An applicant is selected and hired into his/her position through one of the many appointment types: career-conditional, career, time-limited (temporary or term), or excepted. The appointment type determines an employee’s “status” or tenure group while employed. It also determines an employee’s eligibility for various benefits, such as health and life insurance or eligibility for reinstatement into the Federal service after the employee has departed from Federal service.
- Career-Conditional Appointment: A permanent appointment that leads to career tenure after completion of three years of continuous service. A career-conditional employee is eligible for promotions, within-grade increases (WIGIs) and benefits. Under a career-conditional appointment, the employee must complete a 1-year probationary period. Generally, a career-conditional employee may not be promoted, reassigned, or transferred until three months after his/her initial appointment. An employee who does not have veterans' preference or who did not complete three years of continuous service, and departs from Federal service while under a career-conditional appointment has reinstatement eligibility for three years from his/her date of separation. An employee who has veterans' preference and served any period of time under a career-conditional appointment has reinstatement eligibility for life.
- Career Appointment: An employee who has completed three years of continuous civilian service without a break in service under a career-conditional appointment acquires career tenure and is converted to a career appointment. If the employee leaves the Federal service as a career employee, he/she has reinstatement eligibility for life.
- Temporary Appointment: This appointment type is used to fill a short-term employment need for an organization. A temporary appointment is made for a period not-to-exceed one year, but may be extended for one additional year. A temporary appointment may be terminated at any time upon written notice. A General Schedule (GS) employee serving on a temporary appointment is not eligible for promotions or within-grade increases. A Wage Grade (WG) employee serving on a temporary appointment is eligible for within-grade increases. Service under a temporary appointment does not confer eligibility for reinstatement and typically does not confer noncompetitive eligibility for a career-conditional or career appointment.
- Term Appointment: This appointment type is normally used to fill a temporary employment need related to a project. A term appointment must be for a period greater than one year and generally may not exceed a maximum of four years. The appointment may be terminated at any time during the trial period upon written notice. A term employee is eligible for within-grade increases, retirement coverage, and health and life insurance. Service under a term appointment does not confer eligibility for reinstatement and typically does not confer noncompetitive eligibility for a career-conditional or career appointment.
- Excepted Appointment: An excepted appointment is used to fill a position that is excepted by law from the provisions of the competitive system. Examples of excepted appointments are the Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP), Student Career Experience Program (SCEP), certain appointments of people with disabilities, and positions filled by veterans under the Veterans Readjustment Authority (VRA). An excepted appointment can be either permanent or temporary. An employee hired under a permanent excepted appointment must complete a 1-year trial period.