1) Whether normal, competitive hiring is an effective avenue for 
bringing recent college graduates into the Federal workforce and, if 
so, why that is the case; (2) if not, whether this presents a problem 
for the Federal Government that is sufficiently significant to warrant 
action or changes to policy; and (3) if action or changes in policy are 
warranted, what changes should be effected and who should effect them. 
Members of the public who submitted written comments were also offered 
an opportunity to speak at the hearing. During the hearing, OPM heard 
testimony from three panels of experts: agency Chief Human Capital 
Officers, representatives from Federal employee unions and veterans' 
service organizations, and representatives from

[[Page 47497]]

good government and academic groups. Following the public hearing, OPM 
posted the hearing transcript and issued a Federal Register notice 
inviting the public to make any additional comments.
    OPM also gathered and reviewed relevant literature on topics such 
as entry-level hiring, recruiting and hiring students and recent 
graduates, and the Federal Career Intern Program (FCIP).
    Finally, OPM's qualifications and assessment experts provided 
information regarding the process for overhauling the currently 
predominant training- and experience-based approach to qualifications 
and assessments. The ubiquity of that approach has been identified as 
one of the barriers to recruiting and hiring students and recent 
graduates, because it places a premium on prior work experience rather 
than potential for success on the job.
    This review informed the President's decision to issue E.O. 13562 
and has also informed OPM in drafting these implementing regulations. 
The materials that OPM considered as part of its review are available 
for public review and comment at http://www.opm.gov/open.

2. Conclusions From OPM's Review

    OPM has concluded that there are barriers to hiring students and 
recent graduates that can best be addressed through the implementation 
of effective excepted service internship programs. Even though studies 
``show strong match between what the Federal Government offers and what 
[students] seek in an employer, * * * relatively few students * * * 
report considering the government as a potential employer * * *.'' Id. 
at 53 (testimony of Marilyn Mackes, National Association of Colleges 
and Employers (NACE)). This observation is borne out by empirical data 
and expert testimony. The MSPB reported in 2005 that only 10% of new 
hires in GS-5, 7, and 9 jobs in the competitive service (typical entry-
level grades) had less than one year of full-time work experience, 
which was less than half the number with that experience level hired 
into the excepted service. MSPB, Attracting the Next Generation, at 19. 
Conversely, 37% of the new hires in these entry-level grades had 11 or 
more years of experience, including 20% with over 20 years of 
experience. Id. Many of the participants in our public hearing 
acknowledged this reality. See Tr. at 4 (testimony of Marilee 
Fitzgerald, Chief Human Capital Officer, Department of Defense); id. at 
26 (testimony of William Dougan, President, National Federation of 
Federal Employees) (``it is difficult for many recent graduates or 
expected graduates to compete for government jobs through the 
competitive hiring system [because they] * * * do not have the 
experience necessary to compete * * *''); id. at 34 (testimony of Brian 
Hawthorne, Student Veterans of America) (``Recent college graduates are 
at a fundamental disadvantage in this economy * * *. [P]eople with more 
experience are seeking jobs which they are overqualified for, which 
fundamentally puts us out of the running.''); id. at 50 (testimony of 
Laurel McFarland, Executive Director, NASPAA) (``[m]any undergrads and 
grads lack work experience * * * [p]articularly the professional work 
experience that documents the skills and abilities required in the 
current competitive system. If you want to skip the next generation of 
Federal workers and leaders, keep doing what you are doing and hire 
only those with significant work experience.'').
    Internship programs are essential to addressing these issues. By 
exposing students and recent graduates to jobs in the Federal civil 
service at the beginning of their careers, we will engage them at the 
outset of their work lives, before their career paths are fully 
established, inform them about the wide variety of interesting 
opportunities available in the Federal Government, and break through 
commonly held stereotypes about ``government work.'' We will also be 
better equipped to recruit and appoint more expeditiously, thus 
negating what is otherwise a significant disadvantage in competing with 
the private sector for high-potential candidates emerging from 
educational institutions. Through participating in effective internship 
programs, talented individuals who may not otherwise have considered a 
career in the Federal civil service will become more open to the idea 
of pursuing Federal service, whether early in their careers, when 
considering a mid-career change, or when they become experts in their 
fields. In addition, current and former interns who enjoy their 
internship experiences will become our best recruiting sources. Having 
a larger supply of talented people who are interested in working for 
the Federal Government is a benefit to the country and the taxpayers, 
especially when ``competition for high-quality talent among American 
employment sectors is heating up.'' Merit Systems Protection Board, 
Attracting the Next Generation: A Look at Federal Entry-Level New Hires 
(Jan. 2008), at 2. Exposing students and recent graduates to Federal 
jobs through internships and similar programs is an effective way to 
accomplish this goal.
    Internships also have the benefit of affording agencies ``a low-
risk means to assess potential employees on the job.'' Partnership for 
Public Service, Leaving Talent on the Table: The Need To Capitalize on 
High Performing Student Interns (April 2009), at 4. Indeed, under the 
Pathways Programs, interns will be given an extended ``on-the-job 
tryout,'' which is a relatively high indicator of future success on the 
job, significantly higher than considering experience or educational 
level alone. See Merit Systems Protection Board, Reforming Federal 
Hiring: Beyond Faster and Cheaper (Sept. 1, 2006) at 19. Moreover, 
creating internship programs in the excepted service, as the President 
has done, allows for greater flexibility in evaluating inexperienced 
workers, as their internships last for 2 years, rather than the 1-year 
period applicable to the competitive service. To a large extent, recent 
graduates are hired based on their potential, rather than on their 
accomplishments. Without a proven record of success in a job related to 
their field, the period of evaluation takes on added significance. 
Similarly, we need to make allowance for the fact that new workers will 
require additional training and developmental opportunities. It may 
take them longer to become high performers. Accordingly, providing for 
a 2-year program serves multiple interests. It allows managers more 
time for more meaningful evaluation of inexperienced workers, while 
giving inexperienced workers a longer opportunity to grow into their 
jobs, develop their skills, and prove what they have to offer.

3. The President's Findings

    OPM detailed a summary of this review process in a report to the 
President. Subsequently, the President concluded that conditions of 
good administration make necessary an exception to the competitive 
hiring rules for certain internship positions in the Federal civil 
service. In reaching this conclusion, the President made the following 
findings:

    The Federal Government benefits from a diverse workforce that 
includes students and recent graduates, who infuse the workplace 
with their enthusiasm, talents, and unique perspectives. The 
existing competitive hiring process for the Federal civil service, 
however, is structured in a manner that, even at the entry level, 
favors job applicants who have significant previous work experience. 
This structure, along with the complexity of the rules governing 
admission to the career civil service, creates a barrier to 
recruiting and hiring students and recent graduates. It places the 
Federal Government at a

[[Page 47498]]

competitive disadvantage compared to private-sector employers when 
it comes to hiring qualified applicants for entry-level positions.
    To compete effectively for students and recent graduates, the 
Federal Government must improve its recruiting efforts; offer clear 
paths to Federal internships for students from high school through 
post-graduate school; offer clear paths to civil service careers for 
recent graduates; and provide meaningful training, mentoring, and 
career-development opportunities. Further, exposing students and 
recent graduates to Federal jobs through internships and similar 
programs attracts them to careers in the Federal Government and 
enables agency employers to evaluate them on the job to determine 
whether they are likely to have successful careers in Government.

Exec. Order No. 13562, 75 FR 82,585 (Dec. 27. 2010), Sec. 1.
    These regulations implement the President's decision to create 
three distinct internship programs--the Pathways Programs--in Schedule 
D of the excepted service.
Summary of Changes
    As directed by the President, positions filled under these programs 
would be in the excepted service under Schedule D in 5 CFR part 213, a 
new schedule created by Section 7 of Executive Order 13562. Schedule D 
would contain those positions for which competitive service 
requirements make it impracticable for agencies to recruit students 
attending qualifying academic institutions or individuals who have 
recently completed qualifying educational programs. Section 7(a)(i) of 
Executive Order 13562 also delegated additional authority to OPM to 
except certain positions from the competitive service.
    Pursuant to the Executive order, OPM is also proposing to add a new 
regulation at the beginning of 5 CFR part 213, subpart A. The new 
section 213.102 would provide further guidance on excepting positions 
from the competitive service pursuant to applicable Executive orders. 
It would also clarify that positions may be excepted from the 
competitive service pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 3302 and 5 CFR 6.1 on either 
an indefinite or a temporary basis. Indefinite exceptions are 
appropriate when the nature of the position itself precludes it from 
being in the competitive service (such as attorney positions, for which 
examining is prohibited). Temporary exceptions are appropriate to allow 
for valid targeted recruiting and hiring of a particular class of 
persons, with the opportunity for the persons selected for those 
positions to convert to the competitive service at a later date.
    This clarification reflects the President's (and several of his 
predecessors') interpretation of 5 U.S.C. 3302(1) and will permit OPM, 
exercising discretion delegated to it by the President, to continue its 
practice of allowing agencies to fill positions that would normally be 
in the competitive service through excepted service appointments in 
order to allow them to recruit and hire from among classes of 
individuals that are disadvantaged by competitive examining. For 
example, people with disabilities are hired into positions that are 
normally in the competitive service but are temporarily placed in the 
excepted service to allow for agencies to use targeted recruitment and 
hiring strategies in order to hire qualified people with disabilities. 
Individuals hired under this process convert into the competitive 
service after 2 years. For over 30 years, student interns and 
Presidential Management Fellows (formerly Presidential Management 
Interns) have been hired this same way--using excepted service 
appointments for jobs that were simultaneously being filled through 
competitive appointments by non-student interns and Fellows. The 
proposed new regulation would make more explicit that long-standing 
interpretation.
    Next, OPM is proposing to remove the provisions in 5 CFR 
213.3202(a) and (b), the Student Educational Employment Program (SEEP). 
We are proposing to remove these paragraphs because many of the 
provisions of the SEEP would be incorporated, with modifications, into 
the new Internship Program regulations in 5 CFR part 362. Section 8(b) 
of E.O. 13562 supersedes and revokes E.O. 12015, which authorized the 
establishment of career work-study programs, effective the date on 
which OPM issues final regulations for the Pathways Programs.
    OPM is also proposing to remove paragraph (o) of 5 CFR 213.3202, 
the Federal Career Intern Program (FCIP). Section 8(a) of E.O. 13562 
superseded and revoked E.O. 13162, which established the FCIP, 
effective March 1, 2011.
    The proposed rule would redesignate part 362 as Pathways Programs. 
Part 362 currently contains provisions relating to the Presidential 
Management Fellows Program, but we are proposing to replace it with 
provisions governing all three of the Pathways Programs. Part 362 would 
now consist of four subparts: subpart A, General Provisions, which 
would contain rules pertaining to all three Pathways Programs; subpart 
B, Internship Program; subpart C, Recent Graduates Program; and subpart 
D, the Presidential Management Fellows Program. Though we are 
addressing each program within part 362, the programs are distinct, 
targeting different classes of people and governed by different rules 
and procedures. Accordingly, each should be considered independently of 
the others.
    The proposed rule would also make conforming changes to the 
appropriate sections relating to noncompetitive conversions, creditable 
service for career tenure, pay, and benefits administration in 5 CFR 
parts 213, 302, 315, 330, 334, 531, 536, 537, 550, 575, and 890.

General Provisions Common to all Pathways Programs

Program Administration

    Subpart A of part 362, General Provisions, contains the overarching 
requirements applicable to all Pathways Programs. In some instances, we 
have consolidated and incorporated provisions of the current Student 
Educational Employment and Presidential Management Fellows Programs 
(SEEP, and PMFP, respectively) into the proposed Pathways Programs 
regulations. This subpart also contains new provisions necessary to 
implement E.O. 13562. The new subpart clarifies certain definitions and 
provisions relating to agencies' authority, requirements agencies must 
meet, how positions are filled, conversion to the competitive service, 
and program accountability and oversight. A description of these 
provisions follows.

