(a) Each agency as defined at section 4301(1) of title 5, United States Code, shall develop one or more performance appraisal systems for employees covered by this subpart.
(b) An agency appraisal system shall establish agencywide policies and parameters for the application and operation of performance appraisal within the agency for the employees covered by the system. At a minimum, an agency system shall—
(1) Provide for—
(i) Establishing employee performance plans, including, but not limited to, critical elements and performance standards;
(ii) Communicating performance plans to employees at the beginning of an appraisal period;
(iii) Evaluating each employee during the appraisal period on the employee's elements and standards;
(iv) Recognizing and rewarding employees whose performance so warrants;
(v) Assisting employees in improving unacceptable performance; and
(vi) Reassigning, reducing in grade, or removing employees who continue to have unacceptable performance, but only after an opportunity to demonstrate acceptable performance.
(2) Identify employees covered by the system;
(3) Specify the flexibilities an agency program established under the system has for setting—
(i) The length of the appraisal period (as specified in § 430.206(a) );
(ii) The length of the minimum period (as specified in § 430.207(a) );
(iii) The number(s) of performance levels at which critical and non-critical elements may be appraised (as specified in § 430.206(b)(7) (i)(A) and (ii)(A) ); and
(iv) The pattern of summary levels that may be assigned in a rating of record (as specified in § 430.208(d) );
(4) Include, where applicable, criteria and procedures for establishing separate appraisal programs under an appraisal system; and
(5) Require that an appraisal program shall conform to statute, the regulations of this chapter, and the requirements established by the appraisal system.
(c) Agencies are encouraged to involve employees in developing and implementing their system(s). When agencies involve employees, the method of involvement shall be in accordance with the law.