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Frequently Asked Questions Related to Profiles and Rater Tendencies (NCOER and OER)

Rating Profile FAQs


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Soldier in uniform briefing in an auditorium at a podium
 

OER PROFILE

Why is a Rater Profile necessary?

One of the primary goals of the Evaluation Review Initiative was to reinvigorate the importance of the rater in the overall assessment process and provide a clearer picture to identify the Army’s best performers to selection boards and assignment officers. Additionally, we had a goal of increasing accountability among the rating chain. Adding a rater profile increases accountability, and having a profile constraint should increase counseling and mentorship. Raters were previously unconstrained and could give everybody a top box check. Now they will be accountable and limited just as senior raters have been.

How does the Rater Profile work?

Like the Senior Rater Managed Profile Technique, which precludes senior raters from placing everyone in the top box and requires more succinct narrative comments, the Rater profile will track the rating history of each Rater by rated rank, regardless of component, in the assessment of overall performance. The assessment will apply to Raters of Company and Field Grade officers. It will NOT apply to Raters of Strategic Leaders (O6). To maintain a creditable profile, Raters must manage less than 50% of the overall performance ratings in the "EXCELS" box for any given rank. When an OER is created for an officer grade ( WO1-CW4, 2LT-LTC), a profile is established in the Rater’s name (based on the Rater’s DODID/SSN) for each grade as reports are locked or received. To allow Raters to utilize the top box (EXCELS) selection for overall performance regardless of small populations, and to eliminate some of the issues associated with immature profiles, Raters receive a start upstart-up rater credit of 3 in the "PROFICIENT" block. Once a Rater’s profile is created, that profile will follow the Rater for the duration of his/her government service (including retirement from the military and beyond).

What happens when a rater submits a report and his or her profile does not support the "EXCELS" box check?

If using the Online EES system, the system will not allow the RATER to misfire. It prevents the Rater from checking the Excels box if that rating would put the Rater's profile equal to or greater than 50%. For paper copy reports that are mailed to HQDA with an "Excels" rating that causes a Rater’s profile to exceed the 49.9% limitation, the report is automatically downgraded and processed with a "Proficient" HQDA label. The report will COUNT AS AN EXCELS against the Rater profile but will label down. The Rater and the Senior Rater listed on the report will be notified by email of the misfire in EES, and the report will process accordingly.

Will raters be able to restart their profiles?

No. As new raters, a credit of three in the "Proficient" box will be given at each grade. As they execute reports, they will be able to view their profile in the Evaluations Entry System. They will be expected to manage their profile within the limits established, maintaining less than 50% in the "Excels" box.

Does the Evaluations Entry System display my rater projected profile?

No. It only tallies evaluations that you have submitted and evaluations you are working on where you have "locked in" a specific performance rating. Forecasting is the responsibility of the rater. Senior leaders should mentor their subordinates on how to forecast and manage profiles based on their experience. Tools are available here: profile management tools

How will the new rater profile affect officers and warrant officers in small populations where they are more likely to get ‘Proficient’ compared to their peers in other environments?

The statistical proportion of ratings is the same in small or large populations. In cases where small rated populations exist, Raters, like Senior Raters have done since 1997, must use their Rater comments and enumeration to paint the picture for the board. An Excels or a Most Qualified indication means the words are probably good- the question is how good are they? The comments section is the most important indicator of the quality of the report.

Note: The Rater profile has a label much like the Senior Rater profile. It will show the board what limitations the Rater had in terms of his profile. The accountability placed on the Rater forces them to identify their very best officers through development, counseling planning, and some tough decision-making.

How will the senior rater portion of the OER system change?

The Senior Rater profile system for LTCs and below remains a four-box system. Other than a relabeling of the Senior Rater box checks, the Senior Rater portion continues to operate using the Senior Rater Managed Profile Technique for these grades. The Senior Rater profile for these grades continues with the limitation of less than 50%. Senior Rater profiles in effect before 1 April 14 migrated to the new OER for LTC and below. COL grade profiles restarted because the math changed for the top two boxes.

