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U.S. Department of State
FOREIGN SERVICE EMPLOYEE EVALUATION
REPORT
DS-5055 INSTRUCTIONS
INTRODUCTION
REPORT FORM
Form DS-5055 must be used for all required (i.e., regular and interim)
evaluations - for tenured and untenured FS employees, except for those of
personnel assigned to training (who use DS-7772 (outside academic
institution) or DS- 651 (language training)). (Note: If preferred, the DS-
5055 may be used instead of the DS-7768 for voluntary EERs.) Career Civil
Service employees serving on excursion limited non-career appointments
also must use this form. No narrative may exceed the space provided for it,
except in Section X where the employee may use continuation sheets, and
Section IV where the review panel may also use continuation sheets. EERs
may not be classified or contain classified information.
REPORT SUBMISSION
The post or bureau human resources office will submit the completed EER to
the eOPF in ePerformance. EERs must be submitted within 30 days of the
end of the rating period. Any delay over 30 days in submission of an EER
must be notified to HR/PE. Note: Exceptions to the use of ePerformance are
limited, and the bureau/post HRO must request the exception in advance by
contacting HR-PEQuestions@state.gov.
RATING PERIOD AND REPORT TYPES
There are three types of rating periods and report types.
A. Regular: The annual rating cycle is from April 16 of one year to April 15
of the next year for all tenured Foreign Service employees and untenured
specialists. For untenured generalists, the annual rating cycle begins on the
date of arrival in the assignment.
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B. Interim: If a change of rater, assignment, or major duties occurs during
the regular rating period, an interim report must be prepared for periods of
120 days or more, including for untenured generalists.
C. Voluntary: Raters should prepare voluntary reports for periods of fewer
than 120 days only when required to document significant developments
pertaining to the employee's performance that cannot be adequately
documented in the next regular evaluation. Voluntary reports are not to be
used to document performance during a detail or temporary duty
assignment when the employee will return to his or her regular position and
be evaluated for the full period.
DEFINITION OF RATER AND REVIEWER
The employee must be advised in writing at the beginning of the rating
period who the rater will be. The rater is usually the employee’s official
supervisor. (See 3 FAH-1 2813.3 regarding regional personnel.) The
reviewer is usually the rater’s supervisor or the next highest- ranking official.
Every effort should be made to ensure that employees have a reviewer. If
this is not possible, the employee should be informed in writing at the
beginning of the rating period that there will be no reviewer.
ENSURING FAIRNESS: Rated employees must be given the opportunity to
perform their assigned duties and must be evaluated on their performance
of the established work requirements. Although the DS 5055 no longer
requires a Work Requirements Statement, rated employees, raters and
reviewers must establish a detailed Work Requirements Statement within
the first 45 days of the rating period and a signed copy should be kept by
the rated employee, rater and reviewer. This information will form the basis
for the work responsibilities included on the DS 5055. A rater must discuss
the work responsibilities and what constitutes acceptable performance with
the rated employee at the beginning of the rating period and provide
feedback on the employee's performance during this period. In situations
where employees are not performing at an acceptable level, they must be
counseled and afforded a reasonable period of time to improve.
PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS
SECTION I. SUBMISSION CONTROL
This section contains general employee information (name, position title,
grade, series, and post or organization) populated from the employee’s
record in the Global Employment Management System (GEMS). Type of
Report and Period Covered are completed by the rater. The rater and
reviewer signatures will automatically populate when each certify the report
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is complete, in conformance with the instructions, and adequately
documents performance. Date received in Post/Bureau and Date Received in
HR/PE will populate when the employee acknowledges receipt of the EER and
when the review panel chairperson certifies the EER is complete,
respectively.
SECTION II. CERTIFICATION OF WORK
RESPONSIBILITIES AND PERFORMANCE REVIEW
DISCUSSIONS
The rater, reviewer, and rated employee must formalize the employee’s
work responsibilities within 45 days of the beginning of the rating period.
Completion of Section V in ePerformance will automatically populate the
respective date block in Section II. The core work responsibilities and goals
and objectives requirements may be revised during the rating period to
reflect a major change in the employee's responsibilities as documented in
the separate Work Requirements Statement (which is no longer part of the
EER).
This section also certifies that the rater reviewed the performance with the
rated employee at least twice, at regular intervals, during a rating period,
with at least one discussion recorded on Form DS- 1974, preferably in
ePerformance. Raters should use these sessions to ensure that the
employee is apprised of how well he or she is progressing in achieving the
work responsibilities. Discussions between the rater and the rated employee
should address specific areas of accomplishment and/or areas in which the
rated employee should improve. Assessments included in the final EER
should not surprise the rated employee. If the rated employee believes that
the dates of performance review discussions or counseling sessions are
inaccurate, the rated employee should note that in Section VI and/or in
Section X. Such disagreements should not prevent an employee from
acknowledging receipt of the EER in Section III. By signing Section III, the
employee merely acknowledges receipt of the EER, not agreement with its
contents.
