What is Time in Grade and how do I know if I meet it?

Time in grade is a requirement for a specified amount of time that an employee must spend in a grade before they are eligible for promotion. Essentially a federal employee must spend 52 weeks at their grade before being promoted to the next highest grade. For detailed information reference 5 CFR 300.604. If an applicant applies under Direct Hire or Delegated Examining procedures (i.e., jobs open to the public), they can use prior or non-government experience to qualify even if that applicant does not meet Time in Grade requirements. Additionally, federal employees are assumed to have gained experience by performing duties and responsibilities appropriate for their official series and grade level as described in their position description. However, experience that would not normally be part of the employee's position is creditable when documented by satisfactory evidence (e.g., a memorandum from the manager or human resources director, SF-52, or other documentation). When applying you need to submit this documentation with your application package to be given credit.

Last Reviewed February 29, 2024