3 FAH-1 H-2320


(CT:POH-237;   08-11-2020)
(Office of Origin:  GTM/PE)


3 FAH-1 H-2321.1  Director, Office of Performance Evaluation

(TL:POH-230;   01-24-2020)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service Only)

The Director, Office of Performance Evaluation:

(1)  Certifies to selection boards in accordance with the precept (see 3 FAH-1 Exhibit H-2321.1B) and these regulations, the names of members of the Service to be considered by the boards;

(2)  Provides technical advice and staff support to the selection boards;

(3)  Prepares promotion and career extension lists of members of the Foreign Service for each class on the basis of the determination made by the Under Secretary for Management of the number of members to be promoted or extended under 3 FAM 2325 and 3 FAM 6200, respectively.  Names shall be taken in order from the lists of members recommended for promotion or extension by the selection boards in accordance with the precepts;

(4)  Excludes from the lists of recommended promotions or extensions the name of any member separated from the Service for any reason and substitutes the names of other members in the order recommended for promotion or extension by the selection boards, under 3 FAM 2328; and

(5)  Identifies members of the Foreign Service recommended for promotion who are still language probationers.  Names of members removed from the promotion list because of language probation will be promoted subsequently if the members in question satisfy the language requirement before the convening of the next selection boards.  If the member is not off language probation before the convening of the next selection boards, the member will re-compete for promotion.

3 FAH-1 H-2321.2  Director General of the Foreign Service

(TL:POH-90;   04-03-2003)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service Only)

The Director, Office of Performance Evaluation:

(1)  Determines the number and membership of the selection boards (see 3 FAM 2326.1-1);

(2)  Approves the precepts which have been negotiated with the exclusive representative, if any, for all boards or panels established for the purpose of evaluating Foreign Service personnel (3 FAM 2326.2);

(3)  Convenes and adjourns the selection boards and assures appropriate briefings of board members;

(4)  Reviews the findings and recommendations of the selection boards to determine whether they were made in accordance with the precepts and these regulations.  Any list or name may be returned for reconsideration by the selection board if questions of procedure or conformity with precepts and these regulations arise.  If a part of a list is returned, the board may review the names returned or, at its discretion, the entire list;

(5)  Approves the temporary exclusion from a promotion list of any member of the Service under 3 FAM 2328;

(6)  Submits the promotion list of members of the Foreign Service recommended for promotion to class FS-1 and below to the Under Secretary for Management for approval;

(7)  Submits the lists of members recommended for limited extensions of their career appointments to the Under Secretary for Management for approval;

(8)  Submits the promotion list of members recommended for promotion into and within the Senior Foreign Service to the Under Secretary for Management for transmittal to the Secretary for recommendation to the President; and

(9)  Recommends from time to time to the Under Secretary for Management approval of a list of positions comparable to chief of mission (3 FAH-1 H-2322).

3 FAH-1 H-2321.3  Under Secretary for Management

(TL:POH-130;   05-01-2008)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service Only)

The Director, Office of Performance Evaluation:

(1)  Determines the number of promotions and extensions of career appointments of members of the Foreign Service (3 FAM 2325 and 3 FAM 6200) who are subject to review by selection boards for such purposes;

(2)  Approves promotions of career and career candidate members of the Service under section 605 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980 (Act) based on recommendations and rankings of selection boards established under section 602 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980 (except for career member promotions into and within the Senior Foreign Service which require the approval of the President; and promotions of career and career candidate members of the Service in classes below the FS-4 level and categories governed by administrative promotions under 3 FAM 2329.3);

(3)  Approves limited extensions of career appointments of members of the Service (3 FAM 6200) in accordance with the recommendations and rankings of selection boards; and

(4)  Approves from time to time the list of positions comparable to chief of mission.


(TL:POH-56;   11-24-1999)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service Only)

From time to time, the Director General of the Foreign Service will initiate a list of positions comparable in importance to "chief of mission" (as defined in section 102(3) of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended).  The Director General will then submit the list to the Under Secretary of Management for approval.  The Under Secretary has approved the following list of positions as comparable in importance to that of "chief of mission."

3 FAH-1 H-2322.1  Positions Abroad

(CT:POH-135;   04-17-2009)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service Only)

Positions abroad include:

(1)  Deputy chiefs of mission (as designated by the Under Secretary for Management);

(2)  Positions established as chargé d'affaires:

(a)  Chiefs, U.S. interests sections;

(b)  Consul General, Hong Kong; and

(c)  Consul General, Jerusalem.

3 FAH-1 H-2322.2  Positions in International Organizations

(TL:POH-90;   04-03-2003)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service Only)

Positions in international organizations include:

(1)  U.S. representatives (when chief-of-mission level is established by the post classification committee);

(2)  Deputy U.S. representatives; and

(3)  Representatives if appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.

3 FAH-1 H-2322.3  Positions at Department of State

3 FAH-1 H-2322.3-1  Executive Schedule Positions

(TL:POH-90;   04-03-2003)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service Only)

Executive Schedule positions include:

(1)  Deputy Secretary (5 U.S.C. 5312);

(2)  Ambassadors at Large (5 U.S.C. 5313) Under Secretaries (5 U.S.C. 5314);

(3)  Assistant Secretaries (5 U.S.C. 5315); and

(4)  Legal Adviser (5 U.S.C. 5315).