SECTION III. ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF RECEIPT
The rated employee should electronically sign and date the cover page to
acknowledge receipt of a copy of the EER. The signature does not indicate
agreement with the contents of the EER or limit in any way the right of the
employee to object to it. If the EER is not completed, signed, and returned
after five calendar days by the rated employee, a copy of the unsigned
rating is to be submitted by post/bureau to HR/PE for the employee's Official
Performance Folder (eOPF) with a covering memorandum to explain the
absence of signature. In cases where the employee has not signed
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acknowledging receipt of the EER, the review panel should comment on the
circumstances in a review panel statement attached to the EER.
SECTION IV. REVIEW PANEL STATEMENT
Bureau and post review panels review EERs before the reports are submitted
to HR/PE. They ensure that reports are completed in accordance with
regulations and these instructions. Review panel functions are:
(1) Technical - reviewing EERs for inadmissible comments and
changing or deleting inadmissible material; confirming that regulations and
instructions are correctly applied and, if not, returning them for correction;
and
(2) Advisory returning reports that lack sufficient examples of
performance to substantiate comments or that appear to lack internal
consistency. The panel must try to have deficiencies corrected. If the effort
is unsuccessful, the panel should note the suggested revisions in Section IV
of the EER and any reasons for their rejection. A continuation sheet may be
used.
(3) Administrative -- if an evaluation is submitted to HR/PE after the
due date, the panel should indicate in Section IV C who was responsible for
the delay.
Any revision by the rater should be shown to the reviewer and must be
shown to the rated employee. A revision of the reviewer’s statement must
be shown to the rated employee. The employee may then revise Section VI
or supplement the narrative in Section X.
If the rated employee's description of accomplishments or optional
statement contains negative or pejorative comments concerning the rater or
reviewer, or raises significant questions of fact, the panel must provide the
employee the opportunity to revise these comments. If the employee
declines to do so, the review panel may invite the rater or reviewer, as
appropriate, to comment. Any such comments must be shown to the
employee, who will have the opportunity to make a final statement. These
supplemental statements must be attached to the evaluation report.
Although the review panel has the primary responsibility to check for
negative and pejorative comments, if HR/PE identifies such comments it will
follow the procedure outlined above.
If an evaluation is submitted to HR/PE after the due date, the panel should
indicate in Section IV C who was responsible for the delay. Assistant
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secretaries, chiefs of mission, and their equivalents may opt not to submit to
review panels the evaluations they prepare on their deputies. If this
provision is invoked, the appropriate Bureau or Post official submitting the
EER should so annotate in the review panel statement section.
SECTION V. POSITION DESCRIPTION, RESPONSIBILITIES,
AND SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES
(Completed by rater, reviewer, and rated employee)
Department of State guidance requires that all employees and their
raters/reviewers must have a separate detailed Work Requirements
Statement discussed and signed by the rated employee, rater, and reviewer
within the first 45 days of the EER cycle or arrival at new position. This
document is not part of the formal EER but should form the basis for Section
V.
The rater should complete Section V within 45 days of the beginning of the
rating period, in collaboration with the rated employee and with the
concurrence of the reviewing officer.
Position Description: The rater should briefly explain the rated employee's position
and where it fits in the formal staffing pattern. The rater should explain the
employee’s rating and reviewing responsibilities for other employees and the level
of financial or other Department resources for which the rated employee exercises
operational responsibility.
CORE WORK RESPONSIBILITIES: There are two sections
within this box.
Part 1: The first sentence is pre-determined and must be included in all
EERs. The security section is a drop box dependent on the employee’s
personal grade. There is space for 1-3 lines for the employees’ broad core
work responsibilities.
Part 2: Goals/Specific Objectives - This section sets out the broad goals
and specific objectives, which guide the employee’s performance for the
rating period. They should be listed in priority order, and reflect a clear
appreciation for Mission, Bureau, or Department goals. They should be
realistic and realizable.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES
Here the rater should describe any unusual, unexpected, or unpredictable
circumstances that developed during the rating period and that significantly
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altered operational conditions that affected the ability of the employee to
perform his/her job responsibilities and accomplish his/her goals and
objectives. This does not include situations that existed at the start of the
rating cycle or could reasonably be expected to occur during the rating cycle.
SECTION VI. DESCRIPTION OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Rated employees must describe their most significant individual and
collaborative accomplishments during the rating period. Employees should
provide a factual description of outcomes achieved and how these outcomes
advanced Mission or Department goals. Employees should not self-appraise
their own performance.