General Provisions

    Section 362.101 of the proposed regulations establishes the basic 
framework and purpose of the Pathways Programs. This section also 
directs agencies to provide for equal employment opportunities in the 
Pathways Programs.

Definitions

    Section 362.102 contains the definitions necessary for the 
administration of this part. OPM is revising the definition of 
``qualifying educational institution'' to expressly include home-school 
curricula that are recognized by the State or local government in which 
the curricula are administered (in the case of secondary home-school 
programs), or by a body recognized by the United States Department of 
Education (in the case of post-secondary, or vocational or technical 
home-school programs). This change makes clear that students using 
certain home-school curricula may

[[Page 47499]]

apply for consideration under the Pathways Programs.

Authority

    Section 362.103 of the proposed regulations authorizes agencies to 
make time-limited appointments to positions placed, temporarily, in the 
excepted service, pursuant to the Pathways Programs, subject to certain 
prerequisites. The section establishes a requirement for the agency 
head or his or her designee to enter into a Pathways Memorandum of 
Understanding (Pathways MOU) with OPM prior to making appointments 
under any Pathways authority. This section also requires agencies to 
execute a Pathways agreement with each individual appointed under the 
Pathways Programs.

Agency Requirements

    Section 362.104 of the proposed regulations establishes the 
requirements and criteria that must be addressed in the MOU with OPM, 
including that it should identify a Pathways Program officer for the 
agency and describe the process for accepting and assessing 
applications. Requirements for the MOU are essentially the same for all 
three Pathways Programs. An agency will have to describe in writing how 
it intends to use each Pathways Program and the requirements the agency 
will establish for each Pathways Program.
    We propose removing the existing three-way agreement between the 
school, student and agency under the Student Career Experience Program 
(SCEP) because we believe the requirement to include the educational 
institution is an unnecessary burden on both the student and the 
agency. In its place, we propose to establish a requirement that a 
given agency sign a Pathways Agreement with each participant in its 
Pathways Programs. These written agreements must identify requirements 
such as work assignments, evaluation procedures, and any procedures for 
noncompetitive conversion upon successful completion of the program. 
OPM believes these agreements will make the Programs more effective for 
the Government by assisting both management and the Program participant 
in identifying and attaining program goals, as well as providing 
Program participants with a better understanding of expectations and 
requirements for successful completion of each Pathways Program. 
Agencies are not, however, precluded from entering into 3-way 
agreements with educational institutions that sponsor programs for 
formal student work/academic relationships.
    In an effort to help students and recent graduates understand and 
compare available Federal career opportunities, E.O. 13562 requires the 
use of standard naming conventions for Pathways Programs across all 
agencies. Therefore, OPM proposes that an agency can adopt its own 
Pathways Program name provided the agency name includes the Pathways 
Program name identified in these regulations; for example, OPM Recent 
Graduates Program. Any agency-specific name for a Pathways Program must 
be identified in the agency policy.

Filling Positions

    Section 362.105 of the proposed regulations requires agencies' 
workforce planning to address the need to have an adequate number of 
positions available to which successful Pathways Program participants 
can be converted. It also provides that agencies must fill Pathways 
Programs positions under Schedule D of the excepted service (5 CFR part 
213). In addition, this section explains the general eligibility 
criteria individuals must meet in order to be appointed to a Pathways 
Program. These criteria include, but are not limited to, requirements 
relating to all Federal appointments such as qualifications and 
suitability.
    This section further explains that Pathways appointments are for 2 
years and may be extended by the agency for up to 120 days. The new 
Executive Order does not provide OPM the flexibility to extend Pathways 
Programs appointments for an additional year.

Conversion to the Competitive Service

    Section 362.106 of the proposed regulations permits agencies to 
noncompetitively convert Pathways Program participants to term, or 
permanent appointments in the competitive service. It also makes clear 
that an agency that initially converts a Pathways Program participant 
to a term appointment may subsequently convert the individual 
noncompetitively to a permanent competitive service appointment.
    This section also provides that an agency may convert a Pathways 
Program participant to a position in the same agency or to a position 
in another Federal agency. It clarifies that the provisions of the 
career transition assistance programs in subparts B, F and G of 5 CFR 
part 330 do not apply to conversions. Proposed section 362.106 would 
clarify that any time spent by a Pathways Program participant counts 
towards career tenure if the individual is converted to a permanent 
position in the competitive service. However, participation in a 
Pathways Program does not provide any right to further employment.

Program Accountability and Oversight

    The Executive Order authorizes the Director of OPM to ``establish, 
if appropriate, a Government-wide cap on the number of noncompetitive 
conversions to the competitive service of Interns, Recent Graduates, or 
PMFs (or a Government-wide combined conversion cap applicable to all 
three categories together).'' [See Sec. 7(b)(iii).] The proposed 
section 362.107 would establish that OPM would determine whether to 
establish any caps based on information it receives from the agencies 
about their use of the Pathways Programs. In the event the Director 
determined that a cap would be appropriate, OPM would publish it in the 
Federal Register, including how it would affect individual agencies 
participating in the Pathways Programs.
    Proposed section 362.107 also specifies certain information 
agencies must include in their Human Capital Management planning 
documents relating to hiring in their Pathways Programs. OPM is 
requiring this information in order to gauge the effectiveness and 
usage of the Pathways Programs, and to determine whether to impose 
limitations on the number of appointments and/or conversions agencies 
may make each year.
    OPM proposes, in section 362.108, adding a provision that would 
allow the Director to approve written requests for waivers of the 
regulatory requirements of the Pathways Programs under limited 
circumstances. This mirrors the provision currently appearing at 5 CFR 
362.205.
    OPM acknowledges, in proposed section 362.109, our requirements to 
issue written guidance for the orderly transition of current SEEP and 
PMF employees.

Internship Program

    The Executive order establishing the Pathways Program framework 
provides for it to include an Internship Program, which replaces the 
existing Student Career Experience Program (SCEP). E.O. 13562 also 
supersedes and revokes E.O. 12015 (which authorized noncompetitive 
conversion to the competitive service for SCEPs), effective on the date 
the Pathways regulations become final. The Student Educational 
Employment Program (SEEP) at 5 CFR 213.3202 provides the existing 
framework for the SCEP.

[[Page 47500]]

Background on the SEEP

    On December 16, 1994, OPM issued final regulations implementing the 
Student Educational Employment Program (SEEP). The SEEP consolidated 13 
different student employment programs into one program with a 
standardized set of rules. The SEEP had two components, the Student 
Temporary Employment Program (STEP) and the Student Career Experience 
Program (SCEP). The SEEP was designed so that agencies could develop 
innovative work-study or temporary programs to attract students.
    The SCEP component was designed to provide career-related work 
experience directly related to the student's educational program or 
curriculum. Agencies appoint students under SCEP to a job related to 
the student's academic field of study. After successful completion of 
academic and SEEP/SCEP program requirements, agencies can appoint 
SCEPs, without competition, to term, career, or career-conditional 
positions related to their academic field of study. The SCEP gives 
students valuable work experience in a field related to their academic 
course of study and allows them to experience firsthand the rewards of 
public service; at the same time, it gives agencies the opportunity to 
observe students' job performance in the work environment and evaluate 
them as potential employees.
    The STEP component was created to provide jobs to students, on a 
temporary basis, which may or may not be related to their career goals 
or academic field of study. STEP was intended to provide agencies and 
students with maximum flexibility in meeting both their needs on a 
short-term basis. Though STEPs can convert into the SCEP, there is no 
provision that allows agencies to noncompetitively convert STEPs to 
term, career, or career-conditional appointments.
    While OPM has refined the SEEP over the years, the original intent 
has remained constant: to provide students with an integrated program 
of academic study and related work experience while building a 
candidate pool of promising, high-potential graduates for entry-level 
positions in the Federal civil service. The most recent changes to the 
program were published in April 2006. These changes provided agencies 
with additional flexibility in crediting certain non-Federal work 
towards program requirements.

Abolishment of the SEEP

    Executive Order 13562 provides a new framework for Government 
internship programs and authorizes the noncompetitive conversion of 
interns to term or permanent competitive service appointments. The new 
Internship Program under Pathways eliminates the need for the existing 
SEEP. Therefore, OPM is implementing E.O. 13562 by ending SCEP and has 
determined to eliminate STEP as well, as it would now be largely 
redundant of elements of the new program. For the most part, OPM 
proposes to incorporate many of the current provisions of the SEEP into 
the new Internship Program.

Program Summary

    Whereas the SEEP had two components, STEP and the SCEP, the 
Internship Program will exist as one program or appointing authority. 
Students hired into this program will be known as ``Interns.''
Nature of Work Assigned to Interns
    Interns are intended to provide agencies a ready pipeline of talent 
from which to fill positions, as part of a balanced workforce strategy. 
Accordingly, agencies are generally required to provide Interns with 
meaningful developmental work. This benefits the Government both from a 
succession planning perspective and in recruiting for future job 
opportunities. Experience shows that Interns who have favorable 
impressions of their time working for an agency are the agency's most 
successful recruiters among their peers.
    The Internship Program is flexible enough, however, to accommodate 
the need of some agencies to hire Interns to complete temporary 
projects, to perform labor intensive tasks not requiring subject-matter 
expertise, or to work in traditional ``summer jobs, '' (e.g., routine 
clerical work). Accordingly, agencies are excused from the requirement 
that they provide meaningful developmental work for the Interns they 
hire to perform these types of tasks. Agencies are urged, however, to 
use this exception judiciously, as the clear intent of the Pathways 
E.O. is for agencies to use the Internship Program as a means for 
developing a pipeline of talent. Moreover, agencies should still follow 
best practices to make the experience of all Interns a favorable one 
that will leave them with a positive impression of Federal service.
Agency Authority
    Proposed section 362.201 describes the intent and purpose of the 
Internship Program.
Definitions
    Section 362.202 contains a modified definition of student, which 
eliminates redundant references to academic institutions and degrees 
and certifications that will be addressed in the definition of 
qualifying educational institution in proposed section 362.102. OPM 
proposes to retain the requirement that an individual must be accepted 
for enrollment or enrolled in a degree program on at least a half-time 
basis.
Announcement
    Section 362.203(a) of the proposed regulations would require that 
agencies provide information to OPM about their Internship 
opportunities. This information would include the title, series, grade 
and location, as well as a link to the agency's Web site where 
individuals can find information about how to apply for specific 
Internship opportunities. OPM would note that it will make available to 
the public a summary of these Internship opportunities in a manner the 
Director will determine, including how to find agency-specific 
Internship opportunities. At this time, OPM intends to make this 
information available to the public through advertisements on 
USAJOBS.gov as these opportunities arise. It would be within each 
agency's discretion to determine the process for soliciting and 
accepting applications for specific Internship opportunities, 
consistent with applicable legal and policy requirements, including the 
President's hiring reform initiative (see May 11, 2010, Presidential 
Memorandum, at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/presidential-memorandum-improving-federal-recruitment-and-hiring-process) and the 
requirement to collect applicant flow data.
Qualifications and Appointment
    Agencies could continue to evaluate Interns using either agency-
developed qualification standards or the OPM qualifications for the 
position and grade level of the position to which the Intern is 
appointed as specified in section 362.203(c).
    Proposed section 362.203(d) would require agencies to make 
Internship appointments under Schedule D of the excepted service and 
maintain the provisions that agencies may appoint eligible individuals 
to any position for which the individual is qualified.
    Under the terms of the proposed regulation, the duties of the 
position for which the individual is hired do not have to be directly 
related to the Intern's academic career goals or particular field