3 FAH-1 H-2322.3-2  Positions Equivalent to Assistant Secretaries

(CT:POH-237;   08-11-2020)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service Only)

Positions equivalent to Assistant Secretaries include:

(1)  Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Global Talent (DGTM) (section 208 of the Act);

(2)  Inspector General (OIG) (section 209 of the Act);

(3)  Director, Policy Planning Staff (S/P);

(4)  Special Assistant to the Secretary and Executive Secretary of the Department (S/ES);

(5)  Chief of Protocol (S/CPR);

(6)  Coordinator for Communications and Information Policy (CIP);

(7)  Chief Financial Officer (M/RM);

(8)  Chief Information Officer (IRM/CIO);

(9)  Director, Foreign Service Institute (M/FSI);

(10) Coordinator, Office for Counterterrorism (S/CT);

(11) Chief Medical Officer, Department of State and the Foreign Service (MED);

(12) Counselor (C);

(13) Coordinator, International Information Programs (IIP);

(14) Director, Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO);

(15) Chief of Staff (COS);

(16) Coordinator, Global AIDS (S/GAC);

(17) Director, Office of Civil Rights (S/OCR); and

(18) Director, Office of Management Policy, Rightsizing and Innovation (M/PRI), effective October 12, 2007.

3 FAH-1 H-2322.3-3  Other Positions

(TL:POH-90;   04-03-2003)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service Only)

Other positions include:

(1)  Principal executive assistants to the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, and the Under Secretaries of State;

(2)  Deputy assistant secretaries;

(3)  Deputies to positions established at a rank equivalent to Assistant Secretaries;

(4)  Deputies to the Legal Adviser;

(5)  Senior Foreign Service inspectors in the Office of the Inspector General (OIG/ISP);

(6)  Dean, Professional and Area Studies (M/FSI);

(7)  Vice President, National Defense University;

(8)  Faculty Advisor, National War College;

(9)  Faculty Advisors to the Industrial College of the Armed Forces (ICAF);

(10) Faculty Advisor, Air University;

(11) Faculty Advisor, Army War College; and

(12) Faculty Advisor, Naval War College.

3 FAH-1 H-2322.4  For Assignments To Other Agencies

(TL:POH-237;   08-11-2020)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service Only)

a. Assignments to other agencies include the positions of:

(1)  Assistant secretaries (or positions established at an equivalent rank or level or higher);

(2)  Deputy assistant secretaries (or deputies to officials whose positions are established at a level or rank equivalent or higher than assistant secretaries);

(3)  Positions compensated under the Executive Schedule (5 U.S.C. 5311 - 5316) or under section 631 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1982, as amended; and

b. The Office of Organization and Talent Analytics (GTM/OTA) retains the current list of comparable positions and all previous lists.


(TL:POH-56;   11-24-1999)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service Only)

A member of the Foreign Service reappointed to the Service after separation (see 3 FAM 2130 and 3 FAM 2210) shall receive credit toward eligibility for promotion for prior service as a Foreign Service member if the member is reappointed to the same or equivalent class as the one from which separated.  The period of service in class shall be calculated on the basis of total creditable service in that class.


(TL:POH-48;   06-12-1998)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service Only)

A retired member of the Foreign Service who is recalled temporarily to active service, as provided in 3 FAM 2130 and 3 FAM 2210, shall be eligible for promotion in accordance with 3 FAM 2320 and 3 FAH-1 H-2320.


(TL:POH-56;   11-24-1999)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service Only)

a. Any member of the Foreign Service promoted to a higher class in the Foreign Service Schedule established under section 403 of the Act shall receive a base salary at the lowest step rate of the higher class which exceeds the existing rate of base salary by not less than two step increases or six percent, whichever is greater, of the class from which promoted.

b. Any member of the Foreign Service promoted from class FS-1 to the class of counselor (OC) in the Senior Foreign Service established under section 402 of the Act will receive the lowest FE salary level which exceeds the member's scheduled rate of pay by not less than two step increases or six percent, whichever is greater, of the class from which promoted.  However, no such promoted member will receive a salary above the FE-4 level.

c.  Any member of the counselor class of the Senior Foreign Service promoted to the class of minister-counselor (MC) will receive a salary at the FE-4 level unless the promotee was already at that level in the counselor class.  If already at the FE-4 level, the member will be promoted to the FE-5 level.

d. Any member of the minister-counselor class of the Senior Foreign Service promoted to the class of career minister (CM) will receive a salary at the FE-6 level.


(TL:POH-237;   08-11-2020)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service Only)

a. At least one month before completion of the time-in-class required for an administrative promotion, the Director of the Office of Performance Evaluation in the Bureau of Global Talent Management (GTM/PE) will inform the respective post or bureau of the member's eligibility for promotion and inquire whether the member's current performance has been judged satisfactory by the supervisor.

b. The post or bureau will advise GTM/PE whether the member's performance has been satisfactory or unsatisfactory.