Why didn’t we further stratify the senior rater block checks into the top 10%, 30%, and so on?

Tighter stratification was an option for the new evaluation system, but the Army does not want to foster an overly competitive environment among its officers. Also, the limitation of less than 50% translates to an average use of 37-42% depending on the grade. The lower numbers are indicative of Senior Raters correctly retaining a buffer of sorts to: 1) not misfire and 2) have room for unexpected reports like the recent CODE 19 HRC directed OER for the CPT OSB. Retaining a buffer is important as rating chains can change quickly as circumstances change, and maintaining space allows for the identification of the very best when "the plan" doesn’t work out.

Were senior rater profiles restarted as a result of the new labels?

No, Senior Raters retained their profile, except the O6's (COL) portion which was restarted due to a change in math calculations. Senior Raters of O6s are given a credit of 5 in the "Retain as Colonel" block. Senior Raters of O6 are limited to less than 24% in the "Multi-Star Potential" block and no more than 25-49% in the "Promote to BG" block. Senior Raters may choose not to give any "Multi-Star Potential" ratings and could give up to 49% in "Promote to BG", but Senior Raters cannot exceed a cumulative of 49% for both.

Can Commanders still sequence evaluations to support their profile management plan?

Yes, and they should carefully manage how they submit evaluations. The MISFIRE system is automatic. Unlike the previous system where Senior Raters were contacted to verify if the Misfire was a mistake that could be corrected with another lower-rated report, the MISFIRE warning is provided twice in EES and if the Senior Rater or his delegate submits anyway, the report is automatically downgraded and it still counts against the Senior Raters higher box check indication. Senior Raters can see their profile in real-time by selecting the BLUE profile indication when working on the Senior Rater box check portion of EES. The profile is calculated at the time the evaluation is "received" by HQDA, which in EES is as soon as the evaluation is submitted to HQDA. Raters have a different process because Senior Raters are managing a wider spectrum and sequence of when to submit. Raters can choose the rating up to 14 days before the THRU date (like signatures) and can "lock" it in. Once the indication is "locked" the rater profile will include that rating. If the Rater does not have the profile to support a specific rating, the system will not allow him/her to select it. Raters should avoid locking reports until they are sure the selected box is the rating they wish to give the Rated Officer. Unlocking the rating is difficult and must be requested through the Senior Rater to HQDA. See unlock rater profile process. Raters and Senior Raters must develop and counsel their rated officers, plan out their rating strategy, and manage their profiles such that they can identify their best and render the appropriate report at the right time.

I want to give an Officer a top rating but my profile doesn’t support it. What can I do?

Rating Officials should have a plan and look into the future for things like "When do my Officers compete for boards and when are the reports due?". Additionally, Rating Officials should maintain some room in their profile to account for surprises.

In situations where one can't give a top block, the narrative must communicate a clear picture of the leader’s intent. Leaders cannot mention anything like "I would have given him/her an Excel but my profile wouldn’t support it" or "He is a 6+ officer." Such language is prohibited, and the evaluation will be rejected or put on hold until the report has been corrected by the rating chain.

What is "pooling"?

Pooling is defined as creating larger rating populations by elevating the rating chain beyond the Senior Rater’s ability to know the Officer in an attempt to provide top box selection for a specific group such as commanders.

Why is "pooling" bad?

Army Senior Leadership wants to discourage pooling thereby codifying it into regulatory guidance. Pooling runs counter to the intent and spirit of the evaluation system. Properly designated rating officials are in an optimal position to provide the best evaluation of an officer’s performance. Creating larger rating populations by electing to evaluate officers who would, in the normal course of events, be senior rated by the first senior leader in their chain of command undermines the principles of the evaluation system.

How is the system preventing pooling directed in both the Army Regulation and directed by the CSA?

This will take leader involvement/oversight. That is the reason the CSA approved a process that requires rating schemes to be approved by the next level up to a LTG approving his subordinate 2-star commander‘s schemes.

