Frequently Asked Questions
The Department of Defense Intelligence Components are organizations that perform national intelligence, defense intelligence, and intelligence-related functions, include:
• Defense Intelligence Agency
• National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
• National Reconnaissance Office
• National Security Agency/Central Security Service
• Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence
• Intelligence elements of the Active and Reserve components of the Military Departments and any successor to the components specified above.
• The Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS) is the human resources management system for the Department of Defense (DoD) intelligence components and other intelligence positions as designated by the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence.
• DCIPS strengthens our ability to face the ever-changing demands placed on the intelligence community.
• We need a single human resources system for Defense intelligence that appropriately recognizes and rewards our employees- performance and contributions.
• We need better tools to attract and retain high-quality employees.
• DCIPS is part of the initiative to establish common standards for the intelligence community’s personnel as described in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (IRTPA) of 2004.
Yes. In the formation of the DCIPS Pay for Performance System, all current Federal programs, to include the Senior Executive system, were considered. Best practices, as well as lessons learned, from several different pay for performance programs were incorporated into the DCIPS model as appropriate.
The Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (USD(I)) and the DCIPS Implementation Team are working closely with ODNI to integrate the personnel flexibilities needed to support the changing landscape of our Nation-s intelligence needs. DCIPS policies and practices are aligned with appropriate consideration of the DNI IC-s Human Capital Strategy.
DCIPS uses the leave, benefits, and entitlement programs that are common to all federal employees, to include annual and sick leave, retirement, health and life insurance, etc. In such areas, since there are no DCIPS-unique programs, there are no specific DCIPS volumes written, so DCIPS employees are covered by the OPM and DoD issuances which cover all employees.
In the areas of annual and sick leave, 5 USC 6301 provides definitions for the purpose of Chapter 63 Subchapter I and the Federal annual and sick leave programs in sections 6303 and 6307. The definition of "employee" in that section points to 5 USC 2015, which is the broadest definition of an employee in the civil service. That definition does not specifically exclude DCIPS employees, so the Federal annual and sick leave programs in sections 6303 and 6307 of Title 5 apply to DCIPS employees.
Yes, DCIPS has five pay bands.
The designator "IA" denotes the pay plan for the DCIPS Pay Bands. It applies to all positions included in the five pay bands of the DCIPS occupational structure.
The Combat Support Agencies are part of the Fourth Estate, as defined in DoD Instruction 1402.03 Volume 1 and other places in DoD policy. The Fourth Estate is a collective term that refers to the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Joint Staff, the Defense Agencies, the DoD Field Activities, and all other organizational entities in DoD that are not in the Military Departments or the Combatant Commands, except for the DoD Inspector General.
Many of the DoD civilian personnel policy volumes give responsibility to the DoD Director of Administration and WHS for all aspects of personnel administration of employees in the DoD Fourth Estate entities that do not have their own full independent appointing authority, and responsibility in other areas for all of the Fourth Estate. Many of the issuances you receive from WHS will specifically pertain to title 5 employees of DoD Fourth Estate organizations (GS, SES, SL, and/or ST employees), and would naturally exclude your DCIPS workforce because your Components exercise independent DCIPS appointing authority using your own secure human resources information systems. The key is to read carefully the issuances from WHS and DoD Director of Administration to determine if they apply to your Component or not, and to contact the HCMO if you aren't sure.
No. The rules above are for conversion purposes only. New positions must be classified using the DCIPS work category and work level criteria to determine the appropriate pay band.
No. Conversion happens automatically based on your permanent position of record. You may, however, visit the DCIPS website (http://dcips.dtic.mil) to learn more about the DCIPS occupational structure and to utilize the conversion calculator to determine your actual band placement upon conversion.
It is recommended that you first speak to your supervisor to verify that your current position description is properly classified. If there are additional questions, your servicing personnel office should be able to assist with the conversion determination. In rare situations, a component may need to contact OUSD(I) to determine if a waiver to the conversion guidelines is warranted.
You will be converted into the pay band structure according to your current grade. Any career ladder promotion(s) and accompanying pay increase(s) that would have been granted under the graded system will continue if requirements are met.
As you have already converted to a banded system, it will be necessary for your servicing personnel office to classify your current position using DCIPS work category and work level information to determine your appropriate placement in the DCIPS pay band structure. You will not receive a WGI Buy-in as you are already part of a pay banded system.
Yes. In its enactment in 1996, DCIPS has fully affirmed employees- core civil service protections such as merit systems principles, veterans- preference, whistleblower protection, and due process. The implementation of DCIPS does not change these protections.
Not at all. FLSA provisions remain unchanged.
