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CPO keeps employees on track at Peterson AFB

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PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Jim Girlando, Certified Financial Planner for Airmen Family Readiness conducts a financial career enhancement class at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. March 16, 2018. The Civilian Personnel Office provides guidance and information to military dependents and civilian employees regarding employment and employee actions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cameron Hunt)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The Civilian Personnel Office, located at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, advises managers, supervisors and employees on civilian personnel functions and processes to ensure compliance with federal laws and regulations.

The CPO serves about 2,900 civilian employees and supervisors by providing human resources services and information on benefits, world-life programs and labor relations, among others.

One of its missions is to oversee performance management systems for civilian employees. The newest performance system is the Defense Performance Management and Appraisal Program, implemented in April 2017.

DPMAP is the current appraisal program the Department of Defense uses to evaluate most of their civilian employees. This program electronically documents an employee’s appraisal in the MyPerformance Tool, which stores and organizes all information regarding employee performance.

“The MyPerformance Tool has presented numerous changes during the first close-out of the appraisal cycle,” said Ellen Sommers, 21st Space Wing Force Support Squadron, employee and labor relations chief.

One difference with DPMAP is that the appraisal form no longer includes an area for supervisors to document awards like the previous appraisal form.

Sommers said if supervisors want to award an employee with a time-off award, cash award or a quality step increase, a separate, additional form, has to be completed, but it is not part of the new electronic DPMAP performance appraisal.

“Another significant change from the previous appraisal system is that it was a two-level, pass/fail rating system,” said Sommers. “Under this new system, there is a third level, and the ratings are now unacceptable, fully successful and outstanding. This allows supervisors to better make distinctions in employees’ levels of performance.”

An improvement to the program is that appraisal forms give employees the opportunity to provide input regarding their performance during the reporting period, Sommers said.

“This ensures that their significant accomplishments are noted as a part of the final appraisal. It’s not a requirement for employees to provide input for their appraisal, but doing so fosters engagement between supervisors and employees, which is one of the premier elements of this new version of the appraisal program.”

There has been a large amount of information, instruction and guidance distributed from the DoD regarding DPMAP. Deciphering through that information in conjunction with Air Force guidance has been tedious and exacting, Sommers explained.

In March 2018, the CPO sponsored a town hall meeting, providing information, resources and website links to assist supervisors and employees with completing appraisals. Workshops were also setup and provided hands-on instruction for supervisors and employees on how to complete the DPMAP appraisals in the MyPerformance Tool.

Each month, the CPO produces a news circular that features information on civilian personnel programs called the Peterson AFB Civilian Personnel News. The April edition featured the DPMAP, providing step-by-step instructions on how to navigate the DPMAP forms and finalize the process for review.

Under this new program, all three parties within the rating process have to sign the appraisal for it to be finalized: the rating supervisor, the higher level reviewer and the employee. If an appraisal is not finalized, any awards that are approved for the employee will not be processed. Once the employee acknowledges the appraisal with their signature, the appraisal cannot be altered.

For more information regarding DPMAP contact Jack Bradley at 719-556-7073.

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