Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act

Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act (LMWFA) allows qualified individuals serving under time-limited appointments in a land management agency to compete for permanent positions in the competitive service.


Current and former temporary and term employees in the competitive service of land management agencies may be eligible to apply to Internal Merit Promotion (NPS and DOI-wide) positions if:

1. They were appointed using competitive procedures;

2. They have served under one or more time-limited appointments in a land management agency for a period or periods totaling more than 24 months without a break of two or more years;

3. Their performance was at an acceptable level throughout the service periods and their most recent separation was for reasons other than misconduct or performance

Applicants can find more information at the USAJobs description of Land Management Eligibility

Required Documents

Applicants must submit all SF-50s and job performance documentation of the qualifying employment with their applications.


Former employees can request SF-50s by emailing with their name, the last four digits of their Social Security Number, and a mailing address to receive the documents. If the mailing address is not in NPS records, you may be asked to fill out additional paperwork authorizing the release of personnel documents. DO NOT include your entire SSN or date of birth. Requests will be processed and documents mailed USPS within seven business days. It is the responsibility of the applicant to verify that the documents justify the requirements for eligibility before uploading them to USAJobs. Please do not wait until the last minute to request SF-50s. Current employees can access their SF-50s through their eOPF account.

Performance Documentation

Applications must also submit performance documentation, which can be obtained by contacting the supervisors for the positions you served in during your 24 months. If they did not complete performance appraisals ask them to provide a statement of performance for each period of service. The statement must specify the dates for each employment period and your level of performance (dates should match the dates on the SF-50s).

Frequently Asked Questions
Questions addressing "Eligibility"
Is the eligibility requirement 'a minimum of 24 months' or 'more than 24, months'?

RESPONSE: Applicants must have served under 1 or more time-limited appointments by a land
management agency for a period totaling more than 24 months without a break in service of 2
or more years. 24 months and 1 day is considered more than 24 months.

Is the break in service 2 consecutive years? For example: if the employee has worked 4 consecutive seasons for 5 months, and would then have a 7 month break in service each year, do you count up each break in service or is It if they have been off the roles for 2 consecutive years?

RESPONSE: Yes, the break in service must be a consecutive 2-year break in service. In other
words, an individual must not have any one break of service that exceeds 2 years during the 24-
month period for which the individual is establishing eligibility.

Does it matter if applicants were full-time, part-time, or intermittent during the time period used to equal 24 months?

RESPONSE: No. The determining factor is based on the applicant's appointment period not
their work schedule.

Does the applicant need to meet the 24-month requirement by the closing date of the

RESPONSE: Yes. The applicant must meet the 24-month requirement by the closing date of the

Can individuals in Excepted Appointments (like Pathways Interns and Fire appointments) be
considered as land management eligibles?

RESPONSE: Time employed under Excepted appointments is not Competitive Service, and so that time does not count toward the 24-month requirement. Some applicants may possess time covered under both Excepted and Competitive service. Their Comptetive Service would still count in determining eligibility.

As an example: An excepted service appointment is not creditable for the 24 month
requirement, but any competitive service time-limited appointments are creditable as long as
they did not have a break in service that exceeded 2 years.
To demonstrate a service history:
. Exe Appt NTE (30 days) [Not creditable] - (such as Pathways Interns and Fire
. Appt NTE 1039 hours (8 mos) [Creditable]
. Break in service of 5 mos [ok < 2ys]
. Appt NTE 1039 hours (6 mos) [Creditable]
· Break in service of 14 mos [ok < 2ys]
. Term Apt NTE (13mos) [Creditable]
· Ext of Term Appt (11 mos) [Creditable]
This is also true of our temporary fire-fighters who have many years in the excepted service but
will now be appointed under competitive service appointments.

Are individuals In Temporary Appointments Less than 1040 hours eligible to qualify under the Act?

RESPONSE: Employees in Temporary Appointments less than 1040 hours who meet the
eligibility requirements under that Act can apply for consideration.

Is time spent in non-pay by Career Seasonal employees considered a break in service.

RESPONSE: Career seasonal employees are not in time-limited appointments, and therefore are
not eligible for consideration under the Act.

