5 U.S. Code § 3321 - Competitive service; probationary period

§ 3321.
Competitive service; probationary period
(a) The President may take such action, including the issuance of rules, regulations, and directives, as shall provide as nearly as conditions of good administration warrant for a period of probation—
before an appointment in the competitive service becomes final; and
before initial appointment as a supervisor or manager becomes final.
(b) An individual—
who has been transferred, assigned, or promoted from a position to a supervisory or managerial position, and
who does not satisfactorily complete the probationary period under subsection (a)(2) of this section,
shall be returned to a position of no lower grade and pay than the position from which the individual was transferred, assigned, or promoted. Nothing in this section prohibits an agency from taking an action against an individual serving a probationary period under subsection (a)(2) of this section for cause unrelated to supervisory or managerial performance.
Subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall not apply with respect to appointments in the Senior Executive Service or the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Drug Enforcement Administration Senior Executive Service, or any individual covered by section 1599e of title 10.
(Pub. L. 89–554, Sept. 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 422; Pub. L. 95–454, title III, § 303(a), Oct. 13, 1978, 92 Stat. 1146; Pub. L. 100–325, § 2(d), May 30, 1988, 102 Stat. 581; Pub. L. 114–92, div. A, title XI, § 1105(c)(1), Nov. 25, 2015, 129 Stat. 1024.)

Historical and Revision Notes


U.S. Code

Revised Statutes and

Statutes at Large


5 U.S.C. 633(2)4.

Jan. 16, 1883, ch. 27. § 2(2)4, 22 Stat. 404.

The authority of the President to prescribe rules is added on authority of former section 633(1), which is carried into section 3302. Wording is changed because in practice an appointment is not made after probation. The words “or employment” are omitted as included within “appointment”.

Standard changes are made to conform with the definitions applicable and the style of this title as outlined in the preface to the report.


2015—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 114–92 inserted “, or any individual covered by section 1599e of title 10” before period at end.

1988—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 100–325 inserted reference to Federal Bureau of Investigation and Drug Enforcement Administration Senior Executive Service.

1978—Pub. L. 95–454 substituted “probationary period” for “probation; period of” in section catchline, designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), substituted provisions authorizing the President to take necessary action, for provisions authorizing the President to prescribe rules, and added subsecs. (b) and (c).

Effective Date of 1978 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 95–454 effective 90 days after Oct. 13, 1978, see section 907 of Pub. L. 95–454, set out as a note under section 1101 of this title.

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5 CFR - Administrative Personnel



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