NRAP Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the NOAA Rotational Assignment Program (NRAP)?
- What is the purpose of the NRAP program?
- Why does NOAA offer this program?
- Who is eligible to apply for an NRAP assignment?
- Do I need my supervisor's approval to participate in the NRAP program?
- Do you forward the names of Applicants whose Supervisors did not approve their participation in NRAP?
- How do I apply for an NRAP assignment?
- Which assignments may I apply for?
- Can I apply to an Assignment in a higher grade?
- How often may I participate in the NRAP program?
- Is a Personnel Action (SF-52) required for an NRAP assignment?
- What are the responsibilities of the Participant, the Home Office Supervisor, and the Host Office Supervisor?
- Who's responsible for the Participant's time and attendance, pay, and performance evaluation?
- Can I earn compensatory time, credit hours, or overtime?
- What happens if two Host Office Supervisors want the same Applicant?
- If I'm not matched to an Assignment, will you tell me about other Assignments that are still open?
- Can several people fill one Assignment at the same time or back to back?
- What is the latest date I can begin an Assignment?
- May an NRAP assignment be extended?
- What materials do I receive before I begin my Assignment?
- How do you track/monitor Assignments throughout the year?
- Who do I contact if I have questions about NRAP?
Answer: NRAP is a competitive, NOAA-wide employee development program offering short-term rotational assignments to employees at all grade levels away from their regular position. NRAP offers rotational assignments in all occupational areas that support NOAA's missions. An NRAP assignment typically last from 3 to 6 months, but may not exceed 12 months.
Answer: The purpose of the NRAP program is to provide rotational assignments for NOAA employees to gain knowledge, broaden skills, and enhance professional growth. Assignments are structured to provide a developmental opportunity for the participant.
Answer: NOAA is committed to promoting a corporate culture and to developing the NOAA workforce to its fullest potential. NRAP is intended to promote cross-line, cross-disciplinary experiences that broaden employees' understanding of NOAA's goals, missions, and organizational structures.
Answer: NRAP is open to all NOAA federal employees in permanent, full-time or part-time, civilian positions who are in pay band, general schedule, wage grade, or wage marine pay schedules. The employee must have a "meets or exceeds expectations" rating on their last performance review and be willing to accept Assignments that require relocating temporarily (for example, a different region if the Host Office pays your way or a different building). A Wage Mariner (WM) employee may participate in an NRAP Assignment that is developed strictly for WM employees, only within OMAO. Employees serving in term positions and contractors are not eligible to apply for NRAP.
Answer: Yes, Supervisor approval is required to participate in the NRAP program. You do not need your Supervisor's approval to apply for an Assignment, but it is best to discuss the idea first and secure preliminary approval. You and your Supervisor will receive an email confirming that you applied for NRAP Assignments. In response to that email, your Supervisor's approval is required for your application to be considered. Again, it is strongly recommended that you discuss your interest in the NRAP program before applying.
Answer: No. If a Home Office Supervisor does not approve an Applicant to participate in NRAP, the application stops there.
Answer: A Call for NRAP Applications and instructions on how to apply is emailed to all NOAA employees once a year.
Answer: Most NOAA employees may apply for any NRAP Assignment submitted by any NOAA Line/Staff Office. The exceptions are Wage Mariners who must apply within OMAO, and employees who are in term positions. If you apply to an Assignment above your level of responsibility (e.g., ZA-2, GS-12), you must also explain in your application how the Assignment will meet your learning needs.
Answer: Yes, you may apply for Assignments above your grade level. Your online application must include a statement about why you feel you are qualified and how that Assignment will meet your learning needs.
Answer: It is recommended that an employee participate in the NRAP program, at most, once every 3 years. However, you may participate more frequently, if your Supervisor approves.
Answer: NRAP Assignments are developmental not "details," so a SF-52 is not required.
- Joint Responsibilities - The Host Office Supervisor, the Home Office Supervisor, and the Participant jointly decide on the Assignment's length and its start and end date.
- Host Office Supervisor Responsibilities -
- Work with the Participant to ensure a worthwhile experience,
- Pay for any travel and lodging expenses related to the Assignment.
- Provide the Home Office Supervisor input into the Participant's performance review(s).
- Home Office Supervisor Responsibilities -
- Ensure coverage of the employee's position while the Participant is on Assignment
- Continue to be responsible for the Participant's time and attendance, paying salary, and conducting performance reviews.
- Participant Responsibilities -
- Completing the Assignment as agreed-upon, unless unusual circumstances arise.
Answer: The NRAP Participant's Home Office is responsible for recording the NRAP Participant's time and attendance, paying the Participant's salary, and completing the Participant's performance review (with input from the Host Office).
Answer: NRAP Participants are strongly discouraged from accruing compensatory, credit, or overtime hours. Compensatory or overtime must be paid by the Participant's Home Office. All requests for compensatory, credit, or overtime hours must be approved in advance by the Home Office Supervisor before it's earned.
Answer: In this situation, the Applicant picks the Assignment they prefer. Or the Applicant may do Assignments back to back (so long the combined time does not exceed a year). Two Supervisors in the same Host Office may decide to blend the duties into one Assignment. The point of NRAP is to bring about a valuable Assignment for all parties.
Answer: No. Between the three options you select, we usually find you an Assignment.
Answer: Yes, but the maximum length of the Assignment is 12 months.
Answer: An email will be sent to Participants to notify them that they are matched, and the 1-year clock starts ticking that day; Assignments must be completed within the year.
Answer: Yes, an Assignment may be extended if, at the end of an Assignment, the Home and Host Offices agree to extend the time. However, an NRAP Assignment may not exceed 12 months, including any extensions. Be sure to keep the Host Office NRAP Coordinator updated on any extension requests and the outcome.
- Learning Agreement (.docx, 22KB) - clarifies what Participants will do while on their Assignment; how those tasks fit their career goals; how the Assignment will benefit the Home Office, the Host Office, and NOAA; and any financial arrangements between the Home and Host Office. This must be completed the first week of the Assignment and sent to both the Host and Home Office NRAP Coordinators.
- Host Supervisor Evaluation Form (.docx, 21KB) - captures an evaluation of a NRAP Participant in terms of work habits, products and outputs, and overall performance during the Assignment. It should be given to the Host Office Supervisor and, when completed, forwarded to the Home Office Supervisor. Participants must ensure this evaluation is completed and forwarded.
- NRAP Program Guide (.docx, 37KB) - explains NRAP and the roles and expectations for Participants, Host Supervisors, and Home Supervisors.
Answer: Participants' work is tracked via the Learning Agreement and the Host Supervisor Evaluation Form.
Answer: Please contact your Line/Staff Office NRAP Coordinator.