The rater and reviewer may suggest changes in this section. The rated
employee may accept or decline such suggestions.
SECTION VII. EVALUATION OF PERFORMANCE AND
POTENTIAL
Section A. Appraisal
The rater has primary responsibility for assessing the rated employee’s
accomplishments in the areas of policy leadership, program and project
management, and interpersonal relations (Informational, Operational, and
Relational Effectiveness). The rater should document all performance. If
the employee did not fulfill his/her work responsibilities or did so in a
manner that did not meet expectations, the rater must cite specific
examples. If the employee was fully successful, the rater must document
whether the rated employee has demonstrated the potential to succeed if
assigned higher-level responsibilities, and what additional skills the
employee should work on to perform most effectively in future assignments.
The rater must use specific examples to address the employee’s
performance and potential in the areas of informational effectiveness,
operational effectiveness, and relational effectiveness (see Core Precepts for
further guidance on these three effectiveness elements, and their
relationship to the six core competency groups). The rater should focus on
accomplishments and results and comment on how well the employee has
integrated the six competencies into areas of effectiveness to accomplish
his/her goals.
All jobs require equal employment opportunity (EEO) leadership and adherence to
EEO principles is a mandatory work responsibility. Raters should discuss an
employee's EEO leadership and commitment to diversity and inclusion, if he or she
has demonstrated it, or document performance that suggests less than full support
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for EEO objectives and diversity and inclusion efforts, providing at least one
example to support either kind of statement.
All jobs require sound security awareness. Raters must comment on any
pattern of failure to meet the Department’s core security awareness
requirements.
If the rated employee is a supervisor, including supervision of locally
employed staff, the rater's comments should describe the employee’s
effectiveness as a supervisor, including developing subordinates, mentoring,
and concern for morale (including issues of work/life balance), as well as
efforts to support and/or increase diversity and inclusion within the section.
Any deficit in performance of required supervisory responsibilities should
also be documented, such as: failure to comply with performance appraisal
requirements; lack of equity in the delegation of assignments, counseling,
recommendations for training and placement, and recognition of
achievements of subordinates; failure to foster an inclusive environment that
respects diversity; and failure to establish or maintain effective and
appropriate management control systems. In particular, supervisors have a
responsibility to address any misconduct of subordinates and failure to do so
should be documented in the EER. In discussing performance, work done for
other agencies or outside the rater’s personal supervision may be cited,
drawing as appropriate on any evaluations submitted by the beneficiaries of
the rated employee’s work.
Section B. Developmental Area
During the rating period, the rater must periodically provide guidance to the
employee on any area that requires focused professional attention, including
any areas where the employee is not performing to the expected level.
In the EER, the rater must document the area where the employee should
focus most attention to be fully successful at his/her current level or to
succeed in higher-level assignments in the future. The area must be linked
to one of the six core competency groups. The rater must justify the area
with one or more examples. The rater cannot use this section to cite a need
for formal or informal training (as opposed to substantive knowledge or
technical expertise).
Section C. Summary Appraisal
For all employees, the rater must say whether the employee’s performance
was satisfactory or better. In the case of tenured employees, if the
performance was unsatisfactory, the rater must comply with 3 FAH-1 H-
2814.3 and all other provisions to which the section refers. For untenured
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employees, if the performance was unsatisfactory the rater must comply
with 3 FAM 2246 and all other provisions to which the section refers. A rater
may not assign an overall unsatisfactory rating unless the employee has
previously been advised of the areas of performance which are inadequate
and has been given a reasonable opportunity (normally 30 to 60 days) and
adequate guidance to remedy these deficiencies. In addition, for untenured
employees, if the rater assigns an unsatisfactory rating, the EER must be
forwarded directly to HR/PE. For untenured employees, the rater must also
indicate whether the employee is recommended for tenure.
Section VIII. Review Statement
The reviewer must independently assess the rated employee's preparedness
for assuming positions of greater responsibility, citing examples of
performance, and must not rely solely on the views of the rater. The
reviewer must describe the employee’s relations with his/her rater, and
document the employee’s record of working collaboratively with peers and of
supporting the professional development of subordinates. If the reviewer
disagrees with the evaluation of the employee by the rater, or if relations
between the rater and employee are strained, the reviewer must make this
clear.
The reviewer shares responsibility for ensuring that the employee is fairly
rated. The reviewer may comment on the adequacy and candor the rater
showed in preparing the report.