Is verification made by using all SF-50s of current and former employees?

RESPONSE: Yes. Applicants are required to provide all SF-SO's necessary to determine eligibility.
The SF-SOs must validate that the individual served under 1 or more time-limited appointments
with a land management agency for a period totaling more than 24 months without a break in
service of 2 or more consecutive years. In determining eligibility SHROs will consider all time

Are land management eligibles subject to time-in-grade requirements?

RESPONSE: No, land management eligibles are not required to meet time-in-grade
requirements as referenced in PB No. 16-03.

Wouldn't all those hired under this authority be career conditional? Would there ever be a case for hiring them as career, or would all appointments under this authority be career-conditional?

RESPONSE: An individual appointed under this flexibility becomes a career-conditional
employee, unless the employee has otherwise completed the service requirements for career

Can parks limit the eligible candidates, for any purpose? For example, can parks limit the area of consideration to only those who became eligible via an NPS appointment?

RESPONSE: No. The agency does not have the authority to limit eligibility. All land
management eligible applicants who apply under internal merit promotion announcements, and
who provide all of the appropriate documentation to determine eligibility must be considered
with other applicants, regardless of the "Area of Consideration/Who May Apply" language
included in the announcement.

Can LMWFA eligibles apply to DOI only, local commuting area only announcements?

RESPONSE: Yes. LMWFA eligible applicants can be considered when applying to DOI-wide
announcements. If the vacancy is advertised in the local commuting area only, the LMWFA
candidate must meet that requirement, as well.

Can reference checks done by the hiring manager be used to determine if someone is qualified to make it onto the cert.?

RESPONSE: No. Reference checks are not used to validate applicant qualifications.

To be eligible for consideration, an applicant must provide proof that they currently serve or have previously served in a land management agency, and were initially hired under competitive examining procedures to a time- limited appointment. Is this referring to the first time the individual accepted employment with a land management agency, or is this referring to the time-limited (temp/term) position being used to consider them under this flexibility?

Response: The term "the employee was appointed initially under open, competitive
examination" is referring to the temporary/term appointment(s) that is being used to consider
the individual for eligibility under this flexibility, not to the individual's first job with a land
management agency.

Questions addressing ''Vacancy Announcements"
Can a seasonal NPS employee apply to a FWS announcement? If we open up an announcement open to DOI - can any land management seasonal employees apply to It?

Response: The LMWFA applies only to vacancy announcements advertised internally to the
agency's workforce. The agency is defined as the Department of Interior. As such, The Act is applicable
to job vacancy announcements opened within the Department of Interior and any of its Bureaus. In addition, the U.S. Forest Service within the Department of Agriculture has been identified as a land management agency.
A seasonal NPS employee can apply to a FWS announcement and if an announcement is open to DOI, any land management eligible can apply.

Is it feasible for NPS to Implement a processing po/Icy to put a remark on Resignation/Termination SF 50s for temporary/term employees that reflect the employee performed at an acceptable level during the period of service?

Response: In accordance with the Department's interim guidance, the NPS will require the
following remark on the final SF-50 for each period of time-limited competitive service an
employee completes with an acceptable level of performance:
"The employee's service was at an acceptable level of performance throughout this period of

Probationary Period: It states under the act that Individuals selected automatically acquire
competitive status to the permanent position. Further clarification is required on this section. Under the PL 114-47, it does not make specific reference to this. If the person is eligible under career conditional appointment only, how have they fulfilled the probationary period?

Response: According to PB 16-03, under the Act, individuals selected for appointment
automatically acquire non-probationary competitive status upon appointment to the permanent

This is a competitive appointment, do positions covered by ACWA have to be tested under ACWA? (e.g. PLC, Amer/Corps, etc.)

Response: Yes, positions covered by ACWA require the ACWA test to be administered. SHROs
would be required to administer the ACWA exam to all land management eligibles. All LMWFA eligibles would be required to take the ACWA assessment.

How would an applicant determine if they were in the competitive service?

Response: Applicants can determine if they are within in the competitive service by examining
their Standard Form 50. The information is covered under the Position Data section. An entry of "1" in block number 34 indicates that the applicant is in the competitive service.

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Last updated: March 4, 2019