No, you will continue to receive personnel support in the same manner as it was provided prior to DCIPS conversion. Likewise, the manner in which you have effected your payroll withholdings, allotments, etc., and have received your paychecks will not change
You are encouraged to propose objectives and have an open dialogue with your rating official. The rating official considers this information when setting the final objectives. The performance plan and IDP are final when the rating official communicates them to you in writing following approval by the reviewing official. Performance elements, standards or work objectives cannot be grieved or appealed.
Under DCIPS, you will receive COLA and any other benefits or allowances applicable to your OCONUS work location in addition to your basic pay.
Increases to salary within a band will be determined during the pay pool process and will be dependent upon a number of factors, to include your performance rating, position in the pay band, distribution of salaries and performance ratings of other employees within the same pay pool, and the pay pool budget.
DCIPS does not impact the rules governing retirement benefits and eligibility, health and life insurance, leave, attendance, or other similar benefits.
No, Volume 2005 does not recognize being selected to a new term appointment on a different position in the same Component as a reason to start a new 5-year term limit clock. As currently written, total combined service under a term appointment cannot exceed the maximum 5-year time limitation, even after being moved to another term position. While the 5-year limit is designed to accommodate short-term requirements that last longer than one year, we have seen some term requirements extend well beyond what was originally expected, such as support to combat operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other conflict zones. Exceptions to DCIPS policy can be approved to allow extensions beyond 5 years for such circumstances that require them. We expect to revise Volume 2005 to allow the USD(I) or designee to grant term appointment extensions beyond 5 years where needed, without the need for an exception to DCIPS policy.
No. Under DCIPS, advancement from one pay band to another is a promotion and normally requires competition. There are some specific exceptions to this rule but in this situation the position must be opened to competition.
Yes, you have the flexibility to reassign an employee at the same band level. These actions can normally be made noncompetitively. However, in some cases, such as reassigning an individual from a position in the Technician/Administrative Support work category to a position in the Professional work category, both in pay band 3, the new position must be filled competitively as it provides higher pay band potential. There are no permanent pay increases for reassignments to another DCIPS position in the same band.
Each DCIPS component is responsible for developing its individual staffing procedures. You should contact your servicing human resources office or your component-s DCIPS point of contact for additional information.
You may compete for the position if it is announced or, at the component-s discretion, you may be reappointed without competition.
The evaluation period for all employees under DCIPS is 1 October through 30 September of each year.
The six performance elements are standard across the intelligence community and measure "how" employees complete their objectives. These are six global-attributed behaviors that apply to all employees.
Components are discouraged from developing standard performance objectives for employees because objectives must be tailored to the unique responsibilities and assignments of individual employees and provide the specific objectives that each is expected to accomplish. Employees and supervisors are encouraged to use iSuccess, an on-line application tool, to help develop effective job objectives. iSuccess is a self-paced, interactive course that uses a step-by-step approach, as well as a "virtual coach" and "virtual employees" to teach employees how to write SMART performance objectives and self-assessments.
Yes. The overall rating is an average of the performance element rating and the performance objective rating. An overall rating of 4.6 or higher will result in an Evaluation of Record of "Outstanding."
If an employee receives a rating of "1" on any performance objective, the overall evaluation of record is a rating of "Unacceptable." However, the supervisor should complete the evaluation to document the employee-s performance for the record. There is no entitlement to an annual increase (the DCIPS "floor"), local market supplement, performance-based increase or bonus.
Feedback is an essential element in the DCIPS performance management process and will help to make employees more aware of how their performance is being evaluated. Meaningful dialogue throughout the evaluation period is encouraged and the midpoint review is an excellent opportunity to reinforce employee strengths and correct weaknesses. After the appraisal has been approved by the reviewing official and Performance Management (PM) Performance Review Authority (PRA), the rating official will discuss the final evaluation of record and performance for the year with the employee. The rating official should be prepared to discuss the employee-s accomplishments, as well as any areas that may be deficient or need attention, and use their own written narrative to explain the logic behind the rating.
DCIPS requires appointment of a Performance Management (PM) Performance Review Authority (PRA) as part of the process. Typically the PM PRA is a senior executive, senior employee, or board of executives within the chain of command of the employee. The PM PRA reviews and approves ratings at the end of the evaluation period for consistency across the organization.
Under DCIPS, the pay pool process serves as the primary mechanism for recognizing and rewarding employee performance. However, DCIPS policy on awards does provide for honorary and limited monetary awards outside of the pay pool process.