[[Page 47501]]

of study. We are proposing this change to provide both students and 
agencies with greater flexibility in terms of the type of Federal 
employment that may be offered to eligible students.
    OPM is proposing to remove the provision in the current SCEP rules, 
which states that any OPM test requirements are waived when an agency 
is using OPM Governmentwide qualification requirements. OPM is removing 
this language because the Governmentwide qualification requirements no 
longer require tests. Therefore, no waiver mechanism is required.
    OPM is proposing to allow agencies to appoint Interns on a 
temporary basis for up to 1 year or for an initial period expected to 
last more than 1 year, similar to appointments made under the STEP and 
SCEP programs, respectively. A temporary appointment may be extended by 
the agency.
Promotions
    Section 362.203(e) authorizes agencies to promote Interns in a 
manner similar to how they promoted students serving on STEP and SCEP 
appointments. An agency should document the promotion of an Intern 
serving on a temporary appointment as a conversion to another Schedule 
D excepted service appointment, but using the original not-to-exceed 
date.
Classification
    OPM proposes to retain, in section 362.203(f), the requirement that 
Interns be classified to the -99 series for occupational groups 
appropriate for the General Schedule or appropriate pay plan and to the 
-01 series for occupational groups appropriate for the Federal Wage 
System.
Schedules
    OPM is proposing to retain, in section 362.205(g), the same 
criteria for student schedules as currently exist under the SEEP.
Breaks in Program
    OPM is proposing to retain, in section 362.205(h), the same 
criteria for breaks in program that currently exist under the SEEP. We 
seek comments on the proposed changes from all interested parties, but 
especially from agencies, on whether breaks in program criteria are 
still needed in light of the modification of the definition of 
``student.''
Conversions to the Competitive Service
    OPM proposes to retain, in section 362.204, most of the 
requirements for noncompetitive conversion as they currently exist 
under SCEP. Under the proposed rules agencies will continue to have 120 
days to noncompetitively convert Interns to term or permanent positions 
in the competitive service. Agencies may subsequently convert Interns 
from term appointments to permanent competitive service appointments.
    In order to be eligible for conversion, an intern must meet the OPM 
qualification standard for the position to which he or she will be 
converted, complete a course of academic study from a qualifying 
educational institution, complete a minimum of 640 hours of work 
experience while in the Internship Program, and receive a favorable 
recommendation by an official of the agency.
    Interns may be converted to positions within the agency in which 
they have been serving as Interns, or to positions in other Federal 
agencies.
    Agencies may credit time spent under one or more previous Federal 
appointments towards the 640 hours of required work experience.
    OPM proposes to allow agencies to credit towards the 640-hour 
requirement work experience that is not in a field or functional area 
related to the Intern's target position or career field. This is a 
departure from the SCEP rules, which require that work creditable 
towards the 640 hours required for conversion be related to the 
student's academic goals and target position. OPM is proposing this 
change to allow both students and agencies more flexibility to convert 
Interns who successfully complete the program to positions that are not 
directly related to their field or functional area of study.
    Otherwise, OPM proposes to retain the SCEP provisions pertaining to 
creditable service (for purposes of the 640-hour requirement). 
Creditable service for these purposes includes:
     Work performed by individuals who are not Federal 
employees, pursuant to a formal work-study program comparable to the 
Pathways Internship agreements;
     Work performed by individuals who are not Federal 
employees, pursuant to a written contract between the agency and the 
organization officially established to provide internship experiences 
to students;
     Volunteer service under 5 CFR part 308; and
     Active duty military service.

A credit of 320 hours means the Intern still must work a minimum of 640 
hours to be eligible for noncompetitive conversion, but that 320 hours 
of certain non-Federal work experience may be applied towards the 640-
hour requirement.
    OPM also proposes to allow agencies to waive up to 320 hours of the 
640-hour minimum service requirement for any Intern who performs work 
directly related to his or her academic field of study or career goals, 
and who demonstrates outstanding academic achievement and exceptional 
job performance. Agencies may apply this waiver in the same manner as 
they applied it under the SCEP. For clarity, in this context (as 
opposed to the credit context discussed above) a waiver means the 
Intern only needs to work a minimum of 320 hours to be eligible for 
noncompetitive conversion (provided that other program requirements are 
met).
    Section 362.205 clarifies an Intern's coverage under part 351 of 
this chapter for the purposes of RIF. In addition, it identifies the 
appropriate tenure group for Interns based on the appointment type.

Recent Graduates Program

    Executive Order 13562 recognizes the benefits of a diverse Federal 
workforce that includes recent graduates from academic institutions and 
technical programs. The E.O. also acknowledges that the normal rules 
for competitive hiring impose significant burdens and put the 
Government at a disadvantage, vis-a-vis the private sector, in 
competing for the best candidates emerging from educational 
institutions. In addition, agencies' current competitive hiring 
practices, at the entry levels, tend to favor job applicants who have 
significant previous work experience. This puts recent graduates at a 
competitive disadvantage--no matter the degree or technical training 
they possess--when applying to, and competing for, Federal job 
opportunities. In recognition of this disadvantage and of the value to 
the Government in being competitive with other sectors in recruiting 
and hiring recent graduates, the E.O. established a Recent Graduates 
Program under the Pathways Programs framework. To implement the 
Executive order, OPM proposes adding a new subpart C to 5 CFR part 362.
    This new program will target individuals who have recently 
graduated from a qualifying educational institution or program. 
Qualifying educational institutions and programs include community 
colleges, colleges and universities, trade schools, and career and 
technical education programs. Advanced degree holders also are eligible 
to participate in the Recent Graduates Program. Though people holding 
advanced degrees tend to be highly educated in specialized fields,

[[Page 47502]]

that education often does not translate well under the training and 
experience based approach to evaluating applicants for competitive 
service jobs that most agencies now use. Accordingly, people with 
advanced degrees and little experience fare poorly under these 
assessment approaches, as do their colleagues with 2-year and 4-year 
degrees.
    To be eligible for an appointment to the Recent Graduates Program, 
an applicant must apply within 2 years of the date on which he or she 
completed the academic degree or technical program requirements. The 
proposed regulations extend the eligibility period for veterans who 
were precluded from applying within the 2-year window because of a 
military service obligation. This extended eligibility period cannot 
end more than 6 years after the date on which the individual completed 
his or her academic degree or technical program requirements. In other 
words, a veteran's 2-year eligibility is postponed until completion of 
military service obligation. Thus, a veteran will have up to a 6-year 
period to exercise his or her 2-year eligibility veterans will have up 
to a 6 year window to exercise their 2-year eligibility.
    Individuals selected for the Recent Graduates Program will 
generally be appointed to positions up to the General Schedule (GS)-9 
level (or equivalent) and placed in a 2-year career development 
program. OPM is proposing, however, to allow agencies to hire 
individuals for science, technology, engineering, or mathematics 
occupations at the GS-11 level (or equivalent) if they possess a Ph.D. 
or equivalent doctoral degree directly related to the science, 
technology, engineering, or mathematics position the agency is seeking 
to fill. In addition, OPM is proposing to allow agencies to fill 
certain scientific and professional research positions at the GS-11 or 
12 level (or equivalent), if the individuals possess the requisite 
qualifying education. After successfully completing the program, 
participants may be considered for noncompetitive conversion to a 
career job in the competitive service. A description of proposed new 
subpart C follows.

Program Summary

Program Administration
    Proposed section 362.301 makes clear the purpose of the Recent 
Graduates Program, which is to provide developmental experiences to 
eligible recent graduates, with the potential to lead to careers in the 
Federal Government. Individuals appointed under this authority will be 
referred to as Recent Graduates. This section introduces agency 
requirements particular to the Recent Graduates Program. These 
requirements address providing orientation, assignment of a mentor 
within 90 days of appointment, IDP development within 45 days of 
appointment, and providing Recent Graduates with a minimum of 40 hours 
of formal, interactive training per year. This will provide greater 
flexibility in meeting the training requirements, which we believe will 
prove beneficial to the Government as a whole, as well as the Recent 
Graduate and the agency. This change will allow conference attendance, 
on-line training and other non-conventional training formats to be 
credited toward meeting required training. It is important to note that 
on-line training and other non-conventional training methods would not 
include recurring training requirements such as yearly security 
training.
Eligibility
    Proposed section 362.302 establishes eligibility for 2 years from 
the date on which the individual completed the academic degree or 
program requirements. The proposed regulations postpones the 2-year 
time limit for certain veterans.
Filling Positions
    Section 362.303 of the proposed regulations covers announcements, 
appointments, qualifications, and promotions within the Recent 
Graduates Program.
    Paragraph (a) of that section makes clear that an agency must 
provide information to OPM about opportunities available under the 
Recent Graduates Program. This information must list the types of 
positions the agency may fill under this program and the location of 
the position. OPM will make this information available to the public in 
a manner to be determined by the Director. As with the Internship 
Program, OPM is currently planning to make this information available 
to the public through advertisements available through USAJOBS.gov as 
these opportunities arise. It will be within each agency's discretion 
to determine the process for soliciting and accepting applications for 
specific Recent Graduates opportunities, consistent with applicable 
legal and policy requirements, including the President's hiring reform 
initiative (see May 11,2010, Presidential Memorandum, at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/presidential-memorandum-improving-federal-recruitment-and-hiring-process) and the requirement to collect 
applicant flow data.
    Paragraph (b) of section 362.303 establishes that, subject to the 
requirements of subpart C of part 362 an agency may appoint a Recent 
Graduate to any position up to and including the General Schedule (GS)-
09 level (or equivalent under other pay and classification systems such 
as the Federal Wage System). It also provides that an agency must 
appoint Recent Graduates to positions with progressively more 
responsible duties that provide career advancement opportunities. OPM 
has generally capped initial appointments under this authority at the 
GS-09 level because the Recent Graduates Program is intended to be a 
program for people seeking entry-level jobs who lack experience to 
compete with more experienced job seekers under the competitive 
examining process. However, OPM proposes to allow agencies to hire 
individuals at the GS-11 level for science, technology, engineering, or 
mathematics occupations if the individual possesses a Ph.D. or 
equivalent doctoral degree directly related to the science, technology, 
engineering, or mathematics position the agency is seeking to fill. In 
addition, OPM is proposing to allow agencies to fill certain scientific 
and professional research positions at the GS-11 or 12 level (or 
equivalent), if the individuals possess the requisite qualifying 
education.
    Paragraph (c) of proposed section 362.303 provides that an agency 
may extend the 2-year program period for up to an additional 120 days 
when necessary due to rare or unusual circumstances or situations. This 
paragraph also requires an agency to identify the criteria for 
approving extensions in their Pathways Programs plans, and to record 
any extensions in writing and provide them to OPM.
    Paragraph (d) of section 362.303 specifies that an agency must 
evaluate Recent Graduate candidates using OPM qualification standards 
for the occupation and grade level of the position being filled.
    Paragraph (e) provides that an agency may promote any Recent 
Graduate who meets OPM qualification requirements in accordance with 
the agency's Pathways MOU. This section also makes clear that 
promotions are made at the agency's discretion and these provisions do 
not confer an entitlement to a promotion.
    Paragraph (f) makes it clear that the first 2 years of a Recent 
Graduate's appointment is a trial period and

[[Page 47503]]

creditable in the same manner as prescribed in 5 CFR 315.802.
Movement Between Agencies
    Section 362.304 provides that an individual may accept a new Recent 
Graduates appointment with another agency. This section explains the 
criteria under which a Graduate may move from one agency to another 
under this authority and remain in the program.
    Proposed paragraph (c) explains that the new employing agency must 
appoint the Graduate without a break in service.
    Paragraph (d) of this section provides that the time served by a 
Graduate under the previous Program with the first agency is creditable 
towards the 2-year requirement for noncompetitive conversion 
eligibility to the competitive service. It also provides that the 
Graduate does not begin a new 2-year period in the Program when he or 
she meets the conditions of subpart C of part 362. Finally, this 
section, in paragraph (e), requires the new or gaining agency to 
identify requirements for program completion and eligibility for 
noncompetitive conversion in the agency's Pathways Programs plan.
Reduction in Force and Termination
    The proposed section 362.305, in paragraph (a), makes clear that 
Graduates are in excepted service Tenure Group II for reduction in 
force (RIF) purposes. It also provides that the expiration of a Recent 
Graduate appointment is not subject to RIF procedures under 5 CFR part 
351.
    Paragraph (b) of that section makes clear that a Recent Graduate's 
appointment expires at the end of the 2-year program period, plus any 
approved agency extension, unless the agency has selected the 
participant for noncompetitive conversion to the competitive service.
Conversion to the Competitive Service
    Paragraph (a) of section 362.306 provides that an agency may 
noncompetitively convert a Recent Graduate to a term or permanent 
competitive service appointment in the agency in which the Graduate had 
been working or to another Federal agency. Though conversion to term 
appointments is discouraged, OPM proposes providing for conversion to a 
term appointment for Recent Graduates in order to maximize employment 
opportunities for Recent Graduates who successfully complete the 
Program when an agency cannot otherwise convert them to permanent 
competitive service appointments.
    Section 362.306(b) specifies the conditions a Recent Graduate must 
meet to be eligible for noncompetitive conversion to the competitive 
service. These include citizenship requirements, all other applicable 
Recent Graduates Program requirements, qualification requirements for 
the position to which the Graduate will be converted, and maintenance 
of acceptable performance under the agency's approved performance 
appraisal system.
    Section 362.306(c) specifies how to set the effective date of the 
conversion of a Recent Graduate to the competitive service.

Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program

    The Presidential Management Intern (PMI) Program was established by 
Executive order in 1977 to attract highly-qualified persons with 
graduate degrees from a variety of academic disciplines who 
demonstrated an interest in, and commitment to, leadership in the 
Federal service. PMI candidates were nominated by their graduate 
schools, and, after a rigorous assessment process conducted by OPM, the 
best qualified finalists were identified as eligible for excepted 
appointments by Federal agencies. Following successful completion of a 
2-year internship that included formal training and rotational 
assignments, PMIs could be appointed without further competition to 
positions in the competitive service.
    In 2005 OPM revised the PMI Program to implement the provisions of 
Executive Order 13318, which included renaming the program as the 
Presidential Management Fellows Program to better reflect its high 
standards, rigor, and prestige. In addition, the PMF Program had two 
components: Presidential Management Fellows and Senior Presidential 
Management Fellows. Executive Order 13318 charged the Director of OPM 
with developing, managing, and evaluating the Program.
    On December 27, 2010, the President signed Executive Order 13562, 
which, as noted earlier in this Supplementary Information, contains 
additional changes to the PMF Program. The E.O. places the PMF Program 
under the Pathways Programs framework to clarify its relationship to 
the other Pathways Programs. To implement the Executive order, OPM is 
placing the provisions relating to the PMF Program in a new subpart D 
of 5 CFR part 362. For the most part, the PMF Program will remain the 
same, with minor changes that are necessary to implement the Executive 
order.

Program Summary

Senior Fellows
    OPM proposes to eliminate the Senior Fellows component of the PMF 
Program. E.O. 13562 does not provide for a Senior Fellows Program under 
the Pathways Programs framework, an aspect of the 2005 Executive order 
that was never actually implemented.
Definitions
    In section 362.401, OPM proposes to modify the definition of 
Presidential Management Fellow to accommodate new requirements 
identified under the E.O., such as the new Schedule D appointing 
authority and the elimination of the school nomination process.
    The definition of qualifying college or university has been 
replaced with a definition of qualifying educational institution. 
However, to provide a consistent treatment of educational institutions 
and consistent requirements across the three Pathways Programs, we are 
proposing to place the definition in section 362.102.
    Proposed section 362.401 no longer includes a definition of Senior 
Presidential Management Fellow because E.O. 13562 did not include the 
Senior Fellows Program under the Pathways Programs framework.
Program Administration
    Section 362.402 of the proposed regulations includes provisions 
currently in 5 CFR 362.201.
    This section provides the Director with the discretion to determine 
the number of Fellows agencies may appoint during any given year. 
Current PMF rules require the OPM Director to make this determination 
on or about October 1. OPM is proposing to change this rule because 
E.O. 13562 no longer requires the OPM Director to make the 
determination by this specific date. The Director will also establish 
the qualifications requirements for evaluating individuals for entrance 
into the PMF Program. Agencies will continue to appoint Fellow 
finalists selected by OPM.
    OPM also proposes new requirements in section 362.402(d) for 
agencies that hire PMFs for locations in the field.
Announcement, Eligibility, and Selection
    OPM proposes to move most of the provisions currently in 5 CFR 
362.202 to section 362.403, which will be renamed ``Announcement, 
Eligibility, and Selection.'' We are proposing to remove from the 
section heading the reference to nomination, because the Executive

[[Page 47504]]

order governing the program no longer requires an individual to be 
nominated by faculty of his or her graduate school in order to apply to 
become a Fellow, and OPM believes it would be preferable to evaluate 
candidates solely on the basis of centrally-administered assessment 
tools.
    Under the proposed rule an individual will be able to apply for 
positions under the PMF Program for up to 2 years after completing his 
or her degree or certificate requirements at a qualifying educational 
institution. This proposed section also makes clear there is no limit 
to the number of times an applicant can apply, provided it is within 
the 2-year time limit identified in E.O. 13562, though an individual 
who is a PMF finalist for a previous year will lose that status if he 
or she applies to the Program again. OPM will select and publish a list 
of Fellows finalists.
Appointment and Extensions
    Section 362.404 of the proposed regulations provides that PMF 
appointments may be at the GS-09, 11, or 12 level (or equivalent) and 
are limited to 2 years. An agency may extend a PMF appointment (without 
OPM approval) for up to an additional 120 days under rare and unusual 
circumstances. Extensions must be recorded in writing and provided to 
OPM. Under current PMF rules, OPM, upon a request from an agency, may 
extend a PMF appointment for up to an additional year. The new 
Executive order does not provide OPM the flexibility to extend 
appointments under any Pathways Program. Therefore, this proposed 
section eliminates OPM's authority to extend a PMF for up to an 
additional year. This proposed section also makes clear that the first 
2 years of a Fellow's appointment is a trial period.
    This proposed section does not address citizenship requirements. 
That language has been moved to proposed subpart A, General Provisions.
Development, Evaluation, Promotion, and Certification
    Proposed section 362.405(a) establishes a requirement for agencies 
to approve an Individual Development Plan (IDP) for each of their 
Fellows.
    Proposed paragraph (b) provides for certain required developmental 
activities. Proposed paragraph (b)(1) requires OPM to provide an 
orientation program and information on available training opportunities 
to each class or cohort of Fellows.
    Proposed paragraph (b)(2) removes the requirement for formal 
classroom training and replaces it with ``interactive'' training. As 
discussed in the Recent Graduates section, this will provide greater 
flexibility in meeting the training requirements, which we believe will 
prove beneficial to both the PMF and the agency.
    Proposed paragraph (b)(3) adds a new requirement that agencies will 
be responsible for assigning a mentor for each Fellow within 90 days of 
appointment. The mentor may not be part of the PMF's supervisory chain 
of command. Additionally, mentors must be members of the Senior 
Executive Service (SES) or equivalent, unless the PMF works in a 
location where an insufficient number of SES members are available for 
mentoring duties. In that event, mentors should be from the highest 
grade level from which a sufficient number of employees are available 
for mentoring duties. OPM is proposing the mentor requirement to 
emphasize the importance of the PMF Program and its role in leadership 
development. Mentors can provide Fellows with advice and counseling on 
a myriad of career decisions, such as training and developmental 
assignments. We believe the new mentor requirement will enhance and 
enrich not only the PMF Program, but each individual Fellow's 
development.
    Proposed paragraph (b)(4) requires agencies to provide for a 
minimum of one developmental assignment of 4 to 6 months' duration. 
Alternatively, a Fellow may choose participation in an agency-wide, 
Presidential or Administration initiative that will provide experience 
comparable to the developmental assignment. In addition, this paragraph 
allows agencies to provide other short-term rotational assignments.
    Proposed paragraph (b)(6) requires agencies to make Fellows 
available to assist OPM in the process of assessing candidates for 
future PMF classes. Any interactive training provided to a Fellow in 
connection with this responsibility would count toward the annual 80-
hour requirement.
    Performance and progress evaluation criteria in the current PMF 
Program are maintained in paragraph (c) of proposed section 362.405.
    Proposed paragraph (d) makes it clear that Fellows may be promoted 
up to the GS-13 level or equivalent, provided they meet the OPM 
qualification standard for the grade level of the position.
    Paragraph (e) of proposed section 362.405 retains the existing 
requirements for certification of an agency's Executive Review Board 
upon a Fellow's completion of the Program.
Waiver
    The existing waiver provision for the PMF Program has been moved to 
subpart A of part 362.
Movement Between Agencies
    We are proposing to eliminate references to Senior Fellows from 
section 362.406 (currently 5 CFR 362.206) because E.O. 13562 no longer 
provides for a Senior PMF Program.
Withdrawal and Readmission
    OPM proposes to retain, in new section 362.407, the provisions 
currently in 5 CFR 362.207, allowing Fellows to withdraw and reapply to 
the program. We have made necessary conforming edits to those 
provisions, such as removing references to Senior Fellows.
Resignation, Termination, Reduction in Force, and Appeal Rights
    OPM proposes to clarify the circumstances under which a Fellow may 
be terminated in new section 362.408, and to include necessary 
conforming edits, such as the removal of references to Senior Fellows.
Placement Upon Completion of the Program
    The current provisions of section 362.209 will be retained in new 
section 362.409, with necessary conforming edits, such as the removal 
of reference to Senior Fellows, and the following additional changes:
    Under E.O. 13562, an agency may convert any Pathways participant to 
a term or permanent competitive service appointment. As explained 
earlier, service in a Pathways Program confers no right to further 
employment. Agencies will no longer be required to convert Fellows to 
the competitive service.
    The requirement for OPM to issue transition guidance has been moved 
to subpart A of proposed part 362.

Executive Order 13563 and Executive Order 12866

    The Office of Management and Budget has reviewed this rule in 
accordance with E.O. 13563 and E.O. 12866.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This document does not contain proposed information collection 
requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 
104-13.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    I certify that these regulations will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities

[[Page 47505]]

because they will apply only to Federal agencies and employees.

List of Subjects in 5 CFR Parts 213, 302, 315, 330, 334, 362, 531, 
536, 537, 550, 575, and 890

    Administrative practices and procedures, Colleges and universities, 
Employment, Government employees, Military personnel, Students, 
Veterans.

U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
John Berry,
Director.
    Accordingly, the Office of Personnel Management proposes to amend 
title 5, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:
* * * * *

PART 213--EXCEPTED SERVICE

    1. Revise the authority citation for part 213 to read as follows:

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 3161, 3301 and 3302; E.O. 10577, 3 CFR 
1954-1958 Comp., p. 218; E.O. 13562. Sec. 213.101 also issued under 
5 U.S.C. 2103. Sec. 213.3102 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 3301, 3302, 
3307, 8337(h), and 8456; 38 U.S.C. 4301 et seq.; and Pub. L. 105-
339, 112 Stat. 3182-83.

Subpart A--General Provisions

    2. Revise Sec.  213.102 to read as follows:


Sec.  213.102  Identification of positions in Schedule A, B, C, or D.

