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Senior Executive Service (SES) and Senior Professional (SP) members are authorized to receive special recognition, awards, and incentive payments which help to attract, retain, recognize, reward, and motivate highly competent executives and members. DCPAS oversees the policy, payment, and recognition of performance-based awards, Presidential Distinguished and Meritorious Rank Awards, and other forms of recognition.

  • Performance-Based Awards

    An SES and SP who receives an annual summary rating of “Fully Successful” or above must be considered for either an annual performance-based pay adjustment or bonus, or both, subject to the annual closeout guidance. Those receiving an annual summary rating of less than “Fully Successful” may not receive an adjustment in pay for the appraisal period unless required to maintain the minimum salary rate. Additionally, performance-based payouts are not guaranteed, are awarded based on alignment to individual and organizational results as communicated by the Chief Management Officer, and are determined through the SES and SP performance management systems.

  • Incentive Awards

    Incentive awards may be utilized to recognize a contribution or scientific achievement that may have culminated after a significant period of time where a performance-based award would not be appropriate. All SES and SP are eligible for incentive awards; however, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 4508, incentive awards may not be given during the period beginning June 1 through January 20 to a senior politically appointed officer. As limited and non-career SES are not designated as “career appointees,” they meet the definition of a senior politically appointed officer and cannot receive incentive awards during an election period.

  • Presidential Rank Awards


    Otherwise known as PRAs, these awards recognize sustained extraordinary accomplishment (Distinguished) or sustained accomplishment (Meritorious). For a Distinguished Rank Award winner, the SES or SP member receives 35 percent of his or her annual basic pay, a gold lapel pin, and a Presidential certificate. For a Meritorious Rank Award winner, the SES or SP member receives 20 percent of his or her annual basic pay, a silver lapel pin, and a Presidential certificate.


Applicable Policy and Guidance