Civilian Personnel Advisory Center (CPAC)- Appointment Types

Permanent Appointments in the Competitive Service

Most permanent appointments begin as career-conditional. Career-conditional employees attain career tenure after completing three years of substantially continuous creditable service. The first year of a career-conditional appointment is a probationary period that is used to determine the new employee’s suitability as a Federal government employee.

Permanent Appointments in the Excepted Service

Some Federal employees begin their Federal careers in the excepted service. Appointments in the Excepted service are acquired either by virtue of the position held or by virtue of the legal authority used for appointment. For example, if you are a Veteran’s Recruitment Authority (VRA) appointee or hired under Schedule A authority for employment of physically handicapped individuals, you are appointed to the excepted service for two years. After serving in the excepted service for the required two years, and with your supervisor’s recommendation, you will be converted to the competitive service. An additional year of service is then required before you make career tenure.

Within the Department of the Army, certain positions such as Attorney-Advisors and Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel Systems (DCIPS) positions are classified as excepted service. Persons employed in one of these positions are considered to be in the excepted service for the duration of their service. The first year of an excepted service appointment is a trial period that is used to determine the new employee’s suitability as a Federal government employee.

Time-Limited Appointments

Temporary and TERM appointments are time-limited appointments and confer no status or competitive appointment eligibility. A temporary appointment is limited to one year or less. A TERM appointment is limited to 13 months or more, but not more than 4 years.


Temporary employees may be terminated at any time with 7 days’ written notice. As a temporary employee, you are not eligible for promotion. You earn annual leave if your appointment is over 90 days and you earn sick leave regardless of the length of the appointment. However, if you are on an intermittent work schedule, you do not earn either annual leave or sick leave. Temporary employees are not eligible for life insurance. Should your appointment be extended past one year, you will become eligible for health benefits.


Term employees are required to serve a one-year trial period and can be terminated with a 7 days’ written notice while serving the trial period. Once the trial period is completed and, (if) it becomes necessary to terminate the appointment earlier than the established not-to-exceed date of the Term appointment, employees are entitled to receive a 30 days’ written notice of termination. As a TERM employee, you are eligible for promotion. You earn annual and sick leave and are eligible for both health and life insurance.