Converting the entire DoD Intelligence Enterprise to all aspects of DCIPS will take approximately 2-3 years. Conversion of all components will be completed by October 2009 with some individual positions to be converted by February 2010. The first DCIPS performance-related payouts will occur in January 2010; January 2011 will be the first payout that will include all DCIPS components and positions.
It is the civilian personnel rotation program designed specifically for employees of the IC. It is similar to the joint duty program designed for the military services. It offers civilian professional opportunities to enhance their careers by experiencing the intelligence enterprise beyond their home elements. The JD program helps to develop intelligence professionals who value and foster collaboration.
The Joint Duty Program offers distinct career advantages for participants, including rewarding experiences, leadership development, and networking. The program offers these opportunities:
A JDR offers your employing agency a more valuable and more experienced intelligence professional with expanded networks in other IC organizations.
All government intelligence professionals, starting at GG-11 (or equivalents) who work in the IC, are eligible to participate in the Joint Duty Program, with their home elements approval.
Each IC element has a JD Program Manager, and that person is the best sources of information. Many elements also have a Joint Duty Program website to provide agency-specific information for their employees. JDPM contact information, JD vacancies, and other information can be found on the ODNI JD website (JWICS): https://jointduty.ic.gov or the unclassified website:
It is an assignment/detail that has a focus on intelligence policy, program, managerial, analytical, or operational responsibilities. Additionally, the experience is at an intelligence organization or an organization that provides relevant experience. The key is that the experience provides a wider understanding of the missions and functions of the IC or the IC’s relationships with relevant organizations outside the IC, and develops a broader knowledge or the operations and management of the IC.
As an IC employee, you can earn JD credit by: 1. taking an assignment to another IC element or to an organization outside the IC that will provide a JDQE; 2. earning a degree as a full time student at the National Intelligence University (see Joint Duty Policy eligibility specific dates); and, 3. Deploying as a civilian to a designated combat zone. Additionally, previous assignments prior to becoming an IC employee may be evaluated to determine if a JDQE was met.
Contact your JD Program Manager for specific processes for your organization.
The best source for vacancies is the IC JD website: https://jointduty.ic.gov
Yes you can! If you find several opportunities you believe are good matches, you can send an application for each. Of course, you can only accept one offer.
Possibly. Each JD vacancy announcement has a primary/target grade listed, but on the application there may be other grade areas considered. If only one grade is listed that is above/below your current grade, you can always contact the POC listed on the vacancy to see if they would be willing to consider your application.
Generally, no, you do not. Some organizations consider JD credit a quality ranking factor; other organizations do require a JD credit for promotion to a certain grade. However, before being elevated to a senior position (DISES or DISL) a JD credit is mandatory.
Technically you need only one, but we encourage taking JD opportunities through the course of your career.
An employee detailed to a JDA of 90 days or more will be evaluated by the gaining element, i.e., the component to which detailed, with input from their parent organization. The employee will be considered for a permanent salary increase in the parent organization-s pay pool process, but considered for a bonus by the gaining element. If the employee has been on a JDA for fewer than 90 days, the employee will be evaluated by their parent organization and considered for both a permanent salary increase and bonus by the parent organization based on that evaluation.
Possibly. DoD Instruction 1322.06, Fellowships, Scholarships, Training With Industry, and Grants for DoD Personnel, provides Departmental policy on how DoD employees may be temporarily detailed to a private sector company.
The DoDI 1322.06 is applicable to both military and civilians.
It is a program that provides training and development opportunities to government employees in the private sector to learn other procedures and practices not available through existing education programs or established training/education programs.
The Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness sets the TWI policy.
TWI assignment should not exceed 12 months.
There must be a written agreement between the private sector host, the employee, and the component before the assignment begins.
For civilians participating in the TWI program that exceed 26 weeks, the employee shall sign an agreement to continue service within the DoD for a minimum period of three times the length of the TWI assignment.
The parent organization should preplan what position back at the parent organization the employee will be assigned, documenting how the newly acquired skills/knowledge will be used.
The Defense Language Program informs senior leaders on critical languages needed to support the various missions of the DoD, and the capabilities it must generate and manage to be able to accomplish the mission. The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) is the primary basic language acquisition training facility, and is mandated to provide foreign language education and operational training needs for the DoD. In August 2016, the DoD added Regional Expertise and Culture (REC) as enduring critical competencies essential to the DoD mission and renamed the program the Defense Language, Regional Expertise, and Culture (LREC) Program.
