Term to Permanent Conversion (Career Service)


Effective Date: Expiration Date: Chapters:
Jan. 29, 2015 When Superseded 2  


NOTE:This instruction provides procedural guidance on the non-competitive conversion of a Term Appointment to a Career Service Permanent Appointment.

This instruction provides procedural guidance for the non-competitive conversion of Career Service employees from term appointments, acquired through open competition, to permanent appointments.

Term Appointments

In general, the personnel authority may appoint an individual to a Career Service position for a defined period of time of more than one year and no more than four years. These limited-time appointments are referred to as "term appointments."

An employee continuously serving on a term appointment for more than four (4) years, which was not acquired through open competition and is not supported by grant funds, may be provided an opportunity to compete for a regular Career Service appointment.

Term appointments may be made non-competitively for positions at grade 12 or lower. Term appointments to positions at grade 13 or higher, must be made through open competition.

Conversion to Permanent Appointment

With some exceptions, employees may not serve ìn a term appointment for more than four years. Whenever an employee has continuously served in a term appointment for four or more years, the agency shall either:

  1. Separate the employee from District government service by allowing the term to expire; or
  2. If the employee was appointed to the term position through open competition, convert the employee to a regular Career Service appointment with permanent status.
NOTE: Conversion of a term appointment to permanent appointment may be done without competition so long os the employee secured his or her current term appointment through open competition.


Some grant-funded positions warrant the use of a term appointment for the same employee for more than four years. For example, a grant may be provided for a specific project for a period of more than four years. These exceptions must be approved, in writing, by the personnel authority. 



Agencies must monitor their workforce and take action when an employee has sewed continuously in term appointments for four or more years.

Agencies shall not extend an additional term appointment to any employee who has served in a term position for four or more years. However, rather than separating the employee, an agency may convert a term appointment to a permanent Career Service appointment if:

  1. The employee was appointed to the position from which he or she is being converted through open competition;
  2. The agency has sufficient local appropriated funds to support the position; and
  3. The employee is performing permanent services.

HR Advisor

Whenever an agency elects to convert an employee's appointment from term to permanent, prior to processing the conversion, the agency's HR Advisor shall:

  1. Verify that the employee was appointed to his or her position through open competition;
  2. Verify that the employee's performance is at least at valued performer level or its equivalent, and that he or she has had no significant disciplinary action (corrective or adverse) within one year of the proposed conversion date;
  3. Obtain an updated and sþed DC2000 Employment Application (or its equivalent);
  4. Prepare the personnel action request to convert the employee to a Career Service (permanent) appointment and include the following supporting documentation:
    1. DCHR SF No. 32-02, Checklist for Submissions of Competitive & NonCompetitive Recruitment Âctions to DCHR/Ptiotity Consideration Clearance for Non-Competitive Term Appointments;
    2. Office of the City Administrator Waiver Approval;
    3. Approved position number;
    4. Signed DC2000 Employment Application (or equivalent);
    5. Copy of Proposed Offer Letter; and
    6. Certified Position Description & Optional Form 8.
  5. Review the employment application to ensure that the employee being considered meets the qualification requirements for the position; and
  6. Transmit the personnel action request and supporting document to the DCHR Recruitment box at dchr.recruitment@dc.gov

Department of Human Resources

Upon receiving conversion requests, the Department of Human Resources (DCHR) shall verify that the position held by the employee, which is being converted to a permanent position, was secured through open competition. DCHR shall also verify that the employee meets all the conversion críteria outlined above. The followìng supporting documentation can be used as verification of open competition:

  1. A copy of the vacancy announcement the employee was selected from; or
  2. A copy of all the relevant term appointment Notification of Personnel Action (Standard Form 50) that establishes the employee secured his or her position through open competition.

Collective Bargaining Agreements

The provisions of a collective bargaining agreement shall take precedence over the provisions of this instruction for those employees covered by the agreement, to the extent that there is a conflict.


Inquiries concerning the provisions of this DPM instruction can be directed to the Administration for Recruitment and Classification Services, DCHR, at (202) 442-9700.


  1. I-8-73