The first in a series of changes to the enlisted evaluation and promotion systems announced July 31 will include implementation of static enlisted performance report closeout dates, or SCOD, for each grade and elimination of change of reporting official EPRs.
Evaluation system changes are focused on purposefully evolving the enlisted evaluation system to ensure job performance is the most important factor when evaluating and identifying Airmen for promotion, according to a letter to Airmen from Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody. The changes will occur in stages during the next 18 months for the Regular Air Force and 30 months for the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard.
Regular Air Force technical sergeants will be the first Airmen to experience the change, with a Nov. 30, 2014, SCOD.
“Technical sergeant EPRs due between Aug. 15 and Nov. 30 will all shift to the Nov. 30 closeout date,” said Will Brown, the AFPC Evaluation and Recognition Programs Branch chief. “What that means is evaluation periods during this initial crossover phase will range from 12 to 15 months. Annually, after that, all technical sergeants will have the same EPR closeout and will be assessed for the same number of days.”
Implementing static, or fixed, annual closeout dates for each rank tied to regular Air Force promotion eligibility cut off dates will enable implementation of the future forced distribution and stratification policies also announced by senior leaders in July, and will result in better performance-based evaluations.
In addition, static closeout dates will enable raters, commanders and support staffs to plan for and schedule the workload, Brown said.
“EPRs take a lot of administrative time. Under the current system, leaders at every level work a constant flow of evaluations, which affects their ability to dedicate time to other mission requirements” he said. “SCODs will enable supervisors, raters and commanders to plan ahead, clear the deck, focus on the evaluations, and then turn to other duties.”
SCODs will also level the playing field for Airmen, since all Airmen will be assessed for work done during the same time period.
“When all Airmen in a unit are assessed for accomplishments during the same time frame, factors like special events or increased workload will not unfairly favor one Airman over another. Quality of performance then becomes the primary focus,” Brown said.
Also effective Aug. 15, change of reporting official, or CRO, for EPRs will no longer need to be accomplished for Regular Air Force technical sergeants.
“The rater at the time of the new static closeout date will be responsible for accomplishing EPRs that cover the entire rating period,” Brown said. “Although there may be occasions when a midterm assessment is required, other tools exist for those situations and this change doesn’t eliminate such tools as commander-directed EPRs or letters of evaluation.”
The change will eliminate the need for more than 36,000 CRO reports per year.
“As the Air Force works to accomplish critical missions with fewer Airmen, changes like this become ever more critical,” Brown said.
Additional SCOD changes as well as other adjustments to the enlisted evaluation and promotion systems will be announced at a later date.
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