5 CFR 430.206 - Planning performance.
(1) An appraisal program shall designate an official appraisal period for which a performance plan shall be prepared, during which performance shall be monitored, and for which a rating of record shall be prepared.
(2) Each program shall specify a single length of time as its appraisal period. The appraisal period generally shall be 12 months so that employees are provided a rating of record on an annual basis. A program's appraisal period may be longer when work assignments and responsibilities so warrant or performance management objectives can be achieved more effectively.
(i) Are not used in deriving and assigning a summary level, and
(8) Elements and standards shall be established as follows -
(i) For a critical element -
(A) At least two levels for appraisal shall be used with one level being “Fully Successful” or its equivalent and another level being “Unacceptable,” and
(B) A performance standard shall be established at the “Fully Successful” level and may be established at other levels.
(ii) For non-critical elements, when established, -
(A) At least two levels for appraisal shall be used, and
(B) A performance standard(s) shall be established at whatever level(s) is appropriate.