3 FAH-1 H-2326.1  Satisfactory Performance

(TL:POH-237;   08-11-2020)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service Only)

If the response indicates satisfactory performance, and pertinent evaluation material covering earlier assignments while in present class also indicates that the employee's performance has been satisfactory, the Director of GTM/PE will effect the necessary administrative action to promote the member.

3 FAH-1 H-2326.2  Unsatisfactory Performance

(TL:POH-237;   08-11-2020)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service Only)

a. A post or bureau may advise GTM/PE that a member's performance has been unsatisfactory only if the member has previously been advised of the areas of performance which are deficient and been given a reasonable opportunity to demonstrate satisfactory performance.  A period of 60 days ordinarily will be sufficient to demonstrate needed improvement, but a lesser period may also suffice depending upon the nature and extent of responsibilities, the member's time in the position, and similar circumstances.

b. If adequate notice and opportunity to demonstrate improvement have not been provided or if the post or bureau believes that because of limited time at post or in current function, more consideration needs to be given to a member's performance before deciding whether his or her performance is satisfactory, a delay in promotional consideration for a period not to exceed 60 days should be requested.  Before making such a request, however, the responsible management officer or executive officer will discuss the post's or bureau's proposed course of action with the member, ask for the member's views, and take these into consideration.  The member will be informed of the post’s or bureau's action in writing with a clear indication of the reasons for the delay.  The member will be given every reasonable opportunity to demonstrate satisfactory performance during the succeeding trial period.

c.  Ordinarily, a determination by the supervisor of unsatisfactory performance will be made only in connection with review for administrative promotion as outlined in paragraphs a and b in this section.  However, when a member’s performance is judged clearly unsatisfactory at any time after a reasonable opportunity for experience in a new position, the supervisor, in consultation with the reviewing officer and the management officer or the executive officer, may, if the situation warrants it, advise the member in writing of the unsatisfactory determination and the reasons, and provide a reasonable period, ordinarily 60 days, for the member to raise performance to a satisfactory level.

d. In cases under 3 FAM 2329, where the post or bureau has requested that consideration for promotion be delayed or a member has been formally notified of unsatisfactory performance, the post or bureau must submit to GTM/PE an employee evaluation report immediately following the trial period.  The report should state either that the member's performance is judged satisfactory and, if appropriate, that the member is recommended for promotion, or that performance is judged unsatisfactory.  In the case of a finding of unsatisfactory, the post or bureau may recommend either that the member be given an additional period to demonstrate satisfactory performance or that consideration be given to separation from the Service.

3 FAH-1 H-2326.3  Action on Unsatisfactory Ratings

(TL:POH-237;   08-11-2020)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service Only)

Whenever an unsatisfactory rating for a member subject to administrative promotion is received in GTM/PE, any scheduled administrative promotion will be suspended pending completion of the review prescribed in 3 FAH-1 H-2327, and such review will be initiated forthwith.

3 FAH-1 H-2326.4  Career Candidate Basic Training

(TL:POH-237;   08-11-2020)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service Only)

a. The course supervisor will advise the candidate in overcoming difficulties in cases where it appears that a career candidate may not complete the basic training for the specialty in a satisfactory manner.  Where it is determined that a candidate has not completed a basic training course satisfactorily, the course supervisor may either recommend that the candidate repeat all or part of the prescribed training or that consideration be given to immediate separation from the Service.

NOTE:  A recommendation for separation will be documented in a completed Form DS-1106, Training Evaluation Report (TER), which will be given to the candidate for signature and comment and sent promptly to GTM/PE.

b. GTM/PE will give the candidate the opportunity to submit whatever information or documents the candidate believes are pertinent to the case.  The unsatisfactory TER and candidate's comments, if any, will be submitted to the Director General.

c.  The Director General may initiate any further inquiry or proceedings, as appropriate, to the issue-giving rise to the unsatisfactory TER. Upon resolution or clarification of the issues involved to the Director General’s satisfaction, the Director General may either:

(1)  Initiate immediate action to separate the candidate in accordance with section 611 of the Act and 3 FAM 2329; or

(2)  Provide an additional period for the candidate to demonstrate satisfactory completion of basic training or satisfaction of the standards of the specialty.  If the candidate fails to complete this additional training in a satisfactory manner, the candidate will be separated in accordance with section 611 of the Act and 3 FAM 2329.


3 FAH-1 H-2327.1  Grounds for Deferring Consideration

(TL:POH-56;   11-24-1999)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service Only)

The following reasons are appropriate grounds for deferral of promotion consideration:

(1)  An appraisal of the member's performance as unsatisfactory, in accordance with 3 FAM 2329;

(2)  Issues of loyalty, security, misconduct, suitability, or malfeasance; or

(3)  Inaccurate or incomplete statements included in the member’s official performance file regarding the member’s performance.