Section IX. Performance Pay
SFS Members Performance Pay: Raters should evaluate SFS employees for
performance pay. Such pay is based solely on performance during the most
recent rating period and specifically on established performance pay criteria
as specified in the Procedural Precepts for Performance Pay Boards. Those
criteria are:
(1) The relative value of the member's achievement to the accomplishment
of the Department's mission;
(2) The degree of difficulty inherent in successful achievement by the
member;
(3) The extent to which achievement was characterized by strong executive
leadership and significant contributions in the formulation of agency policies
and programming; and
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(4) Effective supervision and development of subordinates.
Section X. Optional Statement by the Rated Employee
Rated employees may address any activities or problems that they believe
have not been covered adequately. The rated employee should use this
section to identify a disagreement with the rater in Section II regarding the
dates of establishment of work responsibilities or performance review
discussions. If additional space is required, continuation sheets may be
attached. This space should not be used as a continuation of Section VI’s
Description of Accomplishments.
The employee must be provided five calendar days from the date of receipt
of the final EER to review it and prepare a statement. The employee does
not have the right to amend this statement at a later date except in
response to changes made in the rater's or reviewer's sections. If the rated
employee disagrees that counseling sessions have been held, he or she may
use this section to explain the disagreement. Neither the rater nor reviewer
has a right to see the employee's statement. See section on review panel
responsibilities above for exceptions to this rule.
PERFORMANCE EVALUATION REFERENCES
Regulations
3 FAM 2810 and 3 FAH-1 H-2810 - See below for instructions on
inadmissible comments.
Decision Criteria for Promotion
See Core Precepts at http://collaborate.state.sbu/sites/pmr/Pages/default.aspx
EEO
Department of State policy is to provide equal opportunity and fair and
equitable treatment in employment to all persons without regard to race,
color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation, marital
status, or sexual orientation.
Additional information can be obtained from 3 FAM 1500 or by contacting
S/OCR.
INADMISSIBLE COMMENTS
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Inadmissible comments may not be included in any section of the evaluation
report, or in other forms of evaluative material. Raters and reviewers, as
well as review panels, must ensure that employees are not disadvantaged,
directly or indirectly, for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, age, marital
status, national origin, disability, reasonable accommodation for disability,
sexual orientation, or means of entry into the Foreign Service. Stereotypes,
group assumptions, and sexist or ethnic comments are inadmissible.
The following subjects are inadmissible in any part:
(1) Reference to race, color, religion, sex (does not extend to the use of Mr.,
Mrs., Ms., or first names or personal pronouns), national origin, age,
disability, reasonable accommodation for disability, and sexual orientation;
(2) Ranking by former Selection Boards or impending selection out;
(3) Physical characteristics and personal qualities that do not affect
performance or potential;
(4) Marital status or plans, or references to spouse or family;
(5) Retirement, resignation, or other separation plans;
(6) Reference to job sharing and telecommuting;
(7) Grievance, equal employment opportunity, or Merit Systems Protection
Board proceedings;
(8) Method of entry into the Service;
(9) Reference to private U.S. citizens by name;
(10) Participation or nonparticipation of Foreign Service personnel, in any
organization which exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of dealing with
foreign affairs agencies concerning grievances, human resources policies,
and practices;
(11) Ratings for earlier periods prepared by other supervisors;
(12) Reluctance to work voluntary overtime;
(13) Leave record, except in the case of unauthorized absences;
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(14) Letters of reprimand;
(15) Negative reference to use of the Dissent Channel or direct or indirect
reference to, or consideration of, judgments in dissent channel messages as
a basis for an adverse evaluation of performance or potential.
When the rated employee's expression of dissenting views on policy, outside
of the dissent channel, raises substantial questions of judgment or
obstructionism relevant to the employee's performance, it may be the
subject of comment. However, general comment may not be used to get
around the proscription of this section. Specific instances must be cited.
(16) Negative or pejorative discussion of the performance of another
identifiable employee;
(17) Specific identification by rating or reviewing officers of disability or
medical problem (including alcoholism, drug abuse, or rehabilitation efforts);
Although the details or specific identification of a medical problem are
inadmissible in the evaluation report, general reference may be made to
confirmed knowledge of a medical problem to the extent it affects job
performance. Rated employees may discuss their own health problems in
specific terms if rating or reviewing officers have made references to such
problems, or to explain or clarify adverse comments in a report.
Employees, raters, review panels, and HROs are encouraged to consult
HR/PE with questions about what may or may not be admissible.
(18) Reference to academic degrees, titles, or specific institutions of higher
learning (except that physicians may be referred to as "Dr."); or
(19) Outside activities that are not relevant to performance or post
effectiveness.
PRIVACY ACT STATEMENT
Employee Evaluation Reports are subject to strict confidentiality under section 604
of the Foreign Service Act of 1980 and the provisions of the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C.
552a.
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