    (a) As provided in 5 U.S.C. 3302, the President may prescribe rules 
governing the competitive service. The rules shall provide, as nearly 
as conditions of good administration warrant, for--
    (1) Necessary exceptions of positions from the competitive service; 
and
    (2) Necessary exceptions from the provisions of sections 2951, 
3304(a), 3321, 7202, and 7203 of title 5, U.S. Code.
    (b) The President delegated authority to the Office of Personnel 
Management (OPM) in Civil Service Rule VI to except positions from the 
competitive service when OPM determines that:
    (1) Appointments thereto through competitive examination are not 
practicable; or
    (2) Recruitment from among students attending qualifying 
educational institutions or individuals who have recently completed 
qualifying educational programs can better be achieved by devising 
additional means for recruiting and assessing candidates that diverge 
from the processes generally applicable to the competitive service.
    (3)(i) Upon determining that any position or group of positions, as 
defined in 5 CFR 302.101(c), should be excepted indefinitely or 
temporarily from the competitive service, the Office of Personnel 
Management will authorize placement of the position or group of 
positions into Schedule A, B, C, or D, as applicable. Unless otherwise 
specified in a particular appointing authority, an agency may make 
Schedule A, B, C, or D appointments on either a permanent or 
nonpermanent basis, with any appropriate work schedule (i.e., full-
time, part-time, seasonal, on-call, or intermittent).
    (ii) When OPM establishes eligibility requirements (e.g., 
residence, family income) for appointment under particular Schedule A, 
B, or D exceptions, an individual's eligibility for appointment must be 
determined before appointment and without regard to any conditions that 
will result from the appointment.
    (c) For purposes of making any such determinations, positions 
includes:
    (1) Those that are intended to be removed indefinitely from the 
competitive service because the nature of the position itself precludes 
it from being in the competitive service (e.g., because it is 
impracticable to examine for the knowledge, skills, and abilities 
required for the job); and
    (2) Those that are intended to be removed temporarily from the 
competitive service to allow for targeted recruiting and hiring from 
among a particular class of persons, as defined by the Office of 
Personnel Management, with the opportunity for the persons selected for 
those positions to convert to the competitive service at a later date.
    3. In Sec.  213.103, revise the heading and paragraph (a) to read 
as follows:


Sec.  213.103  Publication of excepted appointing authorities in 
Schedules A, B, C, and D.

    (a) Schedule A, B, C, and D appointing authorities available for 
use by all agencies will be published as regulations in the Federal 
Register and the Code of Federal Regulations.
* * * * *
    4. In Sec.  213.104, revise the section heading, paragraph (a) 
introductory text, and paragraphs (a)(1), (b)(1), (b)(2), and 
(b)(3)(ii) to read as follows:


Sec.  213.104  Special provisions for temporary, time-limited, 
intermittent, or seasonal appointments in Schedule A, B, C, or D.

    (a) When OPM specifies that appointments under a particular 
Schedule A, B, C, or D authority must be temporary, intermittent, or 
seasonal, or when agencies elect to make temporary, intermittent, or 
seasonal appointments in Schedule A, B, C, or D, those terms have the 
following meaning:
    (1) Temporary appointments, unless otherwise specified in a 
particular Schedule A, B, C, or D exception, are made for a specified 
period not to exceed 1 year and are subject to the time limits in 
paragraph (b) of this section. Time-limited appointments made for more 
than 1 year are not considered to be temporary appointments, and are 
not subject to these time limits.
* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (1) Service limits. Agencies may make temporary appointments for a 
period not to exceed 1 year, unless the applicable Schedule A, B, C, or 
D authority specifies a shorter period. Except as provided in paragraph 
(b)(3) of this section, agencies may extend temporary appointments for 
no more than 1 additional year (24 months of total service). 
Appointment to a successor position (i.e., a position that replaces and 
absorbs the original position) is considered to be an extension of the 
original appointment. Appointment to a position involving the same 
basic duties, in the same major subdivision of the agency, and in the 
same local commuting area is also considered to be an extension of the 
original appointment.
    (2) Restrictions on refilling positions under temporary 
appointments. Except as provided in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, 
an agency may not fill any position (or its successor) by a temporary 
appointment in Schedule A, B, C, or D if that position had previously 
been filled by temporary appointment(s) in either the competitive or 
excepted service for an aggregate of 2 years, or 24 months, within the 
preceding 3-year period. This limitation does not apply to programs 
established to provide for systematic exchange between a Federal agency 
and non-Federal organizations.
    (3) * * *
    (ii) Positions are filled under an authority established for the 
purpose of enabling the appointees to continue or enhance their 
education, or to meet academic or professional qualification 
requirements. These include the authorities set out in Sec.  
213.3102(r) and (s) and Sec.  213.3402(a), (b), and (c), and 
authorities granted to individual agencies for use in connection with 
internship, fellowship, residency, or student programs.
* * * * *

Subpart C--Excepted Schedules

Schedule A


Sec.  213.3102  [Amended]

    5. In Sec.  213.3102, remove and reserve paragraphs (ii) and (jj).

[[Page 47506]]

Schedule B


Sec.  213.3202  [Amended]

    6. In Sec.  213.3202, remove and reserve paragraphs (a), (b), and 
(o).
    7. At the end of subpart C add Schedule D (undesignated heading) 
and Sec. Sec.  213.3401 and 213.3402 to read as follows:

Schedule D


Sec.  213.3401  Positions other than those of a confidential or policy 
determining character for which the competitive service requirements 
make impracticable the adequate recruitment of sufficient numbers of 
students attending qualifying educational institutions or individuals 
who have recently completed qualifying educational programs.

    As authorized by OPM, agencies may make appointments under this 
section to positions other than those of a confidential or policy-
determining character for which the competitive service requirements 
make impracticable the adequate recruitment and selection of sufficient 
numbers of students attending qualifying educational institutions or 
individuals who have recently completed qualifying educational 
programs. These positions, which may be filled in the excepted service 
to enable more effective recruitment from all segments of society by 
using means of recruiting and assessing candidates that diverge from 
the rules generally applicable to the competitive service, constitute 
Schedule D Pathways Programs. Appointments under this authority are 
subject to the basic qualification standards established by the Office 
of Personnel Management for the occupation and grade level unless 
otherwise stated.


Sec.  213.3402  Entire executive civil service; Pathways Programs.

    (a) Internship Program. Positions in the Internship Program. 
Agencies may make initial appointments of Interns under this authority 
at any grade level, depending on the candidates' qualifications. 
Appointments must be made in accordance with the provisions of subpart 
B of part 362 of this chapter.
    (b) Recent Graduates Program. Positions in the Recent Graduates 
Program. Appointments under this authority may not exceed 2 years 
except as provided in subpart C of part 362 of this chapter. Agencies 
may make initial appointments of Recent Graduates at any grade level, 
not to exceed GS-09 (or equivalent level under another pay and 
classification system, including the Federal Wage System (FWS)), 
depending on the candidates' qualifications, and the position's 
requirements except that:
    (1) 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 PhD or equivalent doctoral degree 
directly related to the STEM position the agency is seeking to fill.
    (2) 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.
    (3) 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 PhD or equivalent doctoral degree directly related to the 
position the agency is seeking to fill.
    Appointments must be made in accordance with the provisions of 
subpart C of part 362 of this chapter.
    (c) Presidential Management Fellows Program. Positions in the 
Presidential Management Fellows Program. Appointments under this 
authority may not exceed 2 years except as provided in subpart D of 
part 362 of this chapter. Agencies may make initial appointments of 
Fellows at either the GS-09, GS-11, or GS-12 level (or equivalent under 
another pay and classification system such as the FWS), depending on 
the candidates' qualifications. Appointments must be made in accordance 
with the provisions of subpart D of part 362 of this chapter.

PART 302--EMPLOYMENT IN THE EXCEPTED SERVICE

    8. The authority citation for part 302 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 1302, 3301, 3302, 8151, E.O. 10577 (3 CFR 
1954-1958 Comp., p. 218); Sec.  302.105 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 
1104, Pub. L. 95-454, sec. 3(5); Sec.  302.501 also issued under 5 
U.S.C. 7701 et seq.


Sec.  302.101  [Amended].

    9. In Sec.  302.101, remove paragraph (c)(8) and redesignate 
paragraphs (c)(9) through (11) as paragraphs (c)(8) through (10), 
respectively.

PART 315--CAREER AND CAREER-CONDITIONAL EMPLOYMENT

    10. The authority citation for part 315 is revised to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 1302, 3301, and 3302; E.O. 10577, 3 CFR, 
1954-1958 Comp. p. 218, unless otherwise noted; and E.O. 13562. 
Secs. 315.601 and 315.609 also issued under 22 U.S.C. 3651 and 3652. 
Secs. 315.602 and 315.604 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 1104. Sec. 
315.603 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 8151. Sec. 315.605 also issued 
under E.O. 12034, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp. p. 111. Sec. 315.606 also issued 
under E.O. 11219, 3 CFR, 1964-1965 Comp. p. 303. Sec. 315.607 also 
issued under 22 U.S.C. 2506. Sec. 315.608 also issued under E.O. 
12721, 3 CFR, 1990 Comp. p. 293. Sec. 315.610 also issued under 5 
U.S.C. 3304(c). Sec. 315.611 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 3304(f). 
Sec. 315.612 also issued under E.O. 13473. Sec. 315.710 also issued 
under E.O. 12596, 3 CFR, 1987 Comp. p. 229. Subpart I also issued 
under 5 U.S.C. 3321, E.O. 12107, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp. p. 264.

Subpart B--The Career-Conditional Employment System

    11. In Sec.  315.201, revise paragraphs (b)(1)(ix), (b)(1)(xiii), 
(b)(1)(xvii), (b)(1)(xviii), and (b)(1)(xix) and add paragraphs 
(b)(1)(xx), (xxi), and (xxii) to read as follows:


Sec.  315.201  Service requirement for career tenure.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (ix) The date of nontemporary excepted appointment under Sec.  
213.3202(b) of this chapter (the former Student Career Experience 
Program) as in effect immediately before the effective date of the 
regulations removing that paragraph, provided the student's appointment 
was converted to career or career-conditional appointment under 
Executive Order 12015, with or without an intervening term appointment, 
and without a break in service of one day.
* * * * *
    (xiii) The date of appointment as a participant in the Presidential 
Management Fellows Program under the provisions of Executive Order 
13318, provided the employee's appointment was converted without a 
break in service to career or career-conditional appointment under 
Sec.  315.708 as in effect immediately before the effective date of the 
regulations that removed and reserved that section;
* * * * *
    (xvii) The starting date of active service as an administrative 
enrollee in the United States Merchant Marine Academy;
    (xviii) The date on which an employee became eligible for benefits 
under Public Law 83-121, unless an earlier date can be chosen because 
of prior nontemporary service;
    (xix) Appointment as a career intern under Schedule B, Sec.  
213.3202(o) of this chapter, provided the employee's appointment was 
converted to career or career-conditional appointment under

[[Page 47507]]

Sec.  315.712 as in effect immediately before the effective date of the 
regulations that removed and reserved that section;
    (xx) The date of appointment as a Pathways participant in the 
Internship Program under Schedule D, Sec.  213.3402(a) of this chapter, 
provided the employee's appointment is converted to career or career-
conditional appointment under Sec.  315.713(a);
    (xxi) The date of appointment as a Pathways participant in the 
Recent Graduates Program under Schedule D, Sec.  213.3402(b) of this 
chapter, provided the employee's appointment is converted to career or 
career-conditional appointment under Sec.  315.713(b); and
    (xxii) The date of appointment as a Pathways participant in the 
Presidential Management Fellows Program under Schedule D, Sec.  
213.3402(c) of this chapter, provided the employee's appointment is 
converted to career or career-conditional appointment under Sec.  
315.713(c).
* * * * *

Subpart G--Conversion to Career or Career-Conditional Employment 
From Other Types of Employment


Sec.  315.708  [Removed and Reserved]

    12a. In subpart G, remove and reserve Sec.  315.708.


Sec.  315.712  [Removed and Reserved]

    12b. In subpart G, remove and reserve Sec.  315.712.
    12c. In subpart G, add Sec.  315.713 to read as follows:


Sec.  315.713  Conversion based on service in a Pathways Program.