3 FAH-1 H-2327.2  Action by Director General

(TL:POH-237;   08-11-2020)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service Only)

The Director General will promptly inform the member concerned in writing of the action taken and will initiate, pursue, or monitor such inquiry, investigation, or proceeding as is appropriate to the issue giving rise to the deferral.  The member will be given the opportunity to submit whatever information or documents the member believes are pertinent to the case.  Upon disposition or resolution of the issue, the Director General will:

(1)  Determine that performance is satisfactory on the basis of the documented performance file and request that the necessary administrative action be initiated to promote the member to be effective as of the previously scheduled anniversary date;

(2)  Determine that performance is judged unsatisfactory on the basis of the documented performance file. In this case, the Director General will:

(a)  Initiate action to separate the member in accordance with section 612 of the Act for career candidates serving under limited appointments or section 610 of the Act for members serving under career appointments; or

(b)  Provide an additional trial period of 60 days or more for the member to demonstrate satisfactory performance, on the basis of which administrative promotion may be granted.  The post or bureau must submit to GTM/PE an employee evaluation report immediately following the additional period in accordance with the provisions of 3 FAM 2329.

(3)  In the case of disciplinary or other action against a member, if separation from the Service is warranted, the Director General will document that action in the performance file and initiate action under section 610 or 612 of the Act, as appropriate, to separate the member.

3 FAH-1 H-2327.3  Separation Action Pending

(CT:POH-146;   02-09-2011)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service Only)

a. Where the Director General has initiated separation proceedings under 3 FAH-1 H-2327.2, subparagraph 2 or 3, the deferred promotion will not become effective pending determination of the separation proceeding.  Should the proceeding be resolved in favor of the member, the Director General will take action in accordance with 3 FAM 2329.  Should the member be separated, the scheduled promotion will not become effective.

b. The member will be given prompt notice in writing of the Director General's decision and the reasons.

c.  In the case of career members assigned to positions in new occupational fields after satisfactory performance in their primary career field, where the member's evaluated performance in the new field has been found unsatisfactory and an additional trial period is not considered warranted, the Director General will direct reassignment to a position in the former occupational category in lieu of separation.

3 FAH-1 H-2328  AND H-2329 UNASSIGNED

3 FAH-1 Exhibit H-2321.1A  UNASSIGNED


3 FAH-1 Exhibit H-2321.1B  
Decision Criteria for Tenure and Promotion in the Foreign Service

(CT:POH-206;   06-29-2018)
(Applies to State Foreign Service Only)
(Effective o4-16-2013)





(edits to the 2010 version of this document are indicated below in bold italicized font)


The Core Precepts provide the guidelines by which Selection Boards determine the tenure and promotability of U.S. Foreign Service employees. These Precepts will be in effect for the 2013-2014, 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 rating cycles. The precepts include themes from the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR )such as interagency leadership, outreach across all sectors of society abroad, innovation and connection technology, and developing the skills needed for 21st century diplomacy. The precepts also reflect the Career Development Program (CDP), with its emphasis on operational effectiveness, leadership and management effectiveness, sustained professional language and/or technical proficiency, and responsiveness to customer and service needs.


The Precepts enlarge upon the headings found in existing Employee Evaluation Report (EER) forms, defining the specific skills to be considered and the level of accomplishment expected at different grades. They distinguish between apprentice, journeyman and master level – the entry-level, mid-level and senior-level ranks, respectively.


The Precepts are the collection of competencies determined to be essential to successful performance in the Foreign Service. Competencies are the skills, knowledge, and abilities that an employee applies to the job. The Precepts are described in terms of observable behavior that model employees exhibit in the accomplishment of the job, in getting results, and achieving goals and objectives. In preparing Foreign Service work requirements, the supervisor and employee should define performance expectations early in the evaluation period. By focusing first on results and expectations, the supervisor and employee can more readily identify the specific training and development needs of any of the required skills the employee does not possess.


Organizationally, the Precepts are arranged in a grid--the left column defines the skill, and the progressive possession and exercise of that skill are captured in boxes from left to right. The skills are cumulative; the descriptions for each level assume the employee has mastered those at the lower level(s). The rating employee should review descriptions at lower levels before making an evaluation. For instance, in rating a mid-level employee, the rating employee should review the descriptions for both “Mid-Level” and for “Entry-Level.”


Because progression in some specialist skill codes is capped at the mid-levels, the “Senior-Level” column does not apply to those specialists.


The Department has consulted with AFSA regarding the content and form of these Precepts.
















Takes initiative to go beyond assigned tasks; identifies problems and proposes creative solutions; seeks to improve job and organization performance.

Develops insights into situations and applies them in the workplace; devises innovative solutions to make organizational improvements and policy adjustments; engages staff in process of developing new and effective solutions.

Creates an organization-wide environment which encourages innovation; takes a long-term view and acts as a catalyst for constructive change; conceives and institutes organization-wide policy and program initiatives; anticipates and prepares for the future.



Decision Making and Judgment



Identifies issues within context of own job which require decisions or other action; arrives at recommendations in a logical, orderly manner; acts confidently and decisively within own purview, consulting others as appropriate; is sensitive to needs and opinions of others.  Displays good judgment by discerning what is appropriate, practical, and realistic in the performance of official duties.

Makes reasoned, effective, and timely decisions after considering all relevant factors and options, even when data are limited or conflicting or will produce unpleasant consequences; implements decisions and evaluates their impact and implications, making adjustments as needed.  Determines whether and how to make decisions or take action without senior-level review displaying good judgment in making those decisions.

