Author Topic: PERs : All issues questions...2018-current  (Read 8034 times)

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Offline ballz

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Re: PERs : All issues questions...2018-current
« Reply #150 on: April 14, 2020, 11:34:38 »
The statement of "prohibited grounds of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act" led me to believe bias was a rationale for the policy.

The recent (past 4-5 years) and hottest/most current controversial topic regarding what is or is not discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act is the use of gender-specific pronouns / use of gender-neutral pronouns, whether someone ought to have the right to be called by whatever pronouns they choose, whether someone should be forced to use those pronouns, etc.

It also states at the beginning that this is about "A RECENT CAF CULTURAL AND NORMATIVE SHIFT TO PROMOTE GENDER DIVERSITY AND ASSOCIATED INCLUSIVENESS" etc.

This policy actually strikes a balance between forcing someone to use language that they don't agree with (30+ gender pronouns) which likely would have led to some issues for the CAF/government of Canada and not misgendering someone by using pronouns they don't identify with.

Considering the PER is written by a direct supervisor, who knows a persons preference, I'm not sure I believe that was the intent.

Not to spur up another argument about the CAF's level of institutional competence but "this isn't going to make a lick of difference" applies to a lot of policy, and is just as applicable to the idea that this might prevent bias in the meriting system. I don't think the goal here is to actually make a difference, just an easy tick in the box for "promoting gender diversity and associated inclusiveness" and

being dishonest for the sake of the cause du jour.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2020, 11:38:00 by ballz »
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Re: PERs : All issues questions...2018-current
« Reply #151 on: April 14, 2020, 13:13:02 »
I don't think the goal here is to actually make a difference, just an easy tick in the box for "promoting gender diversity and associated inclusiveness"

Yep.  In the end, it takes 30 second off my life, and I'm sure the pendulum will swing the other way in a few years, so I'm over it now....
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Offline Navy_Pete

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Re: PERs : All issues questions...2018-current
« Reply #152 on: April 14, 2020, 13:36:54 »
I don't get this one either; who has space for a pronoun of any kind?  Even he/she takes up precious characters in the boxes, and it's not like you are referring to someone else in the PER.

If I had to use something, my default would be 'they', but only because I didn't have room for the rank/name, and he/she is too informal.  But normally am looking to cut as many characters as possible, so grammar rules go out the window to get the point across, and pronouns are redundant in this case. The only time you have a narrative is when you are recommending someone for promotion, and if you have space left in the tiny box, you probably aren't helping the cause.

It's a change that looks good on paper but makes no material difference, so not going to lose any sleep over it, but in the grand scheme of things, still disappointed this is what some of the big giant heads are spending their time on.  Getting that drafted, reviewed and approved ate up staff time that could have been better used towards all kinds of things, but I guess that's my fundamental issue with the gaiters and buttons crowd as well.

This will have zero impact on any kind of gender bias, and was probably based on absolutely zero evidence that there is a gender bias in promotion boards. If it exists, it's way down the line from the board, and my experience is the same as Infanteers.  I was the non-trade related token member on a board, and it was pretty straight forward, based on whatever was written and on the file.  If I cared, it would have been easy enough to figure out the gender on each file (even if it's not on the MPRR, the full name is usually a pretty good indicator), but the only disagreement over a score was due to a poorly written PER, and had about enough time on each file to quickly read the PERs and come up with a score, not dig through a file and figure out someone's life story. If someone with no skin in the game that doesn't know anyone comes to the same result as people in the trade, I think that's a good indication that the actual promotion board process works as intended, and is largely based on the file in front of them.

Choice postings, high profile job management, and all the other things that go into creating a strong promotion file are where any bias/politics/other BS would take place, not at the promotion boards. I think fundamentally figuring out how to get the right people into the right place makes sense, as does managing your talent, but as long as it happens in a weird, backroom deals kind of way it will continue to be open to questions about it's perceived fairness.

Offline Throwaway987

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Re: PERs : All issues questions...2018-current
« Reply #153 on: April 14, 2020, 14:05:09 »
Those were some great points Pete/Infanteer/ballz.

I guess I was just frustrated at the lack of meaning and purpose with my work. Sometimes it feels like we do not have enough time and resources to accomplish our front line jobs yet we gorge ourselves on feel good but accomplish little projects like this.

