understanding of his or her work performance.

Section 4 - Mechanics

A. All "successful" bargaining unit employee will receive an annual performance certification for the period October 1 through September 30, thereby certifying that the critical job duties and responsibilities have been performed at an acceptable level. The certification will be issued in writing to the employees within 30 days of the end of the assessment period. New employees to the Agency will receive a certification upon completion of 90 days.

B. When assessing performance, the employer will consider factors which affect performance that are beyond the control of the employee.

C. Formal progress reviews will not be required unless the supervisor believes the employee is not performing in a successful manner.

Section 5 - Uses of the Performance Assessment System

This performance assessment system is used for making a basic determination that an employee is in "good standing." It is also the basis for making certain personnel-related decisions.

A. Within-Grade Increases - An employee who has attained an assessment of "Successful," has achieved an "acceptable level of competency," and will be entitled to appropriate within-grade increases.

B. An assessment of "Successful" will be used as the initial factor in determining basic eligibility for consideration of appropriate awards, promotions, and other personnel actions.

C. This performance assessment will be considered in making determinations regarding reductions-in-force (RIFs) within the Agency in accordance with Article 14 of this agreement.

Section 6 - Performance Assistance

The parties understand that determining unit, office, and/or component success may require the collection and analysis of data. The focus of data collection will be on the processes and not on the individual employee. However, the data may indicate repeated problems at a particular point in the process attributable to a specific job family and/or individual employee.

A. If data clearly points to significant performance-related problems of an individual employee, the supervisor will schedule a meeting with the employee and inform the employee of the purpose of the meeting and that he/she may request the assistance and presence of a union representative at