Integrates policy and administrative factors into problem solving and decision making in a manner enhancing the entire organization; actively works to achieve Department’s goals and objectives; encourages staff to accept responsibility.  Demonstrates good judgment in all decisions.



Team Building



Applies what he/she learns about team building to be an effective team member.  Is open to views of others; works in collaborative, inclusive, outcome-oriented manner with U.S. and foreign colleagues; accepts team consensus.

Is an effective team leader, who creates an environment that facilitates full participation and an open exchange of ideas; fosters cooperation and collaboration among U.S. and foreign colleagues; motivates and guides team members toward a common goal.  Actively develops the skills of subordinates, counsels them, and makes optimum use of their talents.

Is an effective team motivator and leader, who inspires staff to participate and contribute; encourages and develops a sense of pride and cohesiveness among staff; resolves work-related problems by mobilizing team skills and resources; develops and implements strategies to improve the workplace, morale, skills and achievements of team members and the effectiveness of the overall organization.



Openness to Dissent



Demonstrates the intellectual integrity to speak openly within channels and a willingness to risk criticism in order to voice sensible dissent.   Publicly supports official decisions, even when disagreeing with them.

Discerns when well-founded dissent is justified; engages in constructive advocacy of policy alternatives; guides staff to do the same.

Accords importance to well-founded dissent and defends its appropriate expression.



Community Service and Institution Building



Participates actively in outreach or “community service” activities that contribute to employee welfare.  For example, volunteers for Post or Department programs, initiatives, ceremonies, special events, blood and fund drives, and other activities.

Participates actively in performance evaluation decision making and resource allocation activities, e.g., serves on Selection Boards or on post EER Review Panel; works on resource allocation committees, e.g., Housing Board; counsels/mentors personnel more junior in grade.

Participates actively in “institution building” activities that strengthen the Department as an organization.  For example, recruits for the Department, e.g., serves as Diplomat-in-Residence or on the Board of Examiners; works on the Selection Boards; participates in Department mentoring program.







Operational Effectiveness

Plans, organizes and directs operations and strategies within areas of responsibility effectively; ensures that projects within area of responsibility are completed in a timely, high quality and efficient manner; accepts supervision and guidance, and supports the projects of others; provides feedback to supervisors.  Demonstrates commitment and moral courage by making difficult choices, by working with a sense of purpose, and by caring about the results.

Completes projects and produces results in most effective manner while balancing the Department’s goals and objectives and constraints of time and resources; critically analyzes the organization’s strengths and weaknesses, and takes appropriate action.

Establishes effective procedures and controls to manage the work activities of subordinates; encourages, develops and rewards efforts of staff to enhance their effectiveness, including their ability to contribute to the achievement of the Department’s goals and objectives; foresees challenges to, and opportunities for, the organization and takes steps in advance to deal with them.

Directing and Developing Performance

Participates in preparation of work requirements for self and works with staff in preparing their work requirements; develops plans to accomplish work requirements; gives staff both formal and informal feedback on performance and potential; completes employee evaluations in accordance with standards and deadlines.

Establishes and clearly communicates broad performance expectations for unit; manages staff effectively to meet those performance expectations; monitors plans to accomplish work requirements; delegates appropriately; creates a productive work environment in which employees’ contributions are valued and encouraged; works to prevent and resolve personnel problems in a timely manner; ensures that the evaluation process is properly conducted and that counseling occurs throughout the rating year;  effectively selects, trains, develops and supervises employees;  ensures that staff is appropriately utilized, appraised, and rewarded; develops these same skills in others.

Establishes and clearly communicates organization-wide performance expectations in accordance with the Department’s goals and objectives; inspires a high level of performance in staff; ensures the professional development and mentoring of staff; oversees possible improvements in human resource processes; ensures that the evaluation and counseling process is conducted effectively and in accordance with standards and deadlines.

Management of Resources

Utilizes internal controls to protect the integrity of the organization and prevent waste, fraud, and mismanagement, reporting any instances where such problems occur; uses material and financial resources prudently; strives to produce highest return with lowest cost.

Ensures that effective internal controls are in place and work correctly; allocates resources efficiently, equitably, and in conformity with policy and regulatory guidelines; makes every effort to ensure that employees have the tools needed to work effectively.

Evaluates adequacy of internal controls and ensures implementation of improvements as warranted; holds managers accountable for the consequences of their resource policy decisions; seeks resource adjustments as needed.

Customer Service

Responds professionally, courteously and competently to both internal and external customers.


Balances competing and sometimes conflicting interests of a variety of customers; anticipates and responds appropriately to customer needs.


At the organization level, encourages customer-oriented focus; maintains or improves services organization-wide.

Support for Equal Employment Opportunity and Merit Principles

Takes diversity training and applies its principles to the workplace; treats all individuals with respect and without regard to race, color, gender, religion, national origin, age, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation; acts in compliance with USG and Department EEO policies.

Manages diversity by recruiting diverse staff at all levels and ensuring staff diversity training and awareness.  Promotes diversity awareness through training; ensures by example and instruction, and verifies through monitoring and follow-up, that all employees are treated with fairness and respect; applies EEO and merit principles consistently; identifies and addresses situations giving rise to complaints and grievances based on issues of fairness in the workplace.

