OPM Issues Memorandum on New Pathways Program

On Jan. 5, Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director John Berry issued a memorandum to chief human capital officers detailing the government's new Pathways Program and outlining initial steps agencies should take to prepare for the end of the Federal Career Intern Program (FCIP). On Jan. 5, Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director John Berry issued a memorandum to chief human capital officers detailing the government's new Pathways Program and outlining initial steps agencies should take to prepare for the end of the Federal Career Intern Program (FCIP). The memorandum follows the Dec. 27 executive order that outlines the new three-track program and eliminates FCIP on March 1.

According to Berry's memo, the new Pathways Program will have three program paths "that are tailored to recruit, train and retain well qualified candidates." These program paths include an internship program, recent graduates program and the Presidential Management Fellows program.

The executive order states the new programs cannot be used until final regulations are established after an opportunity for public comment. However, according to the Jan. 5 memo, agencies need to establish a Pathways Programs Officer by Feb. 10 to start implementing these changes. The Pathways Programs Officer will be responsible for administering the program at their agency and will serve as a liaison with OPM. The position will submit reports to OPM on the implementation of the program and those hired under it.

Berry's memo states that agencies can continue to hire employees under the Presidential Management Fellows program, the Student Career Experience Program and the Student Temporary Employment Program until the end of February.

The memorandum also provides guidance regarding transitioning FCIP employees to competitive service. On March 1, all agencies with FCIP participants must convert them to career-conditional or career positions in the competitive service. According to the memo, individuals with one year of service or more in FCIP or other prior eligible Federal service will have completed their one-year probationary period. However, those with less than one year of service in FCIP or other prior eligible Federal service will still be required to serve a one-year probationary period but time served through FCIP will count towards the requirement.

Officials expect the transition from FCIP to the Pathways Program to be completed within the year. OPM will continue to issue further regulations on implementing the executive order.

Click here to read OPM's Jan. 5 memorandum. 

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