Tenure is the period of time an employee may reasonably expect to serve under his/her current appointment. It is granted and governed by the type of appointment under which an employee is currently serving, without regard to whether he/she has competitive status or whether his/her appointment is to a competitive service position or an excepted service position.
The three types of tenure are: Tenure I (Career), Tenure II
(Career-Conditional), and Tenure III (Other).
Tenure groups are categories of employees ranked in priority
order for retention during reduction-in-force. To put it
simply, usually the order of release would be employees with
Tenure III before any others, then Tenure II employees before Tenure I employees. The three tenure groups are:
Tenure Group I
Competitive Service - includes employees serving under career appointments who either have completed initial appointment probation or are not required to serve initial appointment probation.
Excepted Service - includes permanent employees whose
appointments carry no restriction or condition such as
conditional, definite, specific time limitation, or trial
Tenure Group II
Competitive Service - includes employees serving under career-conditional appointments and career employees serving initial appointment probation.
Excepted Service - includes employees who are serving trial periods or whose tenure is equivalent to career-conditional tenure in the competitive service in agencies that use that type of appointment system.
Tenure Group III
Competitive Service - includes indefinite employees, employees under term appointments, employees in status quo, employees under any other nonstatus nontemporary appointments, and employees serving on provisional appointments.
Excepted Service - includes employees whose appointment is indefinite; those whose appointments have specific time limitations of more than one year; employees who, though currently under appointments limited to one year or less, complete one year of current continuous employment; and employees serving on provisional appointments.
The Office of Personnel Management has published two handbooks which provide an in depth discussion of all aspects of the reduction in force and transfer of function process. One handbook provides Guidance, and the other describes Required Procedures. For definitive guidance on any aspect of reduction in force, see OPM's RIF Resources Portal.