We confirmed with HRC Evaluations Branch regarding the O6/COL report 2 managed top boxes (advertised as Multi-star Potential at 24%; Promote to BG at 25-49%) that the "MS Potential" is exactly 24.0% (not 24.99%). This means that the "Promote to BG" box would be 24.01-49.99% vs 25-49). Please confirm exact percentages so the profiles can be precisely managed.

Technically, the Promote to BG box could range from 0 to 49.9%; however, the Multi-star box may not exceed 23.99% of the total reports rendered. Cumulatively both Multi Star and Promote to BG taken together must be less than 50%.

With the current move to more facilities being Joint Bases, several issues have presented themselves concerning OERs. Many Senior Raters have a mixed group, for example, one US Army O3, 6 Navy O3, and 4 Air Force 02/O3. At the time of rating, the Senior Rater was then unable to give an above center mass rating to the single Army officer because to the command, the Senior Rater only had one army officer. Will the new system of OERs take that into account and fix the issue?

Board members are aware of immature profiles and take into consideration those Officers that are rated by Senior Raters with a small population of a particular rank. In situations of an immature profile, the Senior Rater can provide a strong narrative that will convey to the board that the officer is a top block officer.

Will Joint and Civilian Raters and Senior Raters have profiles?

YES. Joint and Civilian Raters and Senior Raters will operate under the same rules, and manage a profile, just like those in the Army. An Army Officer must review those evaluations rendered by a Joint Officer or Civilian to ensure accuracy and correctness. back to top

 

NCOER PROFILE

With a senior rater profile limited to 24%, when will a senior rater be able to render a second "MOST QUALIFIED" selection if they already utilized their "Silver bullet?" A third "MOST QUALIFIED?" A fourth "MOST QUALIFIED?"

Because the senior rater profile is limited to 24%, a senior rater can render a "MOST QUALIFIED" assessment for a particular grade (E-6 through E-9) as follows:

  • Any one of the first four reports

  • The second "MOST QUALIFIED" assessment no earlier than the ninth report (2 / 9 = 22.2%)

  • The third "MOST QUALIFIED" assessment no earlier than the thirteenth report (3 / 13 = 23.1%)

  • The fourth "MOST QUALIFIED" assessment no earlier than the seventeenth report (4 / 17 = 23.5%)

Does the senior rater profile have to be 23.999% and less or will 24.999% be allowed?

The senior rater profile cannot be greater than 24%, so 24.001% would exceed the profile limitation and result in a misfire.

Regarding the "Silver bullet" exception, does that still apply with the new senior rater profile limited to 24%?

Yes. A senior rater will still be able to render a "MOST QUALIFIED" selection for any one of the first four reports rendered for a particular grade (E-6 through E-9). In the event a senior rater does not render a "MOST QUALIFIED" selection for any of the first four reports, then the "Silver bullet" exception would not be needed for the fifth report or later.

Will the rater tendency and/or senior rater profile follow the rating official when he/she leaves the service and becomes a DOD employee as well?

Yes. The rating official’s profile is linked to the individual’s SSN or DOD ID Number and will follow him/her throughout their career no matter the component, even if there's a break in service, or if the rating official becomes a DA Civilian and meets the minimum grade requirement to be a senior rater.

What is pooling?

Pooling, or elevating the rating chain beyond the senior rater’s ability to have adequate knowledge of each Soldier’s performance and potential, to provide elevated assessment protection for a specific group, runs counter to the intent of the Evaluation Reporting System (ERS). Rating schemes based on pooling erode Soldiers’ confidence in the fairness of the ERS and their leaders. Senior raters must evaluate and identify their best Soldiers based on performance and potential, regardless of the particular position they occupy.

With the senior rater profile limited to 24%, won’t this encourage pooling to ensure the best talent is identified?

Both, the Chief of Staff of the Army and Sergeant Major of the Army, are adamant that leaders at every level establish and approve rating chains per AR 623-3. By doing so, commanders and key leaders ensure a fair and equitable system across the Army. Pooling violates AR 623-3 and it erodes Soldiers’ confidence in the system and their leaders. Not only can it affect good order and discipline within the unit, but there is also the potential for increased inspector general (IG) complaints and/or legal inquiries which may affect mission readiness.

