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«U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Program Support Center Human Resources Service Division of Commissioned Personnel 5600 Fishers Lane, ...»

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Officers are expected to assume the financial costs of completing appropriate continuing education as well as to assume the financial cost of maintaining an appropriate license. The Corps strongly supports the concept of current licensure and, in fact, requires that licenses be maintained for certain professionals. The Corps also supports the concept of continuing education. In neither case is the Corps obliged to pay for these items. The Corps does not pay for licensure exams or for renewals of licenses. Where possible, OPDIVs do provide time (with pay) or in some cases financial reimbursement for some or all of the costs of short-term training courses for continuing education purposes. This should be explored on a case-by-case basis with the OPDIV prior to committing funds.


PHS officers bear the responsibility of having and maintaining valid credentials appropriate for their profession. PHS officers who are required to maintain current and unrestricted license/certification must continue to do so, even if the billet they occupy does not require the delivery of health care services.

Officers must submit to the Licensure Technician in DCP a copy of their current license/certificate for inclusion in their OPF and for data entry into the licensure tracking system. The expiration date of the license/certification must be clearly visible and the officer's PHS serial number must be written in the lower right-hand corner of the copy.

A copy of the officer's license/certification must be sent to DCP at the following address:

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----------------------------------------------------------------The PHS uniform is an integral part of Service life. The Surgeon General (SG) has directed the wearing of the uniform for all officers at least once a week. Each OPDIV has designated one or more Local Uniform Authorities (LUA). OPDIVs and the Local Uniform Authorities can and have required more frequent wearing of the uniform. The LUA may also prescribe the types of uniforms that may be worn within a given area. The SG is the LUA for the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.

Refer to the CCPM and to CCPM Pamphlet No. 61, “Information on Uniforms,” for detailed information.

An officer may be entitled to a one-time uniform allowance. A memorandum requesting the allowance must contain a statement certifying that wearing of the uniform is required by the officer's OPDIV. The officer's

social security number must be included. The memo should be forwarded to:

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The allowance will be included in the officer's monthly pay.

It is imperative that commissioned officers wear the uniform properly and adhere to the grooming standards.

Officers who wear the uniform improperly or who exhibit a careless attitude toward their personal appearance bring discredit to themselves and to the Service and subject themselves to disciplinary action.

Officers are expected to become familiar with military courtesy and customs. While in uniform, appropriate behavior is expected.

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CCPM Citation:


INSTRUCTION 4, Subchapter CC23.5, CCPM, "Billet Program"

----------------------------------------------A. DEFINITION In the Uniformed Services, a billet is a brief description of the major duties, responsibilities, and requirements of a particular job or position. These duties and responsibilities are documented in a "Billet Description," form PHS-4392.


Like the other Uniformed Services, the commissioned corps is a rank-in-officer system. This means that the rank or pay grade is vested in the officer irrespective of the officer's current billet or assignment.

This is a fundamental Uniformed Services personnel principle which facilitates assignment flexibility and mobility. The commissioned corps consists of health professionals who serve in a wide variety of assignments in over 500 geographic locations. Flexibility to meet the mission goals of the Corps is an important element. In addition, as an officer earns a higher rank, good personnel management requires that the duties of the officer be expanded commensurate with the higher rank. Where discrepancies exist between an officer's grade and level of responsibility, efforts must be undertaken to correct the inconsistencies.

The billet system is structured upon a series of standard billets. Standard billets help insure that the duties of officers similarly situated are similarly structured; career progression is provided; career development is promoted; and grades are based upon agreed-upon factors that provide for responsible progression. Standard billets also allow for input from the professional category representatives and OPDIV personnel officials.


PHS has a management responsibility to ensure that programs are effectively and efficiently managed.

Accomplishing this goal requires, among other things, sound personnel planning and administration and effective human resource utilization. One important factor in achieving good management is the availability of information about the duties, level of responsibilities, and qualification requirements of

billets occupied by commissioned officers. Billets aid in:

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2. Providing management with a uniform tool for identifying immediate and long-range human resource requirements according to OPDIV organizational lines, as an integral part of the management of the commissioned corps personnel system;

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1. Standard Categorical Billets developed by the appropriate categorical Professional Advisory Committee (PAC);

2. OPDIV-Specific Billets developed by the interested OPDIV; or

3. Nonstandard Billets developed by the program as unique that must be reviewed and certified (aligned) by the OPDIV's civil service personnel office using the OPDIV's Billet Evaluation Guide.