Fosters an organization-wide environment in which diversity is valued and respected; encourages the organization to realize the full potential of a diverse staff; provides personal leadership and vigorous support for EEO, merit principles, and fair employment practices;  recognizes that diversity within the workplace is a strategic advantage and acts accordingly.

Security, including Management of Sensitive and Classified Material, Information and Infrastructure

Practices good personal, information, and physical security.  Takes full responsibility for handling and safeguarding sensitive and classified material, information, and infrastructure properly.  Has knowledge of security threats, responsibilities, procedures, regulations and issues.

Encourages the practice of good personal, information, and physical security measures and serves as a model for others.  Takes full responsibility for handling and safeguarding sensitive and classified material, information, and infrastructure properly; ensures that effective procedures are in place to protect sensitive and classified material, information and infrastructure and that established security regulations are being followed.

Promotes the practice of good personal, information, and physical security measures by employees.  Takes full responsibility for handling and safeguarding sensitive and classified material, information and infrastructure properly; promotes security consciousness on an organization-wide basis; evaluates and monitors procedures to safeguard sensitive and classified material, information, and infrastructure and ensures that necessary changes are made if current procedures are inadequate; holds managers accountable for the consequences of their security policy decisions.

Crisis Management Skills

Possesses appropriate knowledge of short-term (emergency) management and long-term (business continuity) management responses to crises, incidents or other serious situations and when appropriate may participate in the development of plans to respond to such incidents.

Performs crisis management for the area of responsibility, including the development of preventative (risk management) plans; and develops awareness and skill in crisis management among the staff.

Performs crisis management and risk management for the entire organizational unit; sets the tone for the importance of crisis management for the unit; and seeks to reduce the need for crisis management if possible.






Professional Standards

Holds self accountable for rules and responsibilities; is dependable and conscientious; is composed, professional, and productive, even in difficult conditions.  Treats all with respect.

Holds others accountable for rules and responsibilities; consistently maintains equanimity and a professional demeanor; maintains own motivation and encourages others to persevere in difficult circumstances.

Sets the standard for integrity and workplace behavior by example and instruction; does not lose composure under stress or in crisis; fosters a climate based on mutual respect and trust

Persuasion and Negotiation

Learns to influence others; gains cooperation while showing, in the spirit of mutual respect, understanding of others’ positions.

Influences others deftly; fosters understanding of USG/Department views and positions and/or procedures and requirements; develops alliances with others; finds common ground among disparate forces and builds consensus; facilitates win-win situations.

Negotiates effectively on a wide range of issues in internal, bilateral, and multilateral environments; manages and resolves major conflicts and disagreements in an interest-based manner; manifests a faculty for astute compromise without sacrificing ultimate goals.

Workplace Perceptiveness

Demonstrates sensitivity in both domestic and foreign environments to status, protocol, and chain of command; responds considerately to the needs, feelings, and capabilities of others; shows respect for cultural differences.

Understands and deals effectively with relationships and aspirations; anticipates how others will react; and frames own responses to achieve results.

Navigates easily in an environment of shifting relationships; anticipates socially sensitive issues and potential conflicts of interest and takes appropriate action.


Adapts behavior and work methods as needed in response to new information, changing conditions, preferences of other people, or unexpected obstacles; and displays sensitivity to cultural differences.

Guides staff in adjusting to change; models and reinforces flexibility in the staff; manages risk and uncertainty; seeks to reduce any negative impact of change on the organization; and maintains own standards and identity despite change.

Anticipates the need for change; weighs risks; creates proactive plans to deal with change that reduces any negative impact on the unit; uses change to improve the effectiveness of the unit and its members; and exercises sophisticated cultural sensitivity in all circumstances.

Relationship Building and Representational Skills

Establishes and maintains purposeful and productive relationships with domestic and foreign contacts; interacts effectively in official and social encounters; attends and representational events to promote relationships and understanding with host country officials and when appropriate, hosts such events.


Identifies and cultivates professional relationships with key individuals and institutions; advances USG interests through hosting and attending representational events.

Moves with ease at all social settings and levels; cultivates professional relationship with audiences important to U.S. interests; frequently hosts representational events at most senior levels of society.






Written Communication

Writes succinctly; produces written materials that are thorough; conveys analysis that highlights essential points and clearly explains essence of subject to the intended audience—whether mission management or senior Department official.

Writes clearly and persuasively; ensures that policy and operational issues are articulated in ways most helpful to the intended audience; assists staff to develop effective writing skills.

Exhibits full mastery of written communication; shows sophisticated ability to analyze, synthesize, and advocate in a timely manner; edits others’ texts judiciously.

Oral Communication

Speaks in a concise, effective, and organized manner, tailored to the audience and the situation; speaks convincingly in groups and in individual discussion.

Speaks authoritatively to all audiences, demonstrating comprehensive understanding of issues and options; articulates policy goals persuasively; fosters an atmosphere of open communication and exchange of ideas.

Effectively argues complex policy issues; deals comfortably with the most senior levels of government and society.

Active Listening

Listens attentively; understands and absorbs others’ messages; correctly reads nonverbal signals; summarizes others’ views accurately and confirms accuracy of understanding; considers and responds respectfully and appropriately.