The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Readiness (OUSD(P&R)) is responsible for providing overall policy guidance for the Defense LREC Program. The USD(P&R) appoints the DoD Senior Language Authority (SLA) who chairs the Defense Language Steering Committee (DLSC). The DLSC is comprised of General/Flag Officer or Senior Executive Service (or equivalent) designated SLAs and representatives from the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Offices, COCOMs, Military Departments and Defense Agencies. The Defense Language Action Panel (DLAP) supports the activities, functions, and responsibilities of the DLSC. The membership of the DLAP mirrors and supports the roles and functions of the DLSC. The Defense Language and National Security Education Offices (DLNSEO) is sponsored by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness and is the implementation arm for USD(P&R) provided policy guidance and provides strategic direction and programmatic oversight to the Military Departments, Defense field activities and the Combatant Commands on present and future requirements related to language, regional expertise, and culture.
The Intelligence Community Foreign Language programs are governed by the policies of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). The Director of National Intelligence (DNI) appoints the IC SLA who chairs the Foreign Language Executive Committee (FLEXCOM). The FLEXCOM provides a senior-level bridge between the IC’s foreign language substantive experts and IC executives on matters of foreign language readiness and modernization pertinent to the challenges of the 21st century. FLEXCOM membership comprises the SLAs, or an equivalent level senior executive manager, from members in the IC, Defense Intelligence, and other elements of the USG. The FLEXCOM sets the agenda of and drives activities of expert advisory groups that support FLEXCOM initiatives. There are five expert advisory groups: the Education and Instructional Technology Expert Group (EITEG); the Operations Expert Group (OEG); the Technology Expert Group (TEG); the Testing and Assessment Expert Group (TAEG); and the Culture and Regional Knowledge Expert Group (CRKEG). The OUSD(I) is the focal point for all Defense Intelligence-related foreign language and area issues. The Defense Intelligence Foreign Language Area Advisory Group (DIFLAAG) is operated under the guidance of the OUSD(I) Human Capital Management Office (HCMO) and serves as the advisory group to the DoD SLA for policy coordination and oversight of Defense Intelligence foreign language, cultural, and regional requirements, policy and programs. Members of the DIFLAAG include: OUSD(I) – Chair, Military Departments, and Defense Agencies (DIA, NGA, NRO, and NSA).
The various responsibilities of the OUSD(P&R) and other organizations within the Defense LREC Program are contained in DoD Directive 5160.41E and DoD Instruction 5160.70. Policies for DoD language testing programs and responsibilities for developing and administering the Defense Language Aptitude Battery (DLAB) and the Defense Language Proficiency Testing (DLPT) System (to include the foreign language Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI)) are contained in DoD Instruction 5160.71. The policy, responsibilities and procedures for Foreign Language Proficiency Bonus (FLPB) and Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) foreign language Skill Proficiency Bonus (SPB) are contained in DoD Instruction 1340.27. The administration of foreign language pay for Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS) employees is contained in DoD Instruction 1400.25, Volume 2016. OUSD(I) is currently working on a draft to govern the management of foreign language, and region and culture capabilities within the Defense Intelligence workforce. The responsibilities of the DNI and other IC organizations are contained in ICD 630.
The DLPT System is the only test battery authorized for assessing an individual’s proficiency in a foreign language and for determining qualification for language pay.
Four modalities are used when referring to language proficiency; Listening (L), Reading (R), Speaking (S), and Writing (W). Foreign language proficiency scores are expressed in listening, reading and speaking (L/R/S) format with the associated score (or just the score – 2/2/2). For example, a foreign language proficiency score of L2/R2/S2 represents an ILR Skill Level 2 for listening, reading, and speaking modalities. Scores for each modality are in six levels (0 through 5) with a “plus” sign to express proficiency between the levels. The Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) Skill Level Descriptions for Listening, Reading and Speaking is used as a guideline measurement of an individual’s performance for a given modality in government settings. The ILR descriptions for the listening, reading and speaking modalities are the officially recognized criteria for assigning proficiency scores within the DoD and are used in conjunction with the DLPT.
Basic acquisition courses are conducted at the DLIFLC in Monterey, California. Training may also be conducted at the Defense Language Institute, Washington, where specific low-enrollment languages are typically taught through a contract administered by DLIFLC. The requirement to attend the basic course at DLIFLC may be waived if a person has demonstrated proficiency in the language on a DLPT. DLIFLC also offers basic enhancement, intermediate and advanced language enhancement, refresher and End-of-Training curricula through resident programs to support organizations in meeting a variety of language needs. DLIFLC also has an extensive non-resident foreign language program providing non-acquisition training for professional and non-professional language groups. There largest online resources are provided by the Joint Language University (JLU), LangNet Mall (Multilingual Advanced Learning On-line) and Global Language Online Support System (GLOSS).