    (a) Agency authority. An agency may convert to a term, career or 
career-conditional position in the competitive service, without further 
competition, the following Pathways participants:
    (1) Interns who satisfactorily complete the Internship Program and 
meet all eligibility requirements for conversion as outlined in subpart 
B of part 362 of this chapter;
    (2) Recent Graduates who satisfactorily complete the Recent 
Graduates Program and meet all eligibility requirements for conversion 
as outlined in subpart C of part 362 of this chapter; and
    (3) Presidential Management Fellows who satisfactorily complete the 
Fellows Program and meet all eligibility requirements for conversion as 
outlined in subpart D of part 362 of this chapter.
    (b) Tenure on conversion. An employee whose appointment is 
converted under this section becomes:
    (1) A career-conditional employee except as provided in paragraph 
(b)(2) of this section;
    (2) A career employee when he or she has completed the service 
requirement for career tenure or is excepted from it by Sec.  
315.201(c).
    (c) Acquisition of competitive status. (1) A Recent Graduate or 
Presidential Management Fellow converted to a full-time career or 
career-conditional position in the competitive service under this 
section does not serve a probationary period and acquires competitive 
status immediately upon conversion.
    (2) An Intern acquires competitive status upon completion of a 
probationary period following conversion.

PART 330--RECRUITMENT, SELECTION, AND PLACEMENT (GENERAL)

    13. The authority citation for part 330 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 1302, 3301, 3302; E.O. 10577, 19 FR 7521, 3 
CFR, 1954-58, Comp., p. 218. Section 330.102 also issued under 5 
U.S.C. 3327. Subpart B also issued under 5 U.S.C. 3315 and 8151. 
Section 330.401 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 3310. Subpart G also 
issued under 5 U.S.C. 8337(h) and 8456(b). Subpart K also issued 
under sec. 11203 of Pub. L. 105-33 (111 Stat. 738) and Pub. L. 105-
274 (112 Stat. 2424). Subpart L also issued under sec. 1232 of Pub. 
L. 96-70, 93 Stat. 452.

    14. In Sec.  330.211, revise paragraph (f)(3) to read as follows:


Sec.  330.211  Exceptions to RPL placement priority.

* * * * *
    (f) * * *
    (3) An excepted service appointment under part 213 of this chapter;
* * * * *
    15. In Sec.  330.609, revise paragraph (e)(3) to read as follows:


Sec.  330.609  Exceptions to CTAP selection priority.

* * * * *
    (e) * * *
    (3) Make an excepted service appointment under part 213 of this 
chapter;
* * * * *
    16. In Sec.  330.707, revise paragraph (h)(3) to read as follows:


Sec.  330.707  Exceptions to ICTAP selection priority.

* * * * *
    (h) * * *
    (3) An excepted service appointment under part 213 of this chapter;
* * * * *

PART 334--TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENTS UNDER THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL 
PERSONNEL ACT (IPA)

    17. The authority citation for part 334 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 3376; E.O. 11589, 3 CFR 557 (1971-1975).

    18. In Sec.  334.102 revise the definition of employee to read as 
follows:


Sec.  334.102  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Employee, for purposes of participation in this program, means an 
individual serving in a Federal agency under a career or career-
conditional appointment, including a career appointee in the Senior 
Executive Service, an individual under an appointment of equivalent 
tenure in an excepted service position, or an individual employed for 
at least 90 days in a career position with a State, local, or Indian 
Tribal government, institution of higher education, or other eligible 
organization;
* * * * *
    19. Revise part 362 to read as follows:

PART 362--PATHWAYS PROGRAMS

Subpart A--General Provisions
362.101 Program administration.
362.102 Definitions.
362.103 Authority.
362.104 Agency requirements.
362.105 Filling positions.
362.106 Conversion to the competitive service.
362.107 Program accountability and oversight.
362.108 Waiver.
362.109 Transition.
Subpart B--Internship Program
362.201 Agency authority.
362.202 Definitions.
362.203 Filling positions.
362.204 Conversion to the competitive service.
362.205 Reduction in force.
Subpart C--Recent Graduates Program
362.301 Program administration.
362.302 Eligibility.
362.303 Filling positions.
362.304 Movement between agencies.
362.305 Conversion to the competitive service.
362.306 Reduction in force (RIF) and terminations.
Subpart D--Presidential Management Fellows Program
362.401 Definitions.
362.402 Program administration.
362.403 Announcement, eligibility, and selection.
362.404 Appointment and extension.
362.405 Development, evaluation, promotion, and certification.

[[Page 47508]]

362.406 Movement between agencies.
362.407 Withdrawal and readmission.
362.408 Resignation, termination, and reduction in force.
362.409 Conversion to the competitive service.

    Authority:  E.O. 13562.

Subpart A--General Provisions


Sec.  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 above provided that 
the agency specific name includes the Pathways Program name identified 
in (a), e.g., OPM 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.


Sec.  362.102  Definitions.

    For the purposes of this part:
    Agency means an Executive agency as defined in 5 U.S.C. 105, except 
that 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.
    Director means the Director of OPM or his or her designee.
    OPM means the Office of Personnel Management.
    Pathways Program participant means any individual appointed under a 
Pathways Program.
    Qualifying educational institution means--
    (1) A high school whose curriculum has been approved by a State or 
local governing body, or a home-school curriculum that has been 
approved by such a body or 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 home-school curriculum.


Sec.  362.103  Authority.

    An agency may make an appointment under this part to a position 
defined in 5 CFR 213.3402, provided the head of the agency or his or 
her designee executes a memorandum of understanding with OPM and a 
Pathways Agreement with each appointee in accordance with Sec.  
362.104.


Sec.  362.104  Agency requirements.

    (a) In accordance with this part, the head of an agency, or his or 
her designee, must execute:
    (1) A memorandum of understanding (Pathways MOU) with OPM for the 
administration and use of Pathways Programs, to be re-executed every 2 
years. The Pathways MOU must:
    (i) Describe how the agency will:
    (A) Accept applications for positions;
    (B) Assess candidates for positions;
    (C) Rate and arrange qualified applicants;
    (D) Ensure adherence to veterans' preference requirements in 
accordance with the provisions of Part 302 of this chapter; and
    (ii) Include information about any agency-specific program labels 
that will be used, subject to the Federal naming conventions identified 
in Sec.  362.101 (e.g., OPM Internship Program);
    (iii) State the delegations of authority for the agency's use of 
the Pathways Programs (e.g., department-wide vs. bureaus or 
components);
    (iv) Identify the agency's Pathways Programs Officer (PPO), who:
    (A) 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);
    (B) 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);
    (C) Serves as a liaison with OPM by providing updates to OPM on the 
agency's implementation of its Pathways Programs, clarifying technical 
or programmatic issues with OPM, sharing agency best practices with 
OPM, and performing other similar duties; and
    (D) 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;
    (v) Prescribe criteria and procedures for agency-approved 
extensions, not to exceed 120 days, of the 2-year appointments 
authorized under the Pathways Programs;
    (vi) Specify the roles and responsibilities of supervisors and 
other key officials in Pathways Programs, such as, to the extent 
applicable, human resources staff, budget and finance staff, career 
counselors, and mentors;
    (vii) Describe how the agency will design, implement, and document 
formal training and/or development of employees selected under the 
provisions of these Programs, the type and duration of assignments, and 
necessary exceptions for short term temporary work, such as summer 
jobs;
    (viii) Describe the on-boarding process, designed for each Pathways 
Program;
    (ix) Include a commitment from the agency to:
    (A) Provide in its annual Human Capital Management Reports under 
part 250 of this chapter (or through alternative means, as authorized 
by OPM) the information required by OPM on the agency's usage of the 
Pathways Programs;
    (B) Adhere to any caps on conversion of Pathways Program 
participants imposed by the Director; and
    (C) Provide information to OPM about opportunities for individuals 
interested in participating in the Pathways Programs, as required by 
this part;
    (x) Identify the agency's PMF coordinator responsible for 
administering the agency PMF Program and serving as a liaison with OPM; 
and
    (xi) Include any implementing policy or guidance that the agency 
determines, in its discretion, would facilitate successful 
implementation and administration for each Pathways Program.
    (2) [Reserved].
    (b) An agency must also execute a Pathways Agreement with each 
Pathways Program participant.
    (c) The Pathways Agreement is a written agreement between the 
agency and each Pathways Program participant that clearly identifies 
expectations, including but not limited to:
    (1) General description of duties;
    (2) Evaluation procedures that will be used for the participant;
    (3) Requirements for continuation and successful completion of the 
program;
    (4) Work schedules;
    (5) Minimum eligibility requirements for noncompetitive conversion 
to term or permanent competitive service employment according to the 
requirements of the applicable Pathways Program; and

[[Page 47509]]

    (6) The length of the appointment and termination date.


Sec.  362.105  Filling positions.

    (a) Workforce planning. Agencies should include measures in their 
workforce planning to ensure that an adequate number of permanent spots 
will be available to convert Pathways Program participants who 
successfully complete their programs.
    (b) Announcements. Agencies must announce the availability of 
Pathways Programs job opportunities as provided in each of the three 
Pathways Programs.
    (c) Appointments. (1) Agencies must fill positions under the 
Pathways Programs using the excepted service appointing authority 
provided by 5 CFR 213.3402(a), (b), or (c), 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. (1) 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 Program 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 Program 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 Program 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, 
Internship Program, appointments under this authority are for 2 years 
plus any agency approved extension of up to 120 days.
    (h) Terminations. An agency may terminate a Pathways Participant 
for reasons related to misconduct, poor performance, or suitability. 
The appointment of a Pathways participant who is not converted to a 
career or career-conditional appointment automatically expires at the 
end of the program period, or upon expiration of an agency-approved 
extension, if applicable. Agencies must terminate Interns and Recent 
Graduates who are not converted at the end of the program period. 
Termination rules for Presidential Management Fellows are set forth in 
Sec.  362.408 of this part.


Sec.  362.106  Conversion to the competitive service.

    (a) Subject to any limits on conversion imposed by the Director, an 
agency may noncompetitively convert an eligible Pathways Program 
participant to a term or permanent competitive service position.
    (b) A Pathways Program 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 may be to a position within the same 
agency or any other agency within the Federal Government.
    (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 Program participant counts 
towards career tenure when the individual is noncompetitively converted 
to a permanent position in the competitive service upon completion of 
the Program.
    (f) A Pathways appointment expires of its own terms. Though 
Pathways Program 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 Program participant must therefore execute the required 
actions to do so.


Sec.  362.107  Program accountability and oversight.

    (a) The Director may limit the number of noncompetitive conversions 
to the competitive service of Interns, Recent Graduates, and PMFs under 
subparts B, C, and D, respectively, of this part. Any such limit may 
apply to any of the Pathways Programs individually, or to all three 
Pathways Programs collectively. If the Director establishes a 
Governmentwide limit on conversions for any or all of the Pathways 
Programs, he or she may implement the limits by establishing agency-
specific limits, to be reflected in each affected agency's Pathways 
MOU.
    (1) In determining whether establishment of any Governmentwide 
limits on conversions is appropriate, the Director will consider 
whatever factors and information the Director deems relevant.
    (2) In implementing any Governmentwide limitations through agency-
specific limits, the Director will consider:
    (i) The agency's compliance with its Pathways MOU;
    (ii) The agency's overall approach to entry-level hiring, 
including:
    (A) Whether the agency is engaging in sound workforce planning to 
ensure that an adequate number of permanent spots will be available to 
convert Pathways Program participants who successfully complete its 
programs; and
    (B) The agency's record in using the Pathways Programs as a 
supplement to competitive examining, rather than as a substitute for 
it;
    (iii) The agency's record of publicizing its positions in the 
Pathways Programs and recruiting and selecting from a broad array of 
sources; and
    (iv) Any other information the Director deems relevant.
    (3) In the event the Director determines that any limits would be 
appropriate, OPM will publish the limits, including how they apply to 
individual agencies participating in the Pathways Programs, as a notice 
in the Federal Register.
    (b) Agencies must provide in their Human Capital Management 
planning documents or another form prescribed by OPM, workforce 
planning strategies that include:
    (1) Information on the entry-level occupations targeted for filling 
positions under this part in the coming year;
    (2) The percentage of overall hiring expected in the coming year 
under the Internship, Recent Graduates, and Presidential Management 
Fellows Programs established under subparts B, C, and D, respectively, 
of this part; and
    (3) For the previous year:
    (i) The number of individuals initially appointed under each 
Pathways Program;
    (ii) The percentage of the agency's overall hires made from each 
Pathways Program;
    (iii) The number of Pathways Program participants, per program, 
converted to the competitive service; and
    (iv) The number of Pathways Program participants, per program, who 
were separated.