If it were up to me, I would explore moving away from absolute fairness and move towards managers/leaders having the freedom to select the right person for the right position (and having the unencumbered power to demote if the selection turns out to be a mistake). It seems like a lot of the problems regarding unit boards are a consequence of being unable to exercise this aspect of management/leadership.

Edit: What if we viewed filling positions as trying to solve a specific problem that requires specific traits or experiences? Our current process does not allow us to benefit from the unique qualities of specific individuals since the merit list only provides a generic ranking. e.g. trying to align an analytical individual to an analytical career as a staff officer

If the counterpoint is that these differences do not matter for low ranks where jobs are mainly interchangeable, then what value are we getting out of our elaborate PER/merit board process for the majority of our members? We spend dozens if not hundred of hours in each unit writing PERs in a specific way to produce exceedingly little actual results (since we bypass this process through back channels to pick who gets the best opportunities, etc.).
« Last Edit: April 14, 2020, 14:44:22 by Throwaway987 »

Offline Lumber

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Re: PERs : All issues questions...2018-current
« Reply #154 on: April 14, 2020, 23:12:54 »
Indeed. But those objectives quickly contradict each other. If the unit is allowed to do their ranking, BUT ranking cannot contradict the dot count, something's gotta give.

Ugh. No they don't, and no they don't! This was my biggest gripe for 3 years as PERMON and I finally created a culture within the unit that followed the spirit and direction of CFPAS.

The section 5 rankings and the section 6 rankings are completely separate, and the they do not need to align, nor do they need to align with any sort of calculated 'overall per score" that the unit may have come up with.
Thr section 5 rankings should not be determined at a ranking board; rather, they should be determined within the section/subsection itself based on the scores on the PER (which are in turn the subjective assessment of the supervisor).
The section 6 unit rankings are not objective (although please, use objective thought and empirical evidence as much as possible when coming up with your rankings); rather, the section 6 unit rankings represent the subjective opinion of the CO on who is the best.
The actual and final decision on unit rankings rests with the CO, no one else. Not the Coxn, RSM, lower deck lawfirm, or pepperoni club.
The ranking boards do not actually come up with the final, official determination of unit rankings. Rather all the ranking board really does is come up with a recommended ranking list that is the  provided to the CO who then yays, nays, or amends it.
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Offline Tcm621

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Re: PERs : All issues questions...2018-current
« Reply #155 on: April 15, 2020, 12:44:29 »
I don't get this one either; who has space for a pronoun of any kind?  Even he/she takes up precious characters in the boxes, and it's not like you are referring to someone else in the PER.

If I had to use something, my default would be 'they', but only because I didn't have room for the rank/name, and he/she is too informal.  But normally am looking to cut as many characters as possible, so grammar rules go out the window to get the point across, and pronouns are redundant in this case. The only time you have a narrative is when you are recommending someone for promotion, and if you have space left in the tiny box, you probably aren't helping the cause.

It's a change that looks good on paper but makes no material difference, so not going to lose any sleep over it, but in the grand scheme of things, still disappointed this is what some of the big giant heads are spending their time on.  Getting that drafted, reviewed and approved ate up staff time that could have been better used towards all kinds of things, but I guess that's my fundamental issue with the gaiters and buttons crowd as well.

This will have zero impact on any kind of gender bias, and was probably based on absolutely zero evidence that there is a gender bias in promotion boards. If it exists, it's way down the line from the board, and my experience is the same as Infanteers.  I was the non-trade related token member on a board, and it was pretty straight forward, based on whatever was written and on the file.  If I cared, it would have been easy enough to figure out the gender on each file (even if it's not on the MPRR, the full name is usually a pretty good indicator), but the only disagreement over a score was due to a poorly written PER, and had about enough time on each file to quickly read the PERs and come up with a score, not dig through a file and figure out someone's life story. If someone with no skin in the game that doesn't know anyone comes to the same result as people in the trade, I think that's a good indication that the actual promotion board process works as intended, and is largely based on the file in front of them.

Choice postings, high profile job management, and all the other things that go into creating a strong promotion file are where any bias/politics/other BS would take place, not at the promotion boards. I think fundamentally figuring out how to get the right people into the right place makes sense, as does managing your talent, but as long as it happens in a weird, backroom deals kind of way it will continue to be open to questions about it's perceived fairness.


