Long Awaited Overhaul of OPM’s HR Policy is Now Out

Jan 17, 2017

Federal policy


The Office of Personnel Management has a new human resources policy. Agencies will now have fewer reporting requirements. Instead, they will use other practices that “align human capital management practices to broader agency strategic planning activities and better align human capital activities with an agencies’ mission and strategic goal.”

OPM last visited these goals and processes in 2008 when it created the Human Capital Assessment and Accountability Framework. The

The overall goal of this new policy is for agencies to be more strategic about human capital management planning. This would require embedding these strategies into their organizations’ mission. This policy specifically asks agencies to create a talent management system. This system requires them to plan and manage workforce needs, improve and streamline recruiting and hiring practices and close skill gaps.

This new policy also includes changes to the process agencies use to collect and report human capital data.

A couple of the biggest changes include changes to the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) and HRStat.


This survey measures federal employee satisfaction on many levels. Instead of having 45 questions, as it currently does, it will only have 16. However, each agency can include additional survey questions specific to its organization and mission. The goal is to develop a survey that has stronger, more relevant questions.

“We’ve made changes that are intended to both preserve continuity—there’s a set of core questions—but also to allow flexibility as management practices change and as agency leaders need different opportunities to look at different things,” Acting OPM Director Beth Cobert said.

Agencies must post the results of each annual survey on their website. Also, with the analysis of the responses and description of the employee sample.

Instead of submitting a strategic human capital plan to OPM, they must develop a Human Capital Operating Plan and participate in annual, in-person interviews with OPM.

The rule says that “this affords agencies, in discussions with OPM, to collaboratively review agencies progress toward achieving their specific goals while providing a mechanism for OPM to identify cross-cutting and agency-specific human capital challenges that warrant further attention.”


HRStat helps agencies better root out human resource data and trends and use them to evaluate performance.

Soon, agencies will be required to conduct HRStat reviews on a quarterly basis. The Chief Human Capital Officer will partner with agency performance improvement officers to lead reviews and track progress.

“Review sessions allow agency leadership agency leadership to identify and focus on human capital metrics that will inform the achievement of an agency’s human capital goals and mission. The quarterly sessions allow for prompt course correction, if necessary to ensure progress.”

OPM plans to issue more guidance on these metrics in the future.

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