[[Page 47510]]

Sec.  362.108  Waiver.

    Under limited circumstances, the Director may approve a written 
request by an agency for a waiver of any of the regulatory requirements 
set forth in this part.


Sec.  362.109  Transition.

    OPM will provide written guidance for the orderly transition of 
employees currently appointed as students under E.O. 13562, or as 
Fellows under E.O. 13318, to the Pathways Program under E.O. 13562 and 
may revise that guidance as necessary.

Subpart B--Internship Program


Sec.  362.201  Agency authority.

    The Internship Program provides students in high schools, colleges, 
trade schools and other qualifying educational institutions, as defined 
in Sec.  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.


Sec.  362.202  Definitions.

    In this subpart:
    Student means an individual who has been accepted for enrollment or 
who is enrolled and seeking a degree (diploma, certificate, etc.) in a 
qualifying educational institution as defined in Sec.  362.102, on a 
full or half-time basis (as defined by the institution in which the 
student is enrolled), including students in 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 in the class 
enrollment period immediately prior to graduating is still considered a 
student for purposes of this program.


Sec.  362.203  Filling positions.

    (a) Announcement. (1) An agency must provide OPM, information 
concerning opportunities to participate in the agency's Internship 
Program. 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 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, individuals must meet the definition of student in Sec.  
362.202 of this part throughout the duration of their Internship 
appointment.
    (c) Qualifications. Individuals may be evaluated against either 
agency-developed standards or the OPM qualification standard for the 
position being filled.
    (d) Appointment. (1) An agency may make appointments to the 
Internship Program, pursuant to its Pathways MOU, using the Schedule D 
excepted service appointing authority provided in 5 CFR 213.3402(a).
    (2) Appointments may be made to any position, at any General 
Schedule grade (or equivalent level under another pay and 
classification system, including the FWS), for which the individual is 
qualified. The duties of the position to which the individual is 
appointed do not have to be related to the Intern's academic or career 
goals.
    (3) An agency may appoint an Intern on either a temporary basis or 
for an initial period expected to last more than 1 year.
    (i) Temporary appointments are made for a period not to exceed 1 
year. The agency may extend the temporary appointment as provided in 
213 of this chapter.
    (ii) Appointments for an initial period expected to last more than 
1 year are not required to have an end date. However, agencies are 
required to specify an end date for the appointment in the Pathways 
Agreement with the Intern.
    (e) Promotion. An agency may promote an Intern.
    (f) Classification. (1) An Intern whose position is under the 
General Schedule or appropriate pay plan must be classified as a 
student trainee, to the -99 series of the appropriate occupational 
group.
    (2) An Intern whose position is under the Federal Wage System must 
be classified as a student trainee, to the -01 series of the 
appropriate occupational group.
    (g) Schedules. An Intern may work a full-time or part-time 
schedule. An agency is responsible for establishing a work schedule for 
an Intern in accordance with 5 CFR 610.121. An Intern's work schedule 
should not interfere with his or her academic schedule. Agencies and 
students should agree on a formally-arranged schedule of school and 
work so that:
    (1) Work responsibilities do not interfere with academic 
performance;
    (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 and prepared for the student's periods 
of employment; and
    (4) Requirements for noncompetitive conversion to 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 break in program.


Sec.  362.204  Conversion to the competitive service.

    (a)(1) An Intern who is a U.S. citizen may be noncompetitively 
converted from the Internship Program under this subpart to a term or 
permanent position in the competitive service when the Intern has:
    (i) Completed at least 640 hours of work experience acquired 
through the Internship Program while otherwise enrolled as a full-time 
or part-time, degree-seeking student;
    (ii) 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;
    (iii) Received a favorable recommendation regarding such an 
appointment by an official of the agency or agencies in which the 
Internship was served;
    (iv) Met the qualification standards for the position to which the 
Intern will be converted; and
    (v) Met all agency-specific requirements, if any, as specified in 
the agency's Pathways Agreement with the Intern.
    (2) Up to 320 hours acquired through a comparable non-Federal 
internship program meeting the criteria set forth in paragraph (b) and 
(c) of this section may be credited toward the 640-hour minimum 
required under paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section.
    (b) To be creditable under paragraph (a) of this section, work 
experience must be acquired under an Internship Program appointment 
under this subpart, another previous Federal appointment (e.g., 
fellowships and similar programs in accordance with 5 CFR 213.3102(r)), 
or while the student:
    (1) Worked in, but not for, a Federal agency, pursuant to a formal 
internship

[[Page 47511]]

agreement, comparable to the Internship Program under this subpart, 
between the agency and an accredited academic institution, including as 
a student volunteer as defined by part 308 of this chapter;
    (2) 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 which is comparable to 
the Internship Program under this subpart; or
    (3) Served as an active duty member of the armed forces of the 
United States (including the National Guard and Reserves), as defined 
in 5 U.S.C. 2101, and has been discharged or released from active duty 
in the armed forces under honorable conditions.
    (c) An agency may waive up to one-half (i.e., 320 hours) of the 
640-hour minimum service requirement in paragraph (a)(1) of this 
section if a student enrolled in an accredited college or university 
completes 320 hours of career-related work experience under an 
Internship Program appointment, and has demonstrated high potential as 
evidenced by outstanding academic achievement and exceptional job 
performance.
    (1) Outstanding academic achievement must be demonstrated by 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. 
Notwithstanding these differences, agencies may still refer to 
``superior academic achievement'' in OPM's Qualifications Standards for 
General Schedule Positions available on the OPM Web site at http://www.opm.gov to obtain specific guidance on grade point average, class 
standing, and nationally recognized honor societies.
    (2) Exceptional job performance must be demonstrated by a formal 
evaluation conducted by the student's internship supervisor(s), in a 
manner consistent with the applicable performance appraisal program 
established under an approved performance appraisal system and 
resulting in a rating of record (or summary rating) higher than Fully 
Successful or equivalent.
    (d) In no event may an agency grant a credit or waiver (or a 
combination of a credit and waiver) totaling more than 320 hours of the 
640-hour minimum service requirement in paragraph (a)(1) of this 
section.
    (e) Student volunteer service under part 308 of this chapter and 
Fellows appointed under 5 CFR 213.3102(r) may be evaluated, considered, 
and credited under this section when that experience is determined by 
the agency to be comparable in scope to experience gained in the 
Internship Program.


Sec.  362.205  Reduction in force (RIF) and terminations.

    Interns are covered by part 351 of this chapter for purposes of 
RIF.
    (a) An Intern serving under an appointment for an initial period 
expected to last more than 1 year is in excepted service Tenure Group 
II for purposes of Sec.  351.502 and is accorded the same retention 
rights as other excepted service employees.
    (b) Terminations. As a condition of employment, a Recent Graduate 
appointment expires at the end of the 2-year program period, plus any 
agency-approved extension, unless the participant is selected for 
noncompetitive conversion under Sec.  362.204.
    (c) An Intern serving under a temporary appointment is in excepted 
service Tenure Group III for purposes of Sec.  351.502, provided he or 
she has completed at least 1 year of current continuous service. If 
not, the Intern is in Tenure Group 0 for purposes of Sec.  351.502.

Subpart C--Recent Graduates Program


Sec.  362.301  Program administration.

    The Recent Graduates Program provides a 2-year developmental 
experience designed to lead to a civil service career in the Federal 
Government. Individuals appointed under this authority are referred to 
as Recent Graduates. Agencies wishing to participate in the Recent 
Graduates Program must:
    (a) Ensure, within 90 days of appointment, that each Recent 
Graduate is assigned a mentor from the appropriate level that is 
outside his or her chain of command;
    (b) 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
    (c) 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.


Sec.  362.302  Eligibility.

    (a) A Recent Graduate is an individual who, within the previous 2 
years, completed a qualifying associates, bachelors, masters, 
professional, doctorate, vocational or technical degree or certificate 
from a qualifying educational institution as defined in Sec.  362.102 
of this part.
    (b)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, an 
application for a position in the Recent Graduates Program may be 
considered only if it is received not later than 2 years from the date 
all requirements for a degree or certificate from a qualifying 
educational institution as defined in Sec.  362.102 of this part are 
met.
    (2) A veteran who, due to a military service obligation, was 
precluded from applying in to the Recent Graduates Program during the 
2-year eligibility period after obtaining a degree or certificate will 
begin his or her 2-year window of elibigibility upon on his or her 
release or discharge from active duty. The individual's eligibility 
period may not extend beyond 6 years from the date on which the 
Graduate received his or her degree or certificate.


Sec.  362.303  Filling positions.

    (a) Announcement. (1) An agency must provide OPM, information 
concerning opportunities to participate in the agency's Recent 
Graduates Program. 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; 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) Appointments. (1) An agency may make 2-year 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 5 CFR 213.3402(b).
    (3)(i) An agency may make an initial appointment of a Recent 
Graduate to any position identified to be 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 paragraph (b)(3)(ii) 
through (iv) of this section.
    (ii) Initial appointments to positions for science, technology, 
engineering, or mathematics (STEM) occupations may

[[Page 47512]]

be made at the GS-11 level, if the candidate possesses a Ph.D. or 
equivalent doctoral 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 doctoral 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., there must be the 
opportunity for career ladder advancement).
    (c) Extensions. An agency may extend the 2-year 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. Any such extensions must be recorded in writing 
and reported to OPM.
    (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 OPM qualification requirements for the position in accordance with 
the agency's Pathways MOU. This provision does not confer entitlement 
to promotion.
    (f) Trial period. The first 2 years of a Recent Graduate's service 
is a trial period. Prior Federal civilian service is credited toward 
the completion of the required trial period in the same manner as 
prescribed in 5 CFR 315.802.


Sec.  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 2-year requirement 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 or gaining agency's plan must identify requirements for 
Program completion and eligibility for noncompetitive conversion.


Sec.  362.305  Reduction in force and termination.

    (a) Reduction in force. Recent Graduates are in excepted service 
Tenure Group II for purposes of 5 CFR 351.502. 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 2-year program period, plus any 
agency-approved extension, unless the participant is selected for 
noncompetitive conversion under Sec.  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 employing 
agency's discretion, be placed in a permanent competitive service 
position, as appropriate, in that agency.


Sec.  362.306  Conversion to the competitive service.

    (a) An agency may noncompetitively convert a Recent Graduate to a 
term or permanent appointment in the competitive service under 5 CFR 
315.713(b).
    (b) A Recent Graduate who is a U.S. citizen may be noncompetitively 
converted from the Recent Graduates Program under this subpart to a 
term or permanent position in the competitive service when the Recent 
Graduate has:
    (1) Successfully completed 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.
    (c) When converting a Recent Graduate, an agency must make the 
noncompetitive conversion effective on the date the 2-year service 
requirement is met, or at the end of an agency-approved extension, if 
applicable.

Subpart D--Presidential Management Fellows Program


Sec.  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 Program Officer may also serve as the PMF Coordinator.
    Executive Resources Board (ERB) has the same meaning as specified 
in 5 CFR 317.501(a); 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 5 CFR 213.3402(c).
    Qualifications Review Board (QRB) has the same meaning as specified 
in 5 CFR 317.502(a).


Sec.  362.402  Program administration.

    (a) The Director may determine the number of Fellows that 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, 
as set forth in 5 U.S.C. 1103(c)(2)(C).
    (c) The Director will establish the qualification requirements for

[[Page 47513]]

evaluating applicants for the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) 
Program;
    (d) An agency that hires Fellows in field locations outside the 
Washington, DC, Metropolitan Area must:
    (1) Discuss with each Fellow, in advance of making the appointment, 
whether he or she 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 Sec.  
362.405(b) of this part; and
    (2) Coordinate with its Federal Executive Board (FEB) in promoting 
interaction with other Fellows in that region. In addition, an agency 
hiring Fellows in field locations must permit them to attend FEB-
sanctioned activities in that region.