If a SSG(P) was serving in an authorized SFC position, which rank would a rendered NCOER count towards when calculating the senior rater’s profile?

SFC.

What is the highest percentage a senior rater can maintain for "MOST QUALIFIED" ratings per grade?

24%.

What is the difference between the "MOST QUALIFIED" and "HIGHLY QUALIFIED" box checks?

The "MOST QUALIFIED" box check is limited to 24%.

What is an immature profile and a small population?

An immature profile is when the senior rater has rendered five (5) or fewer reports for a particular grade. A small population is when the senior rater’s population is three (3) or less for a particular grade.

If you don’t have a large population, can you say in the write-up that you don’t have the profile to give the Soldier a "MOST QUALIFIED" box check?

No. The report will be returned and/or amended if it contains prohibited comments.

Can a senior rater be switched due to a small population? For example, if a senior rater has a small population (one Soldier), can that rated NCO be rated by another senior rater who has more than three Soldiers?

No. The rater will be the immediate supervisor of the rated NCO and the senior rater will be the immediate supervisor of the rater. Changing the rated NCO’s designated senior rater (per regulatory guidelines) to another senior rater with a larger population would be considered "pooling," which is prohibited. Elevating the rating chain beyond the senior rater's ability to have adequate knowledge of each Soldier’s performance and potential, to provide elevated assessment protection for a specific group, runs counter to the intent of the evaluation reporting system and erodes Soldiers’ confidence in its leaders.

Describe the senior rater misfire.

A documented misfire occurs when the senior rater selects "MOST QUALIFIED" but the senior rater profile exceeds 24%.

What are the senior rater profile labeling rules?

Rule #1: If the senior rater checks the "HIGHLY QUALIFIED," "QUALIFIED," or "NOT QUALIFIED" box, then the report is always labeled as indicated on the form.

Rule #2: If the senior rater checks the "MOST QUALIFIED" box and the senior rater’s use of "MOST QUALIFIED" is equal to or less than 24%, then the report is labeled "MOST QUALIFIED."

Rule #3: "MISFIRE" – If the senior rater completes a .pdf-fillable NCOER and checks the "MOST QUALIFIED" box and the senior rater profile is greater than 24%, then the report is automatically downgraded and labeled "HIGHLY QUALIFIED" and the senior rater is charged with a "MOST QUALIFIED."

Senior rater submitted three evaluations ahead of the "MOST QUALIFIED" (to cover Rule #3), but the "MOST QUALIFIED" evaluation is going before a promotion board. How is this going to affect the senior rater profile if evaluations going before the board are a priority?

There is no negative effect on the senior rater’s profile since the profile calculation takes place the moment the senior rater submits the completed evaluation to HQDA. The evaluation sequence is based on the (digital date stamp) at the time of submission regardless of the type or purpose of the evaluation.

When does the senior rater profile update to get the profile warning in EES? Is it when the rated NCO or senior rater signs the evaluation or when the evaluation is submitted to HQDA?

The senior rater profile is calculated and updated at the time evaluations are "received" by HRC. The senior rater will get the profile warning in EES if the attempted box check would result in a misfire (senior rater profile exceeds 24%) when the profile is recalculated on submission of the report.

Is there still availability for profile managers to send a by-name reconciliation report to HRC to ensure the numbers on the senior rater profile match the evaluations they are tracking have been submitted?

HRC will send the senior rater a copy of their profile upon written (email) request from the senior rater.

If the senior rater’s rater is a DA CIV and is not managing the profile correctly (several misfires), will an HQDA memo be generated for them as well for "failure to manage profile" and if so, where will it be sent?

When a senior rater fails to manage their profile properly, a notification letter indicating noncompliance may be submitted to the senior rater’s chain of command. This occurs regardless of status or organization.

What section of iPERMS will the misfire memo be filed in and will it be viewable to HR managers?

Disciplinary memos are sent to that senior rater’s chain of command for documented misfires. Disciplinary memos for misfires are not filed in iPERMS; however, timeliness reports are filed in the performance section of the senior rater’s AMHRR.

