OHCS Contacts
A-Z Index
About OHCS
NOAA Locator
Emerg Relief Info
USA Jobs
Mgrs Hiring Guide
Supvy Res Guide
About CLC
NFC Personal Page
Workplace Resources
Web TA
New Employee Info
Separation Info

USA Gov Logo

Office of Human Capital Services

People focused. Mission driven.

OHCS is moving all of our content to an intranet site specifically for NOAA employees located here. During this transition, this website will no longer be updated. Please contact hrwebmaster@noaa.gov with any questions or comments.

NOAA Supervisory Resource Guide

How Do I Promote an Employee by Accretion of Duties?

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) recognizes management's authority to assign any work to any position that falls within the position's normal scope of duties, and if over time the position evolves to include higher level duties, an accretion of duties promotion may be appropriate.

Typical Scenario:   You have an employee working for you who has been performing all of the duties assigned to her position, and has also assumed new duties over the past year which are associated with a new program your office is handling. The new duties are taking up at least 25% of her time on a regular basis, and require a higher level of knowledge, skill and/or ability that will be a factor when/if you recruit to fill the position at a future date. You are wondering if this employee can be promoted without posting a vacancy announcement (i.e., non-competitive promotion by accretion of duties).

Principle: The use of noncompetitive promotion procedures is limited to very specific circumstances. Fair and open competition should occur whenever those conditions are not explicitly met.

It is common for positions to evolve with mission requirements, supporting technology and similar changes over time. Both OPM and MSPB recognize the propriety and utility of accretion promotions. Both, however, caution that misuse undermines the trust employees must have in the merit promotion/assignment process, and may result in increased complaints or grievances.

Where Do I Start? - First, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do the employee's new duties, which you believe to be at a higher level, represent an "outgrowth" of the former position over a significant period of time; or has a program change required immediate performance of the new duties?
  2. Has the employee's "old" position been absorbed by the "new" position, where the employee is continuing to perform the same basic functions of the original position?
  3. Is this employee the ONLY one under your supervision who is capable of performing the new duties?
  4. Has the employee you would like to promote satisfied time-in-grade requirements for promotion to the next higher grade? (Your servicing Workforce Management Office can help you answer this question.)

An answer of "No" to any of the Questions 1 - 4 above may indicate that promotion by accretion would be inappropriate for this position and/or employee.

  1. Is there any known promotion potential associated with the "new" position? (If you know that additional duties that could increase the grade again are likely in the future, then competition for the promotion should be held for this promotion, following procedures in the "NOAA Manager's Hiring Guide".
  2. Will the "new" position involve the addition of grade controlling supervisory/leader duties to a non-supervisory/non-leader position? (If so, this promotion must be competed.)
  3. Will the addition of higher level duties to this employee's position result in an adverse impact on another encumbered position, such as abolishing the position, eroding its current grade or reducing its known promotion potential?
  4. Would reclassification to a higher grade level result in an accretion across occupational series, and/or from a one grade interval to a two grade interval occupational series? (If so, this is an extremely rare situation and should be closely reviewed by the servicing Workforce Management Office.)
  5. Was the employee you would like to promote given additional training or other developmental opportunities that were not made available to other employees under your supervision?

An answer of "Yes" to any of the Questions 5 - 9 above may indicate that promotion by accretion would be inappropriate for this position and/or employee.

Basic Steps

  1. The first line supervisor identifies the specific changes in the duties and responsibilities that may be classifiable at a higher grade; completes a draft position description, and the certification form provided by the servicing Workforce Management Office.
  2. The supervisor submits to the servicing Workforce Management Office:
    • the draft position description
    • a copy of the "old" position description
    • completed certification documentation
    • an SF-52 (Request for Personnel Action)
  3. The Human Resources Advisor reviews the supervisor's submission, evaluates the changes, certifies that all conditions required for promotion by accretion are present, and classifies the "new" position.
  4. Following successful completion of above steps, and classification at a higher grade level, the eligible employee is promoted. (Note, promotion is not retroactive.) A disapproved request for accretion will be returned to the first line supervisor with an explanation.
Good Management Practices:

Promotions based on job accretion are recognized exceptions to the merit promotion process. Whenever possible, managers and servicing Workforce Management Offices will ensure that a reasonable and accurate career ladder is established before a position is filled. Following good management practices, supervisors should be aware of the duties assigned or assumed by their staff, and exercise vigilance for changes that result in the unintentional growth or erosion of assignments sufficient to affect grade level.

WFMO Contact Lists

Page last edited: January 28, 2008

top top