Instills trust in others which motivates them to speak openly and candidly; understands and respects cultural sensitivities and constraints in discussing issues and opinions; asks open-ended, incisive questions to ensure accuracy of understanding.

Adeptly discerns the innermost meanings and nuances of messages that others convey.

Public Outreach

Develops public speaking and writing skills by seeking appropriate opportunities to present U.S. views and perspectives.

Seizes and creates opportunities to advocate U.S. perspective to a variety of audiences. Actively develops the skills of subordinates.

Deals comfortably with the media; is active and effective in public diplomacy, both in the U.S. and overseas. Contributes to and implements strategies to encourage a fair hearing for U.S. views and perspectives.


Foreign Language Skill (Generalists; Specialists as Applicable)

Meets language probation requirements; uses foreign language skills to enhance job performance; seeks to improve foreign language skills.

Attains general professional proficiency* in at least one foreign language, strives to acquire advanced level proficiency and/or general professional proficiency in additional languages; uses that skill effectively to communicate USG themes and exercise influence; works to increase foreign language ability.

*Generalists, to cross senior threshold, must attain S/3-R/3 (i.e., general professional proficiency) in one language.

Maintains and/or further develops proficiency in foreign language(s); uses skill to promote U.S. interests with a wide range of audiences, including the media.






Information Gathering and Analysis

Locates, evaluates, and quickly assimilates key information; reorganizes information logically to maximize its practical utility and identify key underlying factors; recognizes when additional information is required and responds accordingly; considers a variety of sources, cross-checking when appropriate.

Has a sophisticated understanding of sources and their reliability; knows what to report and when; accepts that it may not be possible to base recommendations, decisions, or actions on comprehensive information; considers downstream consequences; guides and motivates staff to refine their own analytical skills.

Integrates fully a wide range of information and prior experiences in policy making; ensures that staff search out and evaluate information before making recommendations and decisions; recognizes situations in which information and analysis are incomplete, and responds wisely; accepts accountability for self and insists on it for staff.

Critical Thinking

Identifies key information, central issues, and common themes; identifies the strengths and weaknesses of various approaches; outlines realistic options; distinguishes fact from opinion and relevant from irrelevant information.

Isolates key points, central issues, and common themes in a mass of complex information or procedures; can determine the best solution or action from a range of options; is objective in analyzing problems and judging people.

Analyzes and defines complex policy issues clearly, in terms which permit them to be dealt with in a practical way; encourages staff to analyze situations and propose options, giving constructive and instructive feedback; correctly senses when it is appropriate to take risks, and does so.

Professional Development, including Active Learning

Seeks out new job-related knowledge and readily grasps its implications for the workplace; seeks informal feedback and learns from mistakes; recognizes own strengths and weaknesses and pursues self-development.

Develops own knowledge through broadening experiences, whether work-related, academic studies, or other type of professional development; applies the principles learned on the job and encourages and supports professional development among subordinates; provides informal feedback to colleagues and seeks feedback on own performance.

Anticipates the need for new information or knowledge for self and others; identifies sources of new information; communicates these sources to staff and facilitates access; actively promotes professional development at the organizational unit level; applies principles to foster organizational improvements, and promotes a workplace supportive of continuous professional development.

Leadership and Management Training

Learns basic principles of effective leadership and management.  Pursues formal and informal training opportunities.

Uses training opportunities to improve personal leadership and management skills and to keep abreast of current theory and techniques.  Applies the principles learned at FSI and other relevant courses on the job, e.g. by developing subordinates.

Actively promotes leadership and management training at the organizational unit level; applies principles of leadership and management training to foster organizational improvements.






Job Information

Develops and applies knowledge needed in current assignment; learns factors which impact work; understands how job relates to organizational goals and U.S. policy objectives.  Uses FSI and other training to improve individual performance.

Has broad knowledge of job-related processes and practices; remains current on policies, programs, and trends that affect the organization; analyzes the interplay of forces influencing the achievement of policy and program objectives and makes reasonable recommendations.  Uses training and other means to improve programs.  Supports continuous learning of employees through both training and work opportunities.

Integrates thorough knowledge of issues arising in job to formulate and implement policies and programs; monitors internal and external sources for information and ideas; uses job knowledge to shape outcomes.  Utilizes FSI training to raise level of organizational unit performance.  Creates an environment and strategies to support professional development both through training and work opportunities.

Institutional Knowledge

Understands the roles and authorities of both the Department and other USG agencies and how they affect the Department.  Applies that knowledge and the institutional realities it imposes to develop interagency cooperation to get tasks accomplished.

Proactively applies knowledge of other USG agencies and institutional realities to advance effectively State Department goals; operates on an equal footing with officials in other bureaus, foreign governments, business communities, academia, and media; develops these same skills in subordinates.

Uses sophisticated understanding of other USG Agencies and institutional realities to advance effectively USG foreign policy objectives; develops those same skills in subordinates.  Promotes interagency cooperation with a wide variety of senior USG officials to achieve the Department’s foreign policy objectives.

Technical Skills

Learns and uses technical skills and technology as appropriate in setting of job; understands the impact of technology on the workplace; seeks ways to use technology to enhance performance.