How many misfires can occur before a memo is placed in the senior rater’s AMHRR?

Disciplinary memos for misfires are not filed in AMHRR; however, timeliness reports are filed in the performance section of the senior rater’s AMHRR. Disciplinary memos are sent to that senior rater’s chain of command for documented misfires.

Can the senior rater profile report be updated to track the number of misfires?

The complete senior rater profile (DASH 2), which can be found on ERS, will contain the documented misfires.

How many misfires can be received before the disciplinary memo is sent to the chain of command?

One. If it’s due to the fault of the rating official and not the system.

For military technicians with dual status, are their profiles combined?

Yes. All personnel, regardless of status or component, will maintain a profile for each grade they render reports for.

How long does the profile exist?

The profile is maintained indefinitely.

If an evaluation is mailed to HRC and downgraded, is that based on the date received?

It is based on the rating official's profile at the time the mailed-in evaluation is received at HRC. back to top

 

NCOER RATER TENDENCY

What is the rater tendency report?

The rater tendency report tracks the rater’s rating history for each rank the rater assesses (SSG through CSM/SGM). Note: The rater tendency label is specific to the grade of the rated NCO and the NCOER being rendered.

The rater tendency applies to which component and grade plate NCOERs?

The rater tendency applies to all components (Regular Army, Reserve, National Guard) and is maintained for all raters on the organizational- and strategic-level reports (SSG through CSM/SGM).

Is the rater tendency constrained?

No. The rater tendency is unconstrained (i.e., no limitation).

How/where exactly does a rater or senior rater go to see one of their subordinate rater's rater tendencies in EES? (e.g., A company commander wants to see the rater tendency of his platoon leaders to use in counseling.)

The rater’s tendency will be available for the rating officials in EES through the support form.

Is the rater tendency report already templated to show the grades of NCOs, or will a grade only show up in the report once you have rendered a report for that grade?

Grades will only show once a rating official has rendered a report for that grade.

Does the rater tendency label get placed on the report at HRC, and who can view it?

Yes. The rater tendency label is placed on the completed evaluation at HRC. The rated NCO can see it once the report has been posted into iPERMS, and their rating officials can view this tendency label in EES. It will also be viewable to DA Centralized Selection Boards.

Will there be an example of what a good rater tendency should look like?

As of right now, the rater tendency is unconstrained. Based on Army guidance to identify the best talent and the performance measures descriptions, the rater is responsible for managing a credible rater tendency that reflects honest and accurate assessments of those they rate.

If we are trying to eliminate inflation, why are we not making the rater tendency constrained when they are assessing performance?

The Army promotes potential. In the future, Army leadership may elect to implement a rater profile similar to the one incorporated for the OER in April 2014.

When does the rater tendency get locked in?

Once the rater signs the report, the rater's tendency is locked in.

If the rater tendency label is unconstrained and there is no mechanism in place to enforce dispersion of ratings, how will this possibly yield effective rater tendency? Is there a specific effect that will result from a rater tending to rate all personnel high? If so what exactly is it?

The rater tendency emphasizes the rater’s role and responsibility to provide credible information (i.e., honest and accurate assessments) to HQDA. The rater tendency report will be authorized for placement (first-page summary) in the rater’s Army Military Human Resource Record (AMHRR) and may be updated annually or as necessary. There is a feature within the Evaluation Entry System (EES) that allows the rater’s rater and senior rater to view the rater’s rater tendency report. This will allow the rater’s rating chain to provide oversight and guidance to ensure the rater is managing his/her rater tendency per Army guidance.

Can the senior rater see the rater’s tendency as they provide their senior rater input? If not, how are they expected to mentor raters on their rater tendency responsibilities?

There is a feature within the Evaluation Entry System (EES) tath allows the rater’s rater and senior rater to view the rater’s rater tendency report. This will allow the rater’s rating chain to provide oversight and guidance to ensure the rater is managing his/her rater tendency per Army guidance. back to top


References

Army Human Resources Command. (2022, March 24). Profiling FAQs. Retrieved from HRC: https://www.hrc.army.mil/content/Profiling%20FAQs


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