This was my complaint as well. Here I am shortening words that have no business being shortened to get one more point in but I need to seek out their name and rank in full rather than use their pronoun? I don't have room for that. People who have done national boards feel free to chime in here but I would be surprised if they spend more than a minute on each file. They don't have time to be biased. Any bias is going to come at the unit level and they will already know who that person is anyway.

As for the trans issue, I have written PER/PDRs for a trans person and I just used her preferred pronoun. It was simple but she used regular pronouns none of this xe bullshit. Again, most of the issues a trans person will have will come at the unit level and will have its effect long before a PER hits the board. In the very minute chance that such a person ran into a whole bigoted board that decided to ignore the PER due to gender identity, we have a system in place to deal with that already.

Offline Navy_Pete

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Re: PERs : All issues questions...2018-current
« Reply #156 on: April 15, 2020, 14:55:51 »
Ugh. No they don't, and no they don't! This was my biggest gripe for 3 years as PERMON and I finally created a culture within the unit that followed the spirit and direction of CFPAS.

The section 5 rankings and the section 6 rankings are completely separate, and the they do not need to align, nor do they need to align with any sort of calculated 'overall per score" that the unit may have come up with.
Thr section 5 rankings should not be determined at a ranking board; rather, they should be determined within the section/subsection itself based on the scores on the PER (which are in turn the subjective assessment of the supervisor).
The section 6 unit rankings are not objective (although please, use objective thought and empirical evidence as much as possible when coming up with your rankings); rather, the section 6 unit rankings represent the subjective opinion of the CO on who is the best.
The actual and final decision on unit rankings rests with the CO, no one else. Not the Coxn, RSM, lower deck lawfirm, or pepperoni club.
The ranking boards do not actually come up with the final, official determination of unit rankings. Rather all the ranking board really does is come up with a recommended ranking list that is the  provided to the CO who then yays, nays, or amends it.

Part of the PERMON job is to makes sure the ranking list and scores that go up to the CO is consistent and logical.  I agree section 5 and 6 rankings are independent (ie No 1 guy in an MOC in that unit can still be in the middle third and not ranked at the unit level), but if the scores of No 5 guy at the unit level are higher then the 1-4 PERs, that should be looked at pretty hard to make sure the process worked properly and the PER scores and unit ranking was done correctly. Similarly, no 2 file at the MOC/rank should be lower down the unit ranking then the no 1 file. It should be objective enough that a higher dot score should be a higher unit ranking; it's when you have the same overall scores when it becomes subjective (but generally when things like a higher leadership score comes into play).

If the CO catches those things after PERMON, then things will probably go badly for them.

I can't really see any normal situation where you would have someone with a higher overall score ranked lower at a unit level and not have some questions. If so, that's something that should be specifically looked at and approved by the CO, but would need a pretty good reason to inflate the score on that file.

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Re: PERs : All issues questions...2018-current
« Reply #157 on: April 15, 2020, 15:08:17 »

This was my complaint as well. Here I am shortening words that have no business being shortened to get one more point in but I need to seek out their name and rank in full rather than use their pronoun? I don't have room for that. People who have done national boards feel free to chime in here but I would be surprised if they spend more than a minute on each file. They don't have time to be biased. Any bias is going to come at the unit level and they will already know who that person is anyway.

^ this. :nod:

Tcm, you hit the nail on the head...45 seconds to a minute. It doesn’t seem like much time, but when you and the other board members get in the groove, it almost seems like a long time. 

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Offline SupersonicMax

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Re: PERs : All issues questions...2018-current
« Reply #158 on: April 15, 2020, 15:56:50 »
Part of the PERMON job is to makes sure the ranking list and scores that go up to the CO is consistent and logical.  I agree section 5 and 6 rankings are independent (ie No 1 guy in an MOC in that unit can still be in the middle third and not ranked at the unit level), but if the scores of No 5 guy at the unit level are higher then the 1-4 PERs, that should be looked at pretty hard to make sure the process worked properly and the PER scores and unit ranking was done correctly. Similarly, no 2 file at the MOC/rank should be lower down the unit ranking then the no 1 file. It should be objective enough that a higher dot score should be a higher unit ranking; it's when you have the same overall scores when it becomes subjective (but generally when things like a higher leadership score comes into play).

