HR University Logo, Teaching the Business of HR; and CHCO Council seal

Recruitment Policy Studio

Federal Section
Planning for Recruiting - Pathways
Pathways for students and recent graduates to federal careers

Presidential Management Fellows (PMFs)

What should an agency do if it did not convert a current PMF to Schedule D by the January 6, 2013, deadline? (READ MORE)
An agency that has not converted a current PMF to Schedule D by the January 6, 2013, deadline should contact OPM immediately via email at

Will PMFs appointed prior to the effective date of the Pathways regulations (July 10, 2012) be subject to the Pathways regulations. (READ MORE)
PMFs appointed from the classes of 2010, 2011, 2012 (appointed by January 24, 2013) are covered by the PMF regulations in place prior to the Pathways Programs regulations.

Are PMFs who have been grandfathered under the pre-Pathways rules required to sign a Participant Agreement and be assigned a mentor? (READ MORE)
No. However, as a best practice, OPM encourages agencies to engage with grandfathered Fellows to enter into a Participant Agreement with those Fellows and to assign a mentor. If entering into a Participant Agreement, agencies are reminded that grandfathered Fellows must adhere to the previous regulations and some of the Participant Agreement language may need to be modified accordingly.

Can PMFs from the Class of 2013 and subsequent Fellows complete their developmental assignments outside of the Federal Government? (READ MORE)
No. Fellows from the Class of 2013 and subsequent Fellows may only complete their developmental assignments in their organization, within their agency, or in another Federal agency (as defined in 5 U.S.C. 105). Fellows may continue to complete optional rotations outside of their agency at the discretion of their agency and following their agencies’ policies and procedures.

What is the appointment eligibility period for PMF Finalists referenced in 5 CFR 362.404? (READ MORE)
A PMF Finalist has 12 months from the official Finalist selection date to accept and start a PMF appointment. Under certain limited circumstances, an agency may request an extension if it is unable to bring the Finalist onboard as a Fellow within that time: e.g., because of delays in completing a background investigation. This practice is consistent with PMF regulations in effect prior to the Pathways Programs regulations.

What is the deadline for an Executive Review Board (ERB) to certify a Fellow has successfully completed the PMF Program? (READ MORE)
The deadline for an ERB to certify that a Fellow has successfully completed all program requirements is 30 days prior to the Fellow’s 2-year anniversary date. ERB certification is required prior to conversion.

Does "formal interactive training" include on-line training for Fellows? (READ MORE)
Yes. An agency may use on-line training if the training addresses the competencies outlined in the Fellow’s IDP and will prepare the Fellow for his or her target position. Interactive training includes communication between instructor and students, students and students, etc. Ultimately, the agency’s ERB will determine if the Fellow has met all program requirements, including the amount and type of training. Agencies may want to clarify training definitions in their Pathways Programs policies and Pathways MOU.

May a PMF participate in an agency-wide, or Presidential or Administration initiative to fulfill the requirement for a 4-6 month developmental assignment? (READ MORE)
Yes. Per 5 CFR 362.405(b)(4)(i), a Fellow may participate in an agency-wide, or Presidential or Administration initiative to fulfill the requirement for a 4-6 month developmental assignment. Such experience must be 4-6 months in duration to allow the Fellow the experience he or she would have gained through a traditional developmental assignment.

Will OPM grant extensions to the yearly PMF training requirements for agencies unable to comply due to sequestration or any budgetary situation? (READ MORE)
No. The Pathways Programs regulations are clear and agencies have committed to fulfilling program requirements when signing their Pathways MOU with OPM for participation in the Pathways Programs. The agency must provide each Fellow a minimum of 80 hours of formal interactive training per year, and must provide each Fellow with at least one 4-6 month development assignment during their 2-year fellowship. The PMF Program Office sponsors several training opportunities for all Fellows that may count towards the training requirements. Ultimately, the ERB certification process ensures each Fellow has completed at least 160 hours of training as part of the program requirements.

Can an agency whose positions are excepted by statute from the provisions of title 5 governing the competitive service or non-Executive Branch agencies participate in the PMF Program? (READ MORE)
Yes. Agencies whose positions are excepted by statute or non-Executive Branch agencies (e.g., Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Library of Congress, and Congressional Research Service) may enter into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with OPM to participate in the PMF Program Once an approved MOA is on file, the agency may appoint Fellows. However, upon completion of program requirements, the Fellow is eligible only for placement into an excepted service position in the employing agency. Such appointments, starting with the Class of 2013, would not be able to non-competitively convert to a term or permanent position in the competitive service of another agency.

Do the current PMF rules provide OPM the authority to waive any provision of the PMF requirements upon an agency request? (READ MORE)
No. The current PMF regulations do not include a provision that would give OPM the authority to waive any PMF program requirement.