Officers in nonclinical billets who perform part-time clinical duties in Federal or Non-Federal facilities

as part of their official duties should have the following added to their billets:

"As directed and approved by his/her supervisors, the incumbent may perform clinical duties of his/her profession in Federal or Non-Federal health care facilities. The requirement to perform such duty will be documented by the issuance of orders or by memoranda of assignment."

Federal tort coverage does not pertain to officers who engage in clinical practice in a non-Federal site unless that practice is part of the officer's official duty assignment. Therefore, officers engaging in outside work activities that are not part of their official duties should obtain their own malpractice insurance coverage or be covered by the institution for whom they provide a service. All outside activities that are part of the billet or not shall be documented on form HHS-520, "Request for Approval of Outside Activity."

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Following is the billet addendum for officers assigned to the DMAT administered by PHS:

“The following officers in the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service (PHS) are assigned to a Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) that is administered under the aegis of the Office of Emergency Preparedness, Office of Public Health and Science, Department of Health and Human Services.

Officers assigned to the DMAT are subject to temporary duty assignments to provide clinical and other health care services in times of national or international emergency that require Federal health and medical assistance. In addition, these officers engage in training programs to prepare for deployment under emergency circumstances.

While engaged in PHS-supported training duties or performing temporary duty assignments during emergencies, PHS commissioned officers assigned to the DMAT employ their skills and special training as health professionals. Thus, PHS officers assigned to the DMAT are functioning within their scope of their official duties and this statement is incorporated by reference as part of the PHS billet.”


When a supervisor or program manager requests an officer to perform duties outside the scope of the billet description, the new duties should be documented through a travel order, memorandum of assignment, or some other written agreement. Failure to document these new duties leaves the officer unprotected in the event he/she is injured during the special duties, he/she is charged with malpractice, or some other adverse legal claim is made against the officer or program because of the duties performed.


The billet program is designed to provide for equity and objectivity in the management of commissioned officers. The billet program is not intended to impose a rigid position classification system on the Corps.

The Corps has the flexibility to assign officers to a variety of billets so long as the assignment serves the needs of PHS. For example, if the interests of PHS are clearly served, junior officers with exceptional skills can be assigned to billets rated above their pay grades.

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The Billet Total, item 2C on form PHS-4392, is a fixed number for each grade.

This is a further effort at standardizing billets across categories and OPDIVs. For example, all nonsupervisory O-5 billets have a total score of 400. The only place this number appears is on the billet. When a Promotion Information Report (PIR) is printed, only the equivalent grade (e.g.,O-5) is printed, not the total score.

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CCPM Citation:


INSTRUCTION 1, Subchapter CC25.1, CCPM, "Performance Evaluation"

-----------------------------------------A. INTRODUCTION The Commissioned Officers' Effectiveness Report (COER) is highly important to the career of every officer. It is the major source of information concerning each officer's Service performance and work record.

The report is extensively used in the evaluation of officers for various personnel actions. All boards -including promotion, retirement, assimilation, 3-year file review, and involuntary retirement and separation -- must rely on the report when evaluating officers. When important career decisions concerning assignments, training, or utilization, are made about an officer, the COERs of candidates are reviewed.

The report is also basic to fulfilling an important supervisory responsibility: that of the discussion of an officer's performance with him/her. Such discussions provide officers with an opportunity to learn of management's assessment of their strong and weak points, and overcome perceived performance and/or attitudinal deficiencies, in order to increase their value to the Service. Moreover, the COER is utilized by DCP as an adjunct in processing both positive and adverse actions that are initiated by program officials. Therefore, it is imperative both to the officer and to the Service, that reports be candid and objective since they are the basis for personnel actions involving assignment, promotion, and retention. Although underrating the officer may affect his/her career, overrating is of dubious benefit as it may lead to assignments and promotions for which the officer is not qualified and compromises requests for involuntary separation.


The COER and its instructions are normally sent to active-duty officers in May of each year.

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