If the CO catches those things after PERMON, then things will probably go badly for them.

I can't really see any normal situation where you would have someone with a higher overall score ranked lower at a unit level and not have some questions. If so, that's something that should be specifically looked at and approved by the CO, but would need a pretty good reason to inflate the score on that file.

You can have a new guy in a position with a lot of potential but that hasn’t been performing to its potential yet rank above someone that is extremely effective in its current rank in section 5 but below in section 6.  It should be rare but I have seen this happen once. 

Offline Navy_Pete

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Re: PERs : All issues questions...2018-current
« Reply #159 on: April 15, 2020, 17:21:02 »
You can have a new guy in a position with a lot of potential but that hasn’t been performing to its potential yet rank above someone that is extremely effective in its current rank in section 5 but below in section 6.  It should be rare but I have seen this happen once.

Do you mean in separate MOCs?

Lots of possible scenarios for exceptions, but generally speaking, I think if someone ranks above someone else at the unit ranking but with lower scores, that needs to be a serious discussion and signed off by the CO.  Also, things like age, time left in career, etc aren't supposed to be considered when you are doing PERs, so a young up and comer that may do great things in the future shouldn't be ranked above an older, more experienced individual just because they may have more potential (unless they score the same on actual job performance). That's were recommendations for high profile positions or career coursing matter, but you shouldn't be trying to do succession management in the PERs. Normally PERs going past unit level for formation/group ranking are nearly hard right, so dot ranking matter less then narrative and draft recommendation, but can't really imagine where direction would come down to adjust a score from a formation ranking.

For the promotion board I was sitting in on, don't think the unit/formation ranking really made a difference as it was competitive enough that everyone was in the same ballpark for PER scores, so things like language profile, breadth of experience etc made a big difference. Probably varies from board to board, and how many are being promoted vice the pool size, as well as trade specific scoring criteria for the next rank, but was mostly mechanical based on the points, with some discussion around the cutoff for the files that were close in score. Heard from wingers doing other boards that others were so close that they had to come through most of the files in detail and take a lot of time to discuss it, with others having an obvious threshold so it was pretty easy.

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Re: PERs : All issues questions...2018-current
« Reply #160 on: April 15, 2020, 18:12:23 »
No, same MOC.  The distinction is that while one had more potential than the other, the other had an overall better file (including performance, second language profile, etc)

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Re: PERs : All issues questions...2018-current
« Reply #161 on: April 15, 2020, 19:48:50 »
Unless it's relevant to the PER (by doing self directed learning on own time for example), things like SL profile shouldn't be relevant to scoring/ranking.  It is already getting counted for promotion at the board; units don't need to skew the result further by double accounting for it.

IMHO, that kind of thing is demotivating for the high performer, especially if they are covering off for the other person while they are off doing SLT and other things for ticks in the boxes for promotion. Potential is great, but demonstrated performance at the current rank is a better indicator of future performance at the next rank.  If someone is still learning the current job, doesn't do them favours to rush them to the next one, and lots of times potential is unrealized when you don't have the solid foundation to build upon.


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Re: PERs : All issues questions...2018-current
« Reply #162 on: April 15, 2020, 20:36:06 »
Unless it's relevant to the PER (by doing self directed learning on own time for example), things like SL profile shouldn't be relevant to scoring/ranking.  It is already getting counted for promotion at the board; units don't need to skew the result further by double accounting for it.

So is potential, leadership, professional development....  Section 6 should definitely encompass the individual as a whole.  I disagree that performance at the current rank is a good indicator of performance in the next rank. Plenty of excellent people in their current rank that would be horrible in the next rank because of other factors.

Offline Tcm621

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Re: PERs : All issues questions...2018-current
« Reply #163 on: April 16, 2020, 00:54:52 »
Unless it's relevant to the PER (by doing self directed learning on own time for example), things like SL profile shouldn't be relevant to scoring/ranking.  It is already getting counted for promotion at the board; units don't need to skew the result further by double accounting for it.

