Standard Employee Performance Appraisal Plans (EPAPs) Resources


Make your Employee Performance Appraisal Plans (EPAP) reflect the work you and your staff are really doing and become more marketable with NPS standardized EPAP language.

EPAP Resources

Position Description Standard Language


These five templates contain revised language based on the Foundations of Interpretation Competencies for the 21st Century, version 2018:

  1. Fully Successful Descriptions for Common Duties – Use to tailor EPAPs to park-employee circumstances
  2. EPAP – Park Guide (Interpretation)
  3. EPAP – Park Ranger (Interpretation)
  4. EPAP – Supervisory Park Ranger (Interpretation)
  5. EPAP – Chief (Interpretation)

 Collateral Duty Standard Language

Discussion Groups

Additional Information

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  1. The supervisors and managers for the Division of Interpretation and Education at my park have been meeting to discuss, revise, and implement new Employee Performance Appraisal Plans for the past twelve months, using these templates as a launching point. While they have required some adapting to fit our park/program, having a set of standard EPAPs has been invaluable.


  2. I am in favor of “standardizing” standards, out of fairness to the employee. I find that there is a vast difference between what is expected of different employees in the same park, and at the same position and grade. So I was excited to see that the NE Region has begun to do write EPAP templates, and its efforts are being shared with other regions. But I was surprised to see that the suggested EPAP standards for Park Guide and Park Ranger are the same. In small parks like mine the guides and rangers do the same work, but their pay is not the same. If a guide and a ranger are doing the same work, shouldn’t something that is EXPECTED of rangers be considered “superior” or “exceptional” for guides? I understand that employees need to be activated to align their performance with the new style of interpretation, but how do you justify expecting some of these actions (for “minimally successful” even!) when they don’t match the position description the person was furnished when they were hired? Am I the only one who sees this as bait-and-switch? In the private sector, employees are motivated to achieve excellence, but the lack of career advancement opportunities for park guides make these new EPAP standards seem unfair to park guides.

    Also it’s important to note that “minimally successful” is the new baseline in these standards. Two is the new three. The goals for changing the EPAP listed in “About the Standard EPAPs” are all worthy objectives, but this “grade deflation” leads me to believe that an unacknowledged goal is decreasing the number of employees who are given performance awards. And, if you are minimally successful, you do not qualify for a WIGI!

    I hate to be a naysayer, but according to the EPAP handbook, the standards should be fair, achievable, based on the position description, and created with input from the employee. These standards don’t seem to be any of these things.

  3. @smarrone – I think that’s a valid concern, and it’s one that on a broad level there are tons of people working on. The position descriptions for the GS-09 0025 series are in the process of being revised (next week – October 11th – in fact) to better align with the work happening in the field and the new interpretive standards. The timeline for those revisions is extremely aggressive, which is awesome.

    These types of shifts do take a bit of time, but the GS-07 and GS-05 revisions will all waterfall off of that skillset in the next year or two. Then I would expect these to keep getting revised and discussed.

    EPAPs should (in a perfect world) be revised, changed and customized every year to reflect local managements’ and individual interpreters’ goals, abilities and expectations. So look for these to keep evolving almost continually as new best practices arise from the field. And share your ideas over in the Commons – they might get adopted elsewhere.

  4. My first thoughts are: The giant book of an interpreter’s application will be joined by the giant book of an interpreter’s EPAP for which only a tiny portion can be uploaded to USAjobs. When the performance measures take 3-4 pages to articulate even the smallest Narrative Summary will make the EPAP 12 pages long. If the narrative isn’t really that important (fully successful and superior don’t require it) then why not return to the old system of elements and numerical scores? Back in the ancient days of the 1990s I recall picking elements for seasonal employee ratings, giving a score on the chosen elements, and wasn’t there even a weighting factor a supervisor could assign? The seasonal could then have a one page sheet listing the elements for which she was rated, her scores, and a general narrative.

  5. I used the Park Guide and Park Ranger while on a detail and they worked really well for me. What was really validated for me was the relationship between local, community, regional, nationally impact. How can one be exceptional if you are not working, partnering, and making an impact that goes beyond your division and your community?

    Thanks for sharing these!


  6. With 240 libraries in the System but with Civil Service librarians in only three parks, there may be more collateral duty library coordinators than some of the listed collateral duties. Some library coordinators are Museum Collection employees, but many are Interp people. I submit that this is another collateral duty that needs standard language. Collateral duty – library coordinator standard language also needs horizontal standardization–with museum and archives specialties–for fairness across division boundaries. The NPS Library Program can assist with developing language and standards.


  7. PLEASE add to the text on this page above Write A Review that you have to LOG IN before writing a review. This site doesn’t automatically link to your profile. I had done a thoughtful review and submitted it, and then it gave me an error that I needed to go back and enter my name. There was no place to do that when writing the review so I clicked the back button on the pop up warning window, and all my review text was gone. And there was no place to enter your name. What you have to do is go to the icon in the upper right of the screen and log in first with your PIV card. Then write your review.

    Anyhow, what I said was, I will be implementing this at my park and I love the hard work that went into these great new EPAP narratives.

    The one area I’d like to see developed that a lot of interpreters work in is Partnership Coordination. This would be with Native American tribes, other agencies and bureaus (BLM, USFS, FWS, etc), local and state governments, foundations and nonprofits, and other private sector organizations. Perhaps this could be developed by the NER team that made these as either a fully successful bullet, or collateral duty?

    My only concern is with Minimally Successful, in particular what 370 DM 430 says about Minimally Successful as it doesn’t square with the wording on these new EPAPs in Minimally Successful. OPM and DOI need to get with the new thinking. 370 DM 430 is now 14 years old and needs to be updated!

    Here is what 370DM430 says:
    Minimally Successful:
    The employee’s performance shows serious deficiencies that requires correction. The employee’s work frequently needs revision or adjustments to meet a minimally successful level. All assignments are completed, but often require assistance from supervisor and/or peers. Organizational goals and objectives are met only as a result of close supervision. On one or more occasions, important work requires unusually close supervision to meet organizational goals or needs so much revision that deadlines were missed or imperiled. Employee shows a lack of awareness of policy implications or assignments; inappropriate or incomplete use of programs or services; circumvention of established procedures, resulting in unnecessary expenditure of time or money; reluctance to accept responsibility; disorganization in carrying out assignments; incomplete understanding of one or more important areas of the field of work; unreliable methods for completing assignments; lack of clarity in writing and speaking; and/or failure to promote team spirit.


  8. I see there are epaps for a park guide and a park ranger, but a park ranger can range anywhere from a GS -025-05 to a GS-025-09. Are there any examples of how GS-05 epap standards differ from GS-09 standards on this site?

  9. I agree with Stephanie M. 100%. When I received my EPAP, I felt like it was developed for me and not with me. I do believe this will lead to a lot of rangers being rated as minimally successful.


  10. Will these EPAPs will be updated to reflect the new DI-3100 that came out at the beginning of FY19? Perhaps before October 2019? Would also be helpful to have examples of the new “Strategic Goal Alignment” for each element and collateral duty. https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/uploads/di-3100_employee_performance_appraisal_plan_epap_for_fy_2019_final.docx

    Or at least remove the obsolete forms and switch out for new links?

  11. Hi Ben, we totally need to update these with the new form. Sorry to say that this didn’t happen in time for the new fiscal year – we were focused on the roll-out of the new Park Ranger (I) SPD. Hopefully, we can get a group together to help update these soon – there may be additional considerations now with the implementation of the new Paperless Performance Plans, so perhaps we can tackle both changes at once. I’ve updated the link under additional resources, per your suggestion! Thanks!

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