National Security Personnel System (NSPS)
What is it?
Congress authorized the NSPS in the FY 04 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), signed by President Bush on 24 November 2003. The law allowed the Department of Defense (DoD) to establish new rules for how civilians are hired, assigned, compensated, promoted, and disciplined, within the framework of merit principles, accommodation of veterans' preference, and respect for employees' right to bargain. The FY 08 NDAA exempts Federal Wage System employees from the NSPS Human Resources system; requires NSPS follow government-wide rules regarding reduction-in-force (RIF) and workforce shaping, including transfer of function; imposes government-wide rules for several portions of NSPS regulations that were never implemented (adverse action, appeals, and labor-management relations) and delays coverage of certain laboratories no sooner than FY 2012.
What has the Army done?
Army has successfully transitioned over 67,000 non-bargaining unit employees to the NSPS.
Developed Army policies and instructions to the DoD Implementing Issuances and a number of guides to include three pay pool guides (i.e., Guide to Pay Pool Business Rules, End of Cycle Pay Pool Guide, Pay Pool Funding Supplemental Guide), and a Pay Setting Guide to assist managers and servicing human resources personnel to more easily identify correct course of action and assist in understanding NSPS pay setting rules and flexibilities.
Completed world-wide training for 95% of the NSPS workforce prior to conversion.
Revised the Human Resources for Supervisors course that provides new supervisors with the skills needed to function in an environment of multiple personnel systems, combining the legacy and the NSPS personnel systems. This course certifies supervisors to rate employees under the NSPS performance management system and makes them eligible for delegated classification authority.
Developed on-line videos for the Compensation Workbench, Performance Appraisal Application (both being used DoD-wide), and two for pay pool administrators which are accessible via the NSPS website: http://cpol.army.mil/library/general/nsps/.
An on-line Pay Pool Administrators course has also been developed.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
Army is committed to bringing the balance of its eligible civilian workforce into the NSPS. Revisions to Army policies and instructions will be made to incorporate changes as a result of changes to the Enabling Regulations, Implementing Issuances, DoD policies, or as deemed appropriate.
Communication and training efforts will continue for the Army Civilian Corps expected to join the NSPS. Robust sustainment training efforts will continue and incorporate training on soft skills, compensation strategies, coaching, and counseling. The Human Resources for Supervisors and Pay Pool Management courses will be presented by the local Civilian Human Resources Agency. On-line training and orientation from the supervisor will continue to be offered to employees. Human Resource Practitioners will be trained through a variety of courses that combine the legacy and the NSPS personnel systems to assure they are proficient in all aspects of the personnel program.
Why is this important to the Army?
The NSPS represents a landmark transformation of civilian personnel management. The NSPS will forever change the way the Army attracts, retains, rewards, and develops civilian employees. The NSPS ambitiously reshapes the old rules governing civilian employees and offers an environment where employees are encouraged to excel, challenged with meaningful work, and rewarded for their contributions.
This is a system that will give us improved opportunities to accomplish the challenges we face now and in the future by:
- Holding supervisors and employees accountable for results tied to mission requirements.
- Providing broad pay bands to allow employees to be easily moved to other work assignments and opportunities.
- Motivating employees by rewarding them for performance and contributions that support the army mission.
- Simplifying and streamlining hiring and staffing processes.
- Promoting skill development and advancement opportunities, while maintaining employee rights and legal entitlements.
The deployment of the NSPS is a cornerstone to achieving our human capital transformation goals.