IMHO, that kind of thing is demotivating for the high performer, especially if they are covering off for the other person while they are off doing SLT and other things for ticks in the boxes for promotion. Potential is great, but demonstrated performance at the current rank is a better indicator of future performance at the next rank.  If someone is still learning the current job, doesn't do them favours to rush them to the next one, and lots of times potential is unrealized when you don't have the solid foundation to build upon.

I think having an SL profile is important because we are a bilingual country and the CAF has to serve that country. That said, I think the way we do SL scoring is junk. For one, we always require the Verbal score to be the highest when reading and writing are as important if not more so. If someone manages to improve one of the 3 areas they should be rewarded for it. The other issue is that you get more points as you get promoted for doing nothing but maintaining. I can't remember the officer scale but for NCMs BBB will get you 3 points at MCpl but it will give you 5 at WO.

Quote
Potential is great, but demonstrated performance at the current rank is a better indicator of future performance at the next rank.

I could disagree with this more. I don't know how many "leaders" I know who couldn't lead a line of ducks to a pond but got promoted because they were good technicians or operators. Leadership, communication, etc are all skills that are separate from the skills needed to be successful at job tasks. Temperament matters as well. I have known a lot people who I would trust with a job but the idea of them being responsible for troops is asking for trouble. The (old) Army was particularly bad for this as it seemed quite often the ones promoted were good at PT, had drinking problems and never met a piece of tail they wouldn't try and sleep with effects on morale or discipline be damned.

IMO the problem isn't that we separate those aspects, it's that we have no way to reward someone who is good at their job but isn't suited, or inclined, to be further up the leadership ladder. Whether it's a different rank akin to master tradesman status, medals or financial incentives, we need to give leadership some tools to separate the leaders from the workers while rewarding someone who just does their job well. In fact, the biggest complaint I hear is that X shows up everyday and works hard yet they see nothing come PER time while Y is off on some other secondary duty or task and Y gets promoted.

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Re: PERs : All issues questions...2018-current
« Reply #164 on: April 16, 2020, 06:51:03 »
It's called the Peter Principle.
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Offline Tcm621

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Re: PERs : All issues questions...2018-current
« Reply #165 on: April 16, 2020, 11:30:11 »
It's called the Peter Principle.

People forget it is a real management theory based on real research.

Offline Navy_Pete

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Re: PERs : All issues questions...2018-current
« Reply #166 on: April 16, 2020, 12:39:51 »
To clarify, by demonstrated performance outweighing potential, I meant more that if you are still developing at the current rank, potential for future jobs doesn't really matter as much as mastering the skills needed for what you do now.

The way our PERs work, the 'performance' rated skills directly relate to the potential ones.  For example, if you score highly on potential for communicating at the next rank, you should score highly on oral/written communication at the current rank. A high leadership potential for the next rank should correlate to high performance scores at supervision, organization, etc.  So logically anyone scoring high across the board on potential at the next rank should also be high across the board in performance at the current rank.  The reverse isn't true though; someone can be a good at the current rank but not be suitable for the next rank. In any case, that's why I think someone with a higher perceived potential ranking someone with higher scores might be a problem and needs to be looked at, to make sure the scoring makes sense.

So to me, if I read a PER with hard right potential without corresponding performance scores at the current rank, it doesn't work logically. You are either over-estimating their potential, or pushing them up faster then they need to gain the experience at the current rank. If people rush through the ranks too fast, the Peter principle becomes a self fulfilling prophecy, as you just aren't giving someone enough time to develop the baseline competencies required for success at higher levels. It's also about perspective as well; it takes time to shift your mind from thinking about the day to day to the bigger/longer term. Some people might be able to do it really easily, some might need a long time (or never get there).

Offline Blackadder1916

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Re: PERs : All issues questions...2018-current
« Reply #167 on: April 16, 2020, 13:03:26 »
People forget it is a real management theory based on real research.