Continuously enhances own and staff’s understanding of work-related technical skills and technology and their applications; advances policy and program goals through the use of available and appropriate technology.

Promotes own and staff’s full utilization of technical skills and technology to achieve bureau/mission goals; devises efficient and cost-effective strategies to integrate technology into the workplace.


Professional Expertise

Understands and applies Department of State procedures, requirements, regulations, and policies; assimilates Department of State and Foreign Service milieu; builds knowledge of U.S. and foreign environments; uses developing expertise in work situations.

Strives to deepen understanding of the Department of State and of the Foreign Service as a profession; uses expertise to evaluate policies and programs and to advise and develop others; is able to operate independently to further bureau/mission objectives.

Combines mastery of U.S. policy objectives and knowledge of foreign environments to advance U.S.G. goals; assists staff to develop Foreign Service skills and expertise, promoting a work environment that enhances their professional development.

Knowledge of Foreign Cultures

Develops and demonstrates knowledge of foreign cultures, values, and norms; appropriately applies foreign perspective to domestic assignments and host country perspective to assignments abroad.

Has sophisticated grasp of foreign political, economic, cultural, and information environments; relates knowledge to fulfillment of bureau/mission goals.

Uses thorough knowledge of foreign environments to identify and seize opportunities to advance U.S.G. goals.  Develops subordinates’ understanding of how best to advance U.S. interests in a foreign environment.

3 FAH-1 Exhibit H-2321.1C  
Addendum to the 2004 Procedural Precepts

(CT:POH-101;   09-15-2004)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service Only)



Recommendations of SFS members for Department performance pay awards shall be based on the following criteria:

(1)  The relative value of the member’s achievement to the accomplishment of the Department’s mission;

(2)  The degree of difficulty inherent in successful achievement by the member;

(3)  The extent to which achievement was characterized by strong executive leadership and significant contributions in the formulation of agency policies and programming;

(4)  Effective supervision and development of subordinates;

(5)  Participation in outreach or “community service” activities that contribute to employee welfare and strengthen the Department as an institution, such as recruiting (e.g., duty on the Board of Examiners or as Diplomat-in-Residence), mentoring and Selection Board work;

(6)  Evidence that an employee actively promotes leadership and management training at the organizational unit level, enhances that training, and applies the principles of leadership and management training to foster organizational improvement;

(7)  The extent of demonstrated highly developed functional, foreign language and area expertise;

(8)  Achievements in the areas of cost reduction, efficiency, quality of work, productivity, and timeliness to the end of improving Foreign Service managerial flexibility and effectiveness;

(9)  Meeting affirmative action goals and achievement of equal opportunity requirement;

(10) Achievements in the identification, correction, and control of waste, fraud, and mismanagement;

(11) Failure to manage classified material and information properly should be regarded as a serious impediment to the recommendation of performance pay; and

(12) Evidence of effective performance management and evaluation as demonstrated by timely submission of employee evaluation reports.


Officers under review for nomination for Presidential awards, in addition to being judged by the criteria above, must consistently have demonstrated sustained accomplishment at a superior or extraordinary level as a member of the Senior Foreign Service, or in equivalent grades for at least three annual rating cycles, as well as qualities of integrity and creativity, and have maintained a high degree of public trust.  Evidence of significant sustained accomplishment may be found in such areas as the following:

(1)  Significant contributions to the national interest in the field of foreign affairs including public diplomacy and international trade and development; or, for SFS members on detail, in areas of foreign or domestic policy;

(2)  Managerial accomplishments in cooperative efforts with other foreign affairs agencies, other Federal agencies, other Government entities, and/or with the private sector; and/or

(3)  Achievement of agency wide importance in policy, technical, program, and/or human resource terms.

3 FAH-1 Exhibit H-2321.1D  
Addendum 2 to the 2004 Procedural Precepts

(CT:POH-237;   08-11-2020)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service Only)


Security is an inherent, inextricable, and indispensable component of all employee positions at the Department of State.  Security awareness is so important to a Foreign Service employee that the management of classified material and information is an important part of the “core precepts”, the decision criteria used by Selection Boards in their decisions on recommending Foreign Service employees for promotion.  Foreign Service employees’ performance includes an assessment of how well they fulfill their security-related responsibilities.

Every employee’s work requirements include a statement about the proper management of classified material and information.  Where an employee has demonstrated a pattern of failure with respect to safeguarding classified material and information, this will be reflected in the evaluation report.  Failure to guard classified material and information is one of the areas of weakness, which may be grounds for a Selection Board’s decision to low rank an employee.

Foreign Service Selection Boards will be given the security incident record for the five years before May 1, 2004 for each employee competing for promotion to FS-01 and above and for each employee competing for performance pay and Presidential awards at FE-OC and above.  Employees may request a copy of their security incident record from the Bureau of Diplomatic Security and may submit to GTM/PE by June 18, 2004 a response regarding their security incident record for consideration by the appropriate Selection Board.

Selection Boards will use the security incident reports, and any response from employees regarding their own security incident reports, in conjunction with the material in the OPF to determine the competitiveness of those employees for promotions, performance pay, and Presidential awards.  Selection Boards also may use security incident reports for other decisions, such as low ranking.