Sec.  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) Individuals who completed an advanced degree from a qualifing 
educational institution within the 2 years, preceding the Program 
announcement described in paragraph (a) of this section, or who are 
scheduled to complete an advanced degree prior to the date that PMF 
finalists are announced, are eligible to apply for the Program. 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.
    (c) OPM will select Fellow finalists based on an OPM evaluation of 
each candidate's experience and accomplishments based on his or her 
application and the results of a rigorous structured assessment 
process.
    (d) OPM will publish a list of Fellows finalists. OPM will send all 
participating agencies the list of Fellows finalists for appointment 
consideration.


Sec.  362.404  Appointment and extension.

    (a) Appointment. (1) An agency must appoint a Fellow using the 
Schedule D excepted service appointing authority provided in 5 CFR 
213.3402(c).
    (2) An agency may appoint a Fellow for an initial period of 2 
years. The first 2 years of a Fellow's appointment is a trial period.
    (3) An agency may appoint a Fellow at any time during the 12-month 
period beginning on the date OPM publishes the list of Fellows 
finalists.
    (4) 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. Any 
such extensions must be recorded in writing and reported to OPM.
    (b) 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.


Sec.  362.405  Development, evaluation, promotion, and certification.

    (a) Individual Development Plans. The appointing agency must 
approve 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 appointing agency must provide each Fellow a minimum of 80 
hours of interactive training per year that addresses the competencies 
outlined in the IDP.
    (3) Within the first 90 days of a Fellow's appointment, the 
appointing agency must assign the Fellow a mentor, who is outside the 
Fellow's chain of command and who is a member of the SES (or 
equivalent), or other senior-level manager, as appropriate.
    (4) The appointing 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. However, 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.
    (ii) The developmental assignment may be within the Fellow's 
organization, in another component of the agency, or in another Federal 
agency.
    (5) In addition, the Fellow may receive other short-term rotational 
assignments of 1 to 6 months in duration, at the appointing 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. This may require travel on the part of the Fellow to be 
paid for by the appointing agency. 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) Performance and progress evaluation. (1) Each Fellow 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 Fellow as well as the elements and 
standards established for the duties assigned.
    (2) Each Fellow must receive an annual performance evaluation in 
accordance with the agency's performance management program. The rating 
is to include an evaluation of the Fellow's success in completing 
developmental activities designed to prepare the Fellow to meet the 
developmental and performance expectations described in his or her 
performance plan. In addition to the formal evaluation, the agency is 
expected to provide regular feedback concerning the Fellow's 
performance.
    (3) If a Fellow does not meet expectations set forth in the 
performance plan with regard to his or her developmental progress or 
assignments, the agency may take appropriate action.
    (d) Promotion. (1) An agency may promote a Fellow according to the 
agency's Program plan, provided the Fellow meets the OPM qualification 
standard for the grade level of the position. A Fellow may be promoted 
up to the GS-13 level (or the equivalent under another pay and 
classification system, such as the Federal Wage System).
    (e) Certification of completion. (1) Upon a Fellow's completion of 
the Program, the appointing agency's ERB must evaluate each Fellow and 
determine whether it can certify in writing that he or she has met all 
of the requirements of the Program, including

[[Page 47514]]

the performance and developmental expectations set forth in the 
individual's performance plan and IDP.
    (2) The ERB may consult the Fellow's mentor in reaching its 
determination.
    (3) In the event the Director has approved a waiver of one or more 
Program requirements in a particular case pursuant to Sec.  362.108 of 
this part, the ERB must certify that such a waiver has been granted and 
that any remaining requirements were met.
    (4) The ERB must notify the Fellow of its decision regarding 
certification of successful completion.
    (5) ERB certifications must be forwarded to OPM.
    (6)(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.


Sec.  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 period in the Program 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) The new appointing agency must notify OPM when a Fellow moves 
to that agency from another agency.


Sec.  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, subpart A, of this chapter) still apply. 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.
    (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 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.


Sec.  362.408  Resignation, termination, and reduction in force.

    (a) Resignation. A Fellow who resigns at any time prior to 
completion of the Program does not have reinstatement eligibility for 
competitive service positions based on his or her appointment as a 
Fellow.
    (b) 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 Sec.  362.409 of this part, or extend the 
individual's initial appointment under Sec.  362.403, 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.
    (c) Reduction in force. Fellows are in the excepted service Tenure 
Group II for purposes of Sec.  351.502 of this chapter.


Sec.  362.409  Conversion to the competitive service.

    (a) A Fellow must complete the Program within the time limits 
prescribed in Sec.  362.403 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) As provided in part 315.713(c) of this chapter, an agency may 
convert, without a break in service, an ERB-certified Fellow to a term 
or permanent appointment in the competitive service.

PART 531--PAY UNDER THE GENERAL SCHEDULE

    20. The authority citation for part 531 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5115, 5307, and 5338; sec. 4 of Public Law 
103-89, 107 Stat. 981; and E.O. 12748, 56 FR 4521, 3 CFR, 1991 
Comp., p. 316; Subpart B also issued under 5 U.S.C. 5303(g), 5305, 
5333, 5334(a) and (b), and 7701(b)(2); Subpart D also issued under 5 
U.S.C. 5335 and 7701(b)(2); Subpart E also issued under 5 U.S.C. 
5336; Subpart F also issued under 5 U.S.C. 5304 and 5305; E.O. 
12883, 58 FR 63281, 3 CFR, 1993 Comp., p. 682; and E.O. 13106, 63 FR 
68151, 3 CFR, 1998 Comp., p. 224.

Subpart B--Determining Rate of Basic Pay

    21. In Sec.  531.212--
    a. Revise paragraph (a)(3)(v) to read as follows:


Sec.  531.212  Superior qualifications and special needs pay-setting 
authority.

    (a) * * *
    (3) * * *
    (v) Employment under an Internship Program appointment under 5 CFR 
213.3402(a).
* * * * *

PART 536--GRADE AND PAY RETENTION

    22. The authority citation for part 536 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5361-5366; sec. 4 of the Performance 
Management and Recognition System Termination Act of 1993 (Pub. L. 
103-89), 107 Stat. 981; Sec.  536.301(b) also issued under 5 U.S.C. 
5334(b); Sec.  536.308 also issued under section 301(d)(2) of the 
Federal Workforce Flexibility Act of 2004

[[Page 47515]]

(Pub. L. 108-411), 118 Stat. 2305; Sec.  536.405 also issued under 5 
U.S.C. 552, Freedom of Information Act, Public Law 92-502.

Subpart A--General Provisions

    23. In Sec.  536.103, revise the definition of management action to 
read as follows:


Sec.  536.103  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Management action means an action (not for personal cause) by an 
agency official not initiated or requested by an employee which may 
adversely affect the employee's grade or rate of basic pay. However, an 
employee's placement in or transfer to a position under a formal 
employee development program established by an agency for recruitment 
and employee advancement purposes (e.g., Recent Graduates Program) is 
considered a management action even though the employee initiates or 
requests such placement or transfer.
* * * * *

Subpart C--Pay Retention

    24. In Sec.  536.301, revise paragraph (a)(5) to read as follows:


Sec.  536.301  Mandatory pay retention.

    (a) * * *
    (5) A management action that places an employee in a formal 
employee development program generally utilized Governmentwide (e.g., 
Recent Graduates Program); or
* * * * *

PART 537--REPAYMENT OF STUDENT LOANS

    25. The authority citation for part 537 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 5379(g).

    26. In Sec.  537.102, revise paragraphs (6) and (7) in the 
definition of time-limited appointment to read as follows:


Sec.  537.102  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Time-limited appointment * * *
    (6) A Presidential Management Fellows Program appointment under 5 
CFR 213.3402(c);
    (7) A Recent Graduates Program appointment under 5 CFR 213.3402(b); 
and
* * * * *

PART 550--PAY ADMINISTRATION (GENERAL)

Subpart B--Advances in Pay

    27. Revise the authority citation for subpart B of part 550 to read 
as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5524a, 5545a(h)(2)(B); E.O. 12748, 56 FR 
4521, 3 CFR, 1991 Comp., p. 316.

    28. In Sec.  550.202, revise paragraph (c) introductory text of the 
definition of newly appointed to read as follows:


Sec.  550.202  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Newly appointed * * *
    (c) A permanent appointment in the competitive service following 
termination of employment an Internship Program (as described in 5 CFR 
part 362, subpart B, provided such employee--
* * * * *

Subpart G--Severance Pay

    29. The authority citation for subpart G of part 550 continues to 
read as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5595; E.O. 11257, 3 CFR, 1964-1965 Comp., p. 
357.

    30. In Sec.  550.703, revise paragraph (f)(5) in the definition of 
nonqualifying appointment to read as follows:


Sec.  550.703  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Nonqualifying appointment * * *
    (f) * * *
    (5) A Presidential Management Fellows Program appointment under 5 
CFR 213.3402(c).
* * * * *

Subpart M--Firefighter Pay

    31. The authority citation for subpart M of part 550 continues to 
read as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5545b, 5548, and 5553.

    32. In Sec.  550.1302, revise paragraph (2)(iii) of the definition 
of firefighter to read as follows:


Sec.  550.1302  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Firefighter * * *
    (2) * * *
    (iii) Covered by the General Schedule and classified in the GS-
0099, General Student Trainee Series (as required by 5 CFR 362.203(e)), 
if the position otherwise would be classified in the GS-0081 series.
* * * * *

PART 575--RECRUITMENT, RELOCATION, AND RETENTION INCENTIVES; 
SUPERVISORY DIFFERENTIALS; AND EXTENDED ASSIGNMENT INCENTIVES

    33. The authority citation for part 575 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 1104(a)(2) and 5307; subparts A and B also 
issued under 5 U.S.C. 5753 and sec. 101, Public Law 108-411, 118 
Stat. 2305; subpart C also issued under 5 U.S.C. 5754 and sec. 101, 
Public Law 108-411, 118 Stat. 2305; subpart D also issued under 5 
U.S.C. 5755; subpart E also issued under 5 U.S.C. 5757 and sec. 207 
of Public Law 107-273, 116 Stat. 1780.

Subpart A--Recruitment Incentives

    34. In Sec.  575.102, revise paragraph (3)(vi) in the definition of 
newly appointed to read as follows:


Sec.  575.102  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Newly appointed * * *
    (3) * * *
    (vi) Employment under an Internship Program appointment under 5 CFR 
213.3402(a).
* * * * *

PART 890--FEDERAL EMPLOYEES HEALTH BENEFITS PROGRAM

    35. The authority citation for part 890 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 8913; Sec. 890.301 also issued under sec. 
311 of Pub. L. 111-3, 123 Stat. 64; Sec. 890.111 also issued under 
section 1622(b) of Pub. L. 104-106, 110 Stat. 521; Sec. 890.112 also 
issued under section 1 of Pub. L. 110-279, 122 Stat. 2604; Sec. 
890.803 also issued under 50 U.S.C. 403p, 22 U.S.C. 4069c and 4069c-
1; subpart L also issued under sec. 599C of Pub. L. 101-513, 104 
Stat. 2064, as amended; Sec. 890.102 also issued under sections 
11202(f), 11232(e), 11246(b) and (c) of Pub. L. 105-33, 111 Stat. 
251; and section 721 of Pub. L. 105-261, 112 Stat. 2061.

    36. In Sec.  890.102, revise paragraph (c)(2) to read as follows:


Sec.  890.102  Coverage.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (2) An employee who is expected to work less than 6 months in each 
year, except for an employee who receives an appointment of at least 1 
year's duration as an Intern under 5 CFR 213.3402(a) and who is 
expected to be in a pay status for at least one-third of the total 
period of time from the date of the first appointment to the completion 
of the Internship Program.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2011-19623 Filed 8-4-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6325-39-P