Foreign language proficiency and utilization may be compensated at a rate and in the manner best suited to attract and retain a qualified cadre of foreign language professionals necessary to accomplish the mission. The total amount of language proficiency payment made to DCIPS employees is determined by the individual DoD Component providing it not exceed $55,000 per calendar year. FLPB is authorized for Service members who have been certified by the Secretary of the Military Department concerned as proficient in one or more foreign languages or dialects identified on the DoD Strategic Language List (SLL). Service members must test annually in each language or dialect for which they are receiving FLPB. The monthly rate must not exceed $500 per month for a single foreign language or dialect, or $1,000 per month for two or more foreign languages or dialects. The total annual FLPB amount may not exceed $12,000 for each 1-year period of certification.
The National Language Service Corps (NLSC) is a readily available group of volunteers who provide supplemental language resources to U.S. federal agencies. Whether there is a national need, a regional emergency, or a national security requirement, NLSC Members can assist in filling foreign language gaps with readily available multilingual U.S. citizens. The NLSC website at http://www.nlscorps.org provides additional information and contacts.
National Virtual Translation Center (NVTC) is a federal government center created to serve the U.S. government’s translation needs. NVTC was established by Congress in 2003 to provide timely and accurate translations in support of national interests and was designated an Intelligence Community Service of Common Concern (SOCC) by the Director of National Intelligence in September 2014. The FBI is designated to manage the NVTC as a SOCC to provide timely, accurate, and cost-effective translation services. NVTC’s mission is to provide and facilitate timely and accurate translation services of foreign language material to the elements of the Intelligence Community and other Federal Government Agencies at the national level. NVTC offers a comprehensive set of language services to the federal government. The NVTC website at https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/intelligence/national-virtual-translation-center-nvtc provides additional information.
In December 1991, the President signed the National Security Education Act to establish the National Security Education Program (NSEP) to develop a national capacity to understand foreign cultures and languages, strengthen U.S. economic competitiveness, and enhance international cooperation and security. NSEP graduates achieve professional ILR Level 3 proficiency in critical languages and are required to serve for a period of one year as commitment within a national security position. NSEP recipients may be appointed to federal positions under the Schedule A excepted service appointing authority.
The U.S. Army is appointed as the DoD Executive Agent for the contract linguist program and is responsible in overseeing all contracts established specifically for contract linguist foreign language support provided to the DoD Components except for combat support agencies and the United States Special Operations Command.
Best method is to access organization websites or through USAJobs. Organizations such as NVTC are always looking for specific languages.
The USD(P&R) has developed six RP level guidelines that describe the general characteristics and skill sets that one might expect in DoD personnel rated at that particular RP level. These descriptions allow for rapid identification of personnel with experience and background in a desired region. The attributes are not absolute, rather, the guidelines allow for the possibility that personnel with varied backgrounds can be in the same RP category. These guidelines are intended to assist Service and Defense Agency personnel to identify their members who possess RP expertise. Combatant Commanders are required to articulate their regional expertise personnel requirements in accordance with CJCSI 3126.01A. DLNSEO is currently in the last stages of developing a Regional Proficiency Assessment Tool (RPAT) that will allow members of the military to determine their regional proficiency score based on answers provided via a series of survey questions. OUSD(P&R) expect fielding the RPAT later in 2016.
Yes, employees who are absent due to uniformed military service will be considered in the pay pool process. They will be given an increase to maintain their relative position in the pay band. With regard to appraisals, employees who return to their civilian positions following a period of uniformed military service, and who do not have the required 90 days of service under a performance plan during the current rating period, will be awarded a presumptive rating of record. The presumptive rating will be their last summary rating of record prior to departure for uniformed military service, but not less than a summary rating of "Successful" for the rating period that has closed.
All applications for certain centrally managed DoD Leadership Programs are vetted through the respective DoD Under Secretary Offices. In the case of “Intel,” the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (OUSDI) serves the liaison role between the Combat Support Agencies (DIA, NGA, NRO, and NSA) and DoD Leader Development Opportunities. There are equal relationships for applications coming from four other categories, “Army,” “Air force,” “Navy,” and “Fourth Estate.” OUSDI/HCMO coordinates the request for applications, reviews the applications, and ranks them before submitting them to the program managers.
The DoD Leader Development programs, DCELP, ELDP, and DSLDP, each have different tuition and travel costs and different arrangements for payment. It some cases, tuition and some costs are covered by DCPAS, with remaining costs being the obligation of the component. In other cases, all of the tuition, fees, and travel costs are the responsibility of the component. Check with your training coordinator or the DCPAS website for more details.
For the WHLD, the White House covers costs associated with the conduct of a study, including non-local travel, equipment and supplies.