A quality step increase (QSI) recognizes employees for performance of duty in an exceptional manner. A QSI must be based on the highest quality of performance that a supervisor may certify; in our case a Succesful Level 1 rating. This level of performance must be expected to continue in the future. Only General Schedule (GS) employees are eligible to receive QSIs.
A QSI has the same effect on the employee's salary as a within-grade-increase (WGI) in that it moves the employee from one step of his or her grade to the next higher step. The QSI moves the employee to the higher step ahead of the normal required waiting period. QSIs increase employee's salary costs for the subsequent fiscal year, therefore judgment should be exercised to ensure that only the "top" performers are recommended for this award.
QSI Eligibility Criteria:
- Rating must be "Successful Level 1" for the current annual rating of record.
- Only one QSI can be granted to an employee within any 52-week period.
An employee may not receive a QSI if the employee received another monetary award based in whole or in part on the performance being recommended for recognition. The nomination for the QSI will be submitted within 30 days of
approval of the rating of record.
The QSI does not change the effective date of the employee's normal within-grade pay increase except when the QSI places the employee in the fourth or seventh step; in which case, the employeee enters into the prescribed longer waiting period of those steps. When a WIGI and QSI are effective the same day, the WIGI will be processed before the QSI to avoid situations where the QSI may place an employee in a longer waiting period.
Guidance for recommending an employee for a QSI is covered under Employee Management Relations Program - AR 672-20: INCENTIVE AWARDS.