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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service



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Quick Reference Guide


Chapter 8
Human Resources

The Human Resources Division provides support to the REE mission area agencies in the categories of position classification, recruitment and staff, pay and leave, employee development and training, orientation, employee benefits, awards, performance employee conduct and discipline, and other human resources activities as related to the employees within the mission area.

References to frequently used human resources-related policies and procedures in ARS are listed below. Other human resources-related policies and procedures can be found in ARS Directives numbered 400-499.


See Chapter 2 for a comprehensive list of commonly used acronyms.


  • P&P 105.1 – ARS Research Associate Program
  • P&P 402.1 – Flexible Work Schedules
  • P&P 402.3 – Premium Pay
  • P&P 402.4 - Administrative Leave and Excused Absence
  • P&P 402.5 – ARS Flexible Workplace Program
  • P&P 402.6 – Leave Administration 
  • P&P 412.2 – Appointment and Orientation of New Employees
  • P&P 412.5 – Recruitment and Retention Incentives and Other Special Pay P&P 413.8 – Student and Volunteer Programs
  • P&P 413.8 - Student and Voluteer Programs
  • P&P 418.2 – Appraisal of Probationary and Trial Period Employees
  • P&P 418.3 – Performance Appraisal System (includes within-grade increases)
  • P&P 418.6 – Supervisory and Managerial Probationary Periods
  • P&P 420.1 – Merit Promotion Plan
  • P&P 426.1 – Employee Exit Clearance Procedures
  • P&P 431.3 – Research Position Evaluation System
  • Manual 431.3 – RPES Case Writeup Preparation and Guidance for Panelists
  • P&P 440.1 – Employee Training and Development
  • P&P 461.5 – Misconduct, Discipline and Adverse Actions
  • P&P 463.2 – Administrative Grievance System
  • P&P 468.5 – Outside Awards and Recognitions

NPA Policy Memorandums (PMs)

  • NPA PM 01-005 – Training Approval
  • NPA PM 02-002 – Children in the Workplace
  • NPA PM 03-002 – Equal Employment/Civil Rights Performance Element
  • NPA PM 04-002 – Recruitment Procedures for Cat I and Cat VI Scientists (NPA)
  • NPA PM 05-004 – Employment of Personnel Related by Blood or Marriage in the Same Management Unit  
  • NPA PM 08-002 - Northern Plains Area Award Policy 

Cross References:

Web Sites:

SharePoint Site (login required):
     Examples and current NPA information available at:

Points of Contact:

Lynda Jensen
Personnel Assistant 
Natural Resources Research Center
2150 Centre Avenue, Building D, Suite 310
Fort Collins, CO 80526-8110
Telephone: (970) 492-7002
Fax: (970) 492-7036

Western Business Service Center

Human Resources Branch

AFM/HRD Retirement & Benefits Staff

Contact your Location Administrative Office or Area Human Resources

Employment with ARS: Dial-a-Vacancy: (301) 504-1482

ARS Web Site: (Come work with us)

Employment Verification: Local Location Administrative Office  or Area Office (970) 492-7002/7003/7004

  • Request for Personnel Actions
  • Guidelines for Completing a Position Description
  • ARS Alternative Merit Promotion System (AMPS) Guidelines
  • Recruitment Procedures Under CTAP
  • Paid Advertisements for Recruitment
  • NPA Outreach Recruitment Effort and Student Employment Programs
  • Effect of Part-Time Employment on Rights and Benefits
  • Employment of Noncitizen in Temporary Research Positions
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate Citizenship Information
  • Location Administrative Office Orientation Items

Last Modified: 5/8/2015
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