While Dr. Peter may have "researched" his principle by observation, his book was meant to be satire, not a treatise on management theory.  It probably says something about how managers viewed themselves that his book (and a good part of his later career) became so successful.

https://www.nytimes.com/1990/01/15/obituaries/laurence-j-peter-is-dead-at-70-his-principle-satirized-business.html
Quote
Dr. Peter maintained that his principle was ''the key to an understanding of the whole structure of civilization.'' He also said he was only kidding. Publisher's Weekly, which was not kidding, said the book was ''precisely geared for the Age of Conglomerates.'' Some conglomerates - which were not kidding either - offered to hire Dr. Peter as their management guru. He turned them down, saying he did not want to rise above his own level of competence.
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Offline Tcm621

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Re: PERs : All issues questions...2018-current
« Reply #168 on: April 16, 2020, 14:38:47 »
To clarify, by demonstrated performance outweighing potential, I meant more that if you are still developing at the current rank, potential for future jobs doesn't really matter as much as mastering the skills needed for what you do now.

The way our PERs work, the 'performance' rated skills directly relate to the potential ones.  For example, if you score highly on potential for communicating at the next rank, you should score highly on oral/written communication at the current rank. A high leadership potential for the next rank should correlate to high performance scores at supervision, organization, etc.  So logically anyone scoring high across the board on potential at the next rank should also be high across the board in performance at the current rank.  The reverse isn't true though; someone can be a good at the current rank but not be suitable for the next rank. In any case, that's why I think someone with a higher perceived potential ranking someone with higher scores might be a problem and needs to be looked at, to make sure the scoring makes sense.

So to me, if I read a PER with hard right potential without corresponding performance scores at the current rank, it doesn't work logically. You are either over-estimating their potential, or pushing them up faster then they need to gain the experience at the current rank. If people rush through the ranks too fast, the Peter principle becomes a self fulfilling prophecy, as you just aren't giving someone enough time to develop the baseline competencies required for success at higher levels. It's also about perspective as well; it takes time to shift your mind from thinking about the day to day to the bigger/longer term. Some people might be able to do it really easily, some might need a long time (or never get there).

That works in a world where everyone starts fresh and gets promoted just as they are ready to take the next step. The reality is much messier. Let's take remusters for example, if a Sgt remusters and becomes a Cpl does he lose all his leadership abilities? Of course he doesn't, he may have to adapt those skills to a new environment but his potential for the next rank will be very high because he has proven success at that level.  Another example is an MOI Captain who gets posted before promotion. There is no way she will realistically master her new job in the 6 months between posting and the PER deadline, should that mean she is no longer ready for an immediate promotion? Of course not so what we often get is someone who gets high section 5 rankings that don't reflect reality in order to justify the high section 6. The opposite is worse when they artificially lower second 6 to match section 5.

The reality is there is no perfect answer within our system. We have no way to reward the hard worker but move into a leadership position. We have no way to reward seniority except promoting to a leadership position and it often leads to bad leaders who are otherwise good at their areas of expertise. I would prefer the opposite because the further away you get up the ladder the less important technical knowledge is and the more important knowing how to use the knowledge under you is.

Offline CountDC

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Re: PERs : All issues questions...2018-current
« Reply #169 on: April 24, 2020, 12:03:47 »
You can conduct unit boards.  You just can’t adjust dots in relation to the board results.  The only rule is that you cannot have more dot scores in section 5 than someone higher in the ranking but have a lower section 5 scoring for someone in the same MOC.  Boards are required to fill the ranking in section 5.

haven't seen that anywhere, where is it from as CFPAS indicates that is for the reviewing officer not a merit board? Be good to have for the next time we do the boards or they tell me to fill them in. Never saw a board fill in those dots but as the supervisor drafting the PER have been required to fill them in along with comments if needed. From my participation in boards the drafted PER from the supervisor is one factor in the merit of the member so a member could have the same or slightly lower PER but score higher on the merit due to the other factors that are laid out in the merit board directions. 

I was "requested" to change my PER on a member working for me as another member had scored higher on the board but their PER was lower.  I said no as the PER was valid and I was not going to penalize my staff. Perhaps they should go back to the sgt writing the other PER, explain to him about the CFPAS footprints and how a PER should be, and get him to redo his PER if needed.  To be honest due to my position I had received the PER and it was low for someone scoring high on a merit, it was mediocre at best mostly D with a few S.  The catch was he was working in trade and was in a year longer while my member was working out of trade.  My member had S along with a couple ES and Part 5 having one higher bubble but both were rated ready.  My PER stayed and as far as I recall they opted to leave both as they were.
“non-commissioned officer (NCO)” means a member holding the rank of sergeant or corporal.

QR&O's